Management Due Diligence
"The professionals at Pratch & Company quickly grasp our market space and our diverse set of portfolio companies. On a personal level, they are highly ethical professionals who have a deep understanding of business rhythms. Their level of client service is outstanding. Leslie Pratch, for example, will turn on a dime to provide an assessment of a prospective CEO and deliver a report within two days, followed by face-to-face debriefings with our partners. Her level of expertise and knowledge is unparalleled and is a valuable part of our due diligence process."
Jim Bland, Partner, HCP & Company
“It is critical for us to hire people who have a high probability of being successful and happy at our company. I think of Leslie's assessment process as a way of fast-forwarding my knowledge of a candidate, beyond an initial impression. Leslie Pratch has the gift of discernment.”
Tom Boyce, CEO, Fred Elliot & Company
“Ultimately management is critical to the success of any investment, and understanding the team and how best to work with them is essential. We have used Leslie Pratch both to assess individual managers as well to assess as an entire team. Understanding the roots of an individual’s personality, their motivations, tendencies, and their fit within a team, are invaluable. Leslie’s assessments have been very reliable in our experience. She has been super-helpful to our investment process."
Tom Formolo, Managing Partner, New Harbor Capital LLC
“While a partner at Prism Opportunity Fund, we routinely used Leslie Pratch for the evaluation of key managers for new investments and existing portfolio companies. As a result, our ability to hire and retain high-performance executives, and to weed out those who simply tell a good story, dramatically improved.”
John Hoesley, Managing Director, The PrivateBank
“Leslie Pratch will point out deficiencies in an executive we are contemplating hiring even if we have convinced ourselves that the particular executive is the right one and pressure her to alter her analysis.”
Ian Kirson, Managing Director, Wynnchurch Capital LLC
“It's one thing to be precise about how someone has functioned in the past. It's another to make accurate predictions about how someone is likely to function in the future. Leslie Pratch really understands our needs. She's terrific value-add.”
Brian Simmons, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Shorehill Capital LLC
“Leslie Pratch assessed six members of the executive team of one of my portfolio companies, with whom I had worked for eight years. During that period of time the company had grown from annual revenues of $3MM to over $100MM. She provided the Board of Directors and the CEO with an understanding of the individual capabilities and competencies of these six members of the company’s senior management team. Leslie got from the CEO a very clear, specific idea of how he would like the firm to evolve over the next three years. She also discussed with him and other members of the Board the organization structure and management team capabilities and roles. She then conducted in-depth psychological assessments of the capabilities of the CEO and his direct reports. For four of these individuals, she augmented the psychological assessments with 360-degree feedback. Her feedback included insight into each executive’s development and was intended to shape our thinking and decision making about these issues.
“Leslie’s reports were spot on. I was impressed by the accuracy and depth of insight of her evaluations, particularly given my intimate knowledge of the team and its history. Her feedback helped the CEO and Board make decisions regarding the organization structure going forward, including demoting one executive, and grooming another to succeed the CEO.
“Moreover, I have used substitute services in the past. Leslie’s far outstripped those services in the level of insight and value added.”
George Spencer, Former Managing Partner, Adams Street Partners
“We have tried other assessment professionals in the past but found that when pressed to defend their interpretation of a candidate’s personality dynamics they seemed to modify their findings to fit what they sensed we wanted to hear. That is not an issue with Leslie Pratch – her assessment is thorough, detailed, and thoughtful, and when they present their findings, they’re definite and certain, very confidently and effectively handle any skepticism we might express and hold her ground.”
Avy Stein, Managing Partner, Willis Stein & Partners LLC
“I became acquainted with Leslie Pratch when we worked together on coaching and leadership while I was at McDonald’s Corporation. Ours was a very proactive initiative, designed to invest inside and outside resources to fast track the development of several employees. It was clear from the onset that Leslie had the academic credentials and experience necessary to accomplish our goals. These credentials are, after all, the upfront qualities necessary simply to ‘get in the game.’ And, to be honest, lots of professionals would have qualified for this project. Many, in fact, are “good on paper.” It quickly became evident, however, there was more, much more, that Leslie delivered as the work progressed. Her many special talents are difficult to describe, but I’ll try.
“Simply put, she has an uncanny ability to cut through the haze and fog with a laser-like focus to see quite clearly the strengths and weaknesses of those with whom she works. Leslie Pratch can do that at any level, from the Board Room to the Mail Room. She is, in my estimation, a consummate professional and a tremendous asset to any organization.”
James L. Lynn, Former Corporate Vice President,
Communications, McDonald's Corporation
“Pratch & Company was extremely valuable to us as we worked with the management teams of our portfolio companies. The assessment process was particularly helpful to our CEOs as they recruit additional members to their management team. We have had CEOs excited about their own development plans, as well as their management team development plans, after meeting with Leslie Pratch. We gained better management teams that function at a higher level because of their involvement with Pratch & Company.”
Blaine Crissman, Managing Partner, Badlands Capital
"Leslie Pratch has the unique ability to assess from multiple perspectives the capabilities of business leaders and to isolate those individuals who can achieve the company’s desired results. I have benefited greatly from her ability to align individual capabilities to particular roles and companies. I believe her effectiveness is a result of her educational groundings and personal intellect, compassion, and drive to be the best. Leslie has also counseled me on a personal basis, providing insights in an actionable manner. She conveys information on multiple levels - from the practical to the theoretical - and always ensures understanding."
Bruce Greinke, Former President, Inland Steel Industries
"Because of the assessment I underwent with Leslie Pratch, I have become much more aware of my personal strengths and management style. This has helped me to become a more effective executive, channeling my energies and experience into a more productive outcome."
Fred Hipp, Former CEO, AMF Bowling
"The assessment by Leslie Pratch showed me my strengths in active coping. The understanding she helped me achieve enables me to make better decisions. I am a more capable CEO of a dynamic, publicly traded company because Leslie’s assessment helped me appreciate my strengths as an executive."
Joe Jachinowski, CEO, The Elekta Group
“The insight and depth of understanding of the assessment by Leslie Pratch surpasses what I have encountered in executive development programs at AlliedSignal and what I have encountered in working with other executive team development consultants. Leslie Pratch sharpened how I work with investors and key subordinates. Her insights are guiding how I build and manage my team.”
Bryan Livingston, CEO, BakerCorp
“As Senior Vice President of Aon Corporation in the global financial services marketplace for twelve years and as a senior executive in the U.S. Retail Industry serving as President & CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Ltd., President of Cloth World, Inc., and Corporate Vice President of Lord & Taylor, I have worked with many strategic advisors.
"I found the advice given by Leslie Pratch, whom I retained while at Aon Corporation, both with respect to human capital, strategy, and organizational structure extremely helpful. Her assessment of existing and prospective members of my leadership team gave me extraordinary insight into the specific direction and support team members needed.
"In the context of a corporate spin out, she also helped me understand the cultures of companies we were contemplating acquiring to see if there was a fit. The assessments of Pratch & Company are without parallel in terms of predictive validity as I have seen the results play out. They helped me to understand how to manage better my direct reports, structure new ventures, and how to enhance the overall performance of the team."
Jerry Nanna, President, Langley Wire Cloth Products
“The 360-process implemented by Leslie Pratch is one of the most beneficial developmental processes I’ve been through relative to feedback from board members, peers, individuals I report to, and those who report to me. I’ve had a half-dozen or so 360s in my career, and the information was never synthesized to the extent it was with Leslie’s. By going through the process, I was able to identify three substantive areas of behaviors to work on that were consistently linked to the critical feedback. These areas are part of a plan for my development into CEO, with specific action steps and measures. Respondents trusted that Leslie Pratch would maintain their confidences while communicating important feedback to me. The interviews brought out the sentiments and specific meanings of what lay behind the written comments, which were usually only a few short sentences.”
Greg Wagner, Former President, North American Operations, Tower Automotive, Inc.
“During the past 10 years we have utilized various assessment methods and consultants. The conclusions which were drawn from those findings were primarily at a high level and lacked depth of significance. When I heard Leslie Pratch speak at a PE conference I was immediately drawn to and impressed by the intricate detail of her process and the depth of her findings. As such, we commissioned Leslie to conduct an assessment of each of our portfolio CEOs and then present her findings individually to each CEO as well as providing an in-depth analysis of her process at our recent CEO Summit meeting.
“We have received tremendous feedback from each of our CEOs regarding the insights which Leslie Pratch highlighted. Each CEO identified with many of the findings; however, they were quite impressed that through Leslie’s approach, new deeper findings were unveiled of which they were not aware. It was through these newly identified areas that each CEO was able to better understand elements of his own strengths and weakness, which would assist him in being more effective in his role. We look forward to working with Pratch & Company on future assignments."
Greg Greenberg, Senior Partner, Altus Capital Partners