Howard Fischer Associates hires CFO for Emsi Burning Glass, backed by KKR
May 25, 2022 – CFOs continue to be in high demand. Finding them takes up many of the nation’s top recruiting operations now more than ever. Philadelphia-based executive search firm Howard Fischer Associates helped place Eric Chan as the new CFO of Emsi Burning Glass. Mr. Chan brings over 20 years of experience building and scaling SaaS and other software companies through various stages of growth, from global expansion to enterprise readiness. public. He previously served as CFO of Alation Inc., a data catalog company located in the Silicon Valley region. His background in strategic finance will help drive Emsi Burning Glass into the next chapter of growth and significant opportunity, the company said.
Emsi Burning Glass is an authority on job skills, workforce talent and labor market dynamics, providing expertise that helps businesses, training providers and governments find the skills and talents they need and enables workers to unlock new career opportunities. Based in Boston and Moscow, ID, Emsi Burning Glass operates in over 30 countries with offices in the UK, Italy, New Zealand and India. The company is backed by global private equity leader KKR.
Functional Research Consultants
Howard Fischer Associates specializes in placing key executives in functional areas including sales, marketing, engineering, research and development, operations, information technology, human resources, business development and finance. The company has performed high level research for clients including: Acacia, Affirmed Networks, Airbnb, Aqua America, Blue Apron, BlueJeans Network, Bonobos, Casa Systems, Cloudera, Comcast, Discovery Communications, GitHub, Jefferson Health, Penn Mutual , Pepsi Cola and national brand drinks, RentPath, Rue La, Triumph Group, Twitter and UGI Utilities.
The company, which also has offices in Silicon Valley, Chicago and Boston, is led by founder and chairman Howard Fischer. For 35 years, Mr. Fischer has consulted with CEOs, boards and senior executives on the process of identifying, evaluating and attracting leaders.
Recruitment of CFOs for venture capital/PE companies
Executive search firm Caldwell recently conducted a survey of the role of the CFO to refine its understanding of the skills and experiences that define the success of a CFO of a portfolio company backed by a portfolio company today. private equity and, equally important, what attributes may look attractive but aren’t. essential. More than 300 private equity CFOs shared candid answers about their backgrounds and how they landed in their current role. The results provided a clearer picture of who sits in the CFO chair of many PE-backed portfolio companies, as well as the skills and credentials that really impact their leadership role.
When asked to describe their previous experience, 10% of participants said, “I was a division CFO or CFO #2 at a private equity-backed company,” while 20% had the same status in a public company. Another 35 percent had been CFO of a public or private company. And only 34% had been CFO of a private equity-backed company. Thus, only a third of the CFOs in the Caldwell survey had previously held a CFO position in the EP.
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Among companies with less than $25 million in revenue, only 15% of CFOs had previous experience as CFO of a private equity-backed company, while 56% of companies with over $500 million in revenue hired a CFO with prior experience in private equity. role. In the other three revenue categories, companies hired a CFO with previous PE CFO experience 40% of the time or less. These results seem to indicate that hiring a CFO with previous PE CFO experience is a “nice to have,” but not a must-have for all companies, the company said.
Caldwell also asked CFOs, “What were the key factors in your hiring?” and asked them to verify all relevant factors. Among the total participant population, the #1 factor was industry experience, and the second factor was PE experience. Tied for third place was a previous successful exit and previous role as a standalone PE CFO.
Looking at responses by company revenue size, private equity experience was either the first or second answer across all revenue categories. Similarly, industry experience ranked first or second in the four lowest income categories. Among companies with revenue over $500 million, however, private equity experience was the top answer, selected by 64% of respondents, while a previous successful exit and experience as a CFO of stand-alone private equity were each chosen by 48% of respondents. Only in this largest revenue category did industry experience fall to fourth response, tied with public reporting experience. These responses appear to reflect the fact that among larger companies, investors are more likely to anticipate and hire for an exit via a public offering.
By comparison, among companies with less than $25 million in revenue, public reporting experience was cited as a hiring factor only eight percent of the time, while a successful exit was cited by 17 percent of respondents. Across all revenue categories, the CFO had Big Four experience a quarter of the time or less.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media