December 19, 2018 – The private equity sector is hot for talent and that demand has led to a growing number of recruitment firms that specialize in the sector opening for business, and creating or expanding their specializations in recent months.
A recent survey by Hunt Scanlon Media shows more than 100 search firms, and countless more recruiters themselves, now dedicated to the space. [A special private equity recruiting issue of ESR in January will attempt to identify them all].
CXO Source, a professional services firm focused on finding finance and operations executives for private equity groups and their portfolio companies, is the latest to launch in Dallas. The firm brings together a team of executive search professionals who have deep experience working within the sector and placing hundreds of C-level executives over the years, according to the firm.
“Hiring top executives to lead a portfolio company through the growth stages in a private equity environment is a unique challenge, one upon which our team is exclusively focused,” said Louise King, co-founder and managing partner. “While matching talent to the perfect role is always satisfying, it is even more so when we know that the placement is making it possible for private equity groups to take their portfolio company from initial investment to a successful exit for all parties involved.”
CXO Source’s recruiters have assisted dozens of private equity groups and hundreds of portfolio companies in finding and hiring C-level talent, said the firm. In addition, CXO Source will assist firms that are seeking interim executive staffing.
Seasoned Leaders in Demand
“While private equity backed companies are often led by visionary individuals across a variety of industries, they often need the experience of seasoned C-level executives to help them take the next step in their growth and business evolution,” said Patrick Webster, co-founder and managing partner of CXO Source. “Our mission is to work with these private equity firms and the management teams of their portfolio companies to find the people with the right fit.”
Booming PE Sector Feeds TritonExec’s Expansion to the U.S.
Aside from the big-branded executive recruiters, all of whom devote significant time and manpower to talent acquisition initiatives throughout the PE space, a number boutique search firms are working alongside these investment brands to provide talent up and down the functional scale.
Following that demand, London-headquartered executive search firm TritonExec has expanded its private equity practice into the U.S. by opening new offices in Atlanta and New York. The U.S. expansion is being led by partner Abe Doctor. Not surprisingly, the firm noted that its private equity practice has been the fastest growing segment of TritonExec’s business.
Ms. King began her career in human resources, working her way up to the director level at middle market and large public companies. Since 2006, she has specialized in all aspects of executive recruiting. Most recently, she was co-founder, national partner, talent, for CSuite Financial Partners. Other roles she has held include: partner, national director of recruiting, for Hardesty; national, west regional, and Texas regional talent partner with Tatum; and HR manager with Flowserve. Born and educated in Dublin, Ireland, Ms. King received a certificate in leadership from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.
Mr. Webster has more than 20 years of experience helping clients through an array of disciplines including: executive search, talent management, talent acquisition strategy, and human capital strategy. In his role with CXO Source, Mr. Webster works closely with clients to identify and recruit senior executives across the C-suite. Over the past 15 years, he has designed and built products in the search and talent consulting space for a variety of professional services firms.
Bidding War for Talent
Prior to CXO Source, he was a talent partner with CSuite Financial Partners, president and managing partner for PDP Partners, president and CEO of Expiritis Consulting Group as well as partner for talent management with Tatum. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree in finance with a minor in economics as well as an MBA in marketing, both from Northeastern State University.
According to a coming research report from Hunt Scanlon Media, the private equity sector can expect to see an expanding bidding war for top talent. Driving the trend: persistent global talent shortages across the C-suite. Nearly every industry and function is affected, including finance, healthcare and biotech, digital and technology, among others.
“Leadership is the new bottom line for private equity operating executives seeking top talent for their portfolio businesses,” said Scott A. Scanlon, the firm’s founding chairman and CEO. “The PE sector is in the crosshairs of a widening war for leadership.”
Indeed, the landscape is changing. “Private equity firms are becoming much more attuned to the role that exceptional talent plays in value creation,” said Alan Guarino, vice chairman of Korn Ferry. Increasingly, he said, private equity firms are seeking out his firm for a myriad of talent solutions capabilities “in an effort to raise the bar on talent strategy,” from the use of psychometrics to other solutions across the talent supply chain.
For most private equity leaders and their chief talent partners, “talent itself is now seen as the ultimate value generation lever,” said Glenn Stevens, a talent expert with Apollo Global Management. “Designing, building and enabling management teams capable of achieving their value-generation initiatives are critical to a successful outcome.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media