Embracing Curiosity – introducing Julius Höh

We are happy to introduce Julius Höh, our new Director in the Zurich office. Julius joined Altor from EQT, where he successfully managed investments both in the DACH region as well as internationally. He has more than 10 years of experience in private equity and strategy consulting with a particular focus on the business services and consumer sectors. We were given the chance to talk to the German outdoor fanatic, who recently became a father and is doing his best to make the most of and balance all tasks and opportunities on his plate.

So Julius tell me a bit more about your background and how you ended up here.

I originally started my investment career in the mid-market space, which I am coming back to now after having had a number of great experiences in different environments. Now, I have the privilege to join Altor.

So what is your personal DNA in how you approach your work?

The key is to force yourself to get and stay out there: Meet people, get new impressions, hear about contrarian ideas – It is really about listening. If you want to succeed, you have to nurture your curiosity and look at how you can challenge what is a proven formula – that you do best by ‘being out there’, seeking new people and territory.

And what have you learned from working out of different pockets in the world?

That you really need to stay curious and open-minded, people do things in different ways and in every situation, there is something new to be learned. I am a firm believer in a philosophy of cooperation and respectful dealing with each other, not in a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.

So what did you know about Altor before joining?

I had come across Altor in various situations, what always struck me the most was that the firm was extremely well-regarded and had such a positive connotation, specifically known be the trusted partner and go-to place for mid-market companies or founders looking for partnership deals. I believe that the Altor brand is still a bit more known in the Nordics than in the German speaking region, but we have fantastic momentum and are on a good path to change that!

What are your first impressions?

A very straightforward culture – What we put on paper and promise, is what we deliver.

And even after a few weeks only, it is evident to me, partnership situations are really at the core and a key differentiator of Altor. For instance, our long-term horizon and broad investment mandate allow us to take minority stakes when partnering with founders and leaders – which only few others would do. That truly shows our partnership mind-set. The flexibility in our mandate is a great asset for us.

What kind of investors or partners are the entrepreneurs lacking in DACH?

I believe that especially among entrepreneurs and Mittelstand companies there is a growing understanding of the value-added that private equity can bring to the table, yet sometimes the partnership thinking has been missing. To make this ‘marriage’ work, you need to be humble, respectful and down-to-earth but at the same time very ambitious and challenging things. It is a fine line, but for me this the key ingredient for establishing successful long-term partnerships and I see this as an essential part of who we are at Altor.

What do hope to have accomplished in a few years?

We are already on an excellent streak here and I look forward to further supporting Altor’s growth story in the German speaking region. This will mean focus on new deals but also on further establishing the brand and continue building our team. I am particularly excited about our ambition on Green Transition, and I want us to capitalize on that more in DACH. This is a topic that has only taken off, and we have a lot of interesting climate companies locally where we, with our thematic and entrepreneurial approach, can help to make a difference and to have a long-lasting impact.

Published: Jan 15 2024

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