Jonathan Holding – Transact Team
Jonathan joined Pemba from Limerston Capital, a UK based mid-market private equity fund, where he was part of the founding investment team in London and spent 5 years investing across the business services, education and healthcare sectors. Before Limerston, Jonathan worked with UK Growth Equity investor Kennet Partners and PFM Cornerstone, a Sydney based healthcare focused venture capital firm. He started his career in the Mergers & Acquisitions team at Deutsche Bank in Sydney.
You previously worked for a private equity firm in London before coming back to Australia and joining Pemba. In your opinion, what do you think is the biggest difference between the UK and Australian market?
In my opinion, the biggest difference is the size of Australian Private Equity (PE) market, with only a handful of firms focused on investing in growing small and medium sized businesses. In the UK, the market is much more crowded with many specialist technology and growth PE investors that we follow closely at Pemba.
Was there a motivation for moving back to Australia? What made Pemba stand out for you?
Australia is the best place in the world to live, and although the experience of living and working in London and New York has been great, I believe there is an incredible opportunity to bring the best from overseas into the Australian market to help Australian businesses grow. Pemba’s track record of successfully partnering with growing technology enabled business to help accelerate their growth and global mindset stood out for me.
Who inspires you and why?
My late mother. When I was born, she left her secure job to start a retail fashion business from scratch that is still running today with 12 stores across Australia. I grew up experiencing the ups and downs of the competitive ‘rag trade’, with mum never giving up and always bringing the most energy in the room to lift others up.
Once all borders are open again, what would be your dream holiday?
I am a passionate skier and really miss exploring the mountains of Europe! My dream holiday would be to Verbier, Switzerland, which I was meant to be at in March 2020 and has always been on my Wishlist.
What advice could you give to someone finishing University who are looking to make it in the industry?
I don’t believe there is any perfect pathway into the PE industry but it certainly helps to get a background in deals (IB and corporate advisory) and understanding how businesses really work (consulting firms and startups). The best way though is to get PE experience – apply for an internship at Pemba!
The 100-Year Life: Living and working in an Age of Longevity – By Lynda Gratton & Andrew J Scott (two London Business School Professors – I’m biased…)