Leslie Pratch is the founder and CEO of Pratch & Company. A clinical psychologist and M.B.A., she specializes in helping private equity investors and management committees and boards of directors of public and privately-held companies identify whether the executives being considered to lead companies possess the psychological resources and personality strengths needed to succeed. Since 1998, Leslie has completed over 600 assessments for 50 clients.
Her Active Coping Assessment℠ System is grounded in the model and methods developed in research Leslie led at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She continues to refine her model through ongoing empirical research in the field. She makes use of this research also in coaching executives.
Although she conducts all of the assessments herself is solely responsible for the findings, she does use the advice and services of other people, in particular Emile Karafiol, Susanna Styron, Alain Dawson, Janet Grillo, and Laura Grillo.
Leslie Pratch began her consulting career as a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development at The University of Chicago. In 1988, Arthur Andersen hired Leslie, who was still pursuing her doctorate, to advise on various strategic initiatives, including partner development. Could personality traits important to the success of the firm’s senior partners be cultivated in promising junior partners? Arthur Andersen continued to use the program she created for at least ten years.
As her interests evolved away from academia and toward consulting, Leslie transferred to Northwestern University Medical School, an accredited clinical program where in 1995 she completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her research focused on what makes business leaders successful: Do a firm’s most capable leaders possess personality characteristics that can be identified years before these executives are ready to assume senior positions?
In 1990, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business hired Leslie to lead research into this question, which centered of the Active Coping Assessment℠ System. Based on the strength of her findings, Leslie was again hired to replicate the findings. They were, leading to publications in three of the most prestigious academic journals.
As a post-doctoral fellow, Leslie also advised senior officers of the State Farm Insurance Companies, where she created a library of competencies for use in performance evaluation throughout the entire company. As her consulting focused more on successful senior executives, Leslie enrolled in the M.B.A. program at The University of Chicago for training in two areas about which she knew close to nothing before: economics and finance.
Since 1998, Leslie’s consulting has emphasized assessing and developing executives and succession planning. Her client base includes corporations and professional service firms.
Since 2002, she has focused primarily on helping private equity investors to reduce the risk of investing in uncertain management capability. Leslie’s clinical skills combined with her business training give her insight into the human dimensions of competitive strategy.
In addition to her consulting work, Leslie actively conducts research and publishes in peer-reviewed journals in the area of successful business leadership and personality assessment. Her first noteworthy book, Looks Good on Paper?, was published by Columbia University Press in July 2014.
Leslie Pratch is a graduate of the Thacher School (Ojai, California). She received her B.A. cum laude from Williams College, an M.A. in Human Development from The University of Chicago, an M.B.A. in Strategy and Finance from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business (2000), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University.