Add business development hiring to the list of phenomenon that have remained buoyant in a year where so many markets have struggled with a global pandemic.

Speaking on a recent PE hiring and compensation outlook webinar, Erin Carroll, a partner and BD recruiter at BraddockMatthews, said that, while some firms did delay hiring earlier this year after stay-at-home orders froze new deal activity, for the most part she has “remained incredibly busy” handling BD searches for clients. 

All told, the firm has conducted more than 30 BD searches in just the last few years, Carroll said. Meantime, the number of BD professionals tracked by the firm has roughly doubled, to some 600 in the United States and Canada.

Among firms hiring full-time BD professionals this year include Gryphon Investors (boosting the size of its senior BD team by adding Stuart Sitterson from High Road Capital and Polly Mack from The Riverside Company); Roark Capital (adding Paul Aglialoro from Barclays Capital); and New Mountain Capital (adding Patrick O’Dolan from Eaton Partners), according to Private Equity Career News. The newsletter, which tracks executive moves across the industry, has identified 14 BD hires altogether this year; most joined after holding similar positions at other firms while others have joined after stints as deal intermediaries at investment banks.

Hiring continues to be driven by long-term trends that show no sign of ebbing.  The greatest of them, said Carroll, “is in individual funds adding centers of excellence beyond the investment team.” 

Among those centers of excellence, of course, is BD, and for more than a decade private equity firms have engaged in an outright arms race to remain competitive for deals. That’s meant adding dedicated BD professionals in ever greater numbers, at both the junior and senior levels. It has also meant adopting technology platforms to track deal flow and to make more efficient use of time and resources.

Data from the annual Deal Origination Benchmark Report produced by deal sourcing platform provider Sutton Place Strategies suggests that well over half of U.S. private equity shops now have at least one dedicated BD professional (see chart).

“Unless you’re highly differentiated,” said Carroll, “you’re probably behind the curve if you don’t have some kind of accountability around deal sourcing.”

 

November 22 – November 28
~35 deals traded

Wellflex Energy Solutions LLC, a Texas based leader in engineering, fabrication and project management of fit for purpose equipment, was acquired by Blue Wolf Capital Partners. No terms were provided.

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