NEWS26 June 2015

Marketing skills gap among acquired companies

News UK

UK — Newly acquired firms have the largest skills gap in marketing and IT management according to a survey of UK-based private equity houses.

UK private equity houses were asked to rate a range of skills in companies they acquire or fund in a survey from ThoughtSpark and conducted by MindMetre among PE companies with assets under management of more than £2 billion. 

On a scale of 1-100%, where 100% is the optimal skill level, IT management was rated at 48%, while professional, accountable and measurable marketing was judged at 44% overall. This compares with much stronger skills such as new product development ( 71%) and sales ( 69%).

Paul Lindsell, managing director and founder of ThoughtSpark, said: “Understanding the skills gaps in acquired companies is a key factor to ensure rapid sustainable growth. It is not surprising that start-ups focus on financial management and product development since incompetence in these areas would stop them from even getting off the ground in the first place.

“However, there is evidently a lack of capability in marketing and IT as firms move to second stage growth.  Leaving these skills undeveloped is likely to be disastrous for business managers and investors alike. In fact, there is little point in making a private equity investment in the first place if these key skill areas are left unattended.”