Private Equity Fund Partners With IMSA Italy to Fill New CEO Position in an Italian Family Business in the FMCG Industry

IMSA Italy is represented by Value for Talent.

The challenge

A primary Private Equity Fund approached IMSA Italy to conduct CEO Market Mapping to identify a pool of suitable candidates. The fund mainly specialises in FMCG / Luxury industry, with over 2 Billion EUR AUM (asset under management). The project was carried out due to planned investment in an Italian family business in the Food & Beverage industry. Sought after candidates should have had the following characteristics:

  • International track record
  • General management background
  • Solid knowledge of the Italian food industry and competitive scenario
  • Excellent financial and reporting competences
  • Successful experience in managing a family business and the relationship with an entrepreneurial family

CASE STUDY – main facts

Customer details
Customer: Private Equity Fund with 2 Billion EUR AUM
Location: Italy
Industry: FMCG (Food & Beverage)
Key Points

  • Customer wanted to perform a CEO market mapping
  • IMSA Italy provided a list of 12 potential candidates
  • Customer engaged with one of the provided candidates who is now CEO of the company the fund invested in


The greatest challenge was finding the right balance between solid international professional competences and the right attitude to join a local, traditional business, being able to bring innovation and to create a new managerial organization. What needs to be noted is that in Italy family businesses account for 85% of total business and 70% of employment (according to Family Business Network – Italian Chapter). Most of them are managed by family members, with the family council being the most used method of management and conflict resolution (according to PwC report from 2014). Placing an outsider as a CEO in a family business requires the person to have a specific set of skills, experience, expert knowledge and mindset.

imsa italy case study fmcg production line private equity

Why IMSA Italy

Members of the IMSA International Executive Search partner network are all boutique retained search firms. We provide our customers with an international level of executive search services with access to a broad network of potential candidates. Our search processes are structured and qualified – typical for large-scale executive search firms. Thanks to lean approach to management and elastic organisational structure IMSA partners offer much better responsiveness than large corporates.

IMSA Italy / Value for Talent expert knowledge of Italian market, proven track record of working with private equity funds and family businesses in the FMCG industry were invaluable in successful completion of the project.

What we did

According to our customer’s needs we performed a CEO market mapping. This is the best approach for customers who plan to enter a new market as this allows to gain better understanding of the industry. It allows to assess the talent pool available in the region. Furthermore, this type of market research is best suited when the whole process needs to be kept confidential, as it can be done without involvement of the potential candidates for executive positions. Market mapping gives valuable insights and later on can be followed up with a full executive search.

Thanks to our extensive candidate network and experience in Italian market our CEO market mapping activities produced a long list of 12 well referenced General Managers with the right mindset and entrepreneurial attitude to collaborate with a Private Equity Fund.

The impact / results

The candidate that our customer finally engaged with is an engineer with more than 20 years of general management experience in structured multinational companies in the food industry. When we approached the candidate, he was directly in charge of leading an international food business with a total turnover of 250 M Euro and a team of 330 people.

Our client involved selected candidate in an acquisition deal which was positively completed and later on the person was appointed as the CEO of the fund’s controlled company.

If you are looking for executives in the FMCG industry reach out to one of our boutique executive search partners for help in finding the perfect candidate. In the Global Offices section of our website you will find a list of our offices worldwide with the necessary contact details.