Dec 1, 2021

Who Are Boards Looking to Hire? It Might Be You

I frequently hear from executives who want to land a Board seat, but they aren’t sure how. That’s where Lancor comes in. One of our core capabilities is matching potential Board members with PE-backed businesses both before and right after a PE firm acquires an asset. 

There is a reason Board seats are such coveted positions. Serving on a Board comes with a lot of prestige, responsibility and additional income (both cash and equity). Most Boards meet quarterly, so the experience offers an additional opportunity to help set direction and lead a business without having to leave your current job. It is a way to share your knowledge and experience with a firm, enriching both the company and your career track. 

Boards usually have between five and nine members. Of those, you have the C-Suite members, the CEO and potentially the CFO. Then you have two or three employees of the private equity firm, and finally, you have two or three seats for Independent Board members. Our search practice specializes in placing candidates in these Independent Board roles along with executives in the C-Suite.  We work with the Private Equity firm to develop their investment thesis before they acquire an asset then determine the asset specific goals for these companies. We then evaluate candidates that can help achieve these goals efficiently. To drive true value added, operationally focused alpha Lancor makes introductions between a firm and candidates.

So where do you fit in?  For starters, companies want diversity – in all aspects – as it is proven that diversity drives higher returns.  Specifically, they want a mix of male and female Board members with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Historically Boards have been filled with only retired candidates. Today more and more Board members have a day job. Recent market interaction is important, especially with tech and industries moving and changing so quickly.  So, your work experience, market knowledge, successes and failures – this is what a Board will be looking for and how you should be pitching yourself. 

How do you land a Board seat? For starters, you can contact us at Lancor. However, it is important that you come prepared to explain what you can add to a company. What operational capabilities can you bring? What is your expertise? What hurdles have you helped a company overcome? How have you applied that in your own career and how can you apply it as a Board member? In what ways can you drive better and faster returns for a firm?  What companies are doing it well now and what could they be doing better?

Think of it this way: Boards are like puzzle pieces. We evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the C-Suite as it relates to their capabilities to drive better results within their business. Then we look for Independent Board members who can then help fill in the holes in experience and therefore achieve the predetermined goals faster. 

While it is always easier to get a Board seat when you have one, the real key for a first time Board member is to ask those questions around the thesis to then highlight the specific ways you can drive better and faster returns for a firm.  Ready to apply or find a great Board candidate? We are here to help.