What do you do when you've tried banking, you've tried restructuring, and you've tried being an entrepreneur? How about joining a West Coast private equity (PE) consultancy?
This is what Rishi Jain has opted for. Jain just joined Accordion Partners, a New York-based financial consulting firm focused on private equity firms and their portfolio companies, as a managing director and the head of the western region. His career has spanned technology investment banking, restructuring and entrepreneurship – he sold his startups Wineshopper.com and eFranchise to Wine.com and Franchise.com respectively.
Accordion works within the CFO office of companies that private equity funds have invested in to help improve operational performance and strategy. As Silicon Valley companies mature beyond the venture-capital stage, Jain says there's increased demand for Accordion's services. It already has 150 clients across the U.S.
"The CFO at a PE portfolio company has a greater deal of responsibility than a normal day-to-day company CFO," Jain says. "He or she is still managing all the regular finance blocking and tackling, but in a changing operational environment, while also needing to provide very routine insight to the PE sponsor."
Jain will be hiring, but not necessarily ex-bankers.
"Almost everyone here has operating experience – and then private equity, accounting or investment banking experience on top of that," he tells us. "So, from a recruiting standpoint, we’re not just looking for an accountant or an investment banker; we’re looking for someone who has served in an operational role and understands the importance of streamlining operations for portfolio companies."