The new private equity firm launched by former Alchemy dealmakers Olivia Roberts and Gavin Loughrey, Origin Equity, has secured its first deal with the acquisition of Plexus Law.
Origin is investing in £15m in the technology-enabled legal services platform that specialises in defendant legal services.
Roberts and Loughrey were Alchemy partners and this is their debut transaction roughly a year after Origin began a year ago. Roberts has also worked with Montagu Private Equity and Palamon Capital Partners and Loughrey is an Apax Partners alumnus.
“The private equity industry has matured and has become quite industrial. The dealmaking process has become more specialised, with separate teams focusing on origination, deal execution and portfolio management,” Roberts said. “Gavin and I had this entrepreneurial bug and we wanted to go back to old school private equity, where you manage an investment from beginning to end and can get really involved in working with management teams and businesses.”
Origin will invest between £5m and £20m in UK and Irish headquartered businesses, with a focus on the services sector. This sector will suit Origin’s hands-on approach and also one that Preqin data shows has delivered the best returns over time, according to Roberts.
Andrew McDougall will move into the role of senior partner as a result of the investment, while Tim Roberts continues as commercial director. Fiona Scott will join the business as chief executive. She was previously with Kennedys, where she served for more than four years on the global board. Roberts and Loughrey will take seats on the Plexus board.
“Plexus is a robust platform and attractively positioned where there is an interplay between services and technology,” Roberts says, going on to say “We are very pleased to have done our first deal. It is a significant landmark and we are excited about the future.”