Platinum Equity executive Jacob Kotzubei was invited to participate in a panel discussion during the recent 26th annual Milken Institute Global Conference.

Kotzubei joined a lineup of prominent investment bankers, institutional investors, celebrities like hip-hop pioneer Snoop Dogg and politicians like U.S. Senator Joe Manchin at the bipartisan think tank’s annual gathering to promote progress and prosperity.

Kotzubei, who was recently promoted to Co-President at Platinum Equity, thinks creativity helps private equity firms successfully transact despite a slow M&A market.

“I think now is a time where you have to really leverage your firm’s capability to be creative,” Kotzubei told the Beverly Hills Hilton audience. “You have sellers and buyers with different opinions about value. Values change significantly in a short period of time, and you have to return to tools that really were put away for a while during a very high growth economy. Things like seller financing, things like seller rolling into transactions, it’s returning to things like that to get deals done.”

During the hour-long discussion titled Deal or No Deal in Private Equity, Kotzubei also identified  characteristics for private equity managers to have success in today’s market of skyrocketing inflation, high interest rates and elevated prices for assets.

“As investors, we all have learned to underwrite and manage a certain level of uncertainty all the time, but we’re in an amplified uncertain environment,” Kotzubei said. “In an environment like this, you have to be careful about trying to be a predictor. Look at buying businesses that can not only survive inflation but can thrive in inflation.”

Kotzubei also cited the importance of experienced managers who have weathered economic downturns.

“There is objectively less capital available for the industry,” Kotzubei said. “But there’s always capital available for people who can articulate why their strategy meets the moment.”


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