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“The primary value we offer our investors is to invest and manage their capital thoughtfully, so that’s where we dedicate our time. PEF Services helps us stay focused on our core strengths.”
Mike Lasch, Managing Partner, Pine Street Capital Partners

Client Background

Pine Street Capital Partners is a multi-fund management company based in Albany, New York and Wellesley, Massachusetts that focuses on niche manufacturing, business services, health care and later stage IT companies since 2005. Pine Street strategically invests in smaller established companies with experienced management teams that have minimum revenues of $10 million. Pine Street provides capital for buyouts, recapitalization, acquisitions and corporate growth.

Situation

In 2011, Pine Street raised its first Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) fund. Pine Street management knew that operating an SBIC fund brought special requirements, such as annual SBA examinations and compliance with additional regulations.

“We debated the merits of hiring a full time resource to manage the SBIC fund versus outsourcing, because we knew we needed someone with significant experience to handle accounting as well as issues unique to SBICs,” said Michael Lasch, managing partner and co-founder of Pine Street Capital.

Solution

PEF Services serves an extension of the fund’s back office staff, giving the firm greater breadth and depth of talent. It provides bookkeepers, staff accountants, managers and domain specialists (e.g., distributions). PEF has the experience of working with more than 100 funds – so even when a situation is new to a fund manager, they can have confidence that PEF Services will have seen the situation before and advice on how best to handle it.

Lasch noted that PEF Services already had a strong reputation for providing administration services for PE Firms, including SBIC funds. “We already knew of several other funds that used PEF Services, and met frequently with PEF executives at industry trade shows and conferences. We chose to go with PEF Services because our relationship with the Small Business Administration (SBA) is critical to us and we knew PEF could help us adhere to the guidelines of the program.”

PEF Services provided immediate value to the Pine Street team. Pine Street uses a full spectrum of operations support, including quarterly financial reporting, allocation of investor capital accounts, capital distributions, year-end audit preparation, income tax preparation, investor communications and more.

PEF Services was helpful during Pine Street’s fundraising process, providing guidance to them on general deal terms they see in the market.

“One of the benefits to choosing PEF Services is that they have a broader view of the market from numerous perspectives,” said Lasch.

Pine Street also benefits from PEF’s Investor Library, a proprietary web-based application that provides investors, management and other key stakeholders instant access to fund documentation.

“The Investor Library gives our team an advantage because our investors can see all our quarterly updates, annual updates and other documentation online at any time,” said Lasch. “It’s a user-friendly service that helps curb the stream of investor requests for information while keeping all the documents together in one place and readily accessible.”

Results

PEF Services has helped Pine Street meet their goal of developing and maintaining a strong relationship with the SBA as well as their investors. PEF Services proactively performs all the reporting needs for the fund, alerting Pine Street to review or approve the information.

“The primary value we offer our investors is to invest and manage their capital thoughtfully, so that’s where we dedicate our time. PEF Services helps us stay focused on our core strengths,” said Lasch.

“Our role is to help Pine Street put their best foot forward while maintaining efficiency and simplicity,” said Anne Anquillare, president and CEO of PEF Services. “We help prevent problems and reduce liability, but we also solve problems that may occur with financials, accounting, compliance and distributions.”

Pine Street also uses PEF Services as a selling point to investors. “Not only are we audited by an outside firm, but we have PEF Services doing our financial reporting. That gives us a high level of transparency,” said Lasch.

According to Lasch, PEF Services does much more than manage funds. “PEF Services is an additional resource to educate us on particular market or fund issues. Chances are, if an issue arises for us, PEF has already seen it for another fund in the past and we benefit from their experience.”

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