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Dun & Bradstreet’s Daffron rejoins Motive Partners

Stephen C. Daffron has rejoined Motive Partners as an industry partner.

Stephen C. Daffron has rejoined Motive Partners as an industry partner. Previously, Daffron was group president of Dun & Bradstreet.


NEW YORK and LONDON, June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Motive Partners (“Motive”), a private equity firm focused on technology-enabled financial and business services companies, announces the return of Stephen C. Daffron (“Steve”) as an Industry Partner. Motive’s integrated operating model, combining investors, operators and innovators, is a core tenet of the firm’s value-creation focused financial technology mandate. As President and leader of the day-to-day operations, and ultimately the transformation and growth, of Dun & Bradstreet, Steve was responsible for executing Motive’s value-creation plan by revitalizing the business’s data and analytics capabilities, simplifying and scaling the technology and operations, and invigorating Dun & Bradstreet’s global go-to-market approach.

Dun & Bradstreet was taken private in February 2019 by a consortium of investors, in which Motive played a pivotal role in the design and execution of the value-creation plan. Having returned the business to revenue growth, during Motive’s ownership, EBITDA improved 26%. These operating metrics allowed the business to relist 17 months following the privatization.

Steve will once again be working full time with his Motive colleagues to pursue new investment opportunities in his role as Industry Partner, focusing on sourcing, diligencing and transforming portfolio assets. Additionally, Steve’s legacy transformation value-creation playbook will continue to be operationalized across the Motive investment process.
Rob Heyvaert, Founder & Managing Partner at Motive Partners commented: “My relationship with Steve, over the past two decades, has never been filled with more admiration. Steve’s role on behalf of Motive Partners was to transform a one-hundred-and-seventy-eight year old legacy asset, and in just twenty-three months, from take-private to divestment, Steve surpassed our collective expectations in every means measurable.

“Given Steve’s unique qualifications, there are a number of exciting transformation opportunities in the capital markets, data and analytics sectors that would benefit from Steve’s management and oversight. I look forward to our partnership unlocking more value than ever before.”

Stephen C. Daffron, Co-founder & Industry Partner at Motive Partners commented: “When we invested in Dun & Bradstreet, we did so after considerable study. We created a value-creation plan that we would need to transform and grow the business. Those tasks have been accomplished: from transforming the operating model to realizing efficiencies and savings that were re-invested into the business to promote growth. I am proud of what the team have done to strengthen the business’s data and analytics capabilities, to simplify and scale the technology and operations, and the execution of the go-to-market strategy.

“Now to our next challenge. The future is extremely exciting, and I am relishing the transformation opportunities in our sector, and to work hand-in-glove with my Motive colleagues on those new opportunities.”

As Steve steps down from his position as President, with immediate effect, Anthony Jabbour will assume Steve’s day-to-day activities, supported by Dun & Bradstreet’s recent announcement to move the firm’s headquarters to Jacksonville, Florida. Steve will maintain a senior advisory role, continuing to support Anthony Jabbour and the management team.

About Motive Partners
Motive Partners is a specialist private equity firm, with total assets under management of $2.2bn, focusing on control-oriented growth equity and buyout investments in software and information services companies based in North America and Europe and serving five primary subsectors: Banking & Payments, Capital Markets, Data & Analytics, Investment Management and Insurance. Motive Partners has offices in New York City and London, and brings differentiated expertise, connectivity and capabilities to create long-term value in financial technology companies.

More information on Motive Partners can be found at