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Jay Heilbrunn, president of The Distributor Board Inc and a director on the boards of private companies and organizations over the years, recalls a board meeting at a company whose biggest customer represented a substantial slice of its business.
“What’s the plan for taking $2 million out of expenses next week?” Heilbrunn recalled asking the managers. “They kind of looked at me like this is really a strange question.” Heilbrunn said he persisted: “Well, when this customer leaves, we’re going to have to jettison $2 million of expenses, and where’s it going to come from?”
Continue reading “In game of risk, it’s always the board’s move”
Olga Kaplan, a technology investor at Goldman Sachs, recalls a time earlier in her career when she was in her 20s sourcing new investments in b-to-b software. That meant spending a lot of time with male executives 20 to 30 years her senior.
“I would say probably once every two weeks there was some sort of inappropriate comment…or an offer to fly to Paris in a private jet, which happened multiple times,” said Kaplan (seated at left in picture). Then again, she added, “It’s a lot better now than it used to be.”
Continue reading “Women executives cite progress toward diversity but describe big challenges ahead; sometimes you have to ‘shake it off’”
Private equity firms, scrapping for every possible advantage to meet stratospheric investor expectations, continue to binge on the hiring of operating professionals.
In a recent survey-based report, executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles found that as investment professionals spend more time looking for deals, and less time tending to portfolios, “PE firms are adding generalists, industry specialists, and functional specialists from the middle level through the most senior ranks.” Two of the most popular hires? Head of talent and CFO of portfolio operations.
Continue reading “As population of operating pros explodes, smaller percentage work for firms; many lack a path to partner. Bummer!”