November 18, 2015 – NorthWind Partners, a boutique search firm focused on recruiting talent for the private equity sector, has placed Deborah Ricci as chief financial officer of Centerra Group. Managing partner Mark HuYoung, who leads the firm’s private equity practice, led the search; managing director Brian Thomas supported the assignment.
With more than two decades of work experience with defense, technology and manufacturing firms, Ms. Ricci most recently served as CFO of A-T Solutions, where she was responsible for the company’s financial affairs, government contract pricing and compliance and information technology. Before that she served as CFO of Allied Defense Group.
“Strong alignment between A-M Capital and Centerra combined with our deep experience and expertise in the aerospace, defense and government services arena greatly facilitated success in courting and delivering the right financial leader,” said Mr. HuYoung. “Deb is a fantastic CFO selection. Her experience and character complement the existing leadership and will undoubtedly help shape forward-moving processes and enhance the value of the company.”
Paul Donahue, president and CEO of Centerra, said Ms. Ricci’s background in national security, defense and government contracting “made her the ideal candidate to take on this important management role, and we are thrilled to have her on our team.”
NorthWind concentrates on business & professional services, systems, solutions, and product companies spanning the aviation, aerospace and defense, healthcare, industrial, and technology sectors. Last year, the firm placed Conrad Gagnon as chief financial officer of Anaren and this past September it recruited David E. Kopf as president of Anaren’s Space & Defense Group, among a host of other assignments.
The private equity sector is now considered one of the fastest growing practice segments in the executive recruiting industry, with an expanding number of boutique recruiting firms 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 for the boutiques 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 to provide talent up and down the functional scale include Benchmark Executive Search, ZRG Partners, JM Search, Howard Fischer Associates, 680 Partners, Bespoke Partners, CarterPierce, F.S. von Stade & Associates, 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.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media