Member Spotlight: Katherine Hill Ritchie

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Director Strategic Development, Nottingham Spirk

Every month, we will feature an active member of the ACG New York community in a brief interview. Reflecting industry insight and personal perspective, this feature will introduce industry leaders and offer advice on the tools you need to succeed in the ever-changing middle market.

Connect with Katherine Hill Ritchie on LinkedIn

1. Quick basics– role/firm/focus/how long have you been an ACG member?  
ACG member since 2016. I was first introduced to ACG soon after relocating back from Europe, I was reacclimating myself to NYC and wanted to actively network with my peers. I asked to speak at the Women in Leadership event and was really impressed with ACG. I work for the Nottingham Spirk family office as a Director. The focus is on consumer products and medical devices. The firm has over 1,250 patents and we have a barbell approach and are interested in very early seed stage companies or even ideas, which we sometimes incubate in-house, to LBOs of mature companies where we can use our team of 75 engineers, designers and product experts to innovate product lines or take companies in a new direction. We are teaming up and co-investing with private equity funds and family offices and their portfolio companies to innovate companies together.

2. What do you think are the biggest obstacles in the middle market today?  
Larger funds and firms have been moving down the food chain to the lower middle market and there is increased competition. Also, most family offices are not restricted by any particular EBITDA or enterprise value such as a fund would be, so with an increased interest in direct investments, there are more families looking to buy companies in the middle market today.

3. How has ACG helped you in your career?  
The family office world is opaque by design and I have wasted many days at conferences with fluff agendas and meeting people who were not what they said they were or didn’t have the firepower or assets to pull the trigger on deals. ACG has real deal makers and I have met great people and done deals with other members. I am really happy to run the New York Family Office Committee this year for ACG and have been active for a few years. It has definitely helped my career and is a worthwhile organization.

4. Can you tell us about your greatest success story/ proudest achievement?  
Too early to say……
 
5. What changes do you foresee happening in the middle market in the next 3-5 years?  
There will be more and more family offices entering the space who look like and function much like private equity firms and more collaborating to co-invest to buy companies together. Also, I believe more firms will look to not just apply formulaic changes to portfolio companies but look to really innovate their portfolio companies to achieve greater multiple expansion.