Portfolio Companies & Recruiting

Portfolio Companies & Recruiting

By Carroll Leatherman


Jamesbeck is pleased to announce the addition of portfolio company recruiting capabilities for our private equity client base. An important differentiator that we bring to portfolio company recruiting is our intimate understanding of the deal partners/board members’ expectations, the timing of the investments, and the rhythm of the investment cycle. Portfolio company recruiting follows the same basic process as searches we execute on behalf of private equity clients, with a few important distinctions.  For portfolio company work, the client assessment stage is broader and considers the perspective of both the board members on the deal team and the operating team leadership.  Ideally, these constituents’ expectations are aligned, but often there are aspects of the role that are weighted differently by each party depending on their backgrounds and hiring experience.


The most common roles that PE portfolio companies go to market for are the CFO, CMO, and Head of Sales/Chief Revenue Officer.  Our clients frequently ask us to align our recruitment mandates to the business transformation thesis of the investment.   To achieve that goal, we undertake to:

  • Craft a search strategy to bring in leadership that has scope, scale, and sector expertise to take on the business’s operating challenges to drive growth or change.
  • Focus our research on companies within target sectors and leaders who have operated in those sectors where the business model has similarities to the client’s business.
  • Research the funds and key individuals who invest in the relevant sector(s), and specifically target recent deals with successful exits or realizations and identify where those management teams are today.
  • Leverage our GP network for referrals from deal partners/board members who invest in sectors and at stages relevant to the specific search.  These are long-standing relationships we have cultivated over the last 18 years and call upon Jamesbeck’s collective experience recruiting Private Equity investment professionals.


Private equity firms view executive leadership through a distinct financial lens but understand that this operational success can be measured and quantified with assessment tools. For Jamesbeck, in addition to doing extensive referencing on an individual’s management experience, we assess their leadership styles, drivers, and motivators using the Hogan Assessment.  Assessments occur earlier in the process of a portfolio company search than is typically found in financial services organizations because private equity sponsors have a long history of using third-party assessment tools in recruiting and due diligence than one might find in more traditional or alternative investment management recruiting.  Access to early assessment results can help inform questions and business planning with finalist candidates, giving them a leg up on any one-hundred-day plans right out of the gate.


As a boutique firm, our advantage is that we serve our clients as a strategic business partner and trusted advisor.  When our clients need help recruiting talent for their portfolio companies, we help them assess the role, approach the market in a strategic way that gives access to candidates with the best track records, and at the same time can give clients insight into competitive intelligence.  As a boutique, we are not a high-volume shop, but are known for our thoughtful approach to serving clients’ recruiting needs.


Any questions, please contact [email protected]