June 23, 2016 – Egon Zehnder has added Justine Gordon to the firm’s New York office as an executive recruitment consultant and talent strategy advisor. With deep experience in private equity and alternative investments, she joins the firm’s private equity practice.
Ms. Gordon was most recently a managing director at AlpInvest, a Carlyle Group fund in New York, where she focused on secondary fund investments and direct co-investments in energy and infrastructure. Previously, she served as a managing director at Guggenheim Partners, where spearheaded all stages of the investment process — including business development, transaction origination, due diligence and execution — and worked with operating partners post acquisition.
She has worked in accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers and investment banking at Morgan Stanley before launching her private equity career at Chartwell Investments, a middle market generalist firm in New York, where she worked with management teams across the consumer and industrial sectors for eight years. Ms. Gordon then moved to Deutsche Asset Management, focusing on infrastructure investing, and subsequently to Guggenheim Partners, to lead the energy and power infrastructure investment team.
“As a core member of our private equity team, Justine’s extensive private equity experience and knowledge of both the industrial and consumer sectors will bring immediate impact to our office and firm,” said Al Prieto, leader of Egon Zehnder’s New York office.
Just recently, Egon Zehnder added Lee Wrubel M.D., to its New York office as a member of the firm’s global health and private equity practices. Dr. Wrubel has been a venture capitalist for over 20 years, most recently as a general partner at Flare Capital (formerly known as Foundation Medical Partners), a healthcare technology venture capital firm he co-founded in 2001. An active board member, he helped develop management teams across more than two dozen portfolio companies, including early stage medical devices, healthcare IT, and biopharmaceuticals enterprises.
The firm also named private equity recruiter Arun Dhingra as head of the firm’s Dallas office. “As head of the firm’s U.S. financial officers practice, Arun has helped dozens of public and private clients find the leaders they need to manage growth in highly dynamic environments,” said Karl Alleman, Egon Zehnder’s U.S. managing partner. “This experience makes him particularly well-suited to lead our office in Dallas, given the imperative many organizations there face to capitalize on the broad economic strength of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
The private equity sector is now considered one of the fastest growing practice segments in the executive recruiting industry, with an expanding number of recruiting firms now servicing it coast to coast. Private equity firms have been involved in some of the most notable business deals of the last two decades, but where the action seems to be centered is around smaller, less well-known portfolio companies that make up a widening universe of investment vehicles for private equity firms like TPG, Bain Capital, Silver Lake Partners, Carlyle Group, Kleiner Perkins, Huntsman Gay, Blackstone Group, General Atlantic, Khosla Ventures, and a slew of others.
Aside from the big-branded executive recruiters, all of whom devote significant time and manpower to talent acquisition initiatives throughout the PE space, boutique search firms working alongside these investment brands provide talent up and down the functional scale. They include Benchmark Executive Search, ZRG Partners, JM Search, Howard Fischer Associates, 680 Partners, Bespoke Partners, CarterPierce, F.S. von Stade & Associates, Jamesbeck Global Partners, Braddock Matthews, The Flatiron Group, The Corrigan Group, SPMB, a 12-woman specialist search team at Amity Search Partners, SG Partners, Oxbridge Group, Weatherly Group, True, Hobbs & Towne, Waverly Partners, Westwood Partners, Park Square Executive Search, Henkel Search Partners, Whitney Partners Executive Search, Juno Search Group, Long Ridge Partners, Pinnacle Group International, and countless more.
In response to the growing activity in the space, a number of executive search firms have strengthened their private equity practices:
- Venture capital and private equity specialists Top Gun Ventures appointed Tom Silver as partner and executive in charge of the firm’s New York area practice. Mr. Silver had previously spent 12 years with Dice Holdings, where he was on the executive team when the company recovered from Chapter 11 and headed towards an IPO in four years;
- ZRG Partners added Paul Stefunek to its roster as a managing director to support the firm’s technology practice and serve as a member of the firm’s industrial and private equity team. Previously, he was a partner with DHR International and before that was chairman and managing partner of paul-lawrence associates;
- Sausalito, CA-based executive search firm Bialla Partners Jeff Hodge as recruiting partner. Mr. Hodge has conducted board director and C-suite search assignments for more than three decades working with leading companies in most industries from the Fortune 50 to private equity-backed portfolio companies. He previously led Hodge Partners, which became part of Diversified Search where he served as a vice chairman;
- Caldwell Partners assigned Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor to lead its newly combined private equity and venture capital recruiting practice. Based in San Francisco, Ms. Chatfield-Taylor previously founded and led the firm’s venture capital practice;
- The Fahrenheit Group, a Richmond-based business advisory and professional services firm, has acquired Bencks & Co., a boutique recruiting firm that serves clients ranging in size from emerging growth companies and angel, VC and private equity-backed portfolio companies to the Fortune 500;
- U.K.-headquartered executive search firm Norrie Johnston Recruitment (NJR) named Marc Harris as a director. During the past 10 years, Mr. Harris has focused on financial recruitment working with FTSE listed and private equity companies, including Vodafone, Unilever, Centrica, Mars UK, Avis, TUi and Billabong;
- Search firm BIE Executive added Danny Vanner as a consultant. He works with the firm’s clients within private equity and venture capital backed start-ups through to FTSE250. Previously, Mr. Vanner was a finance specialist with Investigo, a mid to senior level recruitment specialist;
- ZRG Partners has added David Kinley as managing director in its new Toronto office. He supports the firm’s growing private equity-backed recruiting practice where he has extensive experience in technology company search assignments;
- Appointed Partners, a leadership advisory solutions firm, was launched by Marci Nigro. The firm was created to connect private equity and Fortune 1000 companies with qualified board director and C-level leaders. Ms. Nigro has 25-plus years of experience in serving both private equity-backed and publicly held companies, with a focus on the technology sector. She was previously a partner at TEG, where she helped take the firm from its infancy stage in 1996 to its present incarnation as a global executive search firm.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media