Garrett James Black April 27, 2016
When it comes to naming your private equity or venture capital firm, you have all the riches of the world's languages at your disposal. Even if you're restricting yourself just to the English language, you have well over a million words to choose from. But both PE and VC firms seem to have an inordinate fondness for just a few specific genres, including anything related to nautical pastimes, seasons, landscape features, cities or trees. Investors in both fields seem pretty rooted to those traditions, all in all. So in honor of Arbor Day, we decided to rank the most active PE and VC firms that have a tree in their name, just by global deal count. So without further ado, here they are:
How'd we arrive at this list? To generate the list of PE firms, for example, we used the PitchBook Platform to look up investors by 'private equity' type and filtered by 'buyout' and other PE deal types only. Then we ranked by overall investments, not just active investments or those made in the past year. Then, of course, we selected firms that had names related to trees, or ones that were very close, e.g. New Leaf Venture Partners.
There are many conclusions one could draw from just the above lists, but it's pretty clear that oak is being overused. Those looking to start a PE or VC firm should at the very least seek to turn over a new leaf in this area. Why not more cedars, butternuts, cottonwoods or the like? I doubt diversity in firm tree names will ever become as prioritized as typical diversity initiatives in the PE and VC industries—as it probably shouldn't—but it's worth noting. Delving into lesser-known tree types can't sap one's energy that much.
To be frank, I am an analyst, not a dendrologist, so it's possible I missed something or went barking up the wrong tree. I didn't log countless hours assessing every investor in our database. If you'd like to see for yourself, reach out to us for a free trial.
Note: Thanks to former PitchBook editor Allen Wagner and researcher Michael Rebagliati for planting the seed of this idea for an Arbor day post.