PE-ready, deal-minded, elite executives can transform a fund’s performance – and the careers of its investment team. But they are rare and highly sought after, with a wide variety of competing options. While collaborating on a live deal is often the most effective, mutually beneficial way for a PE investor and an executive to initially engage, it is not always feasible.

Since 2002, we have seen our most forward-looking clients shift their focus from auctions to relationship building while they waited for the end of the housing crisis, recessions, pandemic slowdown, or any other interruption in deal flow. So far, 2023 seems to be another “opportunity” to focus on relationship building.


How do PE investors move an executive relationship forward, absent a live deal?

Map an industry
Work together to create a short list of not-yet-on-the-market potential targets; highlight the strengths, weaknesses, actionability, and growth strategies of each to refine your views.

Expand the opportunity set

Collaborate on current deals/topics that might not be directly related to the executive’s background (e.g., adjacent industries, suppliers, and customers). Executives appreciate not being pigeonholed.

Portfolio company engagement

Be creative about involving executives with existing portfolio companies via informal consulting, mentoring, or board roles.

Remain top-of-mind

Occasional emails with quick updates on recent deal flow, market happenings, or developments at your firm will help you stand out from PE suitors who only reach out when they need deal help.


Notch Partners’ PE clients rely on our robust cultivation methodology, including:

Annual Talent Strategy
We engage clients in an annual process to set strategic talent priorities, and then hold ourselves accountable for advancing them.

Continuous Talent Identification
We have mapped senior leadership from key industries and review C-level transitions constantly. We know where the talent is, and who is open to new opportunities.

Bespoke Connections

We conduct in-depth interviews before every introduction to ensure executive relevance, availability, interest, and lack of conflicts, thereby saving our clients precious time.

Network Benefits

Elite executives see Notch as a portal to the universe of private equity. With 30 Notch professionals engaging with over 3,000 executives annually, our clients enjoy instant access to an unparalleled bench of talent.


Private Equity investors who cultivate strong elite executive relationships see myriad benefits:

  • Testing and refinement of potential investment themes
  • Proprietary deal sourcing
  • Improved awareness of medium and long-term auction situations
  • Strategic evaluation of specific investment opportunities; differentiated deal angles
  • Enhanced credibility with target management teams, owners,
    and intermediaries
  • Pipeline of talent for portfolio management and boards