Apax partner on growth, exit of Duck Creek, Call for Deal of the Year nominations

Another PE partner shares his 2023 outlook.


Call for nominations for Deal of the Year: We’ve opened the nomination process for our annual Deal of the Year awards. Winners for deals closed in 2022 are chosen in seven categories: Deal of the Year, Large-Market Deal of the Year, Middle-Market Deal of the Year, Small-Market Deal of the Year, Turnaround of the Year, International Deal of the Year, and Secondaries Deal of the Year.

Go here to download a PDF of the Deal of the year 2023 application. Deadline to submit your nominations is Friday, Feb. 13, 2023. Winners are announced in April. Read about past winners here.

The volume of submissions is so high that I likely won’t be able to get to every question that comes in. I urge you to read the application form closely, which lays out all the details necessary to make a submission.

Now to it …

Exit: Apax Partners’ agreed exit of Duck Creek Technologies to Vista Equity will generate a return of more than 5x once the deal closes, writes Obey Martin Manayiti on PE Hub today. Read more here.

Apax carved Duck Creek out of Accenture in 2016 and took the company public in 2020. Duck Creek provides a software platform for the insurance industry.

The migration to the cloud, which was in its infancy in the insurance sector when Apax made its initial investment, helped drive the company’s growth, according to Jason Wright, a partner at Apax who leads the firm’s tech group.

“The insurance industry is largely built on legacy platforms and switching from those legacy platforms is extremely difficult. The complexity and mission critical nature of these products make it an attractive place for software investing,” Wright said.

Under Apax’s ownership, Duck Creek made six acquisitions, including Prima XL, a European reinsurance software vendor.

Looking forward: Andre Puong, partner at Cathay Capital Private Equity, spoke with Aaron Weitzman at PE Hub about the firm’s outlook for 2023. Below is a sample of the interview. Read the full Q&A here.

What will be the most important trends affecting your dealmaking in 2023?
Another significant trend will be the cooling of the labor market and how it will affect companies’ ability to staff, improve their organization and address talent management. This impacts how we, as investors, evaluate companies and their organizational capabilities. But an easing job market will ultimately affect the relationship between professional and personal lives, workplace vs. home and remote work, and how goods and services are consumed and delivered. These changes will create dealmaking opportunities as some companies will be better positioned than others in capturing these shifts in the workforce and the workplace.

Women in PE: Thank you for all the women in PE nominations this year, I have a ton of them so far and as always, it’ll be a nearly impossible task whittling them down to just 10. Feel free to send in nominations to me at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com by Jan. 23. And check out our past Women in PE coverage here.

That’s it for me! Have a great rest of your day. Hit me up with tips n’ gossip at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com or find me on LinkedIn.