February 22, 2016
Interviewed by: Privcap
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Putting Together The Right Team

Z Capital’s managing director and operating partner, Tim Clayton, says putting together the right team is of paramount importance to a portfolio company’s success. However, finding the right talent has become increasingly hard in a very competitive marketplace.Putting Together Right Team

Z Capital’s managing director and operating partner, Tim Clayton, says putting together the right team is of paramount importance to a portfolio company’s success. However, finding the right talent has become increasingly hard in a very competitive marketplace.Putting Together Right Team

Putting Together the Right Team
With Tim Clayton of Z Capital

Mike Straka, Privcap: How do you find talent?

Tim Clayton, Z Capital: I tell you, Mike, that’s the key element, right? Finding the right people to run the businesses is really what separates or differentiates a lot of how these companies end up turning out. And we spend quite a bit of time. In fact, one of my operating partners is focused primarily on human-capital or human-resources types of initiatives and he is constantly focused on recruiting the right talent for our different businesses.

What we look for in our portfolio of companies is an individual who has what I would call “academy training”—the big company, foundational training, years at that different organization—to really learn how things are done, how operating in a big company environment would be, but also has experience and proven leadership in perhaps a middle-market type of environment. It’s that combination of big company capabilities and training with a middle-market type of attitude. Roll up your sleeves, have to do things yourself to drive initiatives—that’s really the kind of combination of the talent we’re looking for.

Straka: Where do you find these guys?

Clayton: It’s a whole spectrum of things. I mean, we use some traditional sources but a lot of it is our own networks of people that we’ve developed over the years—talent that might come from other initiatives that we’ve been involved with or people we know in those different industries. We lean on a lot of those types of networks, but we also expand out beyond that into traditional types of search firms in some respects. Sometimes we go with retain search or…contingent search, but a lot of it is going to be driven by our home networks in a lot of respects.

Straka: Now, a lot of people focus on the investment itself and forget about the investment in the human capital. Isn’t that something you guys at Z Capital try to maintain—the notion that human capital is your biggest investment?

Clayton: There’s no doubt about it. Having the right management team is critical to enhancing the value of any of our investments. And we spent a lot of time getting the right management team in place. So, there’s no doubt about it, that’s probably one of the highest-priority items we have in any company we get involved with.

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