Bespoke Partners Launches 3 Dedicated Executive Search Practices

Recruiting high-impact leaders for PE-backed software companies who can execute on portfolio company value creation plans with immediate impact is big business for one of the nation’s top search boutiques.

February 24, 2022 – San Diego, CA-headquartered executive search firm Bespoke Partners has launched three new dedicated executive search practices to accelerate recruiting of high-impact leaders for private equity-backed software companies. The new dedicated practices provide in-depth, role-specific focus on sales and marketing leaders, technology leaders, and human resources leaders.

Bespoke Partners said this approach enables the firm to rapidly find and recruit leaders with the greatest potential to execute on portfolio company value creation plans to achieve an investment thesis.

“The talent market is tight, especially for seasoned leaders with successful private equity track records,” said Bespoke president Eric Walczykowski. “At the same time, it has never been more critical to quickly find leaders who can immediately start to execute on value creation plans. Our alignment of search and advisory teams around functional roles delivers faster results with more thorough assessment and unmatched access to the best candidates.”

The dedicated practices at Bespoke are formalizing the longstanding success the company has had in recruiting that targets key leadership roles. Bespoke previously announced dedicated practices for chief executive officer and board member search, and chief financial officer search. Both practices posted record-breaking performance in their respective areas in 2021, according to recent data, and both have exceeded 100 placements.

The new practices joining these include: go-to-market (GTM) leaders, who recruit sales and marketing leaders to drive portfolio company growth to win market share and ramp revenues; technology leaders, who recruit chief technology officers and chief product officers to spearhead innovation, orchestrate development and create high-value technology intellectual property; and talent and human resource leaders, who recruit human resources and talent management leaders to grow and motivate teams, manage corporate expansion and develop winning company cultures.

Data-Driven Methodology

Each team combines Bespoke’s data-driven search methodology with its unique leadership advisory services. Bespoke calls this approach Search 2.0 and said it brings management science to shortening search cycles and identifying candidates with the greatest potential for success in the targeted roles.

Record-breaking deal volume in private equity is making competition for talent fierce and lengthening industry average search times. But Bespoke’s Search 2.0 is designed to mitigate the impact of this historically tight market.

“We pioneered data-driven search and our track record in technology leadership recruiting showcases the power of Search 2.0,” said Nick Donlan, senior vice president and co-leader of Bespoke’s technology leaders recruiting practice. “Our process enables us to surface the best chief product officer and chief technology officer candidates earlier.”

Mr. Donlan said the search firm provides better transparency for the company and the candidates of how they will perform in the role. “The outcome is faster placement of a high-impact technology leader who is a true fit for the company and the value creation plan,” he said.

Search 2.0 features three unique elements for accelerating search:

  • Advanced Scorecarding organizing the search and candidate evaluation around the specific needs for the company to grow and achieve the investment thesis.
  • Deep Validation an in-depth backchannel reference checking for validating a candidate’s skill-set and experience.
  • FIT Profile providing a unique, holistic view of how a candidate would fit with the company, leadership team and the role.

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.”

Last month, 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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