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Marketing and IT skills gaps holding back acquired firms

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Newly-acquired firms exhibit the largest skills gaps in marketing and IT management

Newly-acquired firms exhibit the largest skills gaps in marketing and IT management, according to a survey of UK-based private equity firms.

The Mind the gap report, by ThoughtSpark, asked UK private equity firms to rate a range of skills in companies they acquire or fund on a scale of 1% to 100%, where 100% is the optimal skill level.

IT management was rated at just 48%, while professional, accountable and measurable marketing was judged at 44%.

Other skills, such as product development (71%), sales (69%) and overall financial and business management (57%) fared much better.

Paul Lindsell, managing director and founder of ThoughtSpark, said that understanding the skills gaps in acquired companies is a key factor to ensuring rapid sustainable growth.

“It is not surprising that start-ups focus on financial management and product development, since incompetence in these areas would stop them from even getting off the ground in the first place," he said.

“However, there is evidently a startling lack of capability in marketing and IT as firms move to second stage growth. Leaving these skills undeveloped is likely to be disastrous for business managers and investors alike."