Securing people for senior roles
Hear why recruiting for experienced professionals requires a dedicated strategy.
Securing people for junior roles
Gail explains a typical approach to recruiting analysts and associates.
We take the time to understand the need – that way we know precisely the kind of person we are looking for.
Explain and recommend
We are open with our clients – explaining what will work and what won’t and recommending the most successful
We apply expert judgement to the screening process – using our expertise to focus in on the right person and advising you of their strengths and weaknesses.
We know where to look for the best people and how to get their attention – resulting in rapid and comprehensive shortlists.
We have an experienced support team – we take care of all meetings and administration requirements, reducing your need to divert valuable internal resources.
We invest in new technologies – using tools like MyPER to make the hiring process both transparent and efficient.
Knowledge and commitment
We combine our knowledge with our commitment and dedication to bring creativity and effort to every search so we seek out and secure the right person.
Large or small. First time fund or industry stalwart. We work with all types of private equity and related investment funds. Here are just a few...
“We knew we were asking for a rare combination of qualities. That’s why we appointed PER.”
Head of International, Hamilton Lane
At vice-president level, the ability to think strategically is at a premium. When that is accompanied by the willingness to roll up your sleeves with junior team members to deliver great service to clients, it equates to a winning combination. This was the rare blend of qualities that global investor Hamilton Lane, was looking for from a new VP in its client services team in Hong Kong to support its international growth.
The challenge was compounded because this strategically important hire needed to have a strong cultural fit to the region with some precisely prescribed experience. Ideally, the firm was looking for exposure to large institutional clients, as well as exceptional technical abilities.
With a network and experience developed over 20 years in private equity recruitment, we knew where to find a professional with the right technical qualities. Just as importantly, our long-standing relationship with Hamilton Lane built up over ten years and more than 25 placements across Europe and Asia, also meant we knew what sort of person would stand out in the process.
We mapped the potential market, developing a shortlist of nine people drawn from banking, asset management and fund of funds.
Identifying a vice-president who would resonate with the firm and have the ability to influence colleagues at every level was the most challenging part of the task. We completed in-depth interviews with everyone, exploring what drove them professionally and personally. Finding someone whose energy, personality and vision matched their operational impact was always going to be the decisive factor in the search.
"We knew we were asking for a rare combination of qualities. That’s why we appointed PER"
Juan Delgado-Moreira, Head of International, Hamilton Lane
To Linn Cheng, PER’s Hong Kong-based Head of Asia who was handling the assignment, one person immediately stood out. She had a strong background in both asset management and banking, plus experience of building relationships with institutional clients. Moreover, she had the ideal level of maturity and right aptitude for the role. With substantive client experience, she was able to operate at both partner and team level.
By making sure both parties could see the benefits of the potential match, Linn ensured events progressed quickly. Hamilton Lane has an inclusive philosophy involving many of its people in a range of interviews and case studies. Linn and her team kept the momentum going by ensuring concerns were addressed and everyone remained engaged in the process. Pleasingly, Hamilton Lane’s partners shared Linn’s opinion of the preferred professional, who joined the firm in July 2017.
“PER’s knowledge and experience has translated into a series of successful new hires for Lyceum of people who have gone on to contribute to the firm’s growth over many years.”
A mid-market firm with a focus on business-to-business services and technology, Lyceum was looking to strengthen its team to support its growth. After raising a £330million fund, the firm needed to add a number of individuals to their team to execute successfully and achieve investor returns.
One of the key challenges was to bring an array of new talent on board without diluting the firm’s distinctive working environment. The Lyceum partners recognized the importance of their culture in creating the firm’s competitive edge. New hires needed to support the firm’s reputation for developing hard-working, intellectually able investment professionals with the integrity and openness to integrate well with senior management teams.
At PER, we pride ourselves on looking beyond familiar phrases and stock answers. We push the client on the brief and probe candidates about their motivations and drivers. Detailed questioning reveals if people are really interested in a role or firm, or if they are likely to be distracted by other approaches and opportunities.
Over the last few years, we have added to Lyceum’s team at Partner, Investment Manager and Investment Executive levels. Our approach has been the same each time, in that we have never made complacent assumptions about the appeal of each role. We have sense-checked our understanding of the team environment they will be joining, preferring to ask too many questions rather than not enough.
“We look beyond the obvious. Performance at interview doesn’t always predict success in a role.”
Oliver Gilkes, Senior Consultant, PER
By asking searching questions, listening carefully and keeping an open mind, we have been able to help Lyceum make the right match at every level. We have used our in-depth experience of private equity recruiting to look beyond the interview performance to a potentially exceptional new hire.
Equally, we have identified when the interviewees are not completely committed to working within a mid-market firm. Perhaps most importantly, we have used our sector knowledge to help more junior investment professionals to think more deeply about their career journey and their values.
Importantly, this experience has translated into a series of successful new hires for Lyceum of people who have gone on to contribute to the firm’s growth over many years. Whether they are managers, executives or partners, all have demonstrated the commercial acumen, drive and team-orientation that are characteristic of the firm.
“PER understands precisely what we want. We trust their judgement and their opinions. We know that everyone Debbie presents will be worthwhile meeting.”
HR Principal, Private Equity
Global Asset Manager
While North American in origin, this asset manager has long been global in outlook. Two years ago the firm decided to capitalise on this by establishing an international network. PER was invited to partner with them to help establish their first European office in London.
They faced a number of significant talent-related challenges. Brand awareness in the UK was low and its investment model wasn’t well-established. Rather than following a traditional majority investment buy-out model, the firm make significant minority investments in target businesses and co-underwrite deals.
To compound this, the firm had demanding criteria for the first assignment they gave us. We were briefed to recruit a Senior Associate / VP-level investment professional with private equity experience and fluency in written English, French and one other European language.
By drawing on our extensive network, we were able to map our population, targeting private equity experienced people with exposure to large ticket investments and accomplished language skills. Importantly, we didn’t underestimate the challenge of converting them with our client’s singular proposition.
Recognizing that knowledge and understanding is built one conversation at a time, we talked and talked to our target audience, educating as many people as possible in order to achieve the required number of recommendations without comprising our quality criteria.
“Bringing a new market entrant to the attention of our network is a challenge we relish.”
Debbie Eidelman, PER Senior Consultant
PER’s Senior Consultant, Debbie Eidelman, led the engagement and presented a shortlist of seven highly experienced people within three weeks of starting our first assignment. The relationship we cultivated with the firm’s senior team and Human Resources was crucial to the success. It helped that Debbie was able to talk in French to the head office team. We’ve been able to translate our first success into a series of placements over the last two years which have seen us make four strategic hires in London and two in Asia.
Since establishing its network of international offices, the firm has deployed billions in private equity and begun a programme of active direct investment execution. PER has supported this at every step of the way, with around 60% of the London and Asia teams originating from our recruitment partnership.
“We challenged PER to identify people for our expanding team. Working closely with us over several years, they have got to know us and our culture and have been able to articulate the attractions and success factors to people who may not have known our firm at all. The result is that we have been able to bring on board some of the brightest stars in the market.”
Partner / Geschaeftsfuehrer, Chequers Capital
International expansion in private equity can be hugely rewarding, but from a talent perspective it carries some particular challenges. Chequers Capital’s expansion into the German market has been a case in point. A long-established mid-market French fund, it opened its first office outside of France in Munich some seven years ago and after a busy initial start by the founding group, invited PER to help support its further team development.
After completing a number of early investments, the firm needed to increase its capacity with junior and director-level hires. Although the firm’s track record is very strong in France, it was not so well known in the German market at that point and moreover a number of investment professionals were reluctant to work in a newly established regional office, away from the centre of gravity.
Led by PER Director of DACH, Rupert Bell, we worked with the firm’s partners to develop a compelling narrative for the search. Chequers had developed significant traction in the German market, largely due to the quality of its team and their commitment to a relationship-led way of addressing Mittelstand owners and managers. They had completed several strong investments, despite a high level of competition, indicating the partners’ commitment to enter the market boldly. And the leadership team across both offices had demonstrated a transparent and supportive way of working that appealed to forward-looking investment professionals. In the course of our project, the team also delivered the first exits from the German portfolio and more recently raised a major new European fund, providing external validation of the proposition.
Alongside this, we emphasized the potential rather than the pitfalls of cross-border working and stressed the intelligent, inclusive tone for the organisation that the founding partners had established. What’s more, we were resilient – we knew we couldn’t build the firm’s reputation overnight so we put in place a long-term strategy targeting influencers as well as potential hires.
"Building a new international investment team takes market knowledge, a strong client relationship – and time."
Rupert Bell, PER Director of DACH
By developing our narrative over time, we have successfully placed investment professionals at associate, senior associate and director levels for Chequers. Some of these people have come from banking backgrounds; others from direct mid-market competitors attracted by the firm’s growth and culture. All are testament to the seven years’ experience in the German private equity market that we bring to every engagement.
One of the most gratifying elements of our success has been the contribution that the people we have hired have made to Chequers, not least, a Director who closed the largest individual investment in the firm’s 20+ year history in his first few months. Equally, we have been delighted by the mandate the firm has given us to recruit CFOs into their portfolio companies; an affirmation of the quality of PER’s advice and service.