The rise of HR in Private Equity

There has been a great deal of talk in the past few years about the role of the Private Equity (PE) community within society and the part it will be play as the European Union attempts to trade itself out of its current predicament.

Everyone seemingly has an opinion on PE and I’ve discussed with a great many people what they would change if they were in charge for a day.

The opinion of Interim Partners is that the industry is already changing in a number of ways, especially from a risk perspective. I’m seeing more and more opportunity for the HR community being deployed across portfolio businesses, with the human capital element being a larger and more important part of the valuation process.

The self-regulation of the industry is already pulling a number of PE houses in the direction of more operating partners, as well as the utilisation of commercially savvy HR Directors - many will see this as a good thing. A number of businesses in this space have of course been doing this for years, but for many this is new territory and an area that we are looking to assist.

For those from the HR community wanting to enter this market (who have an appetite for turnaround, restructuring and growth), they will surely be buoyed by the fact that attitudes are slowly changing and that opportunities are creating themselves for you to be involved at a different stage.

By way of example, the Private Equity & Advisory practice at Interim Partners has developed long-standing relationships at a senior level with many of the UK’s leading listed and private equity backed retail and consumer organisations.

We have delivered multi-disciplined teams to support major change, rationalisation and systems implementation programmes. Examples include:

  • Appointment of a diversely skilled team to one of the UK’s largest food groups after they had acquired a competitor. This post-acquisition team of more than 15 interim managers was responsible for programme management, project delivery and integration of systems, assets and people.
  • Delivery of a Group HR Director and support team into a £1bn+ private equity backed leisure business. The team undertook a cost reduction programme and turnaround of an under-performing retailer post de-merger from parent.

I’d personally be interested to talk to anyone from the HR community about how they intend to address this challenge and if you were in charge for the day, what would you do? Please feel free to contact me on or 020 7936 2865.

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