Claude Shaw

Claude Shaw Practice Group Leader, New York

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Private Equity

At the fund level or in the portfolio, finding, assessing, and developing the best talent has never been more important.

Private equity strategies range from leveraged buyouts, mezzanine capital, and distressed investments to growth and venture capital. It is a mature market that has expanded to infrastructure and real estate as it has become more efficient. What has not changed are LP expectations: investments must deliver returns. As a result, value creation is increasingly anchored in strategic discipline and operational excellence.

Against this backdrop, finding, assessing, and developing the best talent has never been more important, whether at the fund level or in the portfolio.

When it comes to Private Equity, Egon Zehnder’s mission is to partner closely with professional investors and their portfolio leaders in making people decisions that maximize returns.

What sets Egon Zehnder apart?

Deep Industry Knowledge

Private equity funds come in many shapes and sizes. Most like deals of a certain size or stage. Some prefer specific themes, such as consolidation or international expansion. Others focus on distressed situations or corporate spin-outs. Some prefer control, others minority investments. Specialization can run along multiple dimensions, such as geography and industry.

With over 70 Egon Zehnder consultants worldwide dedicated to the Private Equity sector, we work with a wide array of professional investor funds across asset classes and intimately understand these distinctions and their nuanced implications for value creation.

Thoughtful Partnership On Human Capital Strategies

We recognize that Private Equity investors focus on a broad cycle of activities, each of which has Human Capital needs that are both distinct and critical.

From industry hypothesis to deal exit, we synthesize our global experience to deliver solutions tailored to your approach and the process stage, both within the investing team and in the portfolio company.

At the same time, we work with private equity firms as they build stronger organizational infrastructure with functional expertise ranging from risk and legal to human resources and information technology.

Across this spectrum, our focus on talent is driven by the primary variable in private equity: long-term value creation.

Comprehensive Services

As we offer you thoughtful, pragmatic counsel, we blend a range of proven capabilities to meet your exact needs. Our comprehensive services include:

Collaborative Approach

The consultants in our Practice work as your partners to assemble and develop world-class leadership and governance teams. Referencing our globally researched benchmarks, we help you pinpoint your ideal leaders’ demonstrated leadership competencies, personality traits, and behavioral characteristics, so you can objectively benchmark internal and external candidates against the same rigorously defined standard. Significantly, we can also help you assess leadership potential – using a unique methodology that helps you anticipate how rising leaders will perform in new and more demanding executive roles – to help you and your portfolio companies create more accurate and reliable leadership development and succession plans.

Close Connections

Our consultants’ professionalism, integrity, and thorough understanding of global finance and business ensure credibility with candidates and opinion leaders around the world. We are in close contact with the best senior operating talent and top investment and finance executives in every geography. We know who can meet your evolving needs and how to attract the best professional talent to your firm and its portfolio companies. CEOs often approach us to help screen and choose professional investor funds. Our intimate relationship with these managers and our understanding of the different investment philosophies of the several competitive players allow us to help the managers make more informed decisions.

Personal, Global Search

When you engage us in executive, director, or senior advisor search, we personally and confidentially involve our local and global relationships and Egon Zehnder colleagues to identify candidates prepared to meet your needs and philosophy. All of our consultants’ interests are aligned within our firm, and we all work together for you via our equal partnership structure and fixed-fee pricing policy. Your search consultants are supported by a dedicated team of researchers who simultaneously run your requirements through relevant segments of our database, which continually tracks top executive and director talent worldwide. Through this rigorous process, we closely examine candidates who demonstrate a potential match, analyzing critical incidents in their careers for insights into how they might navigate the challenges they would face in your targeted role. We screen candidates based on experience, competencies, and potential as well as match with your organizational culture and portfolio, so the talent we bring you will thrive.

Trust-based Negotiation

Our consultants invest personally in their relationships with candidates, gaining intimate understanding of their requirements and concerns. So as your search progresses into the hiring phase, we are thoroughly prepared to serve as problem solvers and facilitators. Our fixed-fee policy assures that we can play this vital yet sensitive role with no conflict of interest.

Accelerated Integration

Our value add does not end with a successful hire. For newly appointed senior executives, the first few weeks and months in the role are critical. They must quickly understand the organization’s culture, set the right priorities, and establish credibility with colleagues and stakeholders. Our Accelerated Integration service speeds your new executive’s journey to full impact. We start supporting executives well before “Day One” in a new role – ideally, as soon as the appointment decision is made. Working in collaboration with the hiring manager and the HR manager, we help your executive build an accurate and insightful picture of the upcoming integration challenge, making the keys to leadership success vividly clear and crafting a plan to hit the ground running. We also work personally with the welcoming leadership team as well as the executive to quickly cultivate interpersonal trust and open dialogue. Through the first 90 days, our consultants gather and distill candid feedback on the first impressions the executive is creating during the initial integration. We meet one-on-one with the executive at regular intervals – creating “islands of time” to allow them briefly to set aside all-consuming operational priorities, reflect on progress, identify and prioritize early wins, and calibrate their approach as needed.

Assured Results

We pride ourselves on the fact that most of our client relationships are long-term. We earn your loyalty by being consistently effective, energetically responsive to your needs, and tenaciously committed to your ongoing success. Our goal across all our services is to help you make better people decisions for critical roles, systematically increase your leaders’ readiness to take on bigger challenges, build a sustainable talent pipeline, and ensure that your leadership teams have the diverse strengths required to create competitive advantage. The better we know your investment philosophy or the equity story of the specific portfolio company, the more value we can provide to you.

Claude Shaw

Claude Shaw Practice Group Leader, New York

See all Consultants in this Practice

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