Executive recruitment in private equity (PE) companies presents several unique challenges due to the specialized nature of the industry and the high expectations for top-tier talent. Some of the key challenges include:
High Competition for Talent: Private equity firms often compete for the same pool of experienced executives with other financial institutions, corporations, and even startups. This intense competition can make it difficult to attract and retain top talent.
Specific Industry Expertise: Private equity firms may require executives who possess deep industry knowledge and experience in the sectors their portfolio companies operate in. Finding individuals who not only understand the industry but also have a track record of success in navigating its complexities can be challenging.
Cultural Fit: Private equity firms have their own unique cultures, work environments, and expectations. Finding executives who align with the values and operational styles of the firm is crucial for success but can be difficult to gauge during the recruitment process.
Performance Expectations: Private equity firms demand high levels of performance and value creation. Executives need to be adept at driving growth, cost efficiencies, and operational improvements within portfolio companies. Identifying candidates who can consistently meet these expectations is a challenge.
Confidentiality and Discretion: PE firms often work on sensitive deals and transactions that require a high level of confidentiality. Finding executives who can maintain discretion and handle confidential information appropriately is essential.
Alignment of Incentives: Compensation structures in private equity often include equity and performance-based incentives. Designing compensation packages that align with both the executive’s and the firm’s interests can be complex and requires a deep understanding of the industry’s financial intricacies.
Short Timelines: Private equity deals often move quickly, and there is often a need to place executives into portfolio companies rapidly. This compressed timeline can make it challenging to thoroughly vet candidates and ensure they are the right fit.
Global Reach: Private equity firms operate on a global scale, and finding executives who have experience navigating different markets, regulatory environments, and cultural nuances can be demanding.
Succession Planning: Private equity firms need to plan for executive succession within both the firm and the portfolio companies. Identifying and grooming potential leaders is crucial for maintaining continuity and driving future growth.
Due Diligence: Conducting thorough due diligence on potential executive hires is essential to avoid costly mistakes. Assessing candidates’ track records, references, and cultural fit requires significant effort and resources.
Network Dependency: The private equity industry relies heavily on personal networks for sourcing talent. This can sometimes result in a lack of diversity in candidate pools and limit exposure to potential high-performing executives.
M&A: Active private equity firms engage in a high volume of acquisitions and divestitures, often involving complex processes. Finding proficient executives capable of effectively managing these tasks within a reasonable timeframe, possessing the necessary industry knowledge and financial acumen to ensure the successful completion of deals, can prove to be a challenging endeavor.
Given these challenges, effective recruitment for private equity firms and portfolio companies, necessitates a thorough grasp of the sector, an extensive array of connections, the capacity to evaluate both technical and interpersonal proficiencies, and a strategic method for matching executive expertise with the company’s goals.
Our Private Equity Practice Group is a team of seasoned specialists strategically positioned across North America. Our outlook is both global and local; our extensive experience and global network provides us with unparalleled insights and proficiencies spanning geographical boundaries, vertical industries, and functional domains.
Our team’s expertise spans the spectrum of investment entities, encompassing Private Equity, Family Businesses, and their corresponding portfolio companies. Our role extends beyond aiding private equity firms in optimizing recruitment decisions for their investment professionals – we also guide them in selecting exceptional talents for their portfolio companies. Our counsel pertains to executive appointments, often at the helm, CEO, and board levels.
In a landscape where time is of the essence, our consultants deliver impactful executives faster than our rivals, enabling you to attain the sought-after return on investment inherent to executive search and leadership development partnerships.
Pender & Howe Executive Search was formed by a team of professionals with extensive experience in executive search services. We provide a fully streamlined boutique retained service for companies looking to bolster their executive leadership team.
With a strong presence in key cities across North America, including Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York, Edmonton, and Vancouver, Pender & Howe boasts a comprehensive reach that spans the continent. From venture capital-backed disruptors, recently acquired private equity portfolio companies, not-for-profits to global public companies, our diverse client portfolio showcases our ability to cater to organizations of all sizes and stages.
We understand that transparency, collaboration, and high-level service are paramount, and our recruitment team is committed to delivering these qualities consistently throughout every assignment we undertake. As a strategically low-volume recruitment firm, we ensure that all our clients receive a white-glove service, never diluting our efforts or compromising on quality.
At Pender & Howe, we go beyond mere recruitment; we forge strategic partnerships that empower businesses to excel. By leveraging our extensive network, expertise, and dedication to exceptional service, we guarantee that your team receives the utmost attention, guidance, and support throughout their executive search journey. Trust us to deliver results that propel your organization to new heights, backed by our unwavering commitment to excellence.
Travis is a co-founding Partner of Pender & Howe. He sits on the Executive Board of Directors for Kestria, the world’s largest executive search network. As an Advisor with Loyal VC, he also supports entrepreneurs in all aspects of key talent strategies.
Travis’ primary focus is partnering with investors and C-Suite leaders on complex executive searches. His latest projects have included a CEO search on behalf of a global family office, building a leadership team for a Series C VC-backed tech company and replacing a long-standing founder of a business that went public on the NASDAQ.
Travis is an avid competitive golfer passionate about international travelling, often trying to combine the two!
Natural curiosity, strong business acumen and an ability by means of a high EQ to connect with people are characteristics that make Ryan a trusted recruitment partner. Equipped with over two decades of Consumer-Packaged Goods and Sports Marketing experience, Ryan has quickly established himself as a trusted partner for companies operating in the private and public sectors.
Ryan has built commercial leadership teams and successfully placed several executives in every function across a variety of CPG industries.
When he’s not building relationships and feverishly working, you can find Ryan enjoying soul food in the outdoors with his family and friends.
Leveraging an extensive network coupled with deep industry-specific knowledge gained through twenty years of direct pharmaceutical and healthcare experience, Céline is a Partner at Pender & Howe, advising clients on executive-level search strategies in the Biotech, Medtech, and Healthcare industries. A pharmacist by trade, Celine has accumulated more than 900 hours of practice in professional coaching (PCC certification). Celine is also the Leader of America’s life sciences practice in Kestria and a board member of Women in Bio (a volunteer organization that supports DEI practices in life sciences).
Mother of three, an avid runner who loves sailing and an active volunteer in a non-profit that gives children with motor disabilities the opportunity to achieve sporting challenges.
A Co-Founder of Pender & Howe, Glenn brings over 25 years of targeted search experience to his Clients. As an Advisor with Loyal VC and a member of the JR Shaw School of Business Sales & Marketing Advisory Board Glenn enjoys being actively involved in the business community. Focusing on executive search within the C-Suite and Board space across the scientific, healthcare, artificial intelligence/machine learning and NPO sectors, Glenn and his team work diligently to source exceptional talent for top-tier organizations.
Glenn enjoys fishing although not always “catching”, excellent wine and is a foodie.
Michelle is a Consultant with Pender & Howe, serving clients throughout North America. Michelle’s ten years of experience includes leading executive search mandates and managing corporate Talent Attraction Strategies in high-growth markets with the Big 4.
Her latest accomplishments include identifying key leadership teams within the fintech space in Toronto, co-leading a CSO Search for an innovative Biotechnology company based in Vancouver and currently, identifying a Head of Canada HR search within the professional services landscape.
A lifelong learner, Michelle is currently completing her MBA. Her weekends are spent with her two children, her golden retriever Brady, and her husband.
Tara-Lynn supports Pender & Howe’s North American operations, leveraging her Human Resources Management education and 10+ years of recruitment experience in the life science, healthcare, consumer, technology, and academic sectors. She collaborates with Pender & Howe’s Partners on emerging market trends, uncovers top-performing talent, and builds partnerships with clients and candidates. Tara-Lynn has a knack for finding needles in haystacks and a passion for discovering extraordinary leaders.
Outside of work, Tara-Lynn enjoys playing fetch with her Golden Retriever, listening to a new podcast, or training for her next marathon—sometimes all at once.
Kirti supports Pender and Howe’s North American operations. She has worked with top-tier organizations, successfully identifying and placing high-caliber executives in key roles across NA, EMEA, and APAC. Her expertise spans various industries, including SWFs, VC/PE firms, Non-Governmental Organizations, Academia, and Research Institutions. She is passionate about leadership for a better world and is driven to help organizations find exceptional leaders who will drive growth and create a lasting impact.
In her spare time, Kirti likes tending to her plants, cooking different cuisines and exploring trails around Toronto.