Dean Forbes: What I’ve learned from billion-dollar exits

From killing your sacred cow to planning when to hand over the reins, here’s what Forterro’s CEO has learned from the successful exits he orchestrated.

by Orianna Rosa Royle

Dean Forbes has quite the impressive CV. Over the course of his 20-year career, he’s orchestrated three exit deals with a combined worth in excess of $1bn. One was Amercian Express (GBT)'s largest tech deal it had executed at the time. Most recently, as CEO of the software company Forterro, his two-year plan led to its €1 billion buy-out from Partners Group.

Speaking at MT’s Going for Growth: Investment conference, he looks back on the lessons he learnt from the acquisitions.


“I've led four exits now. They were all very different businesses but two things rang true in each of the first three - a handful of things that were very dear to the founders and operating teams had become toxic to the business. These sacred cows were anchoring the business, instead of being vectors for growth and value creation.

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