PE Firm Rapidly Engages Interim VP of Finance for Continuity and Momentum at Media Portco

The Client 

Creating Value to Build Better Businesses

For nearly 50 years, this private equity firm with over $4B in assets under management has operated as a leading investor and partner to companies in the media, entertainment, sports, and education sectors. Located in Southern California, the PE firm invests in companies poised for growth with strong management teams and business models.

The Situation

Departure Causes a Business Continuity Gap

Soon after investing in a media company that serves as the leading source of news and insights for marketers, the PE firm needed to assist the portco with hiring a new VP of Finance. As the process of finding a replacement would take several months, the PE firm decided an interim individual was critical for maintaining business continuity and momentum.

After considering traditional methods for obtaining a qualified, experienced, and agile interim finance leader, the PE firm’s Value Creation Team determined the process would take too long and add excessive costs. The Team set out to find a better way.

The Solution 

Obtain an On-Demand Interim VP of Finance

Ultimately, the Value Creation Team contacted Graphite to learn more about its proven on-demand model. An experienced account manager was assigned to the PE firm, and he explained Graphite’s streamlined process. This included a two-tiered vetting process for identifying and presenting 2-4 curated independent experts, typically within 24-48 hours.

The Value Creation Team introduced the Graphite account manager to the PE firm’s Operating Partners, who expressed interest in reviewing a few independent expert profiles with relevant experience. The account manager provided the requested list, which included experts offering experience from Big 4, EY, and Simon-Kucher & Partners. Impressed with the quality of available talent, the Operating Partners greenlighted collaborating with Graphite.

Deep expertise required

With the relationship established, the Graphite account manager quickly gathered the PE firm’s extensive list of requirements for an Interim VP of Finance, which included:

  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience
  • Ability to direct accounting operations and manage a staff
  • Competency with revenue recognition management
  • Strong knowledge of GAAP
  • Experience working with a PE-backed operation
  • Highly proficient with Microsoft Dynamics GP, Oracle Netsuite, MS Excel, and Salesforce
Curated candidates in hours

Using PE firm’s requirements, the account manager leveraged Graphite’s AI-powered platform to access a pool of over 9,000 independent experts and obtain a shortlist of qualified candidates. The account manager further curated the list and, within 48 hours of meeting with the Operating Partners, presented the top four candidates.

Using the Graphite in-app messaging and live virtual meeting tools, the PE firm vetted each candidate and quickly selected the expert with the best combination of skills.

The Result:

Gain 20+ Years of Finance Leadership Expertise

‍To kick off the project, a Graphite customer success team member was dedicated to the PE firm. He assembled the firm’s stakeholders, representatives from the media portco, and the selected independent expert to review the engagement’s objectives, scope of work, timeline, and other deliverables. 

Within just a few days of meeting with the Operating Partners, the PE firm’s new Interim VP of Finance began her assignment.

Smooth, professional experience from beginning to end

Later, once an in-house VP of Finance was hired, the independent expert seamlessly rolled off. For the PE firm and its portco, it was a smooth and professional experience from start to finish.

Overall, the PE firm and its portco realized multiple benefits from engaging with Graphite, including:

  • Selected the right talent in under 48 hours.
  • Gained an Interim VP of Finance with 20+ years of experience.
  • Enabled filling the Interim role in less than a week.
  • Achieved significant cost savings with Graphite’s proven, streamlined on-demand talent acquisition model.
  • Tapped into a 9,000+ pool of fully-vetted independent experts.
  • Eliminated administrative overhead with Graphite’s AI-powered platform, which includes an integrated invoicing and payment interface
  • Received detailed project tracking on the Graphite platform, including deliverables, tasks completed, and work hours submitted.

The independent expert brought an array of core competencies and experience to her role as Interim VP of Finance, such as:

  • Worked previously with PE firms such as 3i Group and Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, enterprises such as Hilton, Takeda, Trax International, and UPS, as well as global advisory firms including the Big 4, Grant Thornton, and Protiviti.
  • Supplied deep expertise in collaborating with sales staff and PE-backed operations.
  • Managed staff and provided leadership with business continuity, business planning, financial modeling, financial due diligence, financial planning & analysis (FP&A), and M&A support.
  • Provided strong GAAP knowledge and technology expertise, including Microsoft Dynamics GP, Oracle Netsuite, MS Excel, and Salesforce.