Blackford Capital’s 2022 CEO/CFO Summit in Review

Blackford Capital understands that one of the principal drivers of value creation is the experience and expertise of a company’s leadership team. We believe the network of executives in our portfolio companies are among the best executional leaders in the industry and we strive to provide them with opportunities to grow and develop their talent.

One of these opportunities is the annual CEO/CFO Summit, which brings our PC leadership teams together with Blackford leadership and Operating Partners to share best practices, gain insights on recent megatrends, and build relationships.

Blackford Vice President Andrew Hakim led the two-day session where PC executives and the subject matter experts came together to improve improving the performance and predictability of our portfolio companies in 2022 and forward. This activity is of critical importance in the current tumultuous environment, where forecasting and projecting can be particularly challenging.

This year’s Summit took place in Boston and exploring key topics within talent and culture, digital commerce and the global supply chain. Blackford subject matter experts and external industry leaders provided overviews and offered executable strategies on the focus areas, including:

  • DEI leader Kim Blue discussed the correlation between DEI and value creation, challenging attendees to think deeply about our culture, its alignment, and its priority as a management topic.
  • Blackford Operating Partner Steve Feniger connected from Hong Kong to share insights on current transportation and logistics trends as well as the importance of a competitive and global supply base.
  • Operating Partner Chris Wilson explained how buying trends continue to move towards digital commerce and away from brick & mortar. He also provided guidance on the techniques, channels, measurements and management controls that can be used to make strategic decisions in industries that are not typically considered digital markets.
  • Blackford Managing Partner Paul Doyle lead a discussion on the trends in the employment relationship: the big quit, remote work, compensation and most importantly key management practices that are showing positive results in employee engagement and retention.

Another key element of the Summit – and perhaps the most important – is the time spent building relationships. These leaders are extremely focused on delivering success and value and bringing them together helps create a more collaborative environment where they feel comfortable connecting with each other for insights, strategies or solutions.

During the Summit, the PC leaders (along with the Blackford team) took in Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. While many of us may have already forgotten the score of the game, I am certain that the experience of getting to know each other on a more personal level will be long remembered. Every person who attended the game came away with better friendships and a deeper appreciation for the talents of their peers. The likelihood that they will pick up the phone and collaborate is 100% higher than it was before the first pitch.

It is no surprise that private equity is viewed as one of the most secure investments during times of economic challenge. In part, this is because of our ability to attract the very best thinkers and the very best operators to navigate difficult times.

At Blackford, we are confident that combining the executives leading our portfolio companies with our talented team of Operating Partners creates a best-in-class team of experts.

For information on how to partner with Blackford Capital, please send us a note or give us a call 616.233.3161.