The search is on: hard to find, niche Mind for Private Equity firm


Freshmind’s Projects Team was tasked with finding a freelance analyst for a project investigating the best agricultural investment for our client, a Private Equity firm. Working to a tight timescale we managed to find a mind with a very niche, rare skill set who could analyse and identify the best business model, help present it to the board, and refine it for the company to implement.

The brief

Our client, a Private Equity firm, came to Freshminds as they were looking to invest in international agriculture. This was in line with their investment strategy - which predicted a growth in demand for the products of agriculture in certain localities, and they needed a freelance analyst to stress-test the business models put forward by the local asset managers, one whose business models they would be selecting.

This would include liaising with the asset managers to gather further information and investigating their business plans, and identifying the variables that might affect the profitability of the investment. An important part of the project was supporting the presentations of the findings to the board, and then once an asset manager had been selected they would help to finalise the chosen business model.

The mind needed to have strong communicative skills so that they could leverage personal and professional contacts to gain additional insight, as well as quantitative skills to test the models produced by asset managers (who are highly quantitative themselves) and build a robust, clear and simple model that could be picked up and used by the client after their departure.

Who they needed:

  • A strong understanding of the agriculture industry and the drivers behind agriculture in the chosen localities
  • Good modelling skills – particularly the ability to create a simple and easily readable model
  • Someone who can explain and articulate their recommendations with a simple model


  • Short timescale
  • The mind needed to have very specific knowledge and experience (both industry and locality)
  • The client had some knowledge within the sector, but not within this specific and highly individual locality. They also did not have capacity on their current (lean) team to complete the work themselves to the level required.
  • The Mind would need to quickly get to grips with the models the asset managers put forward
  • They would also need to find out information in an industry that is not necessarily well documented

What Freshminds did

  • Took a detailed brief to understand the client’s needs
  • Engaged with our strong network of available consultants
  • When we didn’t have anyone with the relevant skills within the immediate pool, we reached out through referrals to find the right person in our extended network.
  • We found someone with suitable skills and provided them within the necessary timeframe
  • Found someone with a very specific and unusual skill set, and persuaded them to take their first freelance project.


  • Freshminds supplied them within a Mind in the timescale needed, and the project was completed on schedule.
  • The Mind was able to leverage local knowledge and contacts to gain additional insight, and challenged many of the previous assumptions.
  • This meant that they could build a model that was far more accurate and robust.
  • The client was very pleased with what was achieved and the results fitted in with the client’s strategy to invest more heavily in agriculture, as they had identified opportunities in this sector.

We have built a strong relationship with this client over a number of years, and have consistently performed on a number of roles with varying mandates. We have become an important part of their resourcing as they use us to flex the size of the workforce and add the required skills for specific deals, whilst retaining a lean team.