Third Bridge Forum: smarter private equity research across the investment cycle

The private equity landscape is as competitive as it has ever been, with levels of dry powder reaching new highs in 2021. Identifying red flags and developing conviction early on in the investment cycle is paramount, but finding quality and unbiased information on private companies remains a challenge for many private equity investors.

As the leading primary research provider, Third Bridge Forum is filling this industry void, helping private equity investors understand sector landscapes, contextualise data, and evaluate companies and markets throughout the entire investment process. 

Through Forum, private equity investors gain knowledge of target companies, with a focus on primary and secondary leveraged buyouts, pre-IPO, carve-outs, public-to-private transactions, and private investments in public equity. 

Why the world’s top private equity investors use Third Bridge Forum:

  • Assess eight times as many companies in the time it takes to have an expert call
  • Validate ideas before deploying resources
  • 80% of Interviews are conducted with former executives at the companies in focus
  • Global coverage of over 4,000 private companies is aligned with Forum’s large and mega-cap client investment universe, including: 
    • All private equity and venture capital-backed companies with an enterprise value of >USD 1bn
    • All vintage portfolio companies with an enterprise value of >USD 500m at last known valuation – and the subject of a leveraged buyout or growth equity investment between 2015 and 2019
    • Areas with substantial private equity activity (as measured by deal count or capital allocation)

Third Bridge Forum has embedded itself as a critical component in the workflow of private equity investors across all levels of seniority – from sourcing new opportunities, portfolio monitoring, through to exit.

Deal sourcing

As deal sourcing influences all subsequent stages of the investment cycle, it pays to be thorough at this critical first step. Forum enables private equity investors to uncover emerging themes and high-growth sub-sectors they may not have otherwise heard of. 

Given the nature of private companies, it can be difficult to judge which names are worth pursuing, but insights from Forum Interviews shine a light on a company’s value and how it relates to broader market trends. 

And by extracting insights directly from former target company or competitor executives, private equity investors can pinpoint the names they should focus on with greater conviction – reaching a “yes” or “no” answer faster, and saving time and resources.

Ultimately, private equity investors can boost their knowledge of a company before engaging in expert network calls, while also ensuring they are equipped with the questions that get to the crux of what they need to know. 

Early due diligence 

As part of the early due diligence stage, Forum gives private equity investors the chance to quickly discover a company or sector’s TAM, as well as growth drivers and competitive dynamics – revealing both opportunities and threats. 

But this is still only half the battle.

When it comes to shaping the investment thesis, Forum helps private equity investors  build conviction across value levers, including organic growth, margin improvement, and M&A. Additionally, they can identify industry advisors to support them throughout their due diligence process, including seeking extra guidance on asking management teams the right questions. Through our database of approximately one million industry experts, this can be done through one-to-one engagements via Third Bridge Connections.

Ultimately, being fully prepared at management meetings is critical. Private equity investors must demonstrate their understanding of a company as well as broader industry knowledge. With 150+ sector-specialised analysts and researchers worldwide covering 4,000 private companies, private equity investors have access to unique company and niche sector information giving them a competitive edge. 

Portfolio monitoring

As well as serving as a critical resource during sourcing and due diligence, Forum is also a powerful tool for helping private equity investors implement best practices observed elsewhere into their own portfolio companies.

And it does not stop there. Forum’s breadth and depth of coverage makes it easy to find and learn about bolt-on opportunities while staying abreast of sector disruption and consolidation. Complementing this, Forum users can continuously add portfolio companies and competitors to their watchlist to ensure they receive real-time alerts as soon as new insights become available.

Lastly, private equity investors who use Forum maximise returns at exit by assessing the potential for a strategic purchaser. By refining content by sectors and sub-sectors, they are well placed to spot potential synergies and understand long-term value creation ahead of a pitch.

Key Forum features for private equity investors:

Customised user experience on any device – any time, anywhere

  • Simplified user experience
  • Flexible workflow from desktop to tablet and mobile device when on the go

Powerful search engine delivering hyper-relevant results

  • Find the content that you care about faster

Personalised content on the homepage

  • Only see content on the companies and sectors you are interested in and automatically filter everything else out

Watchlist and weekly alerts

  • Real-time alerts ensure you never miss out on new content on the names/themes you care about
  • Be among the first to respond to opportunities or risks as they arise
  • Weekly email updates on the sectors or geographies of your choice

On-demand, in-browser access to transcripts and audio replays

  • Digest content in your preferred format
  • Listen to replays as you continue research in the background
  • Bookmark content to read or listen to on the go

Maps integration for a full view of a company’s value chain

  • Dramatically increase your speed to knowledge on a target company’s entire value chain
  • Identify the most relevant industry segments to further deep dive
  • Prioritise your investment research

Chinese audiences can localise their language

  • Ease of content consumption in the language of your choosing

Third Bridge Forum transcripts and recordings can be accessed on demand in the Forum portal on your desktop or mobile device, or via our third-party distribution partners, including S&P Capital IQ, Bloomberg, FactSet and Refinitiv.

The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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