Leading a major carve out of a food and beverage company
I was part of a team that led a major carve out of a branded food and beverage company, working with our client to prepare the new company to be a standalone, high-functioning entity on day one. My role on the project leadership team meant I had oversight over all the various workstreams and was responsible for understanding and helping solve challenges across the entire program, synthesizing the information, and constantly communicating a compelling story to the leadership team to inform them of our progress.
What it takes to build something as meaningful as a company
This project was representative of what our firm means when we say we are a “one-firm firm.” Building something as meaningful as a new company takes people coming together from different geographies and different practices. From commercial to finance to digital to operations, we all had to come together to achieve something truly impactful. The personal development that comes with exposure to diverse ways of thinking and approaching problems is invaluable.
M&A as a development accelerator
On a project like this, you will never find yourself sitting comfortably on top of the learning curve, rather you will be forced to think entrepreneurially, be curious, and solve novel, complex problems every day. I had the opportunity to span every business function and work alongside experts at our firm who had remarkable breadth of experience and sophisticated ways of thinking. No matter how busy the team was or how much someone had on their plate, everyone was willing to drop what they were doing to think through a problem or answer a question. This project truly represented the collaborative nature of our firm and the commitment we have not only to our client’s success but also our colleagues’ success and development.
Finally, carve outs offer a unique development opportunity to advance your emotional intelligence. In circumstances like a separation, on top of being responsible for a pivotal point in the business’s future, you are guiding the client through the highs and lows of the unknown. Change can be scary, and emotions run high. Having the opportunity to enhance my business acumen, while simultaneously developing my personal- and others-awareness was a lesson in leadership and an opportunity I am grateful to have had at the scale this project provided. If working on a carve out doesn’t accelerate your development, I don’t know what will!