Private Equity Runs on Talent | Private Equity Executive Search | Cowen Partners

      Private Equity Now Runs on Talent

      The operating model of many PE firms is changing. In the past, the objective was to pick up bargain-bin companies at wholesale prices, quickly restructure them for profitability, and then offload them for a return. However, growing competition has made it more challenging to find undervalued bargains ripe for improvement.

      PE companies are finding they must hold onto their purchases longer than they’d like. While restructuring can do a lot for a flailing organization, new implementations can take time to yield results — which is why some PE companies are looking to top executive talent to create value quickly.

      Highly Qualified Executives Are the Driver PE Companies Need to Increase Company Valuations Swiftly

      The standard playbook used to increase the value of a struggling organization typically involved lots of cost-cutting and debt restructuring. Eliminating the deadweight from a company’s P&L led to short-term profits, which attracted interested investors seeking to diversify their portfolios and quickly earn a return.

      However, that model is shifting. Rather than looking for short-term gains, PE companies seek value creation by hiring talented executives who can lead their portfolio organizations into the future. 

      Identifying the right talent for an executive role in a PE company isn’t as simple as evaluating their prior experience and hoping for the best. Selecting an executive with proven experience within the industry won’t always lead to success. 

      Instead, PE companies are looking for individuals with solid motivations and behavioral factors that align with the investors’ aspirations and fit well within the organization’s culture.

      A PE firm’s value creation plan (VCP):

      • Sets out the objectives it aims to achieve with its new investment
      • Can involve reaching a certain level of revenue growth
      • Can introduce a new product to the market
      • Can show a specific amount of profitability

      Consequently, selecting the talent needed to achieve a VCP is critical. A poor match can undermine the success of the whole deal, leading to losses that the PE firm could have prevented, had they made the right choices. 

      For instance, an organization looking to enhance revenue growth over the next two years might look to a vetted CSO or CMO in their market sector known for closing deals. However, if that executive doesn’t align well with the company’s existing culture, they’ll likely find it hard to motivate their underlying sales teams. 

      The executive may lose key people simply because their leadership style contrasts with the team’s expectations. That can derail the entire VCP, stalling revenue growth objectives and putting the whole investment opportunity into a tailspin.

      The Right Way to Align the VCP and Talent

      PE firms focused on a specific VCP must take care when structuring their executive team. When the executive doesn’t understand the VCP or possess the capabilities to make it a success, the PE firm won’t see the results it is looking for.

      The process of hiring executives for a portfolio company should follow several key steps so the PE firm can make the most out of its investments.

      Compare the Current Status Quo with Objectives

      PE firms conduct robust due diligence before they make investments. Due diligence uncovers the existing issues in the company and reveals the talent structure that the PE firm needs to fill. 

      After identifying the problem, the PE firm can establish a VCP and execute their strategies to achieve their goal. Evaluation should include setting specific objectives and identifying the roles that need to be filled to reach those objectives.

      Existing executives are typically the first to go in a portfolio company. These people are the old guard; they’ve led the company to its current status but haven’t been able to unlock the value or potential of the organization that the PE firm is looking for. They may be quite talented, but they have a point of view that doesn’t align with the new VCP.

      Removing existing executives creates a clear path forward, allowing PE firms to identify exactly what they want to achieve and what roles they need to fill.

      Establish Clear Job Descriptions and Expected Capabilities

      Once the PE firm validates the need of the company, the next step is to create accurate job descriptions to attract qualified applicants who align with the company’s VCP. 

      Most PE firms use a playbook to find the people they’re looking for, which makes it easier to hire for multiple roles at any given time. This also results in a repetitive process that quickly uncovers the candidates most likely to succeed in the position.

      Once PE firms understand the capabilities that candidates must have to fulfill their objectives, they’ll want to devise a way to assess their applicants. Assessments can involve skills-based testing or personality evaluations to determine whether the person will align well with the existing workplace culture and the company’s expectations.

      Determine Whether Internal or External Hiring Is Necessary

      Sometimes, it’s easier to hire within than to find people outside the organization. Keeping talented employees on board shows that the PE firm isn’t taking a scorched-earth policy and clearing out the ranks of existing workers. Rather, it preserves valuable internal knowledge that may prove helpful in the future.

      Of course, some external hiring will likely be necessary, especially in leadership roles. New leaders will:

      • Take a top-down approach to exemplify the PE firm’s VCP
      • Ensure that team members understand the company’s future objectives
      • Can pass down the message to mid-level managers and other employees
      • Keep everyone is working toward the same goals.

      With the right hiring strategy, it’s much easier for PE firms to achieve their objectives within the desired time frame.

      Talent Strategy Is Key to Portfolio Company Success

      In past decades, the old PE strategy of acquiring companies, quickly restructuring them, and passing them off to other investors was easy. However, today there are fewer opportunities for fast turnarounds, and PE firms must set specific objectives to achieve their VCP. 

      Finding the right talent to support growth initiatives is critical. With practical strategies and proper goal alignment, firms can find the qualified talent they need.

      Expertise Matters 

      Private equity professionals need a diverse array of interdisciplinary skills. The right blend of vision, passion, and drive — paired with a strong instinct for picking the right investment opportunities — is critical to a firm’s success. 

      Our 12-step due diligence process, backed by our senior partners’ years of experience, allows our private equity clients to leverage intricate knowledge of the industry and locate the right talent across disparate pools. 

      We don’t find executives for our clients — we curate them. Our long-standing connections within the private equity circles allow us to connect with world-class leaders and place them in your leadership-ready roles. 

      A Cowen Partners search goes beyond database recruiting. We provide invaluable industry insights that dig deeper into the precise talent pool necessary for a private equity-focused environment. 

      Professionalism with a Personal Touch

      The private equity industry is highly specialized with many complex organizational structures. Portfolio companies must find transformational talents to guide their firms through the transition phase and onward to future success. Finding a proven executive search company is a critical step toward connecting with the incredible team of experts who will drive your company’s future growth. 

      Our clients remain our top priority, so we extend that personalized service to each of them. When you work with Cowen Partners, we start by getting to know your general company culture and specific position needs. We believe that great leaders emerge from excellent relationships, not job postings. You can rely on our professional headhunters to get elite talent into your fold. 

      Find the Right Leader, Invest in Success

      Human capital is a critical piece of the puzzle for the success of any private equity enterprise. Management’s values, motivation, and vision determine how smoothly operations run. Our top executive search experts can assist you in identifying talented individuals with:

      • Interdisciplinary skill sets
      • Emotional intelligence
      • Managerial competence 
      • Intercultural acclimatization

      Cowen Partners’ private equity executive recruiters have widespread experience working with clients involved in mergers and acquisitions, pre-IPO private-equity-backed operations, and middle-market activities. Our search results will help cement your position as a powerhouse in the industry with the right team at the helm. 

      Functional Leadership Placements 

      A private equity management team requires a delicate balance of interpersonal skills and strengths. This balance is essential to providing the necessary leadership to steady the organization through any transitory period. Finding it means locating exceptional candidates who can easily pick up roles without any contractual or fundamental delays. 

      Whether you’re looking for a private equity CEO, CFO, CMO, CIO, CHRO, or any other executive, Cowen Partners will find the perfect candidate for your opportunity. 

      Guaranteed Client Satisfaction

      Greater minds translate into superior results for our private equity clients. You need the peace of mind that any professionals you pick will match your vision for your firm and will drive the best outcome possible. 

      The Cowen Partners team works tirelessly to ensure that our clients are satisfied with our services. It doesn’t matter what your hiring needs are — we will find you candidates who will exceed your expectations and do so expeditiously. Our average turnaround when filling executive positions is 38 days. 

      We’re committed to providing reliable services that have a lasting impact on our clients’ bottom lines. Our team strives to be transparent, honest, and ethical in our dealings, which is one of the reasons why Cowen Partners boasts of a 99% client retention rate.

      If you feel dissatisfied with our executive recruitment services, you have a 365-day replacement guarantee. We can assist you in finding a better candidate to fill your leadership role. Our experts will go above and beyond to ensure you are satisfied with your choice. 

      Making the Right Connections

      Tapping the right talent pool may require casting a wider net. Sometimes, that’s how you bring in skilled and experienced leaders who can kick start immediately. Leveraging our cross-border connections and four-step verification process can ensure you get access to choice, curated candidates. 

      Our global networks can deliver a wider and more in-depth search for your new executives. Whatever your talent needs are, Cowen partners can help you find, vet, and recommend the ideal candidates for the job. 

      Are you ready to kickstart your journey to find incredible talent for your private equity firm? Get in touch with us using our email form today and speak to an expert about your hiring dilemma.

      National Private Equity Executive Search Firm | How Our Private Equity Executive Recruiters Help

      Private Equity Executive Search | Best Private Equity Executive Recruiters | Cowen Partners

      Our hands-on private equity executive recruiters have extensive experience working with private equity-backed companies. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEOChief Operating OfficerChief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and include vice president sales, general counseloperating partners, and other director-level leadership roles.

      Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. Through our proven retained executive search process, our private equity executive recruiters find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for positions across the C-suite. Our process works for all industries, including technologyhealthcaremanufacturingretailreal estatefinancial service, and more.

      Learn how we deliver top private equity talent, no matter the need, with our industry-leading research and resources. Discover the strategy that made Cowen Partners the top executive search firm in New York, Indianapolis, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond.

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