Case Study: How Hanover built a team for a fast-growing investment firm

ByHanover Team
Posting date: 01 December 2022

Our investment client has been in business since the 1980s, and always had a partial focus on renewable energy.  They are already dominant in impact investing across U.S. real estate, and recently decided that all future growth would be on the renewable energy side of the business.  But they struggled to attract the right talent.

With a strong senior visionary heading up the renewable energy division but with barebones staff, they needed support in recruiting a strong team that could drive the business forward.

The challenge of finding the right talent

The firm’s initial challenge was how to become a dominant presence in renewables with a small capital raising team and an even smaller investment team.

They had worked with contingent search firms to recruit new staff, but these firms struggled to understand the nuances of our client’s business and their very specific recruitment needs.

Ultimately, our client realized that the real challenge was going to be attracting the right talent when their business operates in such a complex and niche sector of the renewable energy market. The contingent search firms they worked with simply didn’t have the right expertise themselves to be able to map the market, find the right candidates and pitch a highly complex investment strategy.  

How Hanover helped

At Hanover, we have people with the experience and skill sets to help businesses in the most complex of markets. We got creative and persuaded our client to look outside of investment banking for talent with the right backgrounds and knowledge - and because our client was willing to expand the job specifications on our recommendations, we were able to build strong teams with diverse skill sets that complemented each other.

What we did

Our first step was to staff the client’s sales team to increase regional coverage across the entire United States.  The sales power we added is bringing hundreds of millions of additional investment dollars into the firm.  We became so good at understanding the complexities of the client and their strategy that we became their best ambassadors. 

We then started building the solar investment and execution team. We combined operations analysts with highly relevant paralegal backgrounds and investment associates with investment banking modeling skills to form a team that could be trained in renewable energy finance.  We also hired asset management staff to oversee their solar projects after transactions closed.

We continued adding incrementally to each team, never building up one silo so much that the firm felt overstaffed. Then, when they decided to be an early mover in carbon capture, we built that team up as well.  

By adding value and people incrementally, versus full-team hires, we have helped our client grow sustainably and for the long-term.

How we did it

Our consultative approach and our client’s willingness to work collaboratively with us meant that we could put together a team of people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets.

We used our proven search methodology to analyze the market, canvas the right CANDIDATES and develop a compelling pitch that got them excited about the client and role. There was rarely a question we couldn’t answer about the market and strategy, so each candidate came into the process fully informed and ready to engage in higher-level conversations. 

Whereas another search firm may have simply sent out a job specification, we found that this turned off strong candidates.  Our team pitched each role to each candidate personally and in-depth, listening carefully to each individual’s feedback and tailoring our client’s complexity to make it personally compelling to them.  

As part of this process, candidates were all put through a BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT to ensure they’d fit with our client’s entrepreneurial, vibrant and intellectually stimulating culture.

The outcome

  • Hanover has placed 50% of this client’s business development team and 80% of their renewable energy team
  • Freeing up the MD’s bandwidth meant he could focus on business expansion and be an early mover in a variety of renewables sectors
  • In 2022, the client has already tripled last year’s revenues

At Hanover, we are proud to have made this possible for them.  These results only happen if you have a strong partnership.  We were consulted when it came to planning and budgeting for new roles and asset classes.  In addition, our client has spent hours educating us on their strategy and answering our questions - and that meant we were able to answer candidates’ questions and carefully tailor our pitches in every case.

Another key aspect to generating these outcomes was the open and constant communication we had with our client.  We look forward to partnering with new and existing clients across the ESG spectrum to improve their bottom line and make a powerful impact on the world.  

Do you need help building up your ESG business? CONTACT HANOVER TODAY so we can discuss your needs.

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