With more than two decades of financial services experience, Zena has opened new international offices and built, bought and grown businesses around the world. A senior leader who’s experienced rapid, private-equity driven growth, she’s ready to bring Altum’s model of excellence delivered through long-term relationships to Europe.
When Zena joined Altum, the business had invested in its infrastructure and grown from 45 to 100 talented employees. These changes provided the solid foundations Altum needed to increase its offering and expand into new jurisdictions. However, as Zena notes: “When you’re a certain size, it’s difficult to invest and grow at the same time.”
Having enjoyed private-equity supported growth in a previous business, Zena started looking for a new investor for Altum. “We wanted an investor that would provide more than capital,” says Zena. “A firm that would form a true partnership and support me and my team professionally and with strong networks.”
Having been courted quite heavily in the market, Zena took the time to find a private equity firm that shared the same vision and values. A firm that would be aligned with Altum, working alongside the team on its journey.
Tenzing emerged as Altum’s preferred partner because of the package of support on offer as part of the investment. This included Tenzing’s M&A team and its Sherpa Programme, which provides expertise, mentoring and execution support. “I thought this was a pretty unique offering,” Zena notes. “And it’s something I found really attractive.”
“With a lot of merger and acquisition activity driving our market – and £7.5 billion of growth in the sector – there’s plenty of opportunity for independents like us,” says Zena.
With a deep understanding of the marketplace, Tenzing is the perfect partner to add value from a strategic M&A perspective. In fact, during initial meetings, Altum found that Tenzing was looking at some of the same potential acquisitions Altum was already considering. “This kind of symmetry made me feel confident Tenzing was the right partner for us,” notes Zena.
With a young, dynamic management team, Altum is growing solidly and attracting amazing talent. “Tenzing’s investment is a real turning point for the company in terms of its growth trajectory,” says Zena. Now the business is ready to build on its Luxembourg acquisition and take the business into new geographies.
Whether that’s done organically or inorganically is yet to be decided. Either way, Zena is confident that wherever Altum goes: “It will be a great success because our business has tremendous people, processes and technologies that will be boosted by Tenzing’s expertise, enthusiasm and energy.”