The hot hire for buyout firms these days isn’t a dealmaker or an operations specialist.
Instead, shops are increasingly looking to bring on staffers that can bulk up their marketing and fund-raising capabilities.
Executive recruiting firm
“Essentially any manager whose current fund size is $600 million or larger who does not already have an IR professional on the team or doesn’t have plans to hire one is breaking out in a cold sweat right about now,” says Vanessa Bailey, founder of Cressida Partners.
One reason for the current hiring is the recent pay-to-play scandal that has led the Securities and Exchange Commission to propose a ban on the use of outside placement agents in raising money from government pension funds.
At the same time, fund-raising has fallen off a cliff this year with the economy in recession and the denominator effect is taking investors closer to their target allocations to private equity. The tough conditions have private equity firms placing a premium on managing their relationships with existing limited partners throughout the life of a fund, a change from the prevailing attitude in years past that spending on anything but deal flow was a waste.
“As fund-raising has become more challenging and the reach of placement agents has become uncertain, more of our clients have elected to create or enhance their focus on improving relationships with their existing and prospective LPs,” says Denise Palmieri, director of client relations at executive recruiter firm Pinnacle Group International, in a recent white paper.
A quick scan of the Careers section at peHUB.com, an affiliated website of PE Week, found a few relevant ads of recent vintage, including one placed by an undisclosed private equity firm in the Mid-Atlantic region on Aug. 3 for a vice president to work with GPs in “all aspects of the fund-raising process.”
Similar positions were also well-represented on job sites such as Monster.com and Hotjobs.com.
One example of a recent IR hire at a buyout firm is Matthew Zales, who is joining
Another example is Charlie Bott, who joined the IR and finance team at
Meanwhile, four of the 10 open positions listed on The
All four jobs were listed as being based in New York, while Blackstone’s in-house placement agent Park Hill Group is based in San Francisco. The two marketing positions still listed on the site on Aug. 11 were associated with the company’s GSO Capital credit investment unit.
Blackstone didn’t return a request for comment. —Michael Baron