Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management doesn’t just want to invest in companies but it wants to help them apply advanced technology to their businesses.
That is the idea behind Cerberus Technology Solutions, which the company launched in late September, naming senior managing director Len Laufer Chief Executive. Cerberus president Matt Zames will serve as chair of the new group. The aim of the business unit is to work closely with Cerberus investments and the professionals of the companies it invested in to create more value by leveraging advanced technologies. The group is focusing on digital and e-commerce, cybersecurity, cloud computing, software development and data management with an eye toward helping companies cut costs, find new avenues of growth, accelerate technology deployments and differentiate from rivals. The group is also tasked with helping Cerberus investment teams find new investment opportunities and help the private equity firm assess risks and opportunities as it undergoes its pre-investment diligence processes.
“Technology transformation is a central theme impacting all businesses. To realize its benefits requires specialized skills and dedicated resources,” Cerberus’ Zames said in the late September press release. “Cerberus Technology enhances our proprietary operating capabilities to drive value for our portfolio companies and brings new capabilities to our integrated investment platforms.”
Cerberus Tech Head Comes From JPMorgan
Laufer comes from JPMorgan Chase where from 2013 to 2018 he was head of intelligent solutions, responsible for applying emerging technologies to wrest value out of the bank’s data assets. Prior to JPMorgan Chase, Laufer co-founded and was chief executive at Argus Information and Advisory Services. According to Cerberus Laufer grew the company into a leading player in providing risk, pricing and behavioral data to the payments market.
“Cerberus is a great firm with a proven record of developing innovative operating capabilities that create a proprietary edge for its investors and business partners,” Laufer said in that same press release. “It is a privilege to join this team and to work with Matt again. I am excited to lead Cerberus Technology and to tackle transformations with significant potential to impact long-term performance and create value.”
Cerberus Hasn’t Been Synonymous With Tech
Cerberus isn’t the first PE firm that comes to mind when talking about tech investments but it has been involved in tech-related deals over the years. According to PitchBook Platform, around 6% of its investments are in the technology sectors since 2008. It does own grocery store chain Albertsons and a slew of other companies that could benefit from technology. It also isn’t surprising that Cerberus would want to expand its technology chops with rivals making or gearing up to invest in technology and data related companies.