Direct Capital on SAS

have sent this message to their investors:

Dear Investors

You may have seen media coverage over the weekend regarding a conference we held on 28 October at the Papakura Army Camp.  As not all of the media coverage was accurate, we would like to provide you the background to this.

Every two years Direct Capital hosts a conference for key people (generally owners, Chairmen and CEOs) from portfolio companies from the funds we manage, plus a small number of key advisors and prospective company partners.  It is one of the key marketing initiatives we commit resource to.  It is a unique opportunity for all of our company owners, and prospective new partners, to meet and exchange views and experiences on common topics of interest.  It has always been well attended by our portfolio companies, and we use it as one of our selling points when we are marketing to prospective companies.

This year’s event was very special.  We were very privileged to be able to arrange to be hosted by the NZ unit at the Papakura Military Camp.  While it is not a regular occurrence for the SAS to host such groups, it is something they do from time to time with high-performance teams.  It is also consistent with their intention to engage more with the community.  We had 70 representatives of some of New Zealand’s leading private companies in attendance – a group that the SAS rightly identified as sharing a number of attributes consistent with the SAS’s own pursuit of excellence.

The conference followed our usual format, leading off with a guest speaker from outside the attendees.  This year it was  two of the senior members of the SAS unit and their presentation focused on the selection process, their unrelenting pursuit of excellence, their ethos and the key tenets of the unit.  There was a particular emphasis on how these attributes applied in a business sense.

The balance of the conference entailed a number of presentations from our company owners on specific topics.  Following the conference we were provided a standard demonstration of SAS capabilities.  We then completed the day at the base with refreshments and were delighted to be joined by unit members, before having dinner in the city.

In appreciation, the Manager paid for consumables and made a substantial donation to the NZSAS Trust – a trust established to benefit members that have actively served in or been posted to the SAS, and their dependents.  The trust provides welfare assistance, support and financial assistance to maintain a reasonable quality of life for members, to provide support and assistance in times of crisis, and to provide support and financial assistance for further education and vocational training.

We feel very privileged to have been hosted by the SAS and the overwhelming feedback we received from those attending was that it one of the best, or the best, corporate day  they had experienced.  The unit members we met were an absolute credit to our armed services. A very common perspective from our attendees was how applicable unit members’ leadership and personal skills were to business and what excellent business leaders the members would make in the future.

We regret that there has been media coverage of the day, and that some of that has been negatively focused.  We have never sought media coverage for these conferences, but the nature of this one obviously led to it.

We will continue to support initiatives that support business excellence.

We have provided a summary of the day on its website and I enclose a link to this for you if you are interested:

If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


The Direct Capital Team

I really don’t see what all the fuss has been about.

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