ECA Partners Expands Search Staff

April 12, 2024 – Santa Monica, CA-based search firm ECA Partners has expanded with the addition of Natasha Bunten as a senior director. “Natasha, with her distinguished career in private equity and sales operations, brings valuable expertise to this vital role,” the firm said. “Natasha’s extensive experience in the private equity, B2B services, and healthcare sectors, combined with her track record of driving growth and delivering results, will be a significant asset to our clients and ECA,” said Ken Kanara, managing partner. “Her expertise in sales operations, leadership, and process will further enhance our ability to serve clients with our best team forward approach in these key industries.”

Ms. Bunten has held key positions in the PE industry, including her prior role as VP of sales and marketing at Centrae, a firm that provides a go-to-market (GTM) framework delivered through a tech-enabled platform, paired with GTM advisory services. She has spent the last four years supporting private equity firms from due diligence to post-acquisition value creation. Before her tenure at Centrae, Ms. Bunten spent 11 years to Cardinal Health, a Fortune 14 company, where she led BD teams and negotiated contracts with managed care organizations such as Regence.

“We are excited to have Natasha join the team at ECA,” said Jason Blonstein, managing director. “As ECA continues to grow our relationships serving middle market PE, Natasha brings a wealth of experience into partnering with private equity.”

“We’re looking forward to Natasha hitting the ground running,” said Burt Francis, managing director. “Her specific depth in healthcare lends additional horsepower to ECA’s healthcare practice, on top of her notable track record of supporting CEOs with critical go-to-market strategy talent and the right combination to execute with impact.”

“Joining ECA Partners is an absolute privilege,” said Ms. Bunten. “ECA is an elite team of the very best and brightest.  They are uniquely positioned to help high-growth companies scale because they understand private equity and how critical talent is to creating value.”

Related: ECA Partners Recruits CEO for RedCAT Systems

ECA is a specialized project staffing and executive search firm focused on private equity and PE portfolio companies. They use a proprietary, evidence-based approach to recruiting that leverages data and technology. The firm uses a talent management system, CASCADE. Founded in 2010, ECA operates across five global offices and in 2023 was named one of Hunt Scanlon’s Top 50 Recruiters.

ECA Partners Launches Client Portal
ECA Partners has launched its client portal, Cascade. “A lot of our middle-market private equity clients have a short time horizon to deliver on value creation plans,” said Ken Kanara, president and CEO of ECA Partners. “We built Cascade, a talent management system, with that in mind. Combined with our proprietary process, we are able to quickly and efficiently deliver the very best talent across strategy, operations, and finance.”

Developed and incubated at ECA, Cascade brings ECA’s data-driven approach to the forefront, giving clients access to data and analytics as it relates to search metrics, recruiting processes and candidate pipeline. Providing this data in real-time, Cascade allows ECA’s clients to move quickly when making hiring decisions, according to the search firm. “It’s exciting to see how quickly Cascade is adding value for our clients,” said Atta Tarki, ECA’s founder and chairman. “By giving them full transparency to the recruiting process, it allows them to make better decisions around talent and to solve their hiring bottleneck.”

Atta Tarki is the founder and chairman of ECA. He leads ECA’s private equity and venture capital practice, where he supports PE-owned, VC-owned and other high growth companies with filling C-level positions. His primary focus is on CEO, COO, president, CFO, and chief strategy officer roles. Prior to ECA, Mr. Tarki led management consulting engagements at L.E.K. Consulting.

Recent Addition

In November, ECA added Curtis Wise as a senior director. “Curtis brings significant experience in lower middle-market and middle market private equity, as ECA continues to expand in the space,” said Mr. Francis. “Most notably, he comes with a strong track record of supporting his PE clients on critical talent needs both during and after the transaction process. We’re excited to have him on board.”

Mr. Wise has held key positions in the PE industry, including his prior role as director at Apex Leaders, a firm specializing in connecting private equity firms with seasoned executives and industry experts. Apex Leaders caters to due diligence, sector thesis development, and portfolio advancement support, offering critical solutions for private equity clients.

“Joining ECA Partners is not just a new chapter in my professional journey, but a significant leap forward,” said Mr. Wise. “The depth of expertise within the team, coupled with the firm’s unwavering dedication to its clients, truly stands out. I see a vast landscape of opportunities ahead, and I’m wholeheartedly committed to adding value to ECA while continuing my personal and professional evolution with such a dynamic team.

Related: ECA Partners Recruits CEO for Transifex

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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