Mergers & Acquisitions names the 2021 Rising Stars of Private Equity, including ParkerGale’s Cass Ziebel.
Master of Metrics
Back in 2015, before ParkerGale had even closed its first fund, Ziebel joined the firm as an associate, the only employee at the time who wasn’t a founder. After business school and a stint at KPMG in the deal advisory practice (where she received her CPA), Ziebel realized her passion for PE and rejoined ParkerGale as a principal in 2020. Now she uses her financial analytics expertise to support the operations side of the firm’s model and to develop critical diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics for the firm’s portfolio companies. She has “far surpassed our hopes,” managing partner Devin Mathews told Mergers & Acquisitions.
As the world becomes more virtual and automated, Ziebel is focusing on “how our companies can better use tools and systems to their advantage,” she said. “I’m working with our companies to try to implement ways to keep their own teams and us as an investor up-to-date using platforms.”
“It is no surprise that valuations, especially those for software businesses, are at all-time highs these days,” Ziebel said. “Now that I primarily work on the operations side of our firm’s model, there is an increased focus on both defining and delivering true value creation. To me, this means being informed to make the best choices when it comes to where to spend time and capital at our businesses and having the courage and discipline to discontinue strategies that are no longer serving us.”
Improving DEI, ESG
“As a woman in a male-dominated industry (twice-over, if you consider both private equity and technology), DEI is always living rent-free at the forefront of my mind,” Ziebel said. She is currently working on implementing processes to help ParkerGale add more women and people of color to their boards.
“As a small, tech-focused fund, we have a limited, but thoughtful ESG policy,” Mathews said. “As we bring on a chief compliance officer this summer, Cass’s role will be to help bridge the gap between the CCO and our portfolio companies. Cass will build out the portfolio-level ESG reporting requirements and help teach our CCO about the unique attributes of our software portfolio and how they can improve ESG.”