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Behind the Buyouts: EQT's Brown Pivots From Microsoft to EU Tech

Published: September 29th, 2021
EQT Growth head Marc Brown said EQT's desire as a firm to do well financially while promoting diversity and inclusion appealed to him as he looked to start a new phase of his career after 20 years working on M&A deals at Microsoft.

Hello and welcome to Behind the Buyouts, The Deal’s podcast where we sit down with private equity and venture capital practitioners and talk about their deals and dealmaking.

Marc Brown, partner and head of EQT Growth, the growth equity investment arm of global private equity firm EQT Partners AB, joined the firm last year after 20 years at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

Brown previously led the software giant’s blockbuster M&A deals such as LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion in 2016 as one of his 185 acquisitions for the technology company.

“That was a wonderful part of my career, but I thought there was another career to be had and knew of EQT and decided to pursue that opportunity over the course of last year,” Brown said in response to the question on why he joined EQT.

EQT offered him the chance to start and lead a new fund within the larger EQT complex, an opportunity Brown described as “very enticing.”

He also admired the ethos of EQT.

“It’s very much a firm focused not only on doing well but doing good,” Brown said. “That plays itself out not only in our portfolio companies, but by the firm itself being very focused on ESG, diversity and inclusion … and wanting to be part of that next generation of investors who are trying to change the world in a positive way.”

Like Microsoft, EQT is a firm that does not stand still, with a growth-oriented mindset.

“It was an easy decision in the end to make that switch,” Brown said.

EQT Growth sees an opportunity to support European-based technology companies as they look past their early-stage venture funding to consider growth equity.

EQT can help them expand globally, without shedding their European roots, he said. Cloud computing allows European tech talent to remain close to home while building up a presence in other markets, he said.

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