How Private Equity Changed our Business in Six Months
In a recent interview with BusinessCloud, Marc and Alison Schmid reflect on how our investment has transformed the mindset of Redmoor Health
Redmoor Health had always been a fast-growing business even before the involvement of private equity house Palatine.
Marc Schmid was in his mid 40s when he decided to launch a business in 2017 after identifying how technology could relieve some of the pressures in the health and social care sectors.
It proved to be a winning formula and Redmoor quickly became a trusted partner of the NHS.
Then along came Covid and the company grew by 70 per cent as the NHS increasingly turned to Redmoor to help them meet their training needs.
During the pandemic the workforce grew from 10 to 23, including Marc’s wife Alison, who joined in 2021 as the corporate director.
By 2024 when the conversation turned towards investment.
Up until then Redmoor had been completely bootstrapped but the couple decided that if they were to reach the next level, they’d need external investment.
Recalling the process Alison said: “We were first approached by potential investors about 18 months ago.
“By April 2022 we thought there was something in it and we stepped up the conversations in May and June time and that’s when the offers started flying in.”
The Chorley-based digital healthcare services partner attracted interest from 13 different investors before they eventually chose Palatine.
Marc recalled: “Palatine’s ethos fitted best with ours. As well as wanting to grow the business they were focussed on the wider benefits of a successful business, including a strong emphasis on the ESG side.”
The couple got to know Beth Houghton and Greg Holmes, who explained the benefits of Palatine’s Impact Fund.
Marc added: “Our USP is we’re about the people and being a trusted partner of the NHS and it became clear that our values mirrored those of the Impact Fund.”
In October 2022, Palatine announced it had completed a ‘significant’ investment in Redmoor Health, in a deal which saw Houghton and Holmes join the board.
Fast forward six months and Marc and Alison have reflected on the difference that Palatine have had on the mindset of the business.
“When we signed the deal Palatine were already thinking about what the business would look like in five years and working it back from there,” recalled Marc. “We wouldn’t have done that.
“We have a monthly board meeting with Palatine and we touch base with them outside of this as they support us with our growth strategy. It’s light touch.
“They’re not heavy-handed. They recognise we’re the experts in this field so they let us run the business. However we know we can pick up the phone to them.”
However there are some tangible differences to Redmoor following the investment.
The workforce has grown to 34 with key hires including Dan Hodges as CFO and commercial director Kieran Waterston.
Alison added: “We have a CRM system that drives everything that we do. The biggest difference you would notice now is that all the processes that we have in place when we go into a new area have all been refined, reviewed and adapted since Palatine got involved.”
The biggest change of all since Palatine’s investment has arguably been around mindset.
“Private equity give you focus and allow you to think more strategically around your business,” explained Marc. “They allow you to lift your head up from the day-to-day of looking at your business.
“The focus is on that long-term vision of where you want to get. For the first time we’re looking at the possibility of acquisition. Is there some tech out there that would add value to what we do?
“Palatine aren’t coming in and obsessing. What they’re doing is allowing us to think.”
Alison said Redmoor have also benefitted from access to Palatine’s network, including taking part in Palatine’s portfolio-wide Carbon Literacy Training and having dinner with some of the other businesses they’ve invested in.
“It’s a lonely place when you’re running your business,” she said. “You don’t always know if what you’re doing is right. You have nothing to measure yourself against.
“Suddenly you have a network of other businesses and that can only help.
“It’s only been six months since the investment but we believe Palatine can help take us to the next stage of our growth journey.”