What makes an Elite Interim… Elite?

We take pride in maintaining an exceptional Elite Interim Network that can add value to our clients. All of our interims are assessed on their capability and expertise in their fields, so we can better understand their strengths and maintain an Elite Interim Network that is, as the name suggests, Elite.

What determines whether an interim executive is an elite candidate for a private equity-backed business?

Companies backed by private equity demand a unique set of skills and personality traits from executives. These companies typically operate in highly results-based, risk-taking environments, with strong focuses on driving growth and value. As a result, thriving executives in this industry tend to be strategic risk-takers, who can make tough decisions quickly and have a talent for identifying valuable growth opportunities.

Whilst having strong business acumen is important, outstanding executives in the private equity space must also possess exceptional interpersonal skills, and must be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders, including investors, board members, and employees. Given the intense pressure to perform, they must be comfortable operating in fast-paced, high-pressure environments in order to succeed.

When it comes to electing interims to our Elite Network, the criteria for distinguishing the best candidates often varies depending on the specific function they operate in, however, some traits that are generally valued highly in the private equity space include a track record of delivering results, an ability to navigate complex business challenges, and a natural affinity for leading high-performing teams.

How we identify an elite interim CEO, CFO or Chairman

When looking to enhance a board with a talented Chair, CEO, or CFO, a key factor we consider is an interim’s previous experience in private equity. Those that have worked extensively in private equity environments will have faced intense pressure from investors and the market, and have been required to deliver results under scrutiny. These interims have not only experienced success, but they have also navigated challenging periods for private equity-backed businesses, which demonstrates their ability to drive growth and value through all stages of the investment cycle.

A number of good candidates can have private equity experience, however, an elite interim has experienced success as well as challenging periods in a private equity-backed business. Elite candidates have a proven track record of driving change and they are able to showcase their ability to orchestrate business transformation, whilst managing their emotions and dealing with personal pressure in a professional manner.

How we identify an elite interim in other functions

This combination of positive and negative experiences in an organisation is also a requirement for elite interims in roles reporting to the top three posts. No investment cycle is straightforward and having people who are able to identify and resolve issues effectively is crucial for private equity.

This experience often comes from a strong professional corporate background. Elite candidates will have achieved a level of executive management in successful corporations. These candidates have the experience, the formal training and, most importantly. they know what excellence looks like. Having seen what successful corporations look like, they have the knowledge and experience to develop a smaller, more dynamic business.

What’s more, the corporations they have worked for are of various sizes, cultures and structures. Elite interims have demonstrated they can work in both large and small organisations and they have the capacity to transition from a larger to a smaller business successfully. This requires flexibility and adaptability to changing circumstances which are essential traits of an elite interim. The Elite Interims that can demonstrate the above are more likely to have what we call ‘The Right Mindset’ for private equity.

Getting to know our Elite Interim Network

Finally, what sets an Elite Interim apart are the references. We always make sure that our interims’ experiences and capabilities are cross-referenced by previous employees and colleagues. Considering the calibre of our elite network, it is not surprising that their referees claim they would hire them again.

In addition, we get to know our interims on a personal level and maintain a lasting relationship with them. This way we are able to provide personal references of our Elite Interims as we fully understand their career to date, motivations and ambitions.


There is no one way to define what makes an Elite Interim Elite, as the required abilities and traits will all differ depending on the role they are required to fill. To summarise the points above, below are some of the key indicators that are looked for when reviewing interims:

  • Ability to communicate at all levels of the business
  • Adaptability in their work
  • Diverse experience in small, medium, and large businesses with varying cultures
  • Exceptional references from previous employers
  • Being able to clearly express and deliver on visions/strategies
  • Navigated challenging periods


Should you require our support in acquiring Elite Interims for your private equity-backed business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.