In this highly disrupted new world of remote working with minimal face to face contact, it is vital that professional services companies, such as executive search firms, are nimble and alive to what clients may need.
We are all in fresh waters.
Typical projects for our Private Equity team would normally encompass assisting a client in the search to appoint a new Chairperson, Board member or Chief Executive, alongside advising on the appropriate structure for management teams. However, clients are currently more focused on immediate concerns, such as protecting employees, supply chains and cash flow.
Understandably priorities have shifted and the team at McLean are having to pivot also.
We are finding ourselves offering clients short-term guidance, including providing perspectives on, and contacts for, interim crisis consultants. This has especially been the case for portfolio companies that are being severely affected by the pandemic. There is no universal response that can be used to aid the businesses affected – each portfolio company will require a tailored action plan. In these situations, McLean’s Private Equity team are able to offer highly specialised consultants or interims at short notice, to help develop and devise a clear strategy to minimise the impact as much as possible.
A small positive observation during the Covid-19 outbreak, is the innovation and resilience we are seeing from clients in times of stress. A Private Equity client shared this week that they will be completing an investment, with the deal completed through video conferencing. This would have seemed unthinkable less than a month ago, with face to face meetings considered a necessity. In this instance the deal made sense to both parties and to echo Rishi Sunak, the UK’s Chancellor, a good business will remain a good business and therefore investment, post the Covid-19 pandemic.
On behalf of myself and everyone at McLean we hope that our clients can focus on staying safe, and that this allows the impact of Covid-19 to be minimised. We are working on supporting clients and remain flexible in light of changing requirements. We are hopeful that all firms can come through these times with the backing of their investors, and we stand ready to support and provide advice wherever helpful and required.
Edward King is a Partner at McLean Partnership, overseeing our Private Equity Practice. For any enquiries, please contact Edward on 07970 492265 or on Edwardking@mcleanpartnership.com