ward howell

Key Industry Trends

The success of the equity markets is driving increasing investor allocation to private equity with the promise of longer term double digit growth.
Operational improvements together with digitization will continue as the primary factor influencing investment rationale in portfolio companies.
As for markets, China, while experiencing near term headwinds as a PE market, remains an extremely attractive long-term PE environment.
More and more investors are bypassing fund managers and investing directly.
In these circumstances, and others, investors are more routinely conducting “Talent Diligence” in advance of an asset purchase.
Search firm partners are often involved throughout the investment life cycle in three ways; Pre-transaction talent diligence, Post-transaction growth and team development and Leadership retention and redeployment pre-sale.

Talent Opportunities and Challenges:

The profile of a successful private equity executive is nuanced to the circumstance of the investment.
These executives will bring an acute sensitivity to the financial objectives of the business, a clear view on business model flexibility, an instinctive appreciation of the constraints and potential in the market for products and services, all while nimbly and urgently driving organizational performance. Finding the right leaders is often THE greatest challenge for investors. Over and again, we hear the following:

• Equity investors are uniquely time constrained – they value urgency
• Equity investors often actively manage investments – they value and demand high performance
• Equity investors measure and reduce risk – they value managers with a strong track record
• Equity investors focus on results – they want managers who win routinely and overcome obstacles

At Ward Howell, we view these challenges as opportunity. We know where to find the right executives, can assess their potential for success in all circumstances, will properly market the PE opportunity to extremely talented passive candidates, and execute our searches with great speed.

Areas of Expertise

  • Talent Assessment and Due Diligence
  • Talent Mapping and Pipeline Development
  • Retained Executive Search expertise across multiple industry sectors within a portfolio of businesses