Private Equity

Private Equity

We recruit full-time, part-time, portfolio and interim Private Equity CFOs and FDs. Call us on 020 3287 9501.FD Capital is the leading specialist in CFO and FD recruitment and is based in London at Great Portland Street.

The role of CFO at private equity-backed organisations has evolved at a lightning pace in the last decade. CFOs have seen their responsibilities expand with a push for digital natives who will invest in technology and transformation to meet their investor’s value-creation goals.

Private equity firms are now expecting to see CFOs on board at an early stage in the investment cycle. Recruiting a CFO provides your company with financial credibility and a vital leadership candidate who will act as a bridge between potential investors and your organisation.

A private equity CFO is a strategic leader who drives value creation and will strive to execute a successful exit strategy.

What is a Private Equity CFO?

Private equity CFOs are strategic leaders who strive to raise their company’s profile, engage with new talent, and attract the attention of private equity investors by creating an engaging investor story.

CFOs with PE experience are growth-oriented, adopting a forward-looking approach, instead of looking through the rear-view mirror as financial often do. Private equity CFOs are multi-dimensional with a growing list of responsibilities. Many are set to become tomorrow’s CEOs, laying the groundwork by engaging with internal and external stakeholders.

Organisations seeking private equity investment are increasingly recruiting CFOs during the early stages of their life cycle. CFOs with private equity house experience will drive value and nurture rich working relationships by boosting the company’s financial credibility with potential investors and traditional financial institutions.

Companies seeking private equity funding in highly regulated industries, such as financial services and health care, will want to recruit a CFO who is an expert in that field. CFOs with industry-specific regulatory knowledge will understand the nuances and challenges that their company must contend with.

How We Recruit Private Equity CFOs and FDs

Companies are actively recruiting for CFOs with PE house experience to be organisation leaders, acting as the CEO’s second-in-command. They advise on decision making and strategy, providing data-driven insight and forecasting to ground such decisions.

At FD Capital, we’re seeing a rise in demand for CFOs with experience navigating the private equity industry. Companies of every size are seeking CFOs who are digital natives, able to engage with AI and automation to provide next generation forecasting and data insights to streamline decision-making to maximise value during private equity negotiations.

Today’s CFOs are investing in technology, AI, and automation to develop supply chain resilience, reduce labour-intensive financial analysis, and streamline decision-making.

CFOs who have private equity experience are uniquely positioned to assist companies with adapting to changing investor profiles and developing new investment products, particularly in emerging margins.

Role of CFOs in PE-Backed Companies

CFOs take on a unique role as information gatherers within private equity-backed companies. They serve as a link between the company and its private investors and develop a dialogue between both sides on issues like mergers and acquisitions and financial structure. The CFO is responsible for translating the company’s strategy and providing a high-level overview of its finances.

It’s why most private equity firms now consider having a CFO on the payroll as a pre-requisite before considering a company for investment. We start the process of recruiting a private equity CFO by considering the company’s investment thesis. If your company is aiming for an IPO, we’ll connect with a CFO with capital market experience or who has previously taken a company public.

Private equity firms and companies seeking funding will feel more assured with a CFO on board to oversee the exit strategy by maximising value and ensuring a positive investor story.

CFOs at private equity-backed companies must be able to see the forest for the trees. Many will find themselves ingrained at the heart of the organisation, juggling a demanding workload against stakeholders’ expectations and often with a small team to assist them.

Private equity CFOs take a big-picture approach, consider strategies and decisions from different angles to ensure that the company remains true to its mission and curates a positive investor story with value creation.

What a Private Equity CFO or FD Can Bring to Your Company

Recruiting a private equity CFO or FD is an investment that pays for itself. Our team will work with you to identify what you need in an ideal candidate through our traditional recruitment or headhunting services.

Private equity CFOs carry out a range of responsibilities within a company including:

  • Acting as a strategic partner to the CEO, becoming a link between them and the private equity investors during negotiations and throughout the tenure of the agreement.
  • Exploring data and potential digital investments, including AI and automation, to streamline operations.
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  • Taking on the role of company ambassador with internal and external stakeholder management.
  • Boost the company’s value by acting as a value extractor to create a positive investor story.
  • Utilising predictive analytics and translating financial forecasting to inform better decision-making throughout the organisation.
  • Driving transformation across departments by implementing streamlined financial systems and investing in digital tools.
  • Providing leadership by developing a strategy to boost employee retention with a diverse talent pool throughout the organisation.

Companies seeking private equity investors will recruit a CFO with enterprise-level experience. They’ll have a track record of managing every aspect of company finances, including overseeing FP&A, conducting audits, and adapting regulatory changes. Solution-oriented CFOs will cut through the noise of competing stakeholders to tackle challenges as they pop up.

Stakeholder management skills

A private equity CFO takes centre stage, working back and forth between the company and its investors. They’ll strive to drive value to ensure a compelling investor story.

The CFO will want to maintain alignment between stakeholders, particularly when they have different priorities. Their stakeholder management skills are vital for balancing the needs of the company’s leadership with investor expectations.

Smaller private equity-backed companies will have a less formal working arrangement with their CFO than global corporations, allowing them to adapt as the company evolves. The CFO’s responsibility will differ between companies depending on how involved they are outside of investor relationships and stakeholder management. The CFO is the main point of contact for private equity investors.

A private equity CFO will strategic business partner by overseeing stakeholder relations and communicating between parties, including voicing concerns.

Stakeholders at every level will have an interest in the company’s financial health, making the CFO a crucial individual in translating the financial strategy to stakeholders.

Stakeholder management is a vital part of a CFO’s role at a PE-backed company. Decision-making becomes less binary in companies with private equity funding with the views of other investors and external stakeholders becoming more crucial.

Strategic Thinking

Private Equity CFOs are strategic thinkers who must think outside the box to create value for their organisation. They’ll consider ways to expand the company’s portfolio and drive growth through sales by integrating cost-effective operational measures.

The CFO will be considering the potential exit strategies from early in the investment’s life cycle, aligning the investment’s economics with their financial strategy. Most private equity CFOs will find themselves working across company departments, having to adapt their strategic thinking across different scenarios.

A successful private equity CFO will understand the company in-depth and implement strategies to drive business growth while participating in stakeholder relations and strategic initiatives. CFOs adopt a top-level approach and overview of the company.

CFOs and FDs as Private Equity Data Drivers

Private equity CFOs are increasingly becoming data drivers, leveraging real-time data, and forecasting through AI and automation. Data enables CFOs to identify new opportunities for value creation and quickly act upon potential leads.

Companies that lack data tracking and analysis capability fail to realise value-creation opportunities. Recruiting a private equity CFO or FD is an investment that will pay for itself through data-driven strategies that lead to value creation. CFOs will leverage digital technology to maximise data benefits within weeks or months, rather than the time delay that can come from integrating enterprise-resource-planning systems.

Low-cost tech investments can provide private equity-back companies with almost immediate benefits. FD Capital will connect you with a private equity CFO who is a digital native with a track record of overseeing technology investment to maximise value creation.

Recruiting a Part-Time Private Equity CFO or Finance Director

The evolution of the role of CFO means that companies are no longer locked into recruiting strictly on a full-time basis. Organisations have the freedom to choose to recruit a CFO on a part-time or interim basis as well. Part-time CFO positions offer SMEs and start-ups access to industry-leading talent on terms that make fiscal and operational sense for them.

A start-up may recruit a CFO with private equity experience on an interim part-time contract to oversee the initial 100 days of a private equity deal, including putting KPIs and technology investment in place. A private equity CFO will lay the foundation for the company’s growth strategy by putting the right systems and structures in place to improve financial transparency and identify value-creation opportunities.

FD Capital is witnessing increasing demand for recruiting CFOs with private equity experience on a part-time and remote basis, reflecting the changes in the industry as the role evolves beyond traditional financial management.

Transformative Private Equity CFOs and FDs

Companies seeking private equity funding must establish an investment thesis to provide their funding efforts with momentum. CFOs will set out how to create value from a cost and revenue point of view, directing resources accordingly. A private equity CFO will establish several transformation initiatives that align with the company’s long-term goal and eventual exit strategy.

Private equity CFOs perform the dual roles of influencing and challenging strategies within their company. They’ll not be afraid to challenge the status quo and be a driving force for innovation. CFOs will conduct regular reviews and work alongside other C-suite leaders and departmental management. They’ll adopt an unbiased approach to business activities, ensuring that operational decisions fall in line with the overarching investment thesis and long-term growth strategy.

CFOs act as the CEO’s right hand and provide a bridge between them and the private equity fund by driving negotiations and communicating with both sides.

The Changing Role of Private Equity CFOs

While the role of CFO has evolved in recent years, CFOs at private equity-backed companies are facing additional challenges and added responsibilities as industries become more regulated. Investors now expect CFOs to provide more data insights and financial transparency throughout the investment agreement, as well as information on environmental, social, and governance (ESG).

CFOs are expected to be able to speak about the company’s operational decisions, as well as its financial strategy. Private equity investors are expecting CFOs to be able to prove their company’s financial resilience through business continuity planning and investing in relevant technology, particularly cybersecurity following the remote working revolution. Risk management is therefore becoming an even greater responsibility for CFOs.

The valuation process is another way that the role of CFO is changing within private equity-backed companies. Valuations were previously compliance-driven, but more regulation means that CFOs must maintain oversight throughout every stage of the deal and its eventual exit strategy to ensure that correct procedures are followed to prevent overstating the company’s valuation.

Find Your Private Equity CFO or FD Today

Outsourcing your CFO recruitment to a specialist agency is the most effective way to find a financial executive with the private equity skills and experience that match your company’s needs. We offer both traditional recruitment services and CFO headhunting services, tailoring the recruitment process to fit the requirements of your organisation.

We’ll start the recruitment process by identifying the specific needs of your company and whether you need an industry specialist to oversee regulatory compliance. Our team will tailor each step of the recruitment process to fit your company’s needs.

FD Capital connects companies with private equity house CFOs throughout the UK and beyond. Start the process of recruiting a CFO with private equity experience by contacting our team at or 020 3287 9501.

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