September 25, 2012
Interviewed by: David Snow
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Expert Q&A With James Dimitriou, Tatum

James Dimitriou, National Practice Director of Private Equity at Tatum, speaks with Privcap about what private equity clients expect in the post-acquisition phase.

James Dimitriou, National Practice Director of Private Equity at Tatum, speaks with Privcap about what private equity clients expect in the post-acquisition phase.

Privcap: What can a private equity client expect from Tatum during the critical post-acquisition phase?

Dimitriou: We typically get a call from private equity around transaction. So some deal’s going on, a private equity firm says we think we need to replace somebody. It’s typically around a role. Once a few discussions take place, it becomes evident, about half the time, that it’s not about just a role but maybe it’s around a solution or project team.

So the first thing we do is we listen. We say, let’s talk a little bit more about the situation. So let’s say the half the time where it is just a role and it’s confirmed that, OK, we are going to replace a CFO, we can do that. We put some resources in front of them. We walk through the profiles and we do a match and we move forward.

The other half of the time, we’ll find out that it’s bigger than just a role-based solution. So we’ll do what we call a discovery call and we’ll get the stakeholders on the phone, might be the CEO, it might be the board, it might be members of the private equity firm, and we’ll walk through what their goals are. We’ll look at the model and what they’re trying to accomplish and where they’re trying to go. We’ll also look at the culture of the firm and what they’re trying to do. And based on that, we’ll be able to come back– and that might be a five hour phone call, might be three five hour phone calls.

Once we’ve got that information, we’ll come back to them with a list of two or three candidates. We’ll then come back, walk them through those profiles, and say, OK, all three of these people can do the job. It’s really up to you now to figure out which one of these fits your culture.

One might be really bold, kind of a bull in the china shop, maybe that’s what you need. This one over here is a little bit more– has a little bit more finesse and can walk through a little bit more mild mannered. It’s kind of like the Goldilocks syndrome, right? And basically, all of them can do the job, it’s up to you to pick the one that’s the right culture for you.

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