November 20, 2023

Frontenac Hosts Executive Forum

Bringing our Leaders Together

Walter Florence speaking at Executive Forum

Frontenac recently held an Executive Forum, bringing together CEO1ST™ partners and portfolio company executives. The goals of the event were learning and skill development as well as peer-to-peer relationship building. The companies at the Forum exceeded $2 billion in enterprise value and collectively employed over 4,000 people worldwide.

“We partner with CEO1ST™ executives for their strategic acumen, operating experience and leadership skills to drive value creation,” said Walter Florence, Managing Partner at Frontenac. “Our Executive Forum provides an opportunity for this community of talented executives to come together and share their insights. We were overwhelmed by the participation this year.”

Executives engaged around a few major topics, including: ‘High Performing Leaders and Organizations in Private Equity’, promoting employee ownership via ‘Ownership Works™’, building organizational resiliency through the implementation of ‘Management Operation Systems’ (“MOS”), and ‘Preparing for a Successful PE Exit.’

“This event provided a unique opportunity for us to engage with our peers, collaborate on major topics for our companies, and continue to grow as we face opportunities and challenges in our respective businesses,” said Charles Hale, Chairman and CEO of MCE.

Topic 1: High Performing Leaders and Organizations in Private Equity

Laura Sanchez-Greenberg, an expert in leadership and organizational development from Verde Associates, facilitated a session on the attributes of successful leaders of PE-backed companies and the foundational elements of best-in-class organizations.

Laura Sanchez talking with conference attendees

Leaders of PE-backed companies must understand the investment thesis, spur strategy development and execution, and operate with speed and agility. Successful organizations require compelling direction, talent, enabling structure, and trust, and it is incumbent on leaders to identify strengths and improvement opportunities across each element and drive action to address.

Topic 2: Ownership Works™

Frontenac is part of a coalition of 70 founding institutional investors that have partnered with Ownership Works™, a non-profit organization that aims to increase prosperity through shared ownership. We have observed that broad-based employee ownership has revitalized corporate cultures and provided significant wealth-building opportunities for employees. By promoting a culture of shared ownership, accountability and purpose, companies can achieve new levels of success, which in turn can generate significant wealth-building opportunities for workers.

Topic 3: Creating Organizational Resiliency Through a ‘Management Operation System’

Gary Hoover from TBM Consulting emphasized the importance of Management Operating Systems (MOS) to drive transformational improvements and business outcomes. Implementing a fully functioning management system can take 2-3 years, but taking steps to achieve a “problem-solving culture” can lead to productivity improvements of 10-20% across the workforce.

Topic 4: Preparing for a Successful Private Equity Exit

Andy Jessen from William Blair shared trends in the M&A market and stressed the importance of preparation for a successful exit. Buyers are more selective and given increasing specialization of institutional investors more discerning. The ability of executives to articulate a clear value proposition, highlight key value drivers that are supported by data, and address any value detractors is critical to achieving the optimal outcome.

Until Next Time

Through collaborative presentations and interactive small group discussions, executives walked away with actionable takeaways to drive growth at their organizations. Attendees also learned more about their executive peers, which included former vocalists, helicopter pilots, musicians, and even someone with ties to the Royal family. We look forward to building on this year’s Forum with more events in the near future.