The rise (and rise) of the Private Equity Chief Talent Officer

Chris Smith, Anne Loftus 14 Jun 2023

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It has been a rollercoaster three years for private equity and venture capital firms, with many experiencing record growth and more recent market turbulence. Throughout, talent has remained one of the fundamentals of value creation. As we face into an increasingly uncertain market – one that holds both challenge and opportunity – the need for sophisticated talent and human capital strategies has never been more pressing. Against this backdrop, the increased prevalence and influence of the private equity chief talent officer (PE CTO) and their teams is both welcome and needed.

In 2020, Leathwaite produced a report on the emergence of the PE chief talent officer (also referred to as Human Capital Operating Partner, Talent Partner, or occasionally Chief Performance Officer). Underpinned by our new research, which includes conversations with human capital partners, portfolio CEO and CHROs, deal partners and investors, combined with insights from our work building management company, operating partner, and portfolio company leadership teams, this report charts the advances in how human capital is central to driving portfolio company value creation. Specifically, we look at the role of the Chief Talent Officer, its growing impact, and how PE firms are (and should be) leveraging this increasingly critical role and skillset.

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Chris Smith

Chris is a Partner with Leathwaite based in the London office. Chris leads Leathwaite’s global Human Resources practice, while also leading the firm’s ongoing growth and diversification across sectors. Chris brings fifteen years of global search and advisory experience across…

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Image of Leathwaite employee Anne Loftus

Anne Loftus

Anne is a Director in Leathwaite’s New York office where she focuses on Human Resources functionally across industries. Prior to Leathwaite, Anne spent more than a dozen years at Spencer Stuart in the HR search practice. Anne served as the…

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