Harry Gwynne explains how growth, innovation and client satisfaction made his team win in the Finance & Operations Recruitment category at The Drawdown Awards.

The Finance & Operations Recruitment Award recognises growth, product innovation and client satisfaction during 2020. Here’s how our performance landed us a spot on the shortlist.

Finance and operations departments focussed predominantly on senior hires during the pandemic, so many firms were keen to access our extensive network of senior private markets professionals. As restrictions lifted at the start of this year, we worked with firms to jump-start paused junior-level searches, contributing to significant growth in mandates during March 2021.

Expanding into new geographies and supporting growing demand for specialist operational professionals have been two key priorities for the team over the past 18 months. Strong performance in European venture capital helped us to build relationships with new clients in Belgium, Luxembourg, Berlin and Ireland and the official launch of our HR, legal and compliance practice was well received.


Our UK Private Markets Finance & Operations Compensation Report continues to be regarded as the sector’s essential source for compensation benchmarking. In 2020 we launched a new interactive benchmarking tool for contributors, enabling users to identify how their compensation compares with the wider market and filter 600+ data points by fund size, fund focus, role and seniority.

Take part in our survey to access the full data set

We also used our compensation survey to answer queries raised by clients regarding outsourcing strategies in private markets finance and operations functions. We were able to demonstrate clear trends in internal and external workload distributions across fund accounting, corporate accounting, compliance and tax for firms of differing fund sizes.

Hybrid working is the hot topic for 2021 as many firms begin to return to offices. Our survey began asking for data on flexible working uptake, including home working, across finance and operations in 2020, revealing that 78% of firms anticipate making permanent changes to work-from-home arrangements. We have extended this section in our 2021 survey to explicitly cover approaches to hybrid working in the wake of the pandemic.


During a period of uncertainty, our clients were grateful to see that our commitment to resourcing their teams never wavered. Thankfully, the market remained resilient during 2020 and we continued to connect clients with our network of exceptional professionals from our living rooms and kitchen tables.

We shared placement stories with the awards panel that demonstrated our ability to work swiftly by exploiting a vast, international network. In many cases, the unique structure of PER, which unites recruitment specialists from across the private markets landscape, enabled us to join forces with our colleagues to locate niche, sector-specific skill sets within tight timelines.


Finally, The Drawdown Awards committee asked us to explain what makes the Finance & Operations Team at PER stand out. Here’s what we told them:

PER is defined by expertise and our team is no exception. The Finance and Operations Team at PER brings a deep understanding of private markets to hiring processes historically managed through financial services recruiters. Our consultants understand that commercial instincts and entrepreneurial spirit are highly prized across private equity and venture capital teams, including cornerstone functions like finance, operations, human resources and legal.

Our Finance & Operations Team works collaboratively with PER colleagues across investment and investor relations and fundraising, providing our consultants with an appreciation of private markets as a whole and access to a wide network of professionals with the attitude and aptitude required to make an impact.