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CEOs, Private Equity

Serial CEO Liz Griggs Moves Into PE

After founding One Call Care Management, the largest independent workers’ compensation ancillary care company with more than $1.5 billion in revenue and serving as Chairman and CEO of WorkWell Prevention & Care, Liz Griggs decided to launch the Grantchester Group. Based in San Diego, California, Grantchester is a new private equity firm that’s completing deals on a deal-by-deal basis. Axial’s Middle Market Review had a chance to catch up with Liz about her new firm and its plans for the future.

MMR: What is your background?

Liz: I was trained in commercial banking and then developed healthcare funding expertise at the Bank of Boston and this led to my joining the investment banking firm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

I then went on to found One Call Care Management, the largest workers’ compensation ancillary companies in the world. We were focused on reducing costs and getting workers back to work as quickly as possible for large insurance carriers and large corporations like Tyson Foods and UPS. I also purchased and built various additional companies with a focus on things like corporate wellness, pain management, and physical therapy.

I then started thinking I would like to be on the other side of the table. I thought, what if we start a firm that doesn’t take the traditional two percent management fee and 20 percent carry, is very focused on niche sectors, and isn’t constrained by a hold periods? With that, my partners and I launched Grantchester Group.

MMR: When did you launch Grantchester Group?

Liz: I have been formally running Grantchester as CEO since January 2016, however the core team including our partner in-charge of M&A, who came from Kirkland & Ellis, began working with me in 2013 on various acquisitions and financings. We have a full pipeline already. It’s been an exciting time.

MMR: What sectors are you focusing on?

Liz: Healthcare services, insurance and technology was my background, however some of the other Grantchester Group partners have had very successful careers in technology, energy, and infrastructure so we will focus on healthcare, energy and infrastructure, and technology. We have found some very exciting opportunities at the nexus of healthcare systems and the way that the energy infrastructure of those organizations is administered. Healthcare is a $3 trillion business in the U.S. and it continues to grow. We believe there are many $1 billion plus opportunities within that market that include implementing various technologies to improve home care and to extend the very tight workforces in both homecare and residential services.

MMR: Why did you decide not to raise a traditional private equity fund?

Liz: It takes time to raise a fund and I have deals that I want to do right now. So I went to the largest private equity firms and said to them, you are seeing the same deals as everyone else. I have a team and deal flow, and I would like to partner with you. I formed a partnership with one of the largest private equity firm to do deals over $30 million and a different private equity firm for deals under $30 million. Our LP base loves the arrangement. The private equity firms do all the due diligence and our LP base is able to ride along. It’s a winning formula. In addition to working with established private equity firms, we are also expanding our LP base with family offices and high net worth individuals.

We are the next generation to private equity bringing together operational expertise, strategy, talent, technology expertise, and capital.

MMR: Why do you believe this is a winning strategy today?

Liz: Our model is flexible. We can come in at almost any size because of our partnership with established partners. We have flexibility around how we invest. For example, we don’t have hold periods. We don’t have to sell a great company to raise our next fund or sacrifice returns. Each industry that we are operating in has over $1 trillion in size just in the U.S. and is an industry that we do not plan to exit during the next 20 years. We will provide opportunities for investors to receive liquidity periodically.

Grantchester is developing relationships with select multi-billion family offices who want to build long-term asset value in these industries and who realize the value of working with us on a long-term basis. Our goal is to be a market leader during the next 20 years in the industries in which we are building teams and portfolios of companies. We have also found that some of the best talent in the marketplace is attracted to our long-term value creation strategy. They realize that if they can find a home with a dynamic investment group where they can grow their investment capital on a tax free basis for many years that can be positive for them in many ways.

Also, our partners have a lot of experience. We have worked with some of the largest companies around so we really have tremendous knowledge.

MMR: What makes Grantchester unique?

Liz: Grantchester Group is an investment firm with partners who have built, founded, and operated companies from start-ups to multi-billion companies. We are the next generation to private equity bringing together operational expertise, strategy, talent, technology expertise, and capital.  Not many private equity fund partners or managing directors have built a company from start-up to a $2.3 billion company. We have so many experiences to draw on and want to be active investors. We have all sat on the other side of the table, we understand that companies want more than just capital. Companies want to know what you can give beside capital,  whether it’s advice or introductions. Money is only one aspect of the deal.

MMR: What has your experience been in a male-dominated industry?

Liz: I personally have always found that being a minority in any industry provides great opportunity and I have found no limit to my success because of that situation.  I have been encouraged and supported by limited partners and private equity firms that I have worked with over the years. But still, women are underrepresented. When I started working on Wall Street I was literally only one of two women executives on my floor, the rest of the women were either in operations or assistants. Whether it is the technology industry or the financial industry women are still underrepresented, which is a shame because they bring a different perspective to situations.

Grantchester: Axial Profile | Website

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