Pruning Private Equity Portfolios

Terry Gallagher, President of Battalia Winston, has contributed an article to Financier Worldwide’s Special Report on Private Equity. 

Drawing on his extensive experience helping Private Equity firms identify and recruit talented executives,  Terry discusses the tendency of PE firms to “prune” the  management teams of their portfolio companies (purchasing a company and then replacing  its leadership team) and provides his perspective on the type of leader firms should target in order to achieve high-growth and ensure a speedier ROI. 

Read the full article in Financier Worldwide.


Battalia Winston Survey Finds that 83% of Companies Value A Healthy Work-Life Balance

New York, New York – Battalia Winston, one of the nation’s largest women-owned executive search firms, has published the results of a recent study of senior executives and found that 83% of surveyed companies encourage a healthy work-life balance among their employees.

The national survey included senior executives leading companies of varying sizes, both public and private, in a range of industries. Overall, Battalia Winston found that most companies valuing work-life balance have programs and policies in place to support that stance:

  • 73% offer flexible schedules
  • 66% offer teleworking options
  • 63% have implemented technology, like teleconferencing and video-chat, to reduce required travel

A modest number of responding companies have programs designed to help working parents, with 21% offering maternity leave beyond what’s required by law and only 14% offering paternity leave beyond what’s required by law.

Work-life balance continues to be a dominating topic in the coverage of workplace issues, and the survey’s findings reflect this trend: Just over a third of respondents indicated that their company values work-life balance more so than five years ago, while half of respondents reported that their position has remained the same and existing programs have been maintained (rather than expanded).

The survey also asked leaders about their personal work habits, finding that, even though over half (55%) said they frequently work on either evenings, weekends, or both, nearly 67% are satisfied with their work-life balance.

When asked to elaborate on their satisfaction levels, many respondents characterized late nights and weekends as expected components of managing a company. One CEO commented, “It’s [working nights/weekends] the nature of the job and the digital age. Customers and owners expect that we are more connected.”

Another respondent said that, as an entrepreneur responsible for generating the company’s new business, “there is de facto no limit” to the amount of hours he will work, adding, “We have to make our own choices, based on our individual taste.” Other respondents also connected work-life balance to personal choice. One reported, “This [working evenings/weekends] is both my style and new start up company’s demands.”

The respondents’ comments revealed that many consider work-life balance a continuous process that can ebb and flow over time. One CIO remarked, “I take time as I need it so it balances working any evenings or weekends.” An SVP of HR explained, “I have flexibility in my schedule to ‘work’ evenings and weekends as needed or as I choose.” And another SVP mentioned that her work-life balance, though not perfect, has improved: “I frequently work evenings and occasionally on weekends. I used to work frequently on both and thus I have improved my work-life balance (and therefore am satisfied).”

Of the respondents who were satisfied with their work-life balance, 85% said their companies encourage a healthy work-life balance for their employees and 65% said their companies have at least some programs/policies in place to support that position. On the other hand, only 69% of respondents who were unsatisfied with their personal work-life balance said their companies encouraged a healthy work-life balance for employees.

“Our study confirms that the definition of ‘work-life’ balance continues to be in flux,” says Battalia Winston CEO, Dale Winston. “Executives understand that a healthy work-life balance doesn’t necessarily mean an eight-hour work day. Leaders are beginning to have a more holistic mindset: sometimes you must tip the scales toward work, sometimes toward family or your personal life. They’re thinking overall balance, not measuring the number of hours they spend at their desk, and that mentality is trickling down to the rest of the company.”

About Battalia Winston

Battalia Winston has been successfully meeting client needs in executive recruitment for 50 years and is currently ranked as one of the nation’s 20 largest retained executive search firms, as well as one of the world’s largest woman-owned search firms. Headquartered in New York City, the firm also has offices in New Jersey, Boston, Washington, D.C., Denver, Los Angeles and Chicago. Battalia Winston is an agile and uniquely flexible firm, and their culture is focused on providing highly personalized, responsive client service.


Make Your Company a Magnet for Diversity

While companies like Facebook and Google have committed to improving minority representation, the pool for qualified diverse candidates is still quite small. Companies need to focus on both attracting diverse talent and on retaining current employees, who, as demand for diversity increases, are at risk for being poached by competitors.

In their recent article for Forefront Magazine, Susan Medina and Peter Gomez, Battalia Winston’s Diversity and Inclusion experts, share their recommendations for retaining talent and building sustained diversity.

Read their article on Forefront Magazine’s Blog.


Terry Gallagher Featured on SmartBlog on Leadership

Terry Gallagher, President at Battalia Winston, is featured on SmartBlog on Leadership, discussing the new evolving role of the HR executive in his article “Why CEOs Need a New Breed of HR Leader.”

As businesses become more attuned to the importance of internal culture to recruit and retain talent,  HR leaders must serve as the CEO’s business partner and align their talent-development strategy with overall business imperatives.

Read the complete article on SmartBlog on Leadership.

 


Battalia Winston Partners Adam J. Millinger and Gilbert J. Carrara Featured on Executive Insight

Adam J. Millinger, LCSW and Gilbert J. Carrara Jr., MD have authored an article for Advance Healthcare Network’s publication ExecutiveInsight.  

Millinger and Carrara discuss a new leadership role that has emerged in light of the healthcare overhaul, often called the Head of Accountable Care or Chief Integration Officer, and identify the core capabilities healthcare leaders should be looking for in candidates for this position. 

Read the full article here:  Hitting the Ground Running – The three core capabilities your new head of accountable care needs to demonstrate immediately

 


Why Retail and CPG Executives Need a New Breed of R&D Leader

Battalia Winston Partner Joe Carideo shares his expertise in an article for Retail Digital entitled, “Why Retail and CPG Executives Need a New Breed of R&D Leader.”

Joe examines the evolving function of R&D within the Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail industry and identifies the core capabilities a 21st century R&D leader must demonstrate in order to be successful.

Download the full article. 


3 Reasons A Former Consumer Packaged Goods Executive is a Great Fit for the Department of Veterans Affairs

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Joe Carideo

by Joe Carideo

Earlier this week, President Obama announced he will nominate former Proctor & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald to lead the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Should we be surprised that the President chose someone outside of the public sector to clean up the VA? I don’t think so. In fact, an executive from the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sector is a logical fit for a number of reasons:

1. CPG leaders are accustomed to running large, multi-facility, organizations.

Throughout the congressional hearings about the VA’s latest debacles, it’s become clear that structure of the VA – dispersed and hierarchical – created challenges for their leadership. McDonald, and any other executive from the CPG sector or the industrial sector (GE, 3M, for example), have experience operating large companies that span the globe, reaching billions of customers and managing hundreds of thousands of employees. The VA needs a leader that can navigate bureaucracy and make ground-level improvements.

2. CPG Executives Are Focused on Constant Performance Measurement.

In the CPG sector, performance is top-of-mind, as executives receive sales reports on daily basis. A constant stream of performance data can be overwhelming, but successful CPG leaders know how to work with their leadership teams to balance daily performance management with long-term strategic goals. For McDonald, the key will be creating a meritocracy within the VA, cleaning up the performance measurement processes, and fostering a performance-driven culture.

3. CPG Executives Are Accountable to Multiple Stakeholders.

When corporate executives move to the public sector, some can’t handle the red tape and interference by Congress. However, McDonald, and other executives with similar backgrounds, know what it’s like to be accountable to multiple stakeholders with competing interests: shareholders, employees, and customers. McDonald will need to improve the VA’s reputation with taxpayers (his experience with branding will help), meet Congressional demands, and, most importantly, ensure that the VA is providing excellent services to veterans and their families.


Why You Should Do More Than Just Talk About Workplace Diversity

Susan Medina and Peter Gomez, Battalia Winston’s experts in Diversity and Inclusion, are featured in Fast Company with their article, “Why You Should Do More Than Just Talk About Workplace Diversity.”

Responding to Google’s recent disclosures about their homogenous workforce and renewed diversity and inclusion efforts, Medina and Gomez warn companies of common diversity-recruiting pitfalls and urge corporate leaders who are dedicated to sustained diversity to think strategically about talent development, retention, mentorship, and succession planning.

Read the article on Fast Company.


Press Release – Battalia Winston Helps ALPFA Land New CEO

New York, New York — Battalia Winston, a leading executive search firm, has helped ALPFA, one of the nation’s largest and most established Latino professional organizations, select Charles P. Garcia to succeed longtime CEO Manny Espinoza as its new Chief Executive Officer.

ALPFA retained Susan Medina of Battalia Winston, an expert in Diversity and Inclusion, to lead the national search. Medina worked closely with ALPFA leadership to understand their requirements, culture, and mission, before conducting an extensive review of qualified talent.

Mr. Garcia recently served as CEO of Garcia Trujillo Holdings LLC, a merchant banking, private equity, and consulting firm, where he was recognized as one of the leading advisors to businesses in the global Hispanic market.  He’s served in the administrations of multiple American presidents, is a best-selling author, and has been praised by Hispanic Business, Latino Leaders, and PODER as one of the most influential Hispanics in the United States for his contributions to the expansion of Latino influence and reputation.

“I’m very proud that Battalia Winston was able to facilitate this match,” says Medina. “We’re confident that Charles will contribute to ALPFA’s success. His professional experience and public service demonstrate his commitment to developing business leaders in the Latino community.”

About Battalia Winston:

Battalia Winston has been successfully meeting client needs in executive recruitment for 50 years and is currently ranked as one of the nation’s 20 largest retained executive search firms, as well as one of the world’s largest woman-owned search firms.  Headquartered in New York City, the firm also has offices in New Jersey, Boston, Washington, D.C., Denver, Los Angeles and Chicago.  Battalia Winston is an agile and uniquely flexible firm, and their culture is focused on providing highly personalized, responsive client service.


Succession Planning for the Family Business: Hiring a Non-Family CEO

 Rich-Folts-picture1 walton-bruce
 Rich Folts  Bruce Walton

by Rich Folts and Bruce Walton

Succession planning has always been a critical concern for family business owners, but in the past few years we’ve seen a surge in the number of family businesses searching for new leadership. This uptick in succession planning is the result of two converging factors. First, the boomer generation is reaching retirement age. Boomer entrepreneurs who started businesses early in life are thinking about passing the baton. However, the economic recession forced many family-owned businesses to delay succession planning. Now that the economy is showing signs of a rebound, owners are beginning to actively discuss succession strategies.

We’re now seeing the release of this pent-up demand for new leadership, and many businesses are bringing in non-family executives in the absence of a qualified or interested family successor. Family business owners and their advisors feel a sense of urgency and want to act swiftly. But a hurried succession plan is destined to fail. Based on our experience recruiting external executives to family businesses for decades, we recommend following these best practices:

  •  Start early. The family must begin to formulate a succession strategy well before the chairman is ready to step down. Ideally, the planning would begin when the chairman is in his/her early 60s in order to ensure a smooth transition before s/he reaches 70 or has a health issue. Waiting until the chairman is any older can cause emotional complications (e.g. the owner’s identity is too enmeshed in their professional role, which ultimately hinders the transition and hurts the value of the enterprise) and practical complications (e.g. the chairman develops health problems that force an unplanned transition).
  • Seek Expert Help. Every family business is different, and the particularities of organizational structure and family dynamics can lead to complex business challenges, especially when bringing in an outside hire. At the very least, family businesses should build an advisory board to provide outside, unbiased perspective. The business owners should engage a family business advisor who combines expertise in family systems, psychology and business governance.
  • Establish Appropriate Incentives. Hiring a leader from outside of the organization can energize a business, but it requires both the right skills and temperament. To attract the right type of candidate, family business owners must provide a way for the CEO to share in the value they create. Doing so will attract candidates who have both the ability and the desire to grow the business.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of implementing these best practices, we’d like to share two case studies. In both cases, bringing in an outside executive resulted in a thriving business and a happier (and wealthier) family business owner.

Case Study: Regional Distribution Company

Several years ago Rich Folts worked with a family-owned regional distribution business. The chairman wasn’t quite ready to step down, but he wanted to prepare for his impending retirement. The executive team who had helped build the business were also interested in retiring.  With no obvious successor in line, the chairman worked with Rich to find a new CEO who had the vision and experience to both maintain the culture and build the necessary infrastructure to move the company from a regional to a national distribution business.  We hired a seasoned CEO who had prior experience growing two similar regional distribution businesses into national organizations and was looking to continue this pattern by purchasing a regional franchise business.  This opportunity fit perfectly into his plan and removed the financing issues associated with an actual purchase.  We set up a strategic incentive plan: After ten years, the new CEO could accept a substantial buyout, sell the company, or walk away. In the meantime, the family maintained ownership.

In the six years since being recruited to the company, the new CEO has

  • Doubled top line revenues
  • More than doubled shareholder value
  • Expanded the business from a regional to a national distributor

Because the family business started early and created an enticing, effective long-term incentive plan, the transition has been a success for all parties involved.

Case Study: Global Manufacturer of Engineered Industrial Components

Bruce Walton partnered with a $70 million company that produces engineered industrial components for major companies like HP, Toyota, and Bosch. While the chairperson was family and there were other family branches represented on the board, there was no remaining family in the business, and they had suffered losses for a number of years.

The company had an ESOP, and the family expressed mistrust of the previous CEO. We were looking for a transformative CEO to restore profitability and the family’s trust. We brought in an innovative CEO who had been working in Germany for a mid-cap private manufacturing company where he had been well-trained by a very professional German board chair. With children approaching school age, his family was ready to return to the US.

The new CEO was able to return the business to profitability within nine months. In just under five years, the CEO’s leadership has led to a significant increase in the new business pipeline, resulting in 70% more revenue and an expectation of doubling revenue by the seven year mark. With a focus on “doing things right” and investing in human capital, profitability is healthy and the ESOP share value has already doubled.

For more information about effective succession planning for family-owned businesses, contact Rich Folts or Bruce Walton.