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Top CFO priority: Talent retention

by Silvia Saccardi 25 May 2023

US executive search firm Eastward Partners has released its latest private equity market report, which reveals the top priority for PE CFOs in Q1 2023 was finding and retaining talent, aside from asset growth.

Some 511 PE professionals were surveyed across the US to produce the analysis.

Data was sourced from publicly available online data points and through Eastward’s ECHO platform, which has anonymous compensation figures for almost 40 million employed Americans.

The study also found that the median tenure for PE professionals was 0.8 years, demonstrating high talent liquidity.

Size matters
Different fund sizes use different methods to retain talent, according to the survey findings. For example, funds larger than $15bn prefer improving wellness initiatives and benefits; funds between $2.5bn and $15bn in size emphasised promotions and expanding job responsibilities; and funds smaller than $2.5bn opted for increased visibility with senior management as a key talent retention incentive.

Happy employees
The study also found key drivers for PE professionals to be: a sense of purpose, a good work-life balance, and a supportive work environment that allows them to grow and develop professionally.

In the US, 19,297 of PE professionals changed roles in the last year (17%) and a third (31%) of PE professionals identify as women, the report reveals.

Fund managers also expressed their awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusivity.

"We're seeing a shift in how private equity funds are now looking to retain talent," commented Brett Vecchio, partner at Eastward Partners. "Professionals are now taking more of a proactive role in determining where they work and what type of opportunities they are looking for, and there's plenty of choice for them at the moment."

Eastward Partners is an executive search and human capital consultancy, operating within mid-market PE functions, professional services consultancies and corporate finance organisations.

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