Bespoke Partners Expands Go-to-Market Practice

April 4, 2023 – San Diego, CA-headquartered executive search firm Bespoke Partners has expanded with the addition of Ravi Gupta as a partner in its go-to-market practice. “Ravi brings an unparalleled track record of placing world-class sales, marketing and customer success leaders,” said Eric Walczykowski, CEO. “We know his expansive network and exceptional skills will surpass client expectations as they build out their executive teams and drive growth.”

“Go-to-market leadership is critical for a software or SaaS company to achieve its revenue and profit generation goals,” said Tess Fischer, partner and head of Bespoke Partners’ GTM practice. “Ravi’s collaborative leadership style and outstanding operational experience will enhance our position as the premier executive search firm for software and SaaS.”

With over 20 years of experience in talent management consulting and recruiting top-tier executives, Mr. Gupta most recently served as a managing director at ZRG Partners. He possesses extensive leadership consulting experience for technology companies including Fortune 500 and mid-cap public firms, as well as private equity backed and venture capital backed companies. Mr. Gupta previously served as senior partner at Korn Ferry and held other senior positions at Deloitte, EY, Gateway, Life Technologies, RGP, and SAP.

In his new role, Mr. Gupta will work with software and SaaS companies to recruit chief revenue officers, chief marketing officers, chief customer success officers, chief sales officers and other GTM leaders. He joins Bespoke Partners as the firm recently launched its Strategic Resourcing Group, which proactively provides vetted slates of actionable executives to private equity firms to accelerate recruiting of leadership talent for their portfolio companies. The service draws from firm’s network of software and SaaS executives, built over a decade of working with thousands of candidates and 90 percent of the most active private equity software investors.

“I’m honored to join an organization that is known as the go-to firm for retained executive search and leadership advisory services for software and SaaS companies,” said Mr. Gupta. “I’ve seen firsthand how exceptional go-to-market talent can catapult a firm to the top of its industry, and I’m excited to make that happen for our clients.”

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 many others, to recruit software talent and assess and evaluate teams at every stage of the investment lifecycle, from growth equity to buyout. Bespoke Partners is headquartered in San Diego and operates other regional offices in Austin, TX, and Philadelphia.

Related: Bespoke Partners Appoints Chief People Officer

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.

Recent Activity

Bespoke Partners has just announced that founding partner Kristie Nova will lead the firm’s dedicated practice placing high-impact chief executive officers in private equity portfolio companies. “I’m thrilled to return to my roots and lead our search practice to bring exceptional CEOs to our clients. The CEO plays the most critical role in driving portfolio company growth and achieving value creation objectives. Finding the most effective leader for that role has never been more important than in today’s challenging economic climate,” said Ms. Nova.

Demand for Top Talent in the Private Equity Sector Continues
While financial engineering, inorganic growth, and market expansion remain important tools in the private equity toolbox, talent has emerged as key to growing companies and achieving the investment thesis, according to a newly released report from Bespoke Partners. Yet unlike strategic assets, intellectual property, or other resources that fuel growth, talent can be notoriously difficult to optimize. Bespoke Partners’ report is designed to help private equity partners and the leaders in their portfolio companies understand essential talent market trends based on granular data from the sector.

The private equity sector is on the downside of a historic surge in deal volume, according to the Bespoke Partners’ report. “The talent market for private equity portfolio companies has experienced profound impacts from that surge as well as the pandemic-induced disruption that immediately preceded it,” the report said. “As 2022 drew to a close, the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes and volatility in company valuations contributed to a sharp curtailing in private equity deal volume began to ease what was the tightest talent market in recent memory. These factors form the backdrop for the trends in the talent market for private equity portfolio firms in the software and SaaS sectors.”

To read Bespoke Partners’ full Private Equity Talent Benchmark report please click here!

Ms. Nova founded Bespoke Partners in 2011 and grew the firm into a top human capital advisory partner for private equity firms investing in the growth and middle market software sector. As private equity firms have raised record-breaking funds in recent years, Bespoke likewise has expanded its executive network and search expertise to address leadership needs for companies across the private equity spectrum, from growth to middle market to large cap.

New Office

In January, Bespoke Partners opened a San Francisco office to enhance its West Coast presence in the U.S. “The new office will position us to expand our signature white-glove service for our clients based in the Bay Area,” said Mr. Walczykowski. “Responsiveness and tailored engagement are our hallmarks and we are raising our services to a new level of efficiency for an unmatched client experience.” The new regional office will enable the search firm to further boost the quality of its tailored executive recruiting and leadership advisory services for private equity backed software and SaaS companies.

The opening of the new San Francisco office follows Bespoke’s announcement of a two-year guarantee on executive placements with the company’s leadership assessment service. “Doubling the industry standard of one-year guarantees on executive placements, the two-year guarantee from Bespoke Partners ensures placed executives will remain with client companies for at least 24 months,” the firm said. “The new guarantee is available to clients who utilize Bespoke’s FIT Profile behavioral assessments to assess leadership candidates and executive leadership teams.”

“Bespoke is proud to deliver an industry-leading 99 percent success rate of placed executives who continue to lead client companies for at least two years,” said Mr. Walczykowski. “We recognize that our clients are looking for stability in these uncertain economic times, and the need for seasoned executives who can successfully achieve a firm’s investment thesis has never been more critical.”

Related: Bespoke Partners Adds CEO of Sales Benchmark Index as Board Member

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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