Without face-to-face meetings, hiring slows; new searches delayed

The hiring picture grew more complicated this week, in the wake of widespread office closures to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Erin Carroll, a partner in the Boston office of executive recruitment firmBraddockMatthews, which conducts searches for mid- to senior-level professionals in asset management, reported the following in an interview yesterday:

1) For the most part it’s still a go for the searches that the firm has under way for private equity clients. Carroll expects that some searches might be paused, and that the pace of the hiring process will ease across the board. There’s only so much that can be done by phone and video conference. Hiring managers want to meet candidates in person; and likewise candidates don’t want to make a big career move without first seeing the office, meeting their supervisor, and meeting future colleagues.

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Best practices for cultivating relationships with executive recruiters

Solveigh Marcks

So many wonderful relationships in private equity fall apart at the starting line.

An executive recruiter calls you about a job opportunity. You’re happily settled in a lucrative position. In a moment of pique you respond–curtly–that you’re not interested. The executive recruiter makes a note that future contact with you may prove unrewarding.

By the same token, you may recall past job searches where you emailed executive recruiters. You thought they would jump at the chance to help you. But little came of the outreach and you concluded that it was a waste of time.

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Chris Schelling’s new firm hopes to do some hiring

Chris Schelling

“It would be great if we were growing fast enough to hire someone,” said Chris Schelling, who this week said he was leaving Texas Municipal Retirement System to join Windmuehle Companies as managing director in late April.  “That’s the goal.”

Founded in 2018 by Robert C. Lee III, Windmuehle Companies in Austin, Texas offers an “umbrella” vehicle to which investors “subscribe” without committing capital upfront, said Schelling. Instead, the firm presents investors with individual opportunities, one at a time, that they can opt in or out of.

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World Bank seeks portfolio manager to work on global private equity portfolio; must like travel

The World Bank has an opening for a travel-loving junior professional who enjoys working on private equity fund investments in a cosmopolitan, university-like atmosphere.

The World Bank’s pension and endowments department, located a block from Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., manages a $30 billion pension plan along with related assets. From LinkedIn it appears that the private equity team is relatively small. It includes at least two principal portfolio managers and a senior portfolio manager.

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ICG adds three senior members to North American PE team; opens search for analyst/associate

Intermediate Capital Group, the London-based asset manager with $46 billion in AUM, this week announced three senior additions to its start-up mid-market private equity team based in New York City. It also launched a search for an analyst/associate to provide them with junior-level support.

Climbing aboard the team led by Senior Managing Director Alan “AJ” Jones are senior members Uzair Dossani, Evan Eason and Kevin Gregory. Dossani most recently was a partner at Harvest Partners, where he specialized in backing chemical, industrial, logistics and packaging companies.

Eason was a partner at Olympus Partners specializing in business services, financial services, consumer, and industrial companies. Gregory most recently led the healthcare practice at Aquiline Capital Partners, while also covering financial services and business services for the firm.

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Philip Lo joins GPI Capital to head IR, biz dev; hints at hiring plans

Philip Lo

Philip Lo this month joined minority-stake and growth equity investor GPI Capital as managing director-investor relations and business development. In an interview with PECN this week Lo said he sees fundraising in the firm’s future, as well as an opportunity for hiring.

Lo most recently served as managing director of investor relations at fast-growing tech specialist Siris Capital, which last year closed a fourth fund at $3.45 billion. Lo was a founding member of the investment team, joining them at hedge fund manager SAC Capitalin 2007, four years before they spun out to form Siris Capital.

Siris Capital quickly became a fundraising force, adding some $6 billion in committed capital to its war chest as well as offering equity co-investments to consummate larger transactions. About five to six years ago, Lo switched from the investment team to investor relations in part to take charge of the co-investment syndication process.

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Executive recruiters anticipate adding to their payrolls 

For those not yet convinced that the private-equity recruitment market is on fire consider the bullish hiring plans of the executive recruitment firms themselves.

Nearly two-thirds of those responding to a survey conducted over the last few weeks by Private Equity Career News said that they anticipated adding one or more people to their private equity practices this year. Just 38 percent said they planned to hold steady. None said they anticipated cutbacks.

The reason is simple: an influx of work. Nearly half (49 percent) said they anticipated handling 10 to 25 percent more private-equity related assignments this year than in 2019. Nearly a third (31 percent) said they anticipated handling up to 10 percent more. Seventeen percent anticipated handling more than 25 percent more. Just one respondent anticipated handling fewer private equity-related assignments this year.

All told 37 executives responded to these and other market-trend questions in my survey. Look for the full results to be published later this year in the executive summary of our forthcoming Guide to PE Executive Recruiters.

Joseph G. Solari III joins talent firm Patina Solutions to expand PE business to East Coast

Joseph G. Solari III

Patina Solutions, which fills talent gaps at companies with consultants, interim executives, and permanent executives, has brought aboard Joseph G. Solari III as managing director-private equity solutions to expand its business with New York and other East Coast private equity shops.

Pointing to Patina Solutions’s network of more than 26,000 seasoned executives ready for assignments on short notice, Solari said he plans to help private equity firms find “those needle-in-a-haystack-type [executives] who can be extraordinary helpful” in both pre-deal due diligence and post-deal execution.

From 2013 to 2019 Solari (pictured) worked at lower-middle-market specialist Saugatuck Capital Company of Shelton, Connecticut. Most recently he served as managing director and partner. Along with his role at Patina Solutions, Solari serves as founder and partner at start-up Greenwich Private Investments. The private investment vehicle makes debt and equity investments in companies in a variety of industries.

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MiddleGround Capital plans to hire senior associate/VP for deal origination and IR team

Christen Paras

MiddleGround Capital, which closed its debut fund late last summer above it hard cap, plans to launch a search for a junior-to-mid-level professional to work on deal origination and investor relations.

The ideal candidate would have three to eight years of professional experience and a background in a related field such as investment banking, private equity or management consulting. Christen Paras, head of business development and investor relations, said that the search “will be getting kicked off pretty soon.” The new hire will report to Paras (pictured).

MiddleGround Capital has been on a deal-making, fund-raising and hiring tear since its founding in March 2018 by Partner and CCO Scot Duncan, Partner Lauren Mulholland and Partner John Stewart.

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Most PE professionals enjoyed raises in 2019

The money that continued to pour into the coffers of PE shops last year translated into higher salaries and bonuses for most investment professionals who worked at them.

Fifty-six percent of investment professionals reported getting raises last year, while just 1 percent experienced cuts in salary, according to the Heidrick & Struggles North American Private Equity Investment Professional Compensation Survey, released last month. More than three-quarters (77 percent) reported getting a higher bonus for 2018 performance than they did for 2017 performance.
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