October 24, 2022 – San Diego, CA-headquartered executive search firm Bespoke Partners recently placed Scott Hart as the new CFO of NMI, a full commerce enablement technology company located in Schaumburg, IL. Vice president Katelyn Quaresma and principal Chelsea Mansfield led the assignment.
Mr. Hart brings extensive expertise and a track record as a financial operator in tech-enabled growth companies, having previously worked as CFO at Venn LocalZone and head of finance at Kaseya. He has also served in senior financial leadership roles at numerous start-ups and private equity-backed companies in industry verticals including IT services, cloud hosting, and telecommunications.
“My passion is building and scaling businesses,” said Mr. Hart. “With the right people in place and enhancements to our product on the horizon, we’re continuing to solve some of the most pressing issues in the payments industry by providing a technology solution that scales alongside our partners.”
NMI is a global payment enablement platform, processing more than $195 billion in payments annually. The company enables payments for over 3,300 partners and over 267,000 merchants around the world and across the entire commerce ecosystem.
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 many 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.
Since joining Bespoke Partners in 2015, Ms. Quaresma has placed executives across the C-suite at public and private equity backed companies. With a focus on the finance function, she has worked with firms such as Thoma Bravo, Accel-KKR, Clearlake Capital Roper and Vector Capital in solving for crucial CFO hires. Ms. Quaresma has placed executives at companies like Bomgar, WebPT, Imprivata, T2Solutions, NetDocuments, Corel, CheetahMail, Oversight, Achieve3000, MedeAnalytics, Qognify, and Pluralsight.
Ms. Mansfield joined Bespoke Partners in March 2021, based in the firm’s Austin, TX office. She was previously a senior executive recruiter in the professional services firms segment at Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG). Ms. Mansfield is keen on being a strategic thought partner across clients and candidates alike.
Recruiting CFOs for VC/PE Companies
Executive search firm Caldwell recently conducted a survey on the CFO role to fine-tune its understanding of the skills and experiences that define success today for a CFO of a PE-backed portfolio company and, equally importantly, which attributes may sound appealing but are not essential. More than 300 private equity CFOs shared candid responses on their backgrounds and how they landed in their current role. The results provided a clearer picture of who sits in the CFO chair at many PE-backed portfolio companies, and the skills and credentials that are truly impactful in their leadership role.
When asked to describe their previous experience, 10 percent of the participants said, “I was a divisional CFO or No. 2 finance executive in a PE-backed company,” while 20 percent had the same status at a public company. Another 35 percent had been a CFO of a public or private company. And only 34 percent had been CFO of a PE-backed company. So just a third of the CFOs in the Caldwell survey had previously held a PE CFO role.
Among companies with less than $25 million in revenue, only 15 percent of the CFOs had prior experience as CFO of a PE-backed company, while 56 percent of the companies with greater than $500 million revenue hired a CFO with prior experience in a PE CFO role. In the three other revenue categories, the companies hired a CFO with prior PE CFO experience 40 percent of the time, or less. These findings would seem to indicate that hiring a CFO with prior PE CFO experience is a “nice to have,” but not a must-have credential for all companies, said the firm.
Caldwell also asked the CFOs: “What were the key factors in your hiring?” and asked them to check all relevant factors. Among the total population of participants, the No. 1 factor was industry experience, and the second factor was PE experience. Tied for third were a previous successful exit and a prior role as a stand-alone PE CFO.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media