October 31, 2016 – Executive search firm JM Search has named Jerry Fong as vice president; he will be focused on leading the build-out of the firm’s presence in Southern California. The search and subsequent selection of Mr. Fong was managed by Rochelle Schumer of R&L Associates.
With a combination of management consulting and executive search experience, Mr. Fong has completed more than 100 searches for private equity-backed companies, select Fortune 1000s, and other growth-oriented businesses.
Prior to joining JM Search, he led senior level searches for Morgan Samuels in Beverly Hills, where his clients included private equity firms Audax Group, New Mountain Capital, Lincolnshire Management, ICV Partners, and Trive Capital. Earlier in his career, Mr. Fong supported large business development opportunities and also led complex technology and change management initiatives as part of the management consulting and integrated markets practice at Accenture, a management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.
“We are thrilled to add another stellar person to the dynamic team of JM Search Partners,” said Ms. Schumer. “Jerry is a welcome addition who will add value to the growth and success of the firm.”
Partnering With Private Equity
JM Search, which is based in Philadelphia with offices in New York, San Francisco and Chicago, has particular expertise partnering with private equity and venture capital firms to build leadership teams for their portfolio companies.
The firm recently named Gil Stenholm as a partner in its Chicago office. Mr. Stenholm has significant executive search and consulting experience, having spent 33 years with Spencer Stuart and four years with Booz Allen Hamilton. During his tenure at Spencer Stuart, Mr. Stenholm founded and co-led the firm’s consumer goods & services practice and served as co-head of its private equity practice.
The private equity sector is now considered one of the fastest growing practice segments in the executive recruiting industry, with an expanding number of recruiting firms now servicing it coast to coast. Private equity firms have been involved in some of the most notable business deals of the last two decades, but where the action seems to be centered is around smaller, less well-known portfolio companies that make up a widening universe of investment vehicles for private equity firms like TPG, Bain Capital, Silver Lake Partners, Carlyle Group, Kleiner Perkins, Huntsman Gay, Blackstone Group, General Atlantic, Khosla Ventures, and a slew of others.
Aside from the big-branded executive recruiters, all of whom devote significant time and manpower to talent acquisition initiatives throughout the PE space, boutique search firms working alongside these investment brands provide talent up and down the functional scale.
They include: CMF Associates, Benchmark Executive Search, ZRG Partners, JM Search, Howard Fischer Associates, 680 Partners, Bespoke Partners, CarterPierce, Jamesbeck Global Partners, Braddock Matthews, The Flatiron Group, The Corrigan Group, SPMB, Amity Search Partners, SG Partners, Oxbridge Group, Weatherly Group, True, Hobbs & Towne, Waverly Partners, Westwood Partners, Park Square Executive Search, Henkel Search Partners, Whitney Partners Executive Search, Juno Search Group, Long Ridge Partners, Pinnacle Group International, and countless more.
In response to the growing activity in the space, a number of executive search firms have strengthened their private equity practices:
- Egon Zehnder recently added Lee Wrubel M.D., to its New York office as a member of the firm’s global health and private equity practices. Dr. Wrubel has been a venture capitalist for over 20 years, most recently as a general partner at Flare Capital (formerly known as Foundation Medical Partners), a healthcare technology venture capital firm he co-founded in 2001;
- Venture capital and private equity specialists Top Gun Ventures appointed Tom Silver as partner and executive in charge of the firm’s New York area practice. Mr. Silver had previously spent 12 years with Dice Holdings, where he was on the executive team when the company recovered from Chapter 11 and headed towards an IPO in four years;
- ZRG Partners added Paul Stefunek to its roster as a managing director to support the firm’s technology practice and serve as a member of the firm’s industrial and private equity team. Previously, he was a partner with DHR International and before that was chairman and managing partner of paul-lawrence associates;
- Sausalito, CA-based executive search firm Bialla Partners added Jeff Hodge as recruiting partner. Mr. Hodge has conducted board director and C-suite search assignments for more than three decades working with leading companies in most industries from the Fortune 50 to private equity-backed portfolio companies. He previously led Hodge Partners, which became part of Diversified Search where he served as a vice chairman;
- Caldwell Partners assigned Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor to lead its newly combined private equity and venture capital recruiting practice. Based in San Francisco, Ms. Chatfield-Taylor previously founded and led the firm’s venture capital practice;
- The Fahrenheit Group, a Richmond-based business advisory and professional services firm, acquired Bencks & Co., a boutique recruiting firm that serves clients ranging in size from emerging growth companies and angel, VC and private equity-backed portfolio companies to the Fortune 500;
- U.K.-headquartered executive search firm Norrie Johnston Recruitment (NJR) named Marc Harris as a director. During the past 10 years, Mr. Harris has focused on financial recruitment working with FTSE listed and private equity companies, including Vodafone, Unilever, Centrica, Mars UK, Avis, TUi and Billabong.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media