Founders – owner-managed SMEs

Our aim as an Executive Search and Assessment partner has always been to support you – the SME owner and/or SME founder – through the various stages of your business’ growth journey.


Being an SME owner and/or SME founder owner-managed SME is a unique proposition. You could be strategising at board level, training staff, overseeing operations and winning new business over the course of a single day.


It’s admirable that you’ve gotten your business to this stage alone, but to fuel the next stage of growth you’ll need to bring in specialists, which will free you up to focus on your SME’s strategic direction.


As an SME founder and/or SME owner, need candidates that not only have the right skillset, but also the right attitude, cultural fit and ambitions to drive the growth of your SME. For instance, a Fortune 500 Director may be talented, but might not understand the unique challenges faced by a much smaller entity.


We do understand that challenge, and that’s why we have an unparalleled record of working with SME founders of owner-managed businesses, and a broad and extensive network of senior candidates with experience in these types of entities.


We also have a multitude of connections in the Private Equity space, if your ambition includes external investment.

PE-backed SMEs and their stakeholders

Post-deal investment is often when the most significant changes need to be implemented in your business. This is the period when a business needs to be aligned and matched to the strategy and expected outcomes that the investors support and expect.

ROI is critical to all Private Equity, and implementing the right systems, people and processes that underpin the strategy is where Rowan plays a pivotal part in achieving this return.

We are experts at identifying the skills, traits and credentials that candidates require to succeed in the Private Equity world. Our candidates are typically a balance of established Private Equity experts and those that pass our robust, rigorous assessment process.

When you partner with Rowan, you’re benefiting not just from decades of combined Search and Assessment expertise, but real, in-house experience of taking businesses through the various stages of their growth journeys, including that initial Private Equity investment.

PE Houses

Everything we do is to Private Equity-standard; our robust search & assessment process ensures that, pre- or post-deal, we deliver a solution, and Private Equity chooses Rowan for our track record of getting it right first time.


Rowan itself is a Private Equity -backed business, and 50% of our work is to support primary transactions. BGF, LDC, North Edge, Westbridge Capital and Foresight are just a few of the many Private Equity houses we work with.


Additionally, we support founders in engaging with Private Equity houses for the first time. Our in-house expertise, experience and contacts within the PE world mean that we are ideally positioned to guide you through this often-complex process, and to match you – the founder – to the optimal PE house for your SME.


The rigour and quality of our Search and Assessment process consistently leads to key Director- and Board appointments that are of the requisite standard for Private Equity – business growth is at the heart of all the work that we do.


We understand that every SME and its culture is unique, and we take care to match leaders we engage with to our SME clients – specifically. Our ability to search for, attract, engage with, assess and shortlist the very best leaders in the marketplace is unrivalled. It is the right combination of people that drives business growth, and we undertake all of our Executive Search assignments with this in mind.


We won’t typically advertise a Board- or Director-level position. Our professional Research team manages a talent pool of the best leaders in the market, which is continually being added to. If we think your aspirations and experience are a potential match for one of our SME clients, we’ll contact you, and if you’re interested in a potential move, we’ll conduct a rigorous competency-based interview, take references and invite you to take our PACE behavioural tendencies test.


We’ll communicate with you openly throughout the whole interview process and provide transparent feedback at every stage. If it transpires that we don’t match you to our SME client, we will always keep in contact for future opportunities. If you’re a Director- or Board-level executive with a proven track record in helping SMEs achieve their business growth goals, please get in touch here.

Who We Work With June 17, 2021