New BoardEx Study Reveals the Backgrounds of US and UK Portfolio Company Leadership Teams

Insights on Portfolio Company Talent
McKinsey and leading tech firms account for the highest proportion of US portfolio company CEOs in their alumni.

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BoardEx released its latest report, Insights on Portfolio Company Talent 2022.  Drawing on BoardEx’s unique and extensive data, this new report explores the demographics and backgrounds of the CEOs and CFOs of today’s leading portfolio companies and provides insight into the trends in recruiting talent for these important and evolving roles. 

Despite a year of record-breaking deals in 2021, PE firms face greater challenges in achieving their promised returns amid higher entry prices. In realizing these promised returns, PE firms are increasingly aware of the critical role that leadership teams play in the performance of their portfolio companies.

The report analyzes more than 5,000 portfolio companies that are partially or fully owned by US PE firms in the PEI 300.  Insights on Portfolio Company Talent 2022 explores the backgrounds of those individuals who currently hold CEO and CFO titles, providing valuable insights to the PE firm decision-makers and advisors involved with the recruitment of future leaders. 

Key findings revealed in BoardEx’s Insights on Portfolio Company Talent 2022 include:

  • Over two-thirds of current US portfolio company CEOs and CFOs were appointed externally
  • Upon assuming the role, the average US PE-owned firm CEO or CFO had more than 20 years of professional experience
  • Just 7.5% of US portfolio company CEOs are women, slightly higher than among businesses in the S&P 500
  • Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania have the highest proportion of alumni among current CEOs and CFOs of US portfolio companies
  • McKinsey and leading tech firms account for the highest proportion of US portfolio company CEOs in their alumni. Among CFOs, global professional services companies such as PwC and EY are highly represented

The report also examines the similarities and differences between the CEOs and CFOs of UK portfolio companies that are fully or partially owned by UK firms in the PEI 300. 

  • CEOs and CFOs of UK portfolio companies are slightly younger than their US counterparts, and female representation is even lower
  • Less than 60% of UK PE-owned firms’ CEOs and CFOs were appointed externally, well below the US level
  • Like their US counterparts, UK portfolio company leaders tend to have had previous experience of working at PE-owned firms before assuming their current CEO or CFO role

BoardEx’s Insights on Portfolio Company Talent 2022 offers unique insight into the teams that lead and steer PE portfolio companies, making it an essential read for organizations looking to make the most of their talent management and acquisition strategies.

Access the complete findings and download BoardEx’s Insights on Portfolio Company Talent 2022 to learn more. 

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