Managing Director, PE - Energy Fund in Mexico

Background:

Our Client is the leading Private Equity house in the MENA region, based in the DIFC; currently ranked within the top 50 private equity firms worldwide. They successfully raised circa $200 million for an energy infrastructure fund in Mexico and mandated Madison Pearl to find a MD to manage investments for the fund to be based in Mexico City.

We needed to find a technically sound Mexican project director with a solid track record in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) projects in the power and electricity sector. The ideal candidate needed to hold a degree in engineering along with a minimum of 15 years’ of relevant experience with the majority of it in Mexico so as to have excellent knowledge of the local market prior and post the energy reforms.

The candidate must leverage his relationships within the local market including the regulatory bodies and competitors. This mandate was particularly challenging as there were language constraints as most people failed to converse fluently in English, secondly time zones (9 hours difference) made it extremely difficult as we only had a window of a few hours to speak to potential candidates.

Snapshot of the search process:

  • Our strategy was to look at the top 20 local and international EPC firms operating in the Mexican market today, along with people working with the regulatory; CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad) and PEMEX (Mexican state-owned petroleum company). We approached senior project managers who would be able to supervise and conduct technical assessment of projects, provide recommendations on the feasibility of investments and flag potential risks.
  • Over four weeks of analysis on the market, cross-referencing and background checks we provided a shortlist of 6 candidates along with a report on the power industry in the Mexican market which proved to be very informative to our client.
  • Five of the six shortlisted candidates were interviewed by our client; two of which were selected for further discussions. The discussions involved telephone/skype calls with the management in Dubai, followed by interviews with the regional management in Mexico and lastly discussion with the senior management from Dubai that flew down to Mexico. The first choice candidate accepted the offer and joined in late 2016.