OpEx Awards 21: Meet the winners

Learn about the winners of this year’s OpEx Awards, Private Equity International’s annual initiative celebrating standout examples of value creation.

Now in their 10th year, Private Equity International’s Operational Excellence Awards continue to seek out the best examples of value creation by private equity firms.

After calling for managers’ strongest examples of value creation in May-June 2021, Private Equity International received more than 70 entries. The standard was high, resulting in some tightly contested categories, but we could name just 12 winners from the many impressive case studies submitted.

To qualify for this year’s awards, the GP must have fully or partially exited between June 2020 and June 2021. Entries were accepted for portfolio companies headquartered across three regions: Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Asia-Pacific; and the Americas. Within these regions PEI called for entries across four size categories: large-cap (entry price over $500 million); upper mid-market ($250 million to $500 million); lower mid-market ($100 million to $250 million); and small-cap (under $100 million).

The submissions were sent to a panel of judges who were tasked with reviewing the entries for a particular region. The judges were asked to consider factors such as ESG, innovation and growth strategy. The judging panel scored each entry for the overall level of operational excellence demonstrated.

Four winners were selected in each region, based on the entry that received the highest average operational excellence score in each size category. In the Asia-Pacific region, due to the high standard of small-cap submissions two winners were selected in that category, with one named in the mid-market and another in the large-cap category.

It is worth noting that where a judge had any involvement in a company’s value-creation story, they were recused from scoring that entry.

While the awards have been running for a decade, the quality of the submissions has not faded. Thank you to all the firms that continue to share their examples of operational expertise in action with PEI.