Shift Underway in Private Equity Talent Acquisition Strategies
Industry TrendsPortfolio Company LeadershipLeadershipPrivate CapitalExecutive Search
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April 19, 2021
Industry TrendsPortfolio Company LeadershipLeadershipPrivate CapitalExecutive Search
Another consideration, especially with the specter of darker economic days on the horizon, is the question of just how well a leader handles tough times.
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Article Published in Hunt Scalon

The Hunt Scanlon Media article, "Shift Underway in Private Equity Talent Acquisition Strategies," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Heather Hammond on what to look for in portfolio company leadership. The article is excerpted below. 

Heather Hammond, who co-leads the global banking and markets practice at Russell Reynolds Associates, said that the bar for portfolio company leadership is exceptionally high right now. “We build our assessments in several ways,” she said. “One is by virtue of our own expertise and the way we compare their experience to that of their peers in the market. We look for patterns, such as continued sustained success in roles that they have had. We look for their success being tested in different environments. So, for example, if you take someone who has come out of a big conglomerate, have they had experiences along the way of perhaps testing that in a more entrepreneurial venture either after that experience or before that experience that you can look at their experience in different environments? Also, you obviously speak to references. And you do psychometric assessments as well to understand how they are wired and what their DNA is all about.” 

Another consideration, especially with the specter of darker economic days on the horizon, is the question of just how well a leader handles tough times. “Obviously, we’re at the end of an economic cycle,” said Ms. Hammond. “Things can get more turbulent sooner rather than later depending on what’s going in the macroeconomic sense or the political sense or what have you, and how does complexity and uncertainty test the quality of a portfolio company’s leadership?” That’s when the great leaders emerge, she noted. “They have to adapt and demonstrate decisiveness and judgement on what they’re going to do.” 

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