With M&A activity continuing to thrive, experienced talent is constantly in demand from PE Firms who want to ensure successful transitions, whether integrations or carveouts. In this spotlight, Victoria tells us about the kind of expertise that makes success happen.
Q. When you’re at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?
Since 2017, I've been the managing partner of a cross-industry transformation management consulting firm based near Zurich (Switzerland), which I founded on client request.
I lead high impact, complex transformation initiatives on business and/or IT side in multicultural environments. As program manager and core team member, I work directly with senior stakeholders (e.g. buyer/seller, boards, C-level management) to plan and rollout change/ innovation. I also specialize in board effectiveness, coaching, communication and training.
Q. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer to the operating team/portfolio company leadership? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?
It has always been difficult for me to understand why larger consulting firms usually sell an expensive team (partner/ director/ senior manager/ consultant) to a client for basic tasks or staff college graduates, who then have to be trained and educated by the client at the client's expense. It is also a red flag for me, when a provider simultaneously controls the PM(O) and individual workstreams. My goal is to work jointly with the client to achieve sustainable success and empower the client’s staff to execute complex programs independently in future. I have often replaced whole external consulting teams, saving clients up to 75% in costs.
Q. Why do you think there is increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams?
Independent talent can often be sourced individually, interviewed and staffed quicker, at more flexible conditions and at much lower prices. I observe that they also tend to have an entrepreneurial acumen, hands-on approach, healthy work-life balance, international (digital nomad) mindset and intrinsic motivation to please their clients.
Q. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.
In 2021, I successfully program managed the carveout and go-live of a food packaging company, which my PE client had acquired for roughly USD 3 billion. 6,300 employees in 44 manufacturing facilities across 17 countries were in scope. It was inspiring to co-create the new company – in terms of brand, values, strategy, marketing/ legal/ financial/ HR set-up – with such a committed, competent and creative international team.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on an independent career as to how they can provide the best results for a client, while fulfilling their own career path?
Show integrity and build your entrepreneurial/ independent career network focusing on the individuals you admire most. Clients, service providers and peers are invaluable for sparring, experience exchange and growth. If career/collaboration options arise, trust your intuition but always consult your legal counsel before signing a contract.
If you want to work with independent talent like Victoria to drive the outcomes from M&A activities then you can start today by posting a project for immediate requirements, or talk to us about building talent pools of the talent that can make a difference to your future success.