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  • Writer's pictureCredo Partners

Meet the team: Mathias Wille

Updated: Apr 4

We are fortunate to have a group of talented and dedicated people at Credo Partners. With different backgrounds, roles and experiences, it’s what they each bring to the table that makes our team so strong. One thing they all have in common, however, is a passionate desire to help create scalable and sustainable businesses. In this ongoing column, we share the personal stories of Credo colleagues, board members, managers, and entrepreneurs.


Before joining Credo, Director, Mathias Wille worked as an equity research analyst, bringing with him investing acumen and an analytical toolbox developed at Norges Bank Investment Management and Credit Suisse. Mathias is today a key member of several of our buy-and-build programs.


Please enjoy this conversation with Mathias in which he shares his nuanced view of life in private equity. 


Can you start by telling us a bit about your role at Credo and how you ended up here?

My role at Credo encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities, acting as the link between the board and the management teams of our portfolio companies. This involves everything from agenda setting and day-to-day sparring with management to spearheading complex processes like M&A, refinancing, and strategic planning. What excites me the most is the deep dive into each company, understanding its core, and engaging with passionate founders to align their vision with our strategic direction.


What drives you in your job, and what do you find most rewarding?

The essence of my job's appeal lies in two aspects: the human connection and the intellectual curiosity it satisfies. Engaging with driven individuals and convincing seasoned entrepreneurs to buy into the vision I represent feels incredibly rewarding and something I take as a personal responsibility. Additionally, the opportunity to delve into various industries, understanding their intricacies, fuels my curiosity and passion for this role.


How did your career path lead you to private equity?

My path to private equity was anything but linear. From initially having studied politics, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, through a stint as a ship broker based out of Cape Town, I was drawn to the complexity of securing financing for the projects I worked with. This curiosity led me back to academia for a master's in finance, and eventually to a role as an equity analyst. However, my desire to be more actively involved in shaping business strategies rather than merely observing from afar brought me to Credo.


Do you specialize in a particular area within your portfolio companies, or are you more of a generalist?

I've maintained a generalist stance throughout my career, engaging with two broad and quite diverse sectors as I covered both consumer and industrials. My focus has been on integrating and enhancing the value of the companies we invest in, exploring how diverse elements can be synergized to create a cohesive and more valuable whole.


Describe a typical day for you if there is one.

A typical day is a mix of planned strategic work and problem-solving, with the reality often skewing towards the latter. While I aim for structured progress on key projects, the dynamic nature of our portfolio companies means I'm constantly adapting to their evolving needs.


And what does a non-typical day look like?

The most exhilarating days involve road trips to pitch our vision to potential partners or negotiate acquisitions. These are the kind of interactions, rich with potential and promise, that remind me why I chose this profession and highlight the blend of strategic foresight and personal engagement that defines my role.


What motivates you, and how do you like to spend your time outside of work?

I'm driven by the challenge of navigating uncharted territories and being thrown out at the deep end, before hopefully emerging on the other side. Outside of work, I socialize with friends, seek relaxation in nature, embark on culinary adventures, and cherish the time spent exploring new cultures with my loved ones.


Is there something about you that people might find surprising?

I’m sure there are a number of things. People might be surprised by the dichotomy between my professional and personal selves. While I've been working on merging these aspects, I believe that people who only know me socially have a hard time imagining how I am at work, and vice versa. 


How do you continue to challenge yourself?

I challenge myself by stepping into unfamiliar situations, at work or otherwise, whether it's joining a choir without any prior singing experience or pursuing a degree in a language I didn’t speak. These experiences push me to grow beyond my comfort zone.


When you're not deeply involved in the private equity world, how do you unwind?

To unwind, I venture into the great outdoors or immerse myself in travel, seeking out experiences that offer a blend of relaxation and adventure, from canoeing in remote locales to exploring the gastronomic and natural wonders of different countries. Or as happens more frequently, I enjoy a good evening with friends. 


Finally, could you share three emojis that best describe you?

🐻🤌🤓 



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