Ansor for Investors
Ansor provides the opportunity and professional environment for international institutions to invest in the private small cap sector. This sector represents a significant market opportunity that is currently materially underinvested. For example, in the UK, the sector accounts for only a quarter of equity investment despite accounting for more than half of the economy.
Ansor has a proven operational methodology and has operated successfully in this space for over a decade. Ansor provides the necessary capabilities, experience and governance to source, acquire and develop companies in the high growth small and medium sized company sector, aiming to deliver attractive investment returns.
Ansor has a strong commitment to sustainability. All of the portfolio companies owned by Ansor Fund I operate in sectors where they are able to make a positive contribution to the environment. Ansor is a signatory to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and all portfolio company platforms follow and continually refine ESG principles.
Ansor Fund I closed in February 2021, having reached its target fund commitments, and is currently being deployed. Ansor expects to launch Fund II during 2022.
Ansor for Entrepreneurs
Ansor Fund I is providing an attractive exit route for owners of small and medium sized businesses. Through its investment and our expertise we enable businesses to flourish, accelerating their growth so that they can achieve their full potential. We take businesses to the next stage by facilitating investment in technology and talent and combining with other like-minded businesses from the sector to create market leading positions.
We can make attractive offers to business owners by linking the business valuation to the performance of the business after the investment.
We actively encourage business owners to join the next stage of the journey, reinvesting some of the sale proceeds in shares in the acquiring company and becoming an active part of the group’s leadership team.
Ansor Fund I acquires controlling stakes in established, cash generative UK based businesses, typically:
- Repeatable, growing revenues (up to £50m)
- Sustainable EBIT margins >10%
- Operating in growing, fragmented sectors
Ansor LLP was established by Ed Ainsworth, Peter Marson and Peter Strafford to continue their successful strategy of investing in small and medium sized companies in growing, fragmented sectors. The founding partner team have a long and successful track record over their careers, latterly with Ansor LLP, advising on the establishment and acquiring of UK SMEs and delivering attractive investment returns.
Peter Marson and Ed Ainsworth started their first business together in 2000 which they grew to more than £80m of revenues and then sold in 2008. Thereafter, they focused on starting and growing a portfolio of businesses using a combination of their own funds and deal by deal institutional funding. Peter Strafford started working with the team in 2012 on the development of multiple business opportunities.
In 2019 the founding partner team launched Ansor Fund I which held its first close in November 2019 and its final close in February 2021 upon reaching its target fund commitments.
Ansor creates value from the acquisition of profitable SMEs and combining them into large, higher value platform businesses. Whilst Ansor Fund I has completed a significant number of acquisitions and invests heavily in organic growth, we focus our activities on these platform businesses and so achieve real focus and can effect transformational development.
Ansor builds platforms in sectors:
- With attractive market characteristics, including sectors with strong underlying long-term sector growth, high fragmentation, opportunities from technology change and automation
- Where the team has differentiated strategic and operational expertise
- Where Ansor can develop an exciting growth strategy
Ansor operates across a range of sectors that includes healthcare, IT, business services, energy efficiency, property services and specialist manufacturing.
We seek opportunities where we can create the #1 or #2 player in our chosen market. We believe in investing heavily in talent and technology to create high growth, high value businesses.
Ansor has a strong commitment to sustainability and is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment https://www.unpri.org/signatory-directory/ansor-llp/7583.article. All of Fund I’s portfolio businesses are committed to being Carbon Neutral by 2022. We focus on businesses which can make a positive impact to the environment, and we incorporate social and governance factors into investment considerations and through active ownership. For example, portfolio company EBS works every day with customers to reduce energy consumption in their buildings, and portfolio company 4C offers customers, typically large national or multi-national companies, analysis on how to reduce the carbon impact of their procurement activities.
Two portfolio platform companies have committed to becoming Certified ‘B Corporations’ and are therefore activity managing and evaluating their contribution to their communities and the environment.
Our businesses work with their local communities and support them in various targeted ways. MCP2, a division of portfolio platform company 4C, was a finalist in the National Social Value Awards (their contribution includes training 70 students through a CIPS qualification, reducing carbon through a staff electric car program and a program to improve employability of young people). Flair (part of the portfolio platform company Compliance Group) has a programme which includes supporting Quantum Care’s ‘Carer of the year Awards’ in addition to supporting BowelCancerUK, and their local food bank.
UK SME Sector
- Small and medium sized businesses (0-249 employees), comprise 99% of UK firms, contribute £2.2 trillion in turnover to the UK economy and account for 52% of private sector turnover. They also employ 16.6 million employees, comprised of 12.2 million workers and 4.4 million working proprietors - 61% of the private sector workforce 
- There are 5.82 million small businesses (0-49 employees) and 35,600 medium-sized businesses (50-249 employees) and they recorded growth rates of 2.3% to 2019 (last year data was available)
- There are more than 35,000 small and medium sized firms who are growing staff or revenue at more than 20% per annum (at the last count in 2017).
- The UK SME sector traditionally grows quickly after recessions. When surveyed in early 2021, 74% of UK SMEs felt optimistic about their business and more than half believe the Covid pandemic has made their business more resilient (according to a survey by Sage, the accountancy software firm). As a result, 79% of UK SMEs expect to be back to normal profitability by summer 2021. 1.2m jobs are forecast to be created in the SME sector in the UK during 2021.
- Between late 2020 and May 2021 the FT UK Small Cap index (companies with less than £2bn market cap) grew by 70% vs 20% for the FTSE350.
1. Platform Creation
We create new business platforms by:
- Combining two or more successful businesses to form an initial base
- Putting in place a strong and proven leadership team and incentivising them
- Creating a detailed growth strategy to become the #1 or #2 player in the sector
- Building a strong brand backed by marketing investment
- Implementing an enterprise wide business operating system
- Investing in advanced technologies to improve productivity and create unique customer offerings
- Fully professionalising the business with formal governance and reporting
2. Business Growth
- We grow Fund I’s businesses through a number of growth levers:
- Sourcing multiple add on acquisitions
- Hiring top talent
- Expanding into adjacent sectors and launching new products and services
- Applying technology and automation
- Extending internationally in a focused way
- At the appropriate time, Ansor seeks exits to trade or private equity acquirors, at valuations that reflect the increased scale, profitability, professionalism and strategic re-positioning of the businesses. Ansor applies very significant resources and tried and tested Ansor know-how in order to seek to deliver high value businesses at exit.