Summer Marketing & Research Intern








Summer Marketing & Research Intern

  • WHAT WE DO: We build executive teams. Common slang? Headhunter. Lofty term? Executive search consultants.
  • WHAT WE NEED: A creative, self-directed, curious, marketing and market research focused intern. Our goal for this role?  To map how we can best market into what we call the “gray space” with prospective clients.
  • WHERE WE ARE: We’re located in Back Bay, at the corner of Newbury and Clarendon. If you’re T-accessible, so are we (Green line Arlington or Copley stop, Orange, Back Bay stop).
  • WHO YOU ARE: Here is what you’re probably interested in, like thinking about, and are wired as—
    • You like to figure out how things work.  Or why things are the way they are.  Think investigative reporter.
    • OK, if you’re the right type of person, you’ve looked this up and dropped  it into casual conversation within the next 48 hours
    • Self-directed. This is a role that will be given direction, but broad latitude to accomplish on one’s own.
    • Thirst for learning.
    • A budding pundit. Not only do you like words, but you like to write.  Not long tomes or deep research abstracts, but pithy, meaningful, insights-driven stuff.  Think short stories.  Something between haiku and novella.  You’ve written at least one tweet in iambic pentameter just for fun.  You’ve blogged on life observations or your synthesis of current events.
    • You love the intersection of marketing, and market research. Finding a theme or insight, and then crystalizing, prepping, and disseminating it across the appropriate spectrum of social media tools
    • This is a paid internship
    • This could be as few as 2 days a week, as many as 4 or 5
    • The internship will run June-August, with the opportunity to continue in a part time role, if desired by both parties, throughout the school year
    • You do not need to do all work in our office. However, you will need to spend at least half your time in the office, therefore you should be accessible to Back Bay to spend between 1 and 2 days a week there
    • This role is conceptualized as a summer sojourn for college or graduate school students, not a full time role. Therefore, if full time work is what you seek, please respect the spirit of the need and pass up the urge to apply.

In your response, please include:

Social media coordinates for your work (blog URL, twitter handle), and any market research samples you wish us to review.

Please direct all responses to our online portal at Click on the link labeled “BSG Marketing Summer Intern”, and attach your resume, cover note, and contact information there.

BSG Team Ventures Recruits for CCO for TriLumina


We’re pleased to announce that BSG has completed the search and secured Luke Smithwick for the Chief Commercial Officer position. More on Mr. Smithwick’s background below.

TriLumina is a venture-backed pioneer in solid state modules used in LiDAR and ADAS systems for the automotive industry and its push toward autonomous vehicle safety. For more on TriLumina, see

Luke Smithwick has over 25 years of experience in business and technical leadership spanning semiconductors, software, hardware and core R&D with the past 10 years focused on the automotive industry. He joins us from Silicon Valley start-up CloudCar where he was VP of Marketing, Partnerships and Business Development. Prior to that, he was director of Automotive Infotainment Products at Qualcomm driving automotive product management and focusing engineering on achieving automotive qualification of high-complexity application processors. Luke started his automotive career at Freescale as Director of Software and Solution Technologies where he started an automotive professional services P&L and automotive software solutions team and later as Global Operations and Business Manager driving the P&L, product line management, solutions, strategy and vision for Freescale’s Automotive Driver Information and Infotainment semiconductor business. Earlier in his career, Luke was focused on complex IP licensing at Aware as VP of Licensing, held a number of senior marketing and sales positions at GlobeSpan Semiconductor and was an advanced technology researcher at Bell Laboratories. Luke did post graduate work at Princeton University and Columbia University and holds a BSEE and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Florida. He holds 14 technology patents and has published multiple industry and technical papers.

INTERNAL SEARCH | BSG Team Ventures | Office Manager


Executive search opportunity


Office Manager

Small professional services firm located in Back Bay is seeking a creative and dependable individual to help manage our office. We are looking for a smart generalist rather than a skilled administrator, with some tech savvy and can-do attitude who can excel at performing the following tasks:

  • General office management and maintenance
  • Client greeting both in person and by telephone
  • Plan and organize events for the firm, both on and offsite
  • New hire onboarding
  • Work with Finance on invoicing, deposits and reconciling monthly corporate expenses
  • Manage and maintain relationships with vendors including hosted email and VOIP phone system
  • Experience with search engines and other online research methodologies.
  • Project management (client project assistance/management)
  • Website/blog management
  • A high degree of comfort with technology, including but not limited to proficiency in the Microsoft office suite, experience in widely used web applications, remote access software, CRM systems and basic troubleshooting abilities
  • Light computer “help desk” assistance for other local and remote employees (~20) with proprietary industry-specific database software

Other requirements:
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Ability to prioritize multiple projects/requests and deadlines
Organized and detail-oriented
Aptitude for creative problem solving and critical thinking

BA or BS Degree


Ability to adjust working hours when needed would be highly valuable

There is not a lot of “water cooler” culture in our firm.  Often, this person is there with only 1 other person in the office.  Therefore, if someone is looking for office relationships as a deep part of their social fabric, this role will likely not deliver on that vector.

This is a PT position.  Perfect for a college or grad student or someone seeking mother’s hours.  Some hours can be remote but the position will require 2-3 days a week in our Back Bay office.

Please submit resume and cover letter including your minimum compensation requirements (in either an hourly wage or annual salary) at:


Hiring dilemma—Local, relo or “commuting” executive… Which is best for you?

flight map BOS to SFOThis is a question with which clients often struggle.  There is almost always a trade-offs analysis required when hiring executive talent into growing businesses. 



In the olden days, only 2 options existed—(1) Hire a local candidate who already lived “in situ” or, (2) relocate a candidate, lock-stock-and-barrel.  Now in the 21st century, there is yet a 3rd “commuting executive option” that’s crept into the calculus.

Why?  Executives can be in touch with their customers, teams and board directors wherever and whenever needed, with zero “downtime.”  This has been powered by ubiquity of technology–wifi in air and voice-activated mobile access on the roads.  In addition, long-distance transportation has changed a great deal.  The advent of “air taxis,” and all-you-can-eat flat monthly commuter services mean you can have an executive that lives in Boston and commutes to NY, or in LA and commutes to San Francisco via Surf Air, Beacon or Rise  (

Traffic on a street at night, long exposure.

In the olden days…

It used to be that executives were usually of an age that they were married and had children, house, cars, and a more complicated (and expensive) lifestyle.   Relocating an executive with all this in tow came at a pretty penny.  Depending upon the distance an executive needs to relocate, $25,000 was probably the bare minimum, and 50K or 75K was more the norm with circumstances sometimes pushing relo costs to more than $100,000 for an executive who earned 150-300K as a salary.  Large corporations were used to these price tags, and built it into “cost of ownership” calculations when executives used to stay for 10 or 20 years and often worked at a single company until it was time for the gold watch.  However, smaller companies looking to top-grade their executive ranks to fortify for additional growth and expansion are often shocked at these costs.  How could it cost that much?  How much can a U-Haul cost, anyway they often ask?  The reality is that in our modern age of larger houses with bigger square-footage, relocating a typical 3,000 square foot home’s contents, plus car(s), and the optional cost of professional packers to safely bundle all these goods into a large moving van will often run $10,000 or more, and that’s before the mileage costs then charged to haul those goods however far the relocating executive has to go.  [Example: 300+ mile move from San Francisco to Los Angeles for 3 bedrooms home with no cars included and partial packing assistance is $5,000]

Other relo costs to consider include:

  • House hunting trips with spouse and/or family (2K to 5K per trip, often 2 or 3 trips to find the right house)
  • Interim housing for the executive while children finish up a school year, $1,000 to $3,000 a month depending upon cost of living in a given metro or regional area (Major metro areas at higher end, shoulder cities and secondary markets on the lower end)
  • Buying/selling costs of a residence. This likely has the largest range from zero to huge. What is often negotiated in relo packages  on a bespoke basis includes cost of real estate commission on the  house being sold, other seller closing costs incurred, mortgage points on the new mortgage for new house, etc.  On a 500K house, a 5% commission paid by seller is 25K.  5 points on a 500K new purchase (1% of mortgage amount to buy down the interest rate) can be another 10K.  And closing costs on the new house will likely run another 1% of amount being borrowed (4-5K in our example).
  • Increase/decrease in cost of living. Often, when relocating a candidate from one place to another, “cost of living” becomes a critical consideration for the candidate.  If they were earning 250K in a shoulder city (no major metro area in the US) and are moving into region with higher cost of living, grossing up their compensation to allow for same buying power is often essential to make the relocation math work.  See  to run these to/from calculations.


If all of these relocation costs seem too expensive, and you can’t find the talent you need local to the business being built, what to do? Revisit  paragraph 1 and seriously consider Option #3, what is fast becoming the “new normal” in today’s virtual, Slack-powered, Skype video viewed, Google hang-out fueled economy where the beat never stops, no matter WHERE you are or what time zone you’re in.

Top 15 CEO Lessons Learned from Private Equity-backed Exits in 2015

Time to sell clock image

Each spring, we at BSG assemble an august panel of private equity-backed CEOs who have exited their businesses in the last 12 months.  The goal? To “share it forward” with other current and future CEOs as they buy, build, and exit their own companies.

Below is this year’s 2015 vintage of wisdom.  This year we had the privilege of having 3 CEOs on the panel, including Peter Segall, recently CEO of HealthcareSource (, and Gordon Raskin, former CEO of Archive Systems (   Amy Margolis of Riverside Company ( also joined the panel to offer the macro view from the PE perspective, framing 2015 and the prevailing head- and tailwinds private-equity-backed CEOs faced in exiting their companies in this time window.

PE CEO Exits Panel 2016

A note about BSG: We generate and curate collective wisdom like the below as we believe our role as executive search consultants isn’t just finding the next star executive talent to round out a team or board, but to serve as information connector and conduit between all executives who power top quartile performance.

For our 2014 vintage, see

The Top 15 of 2015:

  1. The minute you take institutional money, you are for sale

    Think and act like a grocery store – “best if sold by…” Have a clear alignment with investors about timing and expectations.

  2. Develop a “sounding board”

    This board is comprised of a diverse network of confidantes – other CEO’s with exit experience, bankers, investors, etc.. You need to nurture an objective and up-to-date viewpoint on market conditions, industry specific buyer hot buttons and trends in M&A.

  3. Get to know potential buyers

    Date before you try to get married. Carve out a little time in the years before the process to informally get to know the potential buyers, so they are not meeting you for the first time during the process.  You will need a rapport with the buying CEO in order to get the deal done.

  4. Don’t let the business tank during the process  

    Good news keeps the momentum going; bad news opens the door to re-trading.

  5. Put your house in order ASAP 

    Audits, legal, tax, tech, etc.

    • Get an awesome CFO as early as possible
    • Always be preparing for the exit – start a data room and keep it up to date
    • The CEO becomes irrelevant at some point during the sale, so you have to be able to trust and rely on your CFO. If you can’t, see (a) above
  6. Make sure your key financial, customer and business metrics are tight

    Clearly defined, supportable by the detail – if anything is squishy, fix it.  Confront reality and make sure your board/investors are all on the same page

    • You are what your record says you are – Bill Parcels
    • Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be – Jack Welch
  7. Hire a banker…  

    …who knows your industry and has good chemistry with you.

  8. Never look like you have to sell 

    Be willing to walk away from any deal that isn’t good.

  9. Be the lead advocate for sweating down the transaction timeline 

    Time usually doesn’t help processes, valuations, or, most importantly, ongoing mission focus.

  10. Question “rules-of-thumb”

    Investment bankers and potential investors will arrive with plenty of them: Valuation comps, average revenue multiples, EBITDA multiples, management ownership shares, return thresholds for performance shares, rollover percentages, vesting time frames, etc.. All of these are ripe for investigation and scrutiny. Understand the full spectrum of possibilities, your unique story and place in the world, and where you can push and where you can’t.

  11. The transaction is a point in time event

    You have fiduciary responsibilities to ownership/investors (and likely are included in one or both), but you also represent management and the ongoing entity. Being true and highly focused on your mission (business) rather than a transaction will paradoxically serve you well in maximizing value in a transaction.

  12. Investors aren’t paying for what you’ve done, they’re paying for what you’ll do

    Constantly work on your story telling and make sure your story is cohesive and compelling and reflects the “connectedness” between the things you’ve built (team, infrastructure, organization, products, client relationships, etc..) and the future opportunity. This should appear seamless. A never-ending story.

  13. Think about keeping everyone in the loop instead of in the dark as you approach a transition 

    If you remain focused on “thinking forward” about what the future growth of the business will be, often a transaction isn’t cause for concern. It’s business as usual and everyone knows that mission focus is key, not a potential transaction. Employees are pretty smart anyway. They’ll find out on their own and create their own narrative if you don’t. Keep the deal team as small as possible to tell your story in a compelling way, and keep everyone else “informed, but mission focused.”

  14. Employees deserve answers to 4 questions the minute they hear about the deal

    • What is my job?
    • Who do I work for?
    • What am I paid?
    • What do I need to do to succeed?
  15. Manage your stress

    Take care of yourself during the process. Take up yoga (for insights), boxing (for “negotiation skills” and outlet for frustration) and triathlons (for endurance). You’ll likely need all 3 sports to make it over the exit finish line.

Top Takeaways – Buyouts East 2016, April 4-6, 2016, BOSTON

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Here are some of the themes that resonated….

  • High Purchase Price Multiples Suggest Concerns
    Historically high acquisition prices being paid for companies are putting pressure on multiple expansion. Despite some softening in the energy sector, there was little consensus that high EBITA multiple prices are likely to decrease over the short term. Models were presented that showed how conditions were eerily similar to 2007 the last market peak. Some firms were looking at deals outside the US for value buys and also considering “counter-cyclical” companies.
  • Pressure on Value Creation is Unprecedented
    Given high exit prices, PE firms are taking a laser-like focus to value creation within their portfolios. One strategy is to grow their portfolio companies through add-on acquisitions that lead to greater synergies and revenue growth. Another option suggested considering smaller companies below $100 million in revenue where there was more opportunity to grow EBITA than in larger entities.
  • Talent Matters…
    Diligence is extremely critical in vetting talent- best practices included detailed and comprehensive background checks in addition to multiple meetings with the management team before close. Red flags include a pattern of lawsuits and any “material non-disclosure”. Other best practices included in-depth reviewing all Tier One managers as well as their subordinates. Some PE firms court management teams over a long time horizon enabling them to build trust and credibility. The position must likely to be replaced upon acquisition? The CFO. PE Firms that contributed to panels looked to collaborative cultures as a predictor for success. Most reported that highly entrepreneurial owners could be the most challenging to manage.
  • Operating Excellence is Key to Success
    PE firms presenting at the conference had robust 100 Day Plans. Some  some had done considerable spadework before a close, demonstrating to management teams how they could scale their businesses through marketing and distribution strategies that had been successful with previous portfolio companies.
  • Complexity continues
    Institutions ranging from political structures to corporations are struggling to address globalization, technological innovation and the increasingly interconnected world we do business in. There are no easy answers but it is important to recognize these trends as informing the overall context that we live and work in.

[CLOSED] EXECUTIVE SEARCH | VP Learning Products | Human Capital Institute

istock image, org chart drawing woman (from Clark-waterfalls-macbook-air)


Vice President, Learning Products

Reports To: CEO
Location: Cincinnati OR New York City


Human Capital Institute To Host Third Annual Global Workforce Planning Week
HCI Announces Inaugural Performance Management Innovation Conference
Human Capital Institute Release New Findings on Employee Engagement


Reporting directly to the CEO, and as a member of the senior management team, the VP of Learning Products will lead HCI in all facets of a well-developed and innovative education program.   The VP will find cutting edge talent management strategies and distribute the content through educational programs.   This VP will push the boundaries of learning modalities while leading HCI into a wider reaching international market.  The VP will be responsible for running and scaling all aspects of educational product offerings, directly contributing to company growth.

Does this sound like the opportunity for you? Read on… here!

When Is It Time to Start the CFO Search

Todd Blog Post 4-1-16This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

No matter the size or stage of your company, don’t underestimate the significance of recruiting the right person as your Chief Financial Officer. In this article, the fourth of six devoted to C-Suite search, I outline what to keep in mind when the company you run or are invested in, thinks it’s time for a first, or, replacement CFO.

As in any search, evaluate the company’s needs and stage. Are you a startup, high-growth, or in transition? Knowing the answer to this question will help you look for the right CFO candidates, as they too have diverse expertise.  Important to note, in the past two years, the demand for talented CFO’s has become extremely competitive. This situation lends, even more, weight to your need to know what type of skills your CFO needs to be able to deliver – and to be patient in finding that right person.

Early-Stage & High-Growth

Fifteen years ago a typical company could wait until revenue reached a substantial amount (~ $50M) before hiring their CFO, but the rules have changed. Now, the sooner, the better. Some early milestones that can trigger the need for a CFO are before the company raises significant investment; before the company starts making acquisitions; or when revenues begin to increase significantly.

A company with high growth will want a CFO that is experienced with a chaotic, expanding environment, and who isn’t learning as they go. High growth organizations need a CFO, who will be the steady, wise voice when everyone else is overworked and frantic.

While you’ll find this in all stage companies, investors, specifically private equity partners, will insist on the CFO implementing KPI’s. PE investors will also insist that the CFO have strong strategic planning, modeling, and forecasting skills.

But, You Need to Think Ahead

You might run or be invested in a company in a mature industry with little to no growth, in which case you need to find a CFO to “keep the trains running on time.” However, most organizations will experience change whether they drive it, or their industry does. So, the CFO search becomes even more challenging because as the company’s needs change over time so will the demands placed on the CFO. That person will need to come with a great skillset and easily adapt, or be easily replaced.

A CFO’s responsibilities can be divided into two sides. The “inside” part of the job involves accounting, team management, and balancing the books. The “outside” part involves some of the responsibilities mentioned:  raising investment, doing acquisitions and partnerships. If the need is for an “outside” CFO then it will be important he/she has a strong Controller to handle the “inside” responsibilities. Most “outside” CFO’s don’t much like the basic accounting part of the job.

When evaluating, CFO candidates don’t put too much weight into titles. Surprisingly, some people with a current CFO title are just very senior Controllers, without strategic planning, modeling and forecasting skills. They are good at describing where the company has been, where it currently is, but can’t look up ahead around corners.

If your company is growing through acquisitions, then a CFO with “deal making” experience is required. These agreements, either acquisitions or partnerships, can be very complex. A CFO with experience and knowledge around how deals work (or fail) can mean the difference in millions of dollars.

Also, these days there aren’t many IPO’s (January 2016 was the first month in 3-1/2 years without a single IPO), however if the company has aspirations of going public then a CFO will often drive that “road show”.

Finally, the chemistry between the CFO and CEO is critical. The CEO needs a trusted confidant to engage in private constructive debate. The CFO must be direct, honest, and comfortable with being #2, like Mr. Spock to Captain Kirk.

Executive Search | SVP of Corporate Development| Secure Identity Platform Company

istock image, org chart drawing woman (from Clark-waterfalls-macbook-air) SVP of Corporate Development

The Company

Headquartered in midtown Manhattan, our client has a robust and proven technology-based secure identity platform which has applicability to multiple large markets.  The platform ultimately involves interactions with consumers (“members”) but reaches them indirectly, so the company’s go-to-market strategy involves establishing relationships with the major participants in each vertical (“customers”).  The company has a strong presence in its core business and is quickly expanding into other verticals.

This is a high-growth technology enterprise with over 300 employees.  Revenues are budgeted in 2016 to be near $40M+.

The Position

The SVP of Corporate Development will report to the CEO and be a significant member of the senior leadership team.  His/her charter is to leverage the company’s platform to drive growth in membership, revenues, and profits.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Creating a comprehensive business development strategy that covers two complementary elements: customers and partnerships.
    • Customers: Broadening and deepening relationships in current verticals, while quickly assessing, prioritizing, and establishing an approach for pursuing new verticals.
    • Partnerships: Identifying and pursuing mutually beneficial relationships with other consumer-facing organizations.
    • Aggressively pursuing opportunities and closing meaningful deals in new verticals.
  • Taking a hands-on and active leadership role in negotiating and closing deals with customers and partners.
  • Thinking creatively about ways to increase the company’s value to customers and partners; this will include leveraging the company’s API to further embed the platform into existing infrastructures, and developing and marketing the company’s data analytics capabilities to help customers and partners optimize their businesses and create better end-user experiences.
  • Working closely with the rest of the management team, and with customers and partners, to ensure that there is effective communication of critical information and that the company is able to deliver products and services which exceed expectations.
  • Creating and refining internal processes and metrics so the Corporate Development organization can be scaled.
  • Managing the existing team and expanding and/or upgrading as required.
  • Conducting customer research and continuing to refine the company’s value proposition.
  • Conducting competitive intelligence, and monitoring and responding to competitor moves and business trends.
  • Monitoring, forecasting, and reporting on the business pipeline and on revenue, profit, and other key metrics.

Desired experience and attributes:

  • Substantial experience, and a track record of success, in corporate development roles and in closing deals and generating revenue.
  • Experience in consumer-facing technology businesses. Amazon, eBay, Expedia/Orbitz/Travelocity, Facebook, Google, Groupon, Priceline/Kayak, TripAdvisor, Twitter, and Yahoo are just a few of many, many possible examples.
  • Experience in leveraging a platform by expanding across different vertical markets.
  • An aggressive and tenacious approach to pursuing new markets, creating a sales pipeline, overcoming customer concerns, and so on; this must be a hungry and highly motivated individual who embraces the role of rainmaker.
  • A collaborative and cooperative work style; outstanding interpersonal and communication capabilities.
  • Experience with successful companies and effective leaders; a knowledge base of what it takes to build a great business and to avoid typical pitfalls.
  • A rare combination of high-level vision and pragmatism. The SVP must be able to “think big” about opportunities while bringing analytical rigor to the evaluation of those opportunities and having a commitment to data-driven decision making.
  • Unquestioned ethics and integrity.
  • Genuine comfort and effectiveness as both a manager and a doer; an intense focus on getting things done, and a willingness to be as “hands on” as required.
  • The ability to think like an owner; the ideal candidate will embrace accountability and will be efficient with both time and capital.
  • Modesty and self-awareness; openness to feedback and coaching.
  • Willingness to travel as required (perhaps up to 50% of the time).

Resume and cover letter can also be posted to the BSG website. No phone calls please.

CTO vs. VP Software Engineering

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Do you ever wonder what the difference is between a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and a VP of Engineering? Many people aren’t clear about the difference in roles, even some CEOs, and it gets more confusing as sometimes the VP of Engineering can also be call VP of Software Development or VP or Software Engineering. In this article, my third of five that address C-Suite roles, I break down the variables that define all of these mad-skills engineering leaders, and how each of them works within their respective organization.

In simple terms, the CTO is the “architect” and VP of Software Engineering (or any variation of this title) is the “general contractor”. The CTO is the technical visionary of the organization; he tends to have a small staff, if he has one at all, as they’re not inclined to manage people. And yes, CTOs tend to be males, though here is a list of 12 female CTOs to know and follow.

The CTO sets the technology direction by making critical decisions for platform development as this person is well-versed about the strengths and weaknesses of most available technology.

The client will often ask what the difference is between a Chief Architect and a CTO. The short answer is a Chief Architect is a junior CTO. And let’s not forget CIOs, this title means different things to different industries. For non-technology companies, the CIO owns all internal technology infrastructure (think email, servers, databases, etc.). The title CIO isn’t used very much by tech companies.

The VP of Engineering leads the operations part of technology development and is responsible for both technological and talent growth and scalability. This person will have a much larger staff that is made up of developers and project managers. The VP of Engineering understands the technology employed by the team, but no longer works with a “hands on” capacity, this person is busy leading. The VP of Engineering knows how to organize and get the most out of the teams reporting to him (or her!), and acts as the primary technology liaison with the Product and Sales Teams.

It’s rare that a company that has been operating for awhile needs a true CTO. Usually, the CTO is part of the original founding team. When a team needs leadership and guidance, and things aren’t working, and processes are becoming complicated, it’s time to bring in a VP of Engineering.

The ability to organize and lead a team of engineers and developers; set and keep schedules/deadlines; Collaborate with Product teams and Sales & Marketing are attributes found in VP of Technology people across many different industries. Technology, like finance, is industry agnostic. It’s common for heads of technology and heads of finance to move across various sectors (this is less common in sales, marketing, and product development). I recently placed of VP of Engineering at a company that provides professional development to teachers. The person I recruited had never worked in the education space before. The CEO told me that this person was the best hire he’d ever made.

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