Global private equity firm The Riverside Company is, by all accounts, a serious business. It has more than $5 billion under management, has an underlying portfolio of more than 80 businesses and is one of a small group of firms that can genuinely boast a global footprint – it has 18 offices across the world – and a focus on small and medium-sized growth businesses.
The firm can also be said to take a serious approach to the industry and wider society; notably its acclaimed COO Pam Hendrickson has represented the industry in front of the United States Congress.
What one would never say about the firm, however, is that it takes itself too seriously. In its day job as a regular private equity correspondent, First Round gets a lot of communications from private equity firms announcing recent investments and exits.
None of these, however, are quite so pun-heavy as those from Riverside. Some of these puns could be branded successful (“Stroke of Genius Adds Swimwear Specialist to Riverside Platform”) and others are a touch more laboured (“Riverside Deposits Another Deal In The Bank”).
Others, meanwhile, are a little too visceral for First Round’s liking: (“Riverside’s Latest Exit Not in Vein” or “Riverside Puts Skin In Game With New Investment”).
Given its penchant for the occasional quirk, First Round was only moderately surprised to find out that in the firm’s New York office, employees are encouraged to ‘scoot’ rather than walk the long corridors.
First Round’s spy in the office, located in the Rockefeller Center, managed to capture this image of receptionist Niamh Deacy doing the morning mail round on one of the firm’s silver Fuzion Cityglide scooters. This isn’t just frippery, says the spy; the introduction of the scooter has “immediately improved efficiency”. And it’s fun too.