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One Ten Associates: Best Recruitment Company for Operations & Finance – Recruitment in private equity is evolving. Managers want to build holistic relationships with recruiters who have a greater understanding of their business.

This is particularly relevant given the current environment. “It has been well-documented that there are record levels of capital available for investment and as such, private equity firms seem to be intent on navigating the post-Covid world with ambition and vigour,” observes Khuram Bajwa, Partner, One Ten Associates. “There is a genuine belief that deal activity will continue to scale without compromising the value and returns being delivered to limited partners (LPs). This leads to continued demand for finance and accounting professionals across the board.”

He notes how the firm is also seeing an increase in funds utilising and embracing technology: “This is being reflected in the hunt for talent as specific systems knowledge/experience is now at the forefront of many searches.

 “With a growing number of fund launches, existing funds continuing to make waves in their respective markets and the growing expectations of investors, this all points to a period of sustained growth and thus steady demand for quality candidates.”

Although 2020 was a challenging year, One Ten Associates was able to succeed and build on its brand in ways which perhaps had not previously been viable. Bajwa comments: “Indeed, hiring patterns have certainly shown signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2021 and our teams are actively engaged on mandates across our different practice areas, namely finance, operations, legal & compliance, investor relations and marketing. We have been encouraged by the continued engagement while also working towards our core objectives of being seen as a trusted and credible thought-leader in our space.”

He outlines that 2021 so far has seen a very strong start form a recruitment perspective. The year appears to be on course for a busy and interesting time within the PE space which hopefully leads to an ongoing demand for talent. “We are already seeing a steady demand for fund and corporate accountants while additional areas such as transaction support, portfolio monitoring and ESG-related areas continue to be key themes driving the demand for talent. One Ten Associates continues to work closely with clients to stay informed and ensure that we are identifying talent specifically in line with whatever challenges our clients are facing,” Bajwa says.

One such trend is the increase in investor sophistication. This has led to funds being more focussed on building or adding to their portfolio monitoring functions. The delivery of incisive and commercially-viable analytics continues to be a key deliverable and CFO/COOs are more dependent on this level of analysis being produced. “As funds have access to larger sets of data, it is becoming more and more key to be able to convert data into information. That is where the value is for may of our clients.”

Bajwa also identified a rise in the number of first-time funds seeking to appoint their first operational hire: “Depending on the scale and nature of the fund, the debate is usually whether to go for an experienced CFO/COO profile who has presumably ‘seen it all before’ or an up-and-coming profile with the hunger and capability to grow into the role. 

“More often than not, and in line with the client’s needs, our advice has been to focus on up-and-coming talent i.e. someone operating as a number two currently with the desire and drive to step up and take ownership of a function. Invariably, this suits all concerned.” 

Khuram Bajwa, Partner, One Ten Associates
Khuram Bajwa joined One Ten Associates in January 2016 as a Partner to build out our Private Equity, Real Estate and Debt Practice, focusing on finance and operations recruitment. Prior to joining One Ten Associates, Khuram spent almost 6 years working within the recruitment space where he successfully built out and managed teams focusing on senior level recruitment across the Alternative Investment space. Khuram has developed and nurtured relationships throughout his time in recruitment with a range of professionals within his areas of focus. He continues to run a successful private equity industry networking event on a quarterly basis, attended by clients and candidates as well as lawyers, placement agents and advisors in the industry.

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