Example Engagements

We invite you to learn about some of the real work we’ve done with a handful of our clients.

CEO Succession

CEO-successionClient:
$6B US-based global retail company

Challenge:

  • CEO and Board were both reluctant to have succession planning conversations
  • Lack of alignment among Board members on process, transition timing, and role of CEO
  • Board composed of longstanding members and newer members with different relationships with current CEO

Actions:

  • Engaged first with CEO and then Board to create and implement a clear and transparent process for succession.
  • Facilitated board alignment on future CEO scorecard
  • Compared internal candidates with external market scan done by search firm
  • Assessed 5 key executives and 2 internal candidates
  • Coached and accelerated readiness of internal candidates
  • Launched and coached first-time CEO

Impact:

  • Feedback from Board: “ghSMART helped crystalize our thoughts and gave us the conviction to move forward and not accept delaying the transition.”
  • Feedback from CHRO: “The ghSMART team brought insight, rigor and wisdom to a Board and management team that was stuck and needed to be pushed.  We are now unstuck and ghSMART was essential to that outcome.”
  • Retention of A player executives, including the other internal candidate
  • Company performance (as measured by stock price) increased by nearly 30% in first year of new CEO’s tenure

 

Maximizing Returns in Private Equity

resultsClient:
Mid-market PE firm

Challenge:
To generate top-quartile returns in a competitive deal market with control and non-control positions

Actions:

  • Completed human capital evaluation during due diligence for all new deals
  • Identified strengths and risks of management teams relative to investment thesis
  • Created talent action plan and board road map
  • Partnered with CEOs and boards on talent strategy and upgrading talent during hold period
  • Conducted annual PE firm portfolio review
  • Acted as trusted advisor on all talent issues within the PE firm

Impact:

  • Deals pre-ghSMART partnership: third quartile, 10% IRR
  • Deals post-ghSMART partnership: first quartile, 25% IRR

 

Board Effectiveness

board-effectivenessClient:
$20B global healthcare company

 

Challenge:

  • Top-performing publicly traded company had an aggressive strategy and growth plan, but board, especially after significant merger, was not driving value or managing risk as well as possible
  • Board members reported being dissatisfied and feeling as though the Board was not performing well or operating at peak efficiency

Actions:

  • Two year journey to bring the board from typical least-common-denominator board governance “best practices” to outstanding individual and collective performance
  • Year 1: Realigned board around how it can best support value creation of the company and most effectively protect shareholders and manage the risks most critical to the performance of the company. Changed committees, created scorecards for chair, lead director, board members, committees, and committee chairs. Began process to bring on new board members that would support overall board goals
  • Year 2: Deep dive quantitative and qualitative review of all board members, including performance of newly elected chair and each committee chair

Impact:

  • Considered by members to be one of the best and most effective boards they are on
  • High level of engagement, participation, and value creation from the board—without losing key risk management oversight
  • Company is consistently a top decile performer