Francois Gilbart, left, and Jurjen Van der Wiel collect their award at the PEF Full Potential Dinner
Volunteering business skills to create social value
With Private Equity Foundation's (PEF) support, Place2Be has become an innovative leader in the field of children’s mental health, helping young people to grow up with prospects not problems. Francois Gilbart and Jurjen Van der Wiel, Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President Portfolio Group at Bain Capital, were named Pro Bono Supporters of the Year, for their support of the charity through PEF. They’ve given a combined 275 hours to the charity and having previously conducted a strategic review of its services, helped secure PEF’s largest investment to date: £2 million over five years to enable Place2Be to reach a further 25,000 11-to-14-year-olds in 70 secondary schools across the UK.
The Private Equity Foundation introduced Bain Capital, one of the world's leading private assett management firms, to Place2Be back in 2010 and since then the firm has given 285 pro bono business hours to the charity.
In particular, Jurjen Van der Wiel and Francois Gilbart from Bain Capital have provided 'hands-on' support whenever and where ever an external or business perspective has been helpful. This isn't single-project based support, but a long-term, involved partnership which has covered strategy development, helping the charity to set priorities and identifying, prioritizing and following up on new growth opportunities. Most recently, Jurjen and Francois have supported Place2Be in the development of its secondary school expansion plan, leading to PEF’s £2 million grant, its largest to date.
Francois Gilbart said: “Before being introduced to PEF and Place2Be, I personally thought a bit simplistically that the only ways I could support a charity were either by raising funds or spending weekends leveraging skills that I don’t have – certainly in my case anything which would involve handyman skills.
"The role that Jurjen and I have played with Place2Be is clearly different to that and actually very close to the role we play in Bain Capital portfolio companies, leveraging the same skills as the ones we use every day: first defining with management the two to three key priorities to achieve Place2Be’s goals; then ensuring that those priorities are well understood by the organisation; and finally supporting the management team and whole organisation focusing and delivering on those priorities.”
Jurjen Van der Wiel said: “Most of our support at Place2Be has been around defining strategy and creating the execution plan behind the strategy and architecting the organization structure to deliver that strategy. During that work we jointly identified the huge opportunity for PEF to have an impact by supporting the roll-out of therapeutic support to children in need in secondary schools (something Place2Be had been successfully doing in primary schools with the help of PEF). We then supported the integrated Place2Be and PEF team to create a winning plan which has ultimately led to a £2 million investment and is likely going to change the lives of thousands of children in the 70 secondary schools Place2Be will be present with their services over time. The secret to the symbiotic partnership between Bain Capital, Place2Be and PEF is having the exact same objective and agenda: to change the lives of children."