Bespoke Partners Appoints Chief People Officer

April 27, 2022 – Talent acquisition strategies at many large companies have become as complex as their balance sheets. And while chief human resource officers play a vital role in overseeing an organization’s broad-based workforce, the chief people officer typically goes beyond overseeing its people policies. The focus instead is on building talent as a key competitive advantage, with more emphasis on culture, which includes values, ethics, and mission.

As companies look to build internal brand awareness and set their sights more on establishing and driving their own unique cultures, CPOs are coming more into vogue. San Diego, CA-headquartered executive search firm Bespoke Partners has named Julie Catalano as its chief people officer. “We are delighted to bring Julie onboard as our first ever chief people officer,” said Eric Walczykowski, president of Bespoke. “Julie’s breadth and depth of experience make her extraordinarily well-suited to help us scale out a world-class team, deepen our high-performance culture, and do so in a way that creates an inclusive, driven, and highly collaborative work environment.”

Based in Bespoke’s Philadelphia office, Ms. Catalano brings expertise in human capital management stemming from her achievements in organizational design and change management, succession and workforce planning, and M&A integration. She also possesses extensive experience in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), total rewards management, and employee engagement, relations, learning, and development. Ms. Catalano has more than 20 years of senior leadership in human resources, organizational culture, human capital management, and business strategy for high-performance companies.

Ms. Catalano most recently served as vice president of global human resources at Vertex Inc., a tax compliance software and services company. During her time at Vertex, she served as a strategic human capital thought partner to the enterprise, helping the company to achieve its business goals through proactive consultation, leveraging her deep human resources expertise. Prior to that, Ms. Catalano held multiple key leadership positions across the human resources disciplines at investment management company Vanguard.

“Bespoke Partners already has a purpose-driven culture, and a strong foundation of benefits and programs supporting our employees,” said Ms. Catalano. “I am thrilled to partner with the team to enhance our people-first culture, supporting our growing teams as they deliver transformative services to our clients.”

Serving the PE Sector

Bespoke Partners is an executive search and leadership advisory firm dedicated to partnering with top private equity firms, including Francisco Partners, Clearlake Capital, WCAS, Insight Partners, GI Partners, General Atlantic, CVC Capital Partners, and TA Associates, among scores of others, to recruit software talent and assess and evaluate teams at every stage of the investment lifecycle, from growth equity to buyout.

The search firm has completed over 600 searches since its inception a decade ago. Its expertise includes all C-level searches across multiple functional domains, including financial officers, HR and people, marketing and technology, as well as board of directors and internal private equity operating partner searches. The firm’s expanding leadership advisory platform includes organizational due diligence as well as executive assessment and coaching.

Bespoke Partners Adds CEO of Sales Benchmark Index as Board Member
Bespoke Partners added Matt Sharrers, CEO of Sales Benchmark Index, as a board member. Mr. Sharrers was appointed to provide mentorship to CEO Kristie Nova as it relates to scaling a professional services organization.

“I have been tracking Matt and SBI for several years and have always been impressed with Matt’s passion and incredible vision for growth,” said Ms. Nova. “We have been very deliberate in our board member selection, and Matt’s experience in effectively scaling a professional services organization makes him a truly valuable addition to our board as we march towards $50 million in revenue.”

Earlier this year, Bespoke Partners appointed Prakash Patel as chief financial officer. “We are delighted to welcome Prakash, with his extensive track record in driving strategic initiatives and growth for a wide range of organizations,” said CEO Kristie Nova. “He brings us a rare combination of finance acumen and business growth expertise. Prakash will be instrumental in continuing and expanding our rapid growth and evolution into a comprehensive human capital advisory firm serving the private equity market.”

Based in Chicago, Mr. Patel joined Bespoke Partners from Kaufman Hall & Associates, a private-equity-backed healthcare consulting and SaaS organization. Most recently he led a minority equity acquisition of Kaufman Hall & Associates. Prior to that, he led the spinoff of a SaaS business and four acquisitions along with driving strategy and growth initiatives.

Related: Why Connecting Private Equity with Executive Search Matters More Now than Ever

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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