Chief Executive Officers play a major role in steering corporations in the right strategic direction. Private equity firms and companies invest heavily in finding the right CEO. Over the years, there has been a paradigm shift in the qualifications that private equity firms look out for in a qualified and competent CEO. Recruiters look for individuals who possess more soft skills. 


Resilience in performance

Resilience and durability when it comes to the performance of a chief executive officer is a highly desired attribute. Private equity firms look for candidates who have faced setbacks before, made slight mistakes, yet outlived them all. This is as compared to hiring an individual who has had a relatively easy time in the office. Such resilience is crucial in helping to ensure that the CEO has the necessary experience to overcome external factors that create challenges or internal setbacks and still deliver the results that are needed.


Team building

The position of chief executive officer in a private equity backed firm encompasses more of coordinating a team than administrating. CEOs who have experience and expertise in team-building skills are given more preference when hiring. The CEO must be able to bring together different persons, stakeholders, departments, and ideas to give the company an edge.



Private equity firms look for chief executives who are willing to focus their energy on being as authentic as possible. Authenticity has to do with having the necessary competence and confidence to foster transparency, especially when it comes to delivering bad news where necessary. Honesty, in such situations, saves crucial time, accelerating responses, as opposed to being vague at the expense of recognising the truth with clarity and the actions that need to follow to address it.


A sense of urgency

Private equity firms operate to achieve their objectives with pace and an emphasis on decisive execution. A desirable private equity chief executive should have a sense of urgency when it comes to cutting through the market by implementing specific targets, such as cutting on costs, growing revenue, penetrating the market, and streamlining the firm. The companies, therefore, look for persons with a sense of urgency who are willing to act on insights decisively even when doing so is challenging.


Edmund Lazarus London (3) (1)