Vardis is Delighted to Announce the Expert Panel for our 2017 Private Equity Breakfast

Wednesday 20th September 2017 Vardis/AlixPartners Private Equity Breakfast & Expert Panel Discussion, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London. PE industry experts will explore the differing expectations of the relationship between PE leaders and portfolio company CEOs. We will touch on new findings from the 2nd Annual Vardis/AlixPartners PE survey, and learn best practices and pitfalls to avoid in establishing and maintaining a healthy PE / portco CEO relationship.


Mark Mullen, Partner, Vardis


Ted Bililies, Managing Director & Chief Talent Officer, AlixPartners


Ted is Managing Director, Chief Talent Officer, and Global Head of Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness for AlixPartners, LLP, a global business advisory firm. The Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness practice (LOE) helps global client organizations leverage their talent and culture for stronger bottom line results. 

Ted is an expert on leadership and organization who helps CEOs and investors solve their toughest people and organizational problems. He consults with senior leaders worldwide to help them answer challenging questions. He has been on the faculty of Harvard University for more than a decade, serving as a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and holding teaching appointments in four of Harvard’s graduate schools: Medical, Business, Arts & Sciences, and Extension. From 2003 to 2013 he was a Partner at ghSMART and from 1999 to 2003 Vice President, Executive & Organizational Development for State Street Corp.

EDUCATION: Harvard University, AB, magna cum laude, Psychology and Social Relationships

University of Chicago, MA, PhD, Clinical Psychology


Paul Lester, Operating Partner, Duke Street


Paul is an Operating Partners of Duke Street since 2012. He was appointed Chairman of Forterra Building Products in 2016 to lead the IPO for Lone Star. He was also Chairman of Knight Square Holdings Limited since 2012, Essentra plc since 2016 and Algeco, owned by TDR since 2016. He was formerly  Chairman for Survitec for Warburg Pincus when it was sold to Onex in 2015.

He has over 30 years of experience at senior management or director level of businesses. Previously, Paul was Chief Executive of support services company VT Group Plc from 2002 to 2010 and Group Managing Director of Balfour Beatty plc. He has held numerous Board and senior management positions at other engineering and support service companies. He was awarded a CBE in 2008.  

EDUCATION: Nottingham Trent University, BSc, Mechanical Engineering

Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Chartered Engineer


Clive Richardson, retired as CEO of V.Ships post it's sale to Advent


Clive served as Group CEO V.Ships 2009 to 2017. He stepped down post it's sale to Advent.  He was CEO through its ownership by Exponent Private Equity and OMERS.  Over his tenure he added $900m to the equity value of the business over 7 years.

Clive was previously Managing Director EMEA QinetiQ 2007 to 2009. QinetiQ, the former Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, was privatised in February 2006 and has subsequently grown rapidly into a business with annual revenues of £1.4b.

Prior to this he spent 18 years at BAE Systems, initially as Legal and Commercial Director of BAE Airbus, then in the Defence Systems Group, next moving to the role of MD of Royal Ordnance and finally to the position of Chief Executive of Insyte, a subsidiary developing and manufacturing electronic systems for the defence and homeland security markets employing 4,500 highly skilled people. From 1981 to 1983 he was a Barrister and Member of the Middle Temple.

EDUCATION: King’s College, University of London, LLb (Hons)


Norman Walker, Advisor & Founder Ardfern Ag


Norman  has been an Advisor to leading PE firms for more than a decade. He leads his own firm Ardfern.  

He Chairs the Vita Group and previously served on the Board of Alcon Inc. He is a visiting Professor at SDA Bocconi and is the co-author of the widely acclaimed book Leadership Passages.

From 1998 to 2003 he was a member of the Novartis Executive Committee responsible for Human Resources. Previously he held senior Human Resources positions at Kraft Foods in Europe and the US, at Grand Met and Ford Motor Company. Norman is also a is a member of Humatica’s Advisory Board. He advises and consults with Boards and CEOs on organisation and people issues.

EDUCATION: University of Brighton, a degree in Business Studies. ISMP HBS




PE respondents reported a strong tendency to replace CEOs within the first two years o fan acquisition,with an astonishing 73% of CEOs likely to be replaced during the investment life cycle. 58% of replacements occur within two years(figure1).


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