LEADING RESPONSE –Chief Executive Officer

ABOUT

LeadingResponse, founded in 1995, is a specialized marketing services company focused on customer acquisition in the financial, legal, senior living, home improvement and medical services fields utilizing proprietary technology and database marketing. The Company acquires customer prospects through targeted direct mail, seminar events, and digital marketing (social media, paid search, affiliated websites).

The Company has approximately 160 employees with offices in Tampa, FL and the Dallas / Ft. Worth area. The Company operates two primary business units, one focusing on seminar event marketing and the other focusing on digital lead generation.

The seminar event business targets highly identifiable consumer prospects utilizing our proprietary database of previous responder data. Consumers are invited to a seminar event during which they are presented with our client’s service offering. ROI exceeds a 4:1 ratio for its clients. The seminar business focuses on financial advisors, estate planning attorneys, senior living, and elective medical. The digital lead gen business utilizes a combination of social media and PPC, targeting consumers with generic ads on a national basis. Leads are distributed to national, regional, and local market clients. This business generates leads primarily for lawyers working on social security disability, mass tort, automotive, and workers comp cases. Both businesses are expanding their footprint into multiple verticals.

The Company is very profitable and has attractive growth prospects. There are opportunities to expand lead generation capabilities within existing customer segments, enter new verticals, and expand services offered to financial advisors. The Company has been owned by the current private equity firm since 2017 and is seeking to replace its retiring CEO who will stay on with the Company in a board capacity.

 

STATS

• Headquarters in Tampa, FL with Digital Business located in Plano, TX
• 160+ employees, founded in 1995
• Lead Generation Solutions
• Owned by NYC-based PE Fund ICV Partners • www.leadingresponse.com

 

THE POSITION

The CEO will report directly to the Board of Directors and currently has following direct reports: (1) two division heads, (2) a tenured CFO, (3) an HR Director, (4) a Marketing Director, and (5) an IT Director. The CEO will be responsible for the Company’s strategic direction, operations, and financial performance. Revenue and margin expansion towards a projected successful exit of business in 2022 will key determinant of success and CEO will be rewarded on that basis. The ideal candidate will bring strong leadership skills, strategic roadmap for sales growth and margin expansion, technology mindset and innovation, as well as high integrity, accountability, and strong sense of urgency into the role. S/he will have prior experience as a CEO, COO or GM responsible for a similar sized P&L and employee base ($70M in revenue with 160 employees). S/he will also preferably have experience working for a PE-backed company with successful exit outcome(s). Experience with database marketing, digital lead generation, and direct mail marketing is a key requirement for the role. Key CEO accountabilities include:

1. Evolve the vision for LeadingResponse and execute on an actionable strategy

2. Achieve significant EBITDA expansion by 2021 while continuing to reduce financial leverage

3. Create a culture of innovation and growth

4. Maintain a high performing team

5. Enhance the business model through use of technology

6. Position the Company for a successful exit in 2022

The CEO will be based in Company’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. CEO role at LeadingResponse is an incredible opportunity for a proven leader who would like to help shape and evolve a highly successful organization with strong foundation and continue on a future growth trajectory driven by deep technology and innovation bench. This includes being a change architect with well-thought out strategic roadmap and vision focused on sales, digital transformation, and deepening of business development efforts in existing verticals and new ones. This position will strongly influence leadership of all key functional areas of the firm, including direct reports, new hires, and the Board of Directors.

 

REQUIREMENTS

Strong leadership skills with proven experience of developing and driving a strategic plan through an organization of 150+ employees and $70M+ of revenue

· Prior experience as a CEO, COO or GM responsible for a similar sized P&L and employee base, PE-backed company experience preferred

· Track record of successfully working with a board of directors, including preparing and presenting board documents, cadence of communication and a reputation for transparency, humility and excellence

· Minimum 15 years of relevant, multi-channel marketing services/B2B2C experience with at least 7 years in executive leadership; foundational roles in sales, marketing, products, and technology

· Fact-based, analytical thinker that is comfortable with ambiguity

· Experience building a high performing sales and marketing organization that can cross-sell and upsell existing clientele while expanding offering into new markets

· Strong understanding of how to manage the P&L of a business based on strong metrics, KPIs, and ROI and driven by results of top line revenue and bottom line margin expansions

· Exceptional people skills with ability to deal with millennials to baby-boomers

· Experience with database marketing, digital lead generation, and direct mail

· Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred

 

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  •  Evolve the vision for LeadingResponse and execute on an actionable strategy

· Build on the strategy work in progress to create a strategic framework for the organization and craft a plan for realizing the vision that maximizes the core business and expands existing and new verticals

· Assess organizational needs

  •  Achieve significant EBITDA expansion by 2021 and continue to pay down debt

· Develop a view on long-term margins and sales growth tied to strategy work

· Pay down large portion of debt prior to 2021

  • Create a culture of innovation and growth

· Create a mindset of continuous improvement

· Receptive to new ideas and feedback from the Board of Directors

· Develop high organizational curiosity (e.g. a better, faster, cheaper way to do this) What are best practices in other industries/ with our competition?

· Value responsible experimentation

· Buttress an execution culture with pragmatic strategic assessment

  • Maintain a high performing team

· Rapidly assess existing talent; upgrade as necessary and align organizational structure roles and responsibilities needed to realize the vision

· Eliminate redundancies or inefficiencies present in the current organization

· Develop functional excellence that is easily applied to new growth vectors

· Further integrate acquired business (2015)

  • Enhance the business model through use of technology; improve operational efficiency, create hard-to-replicate competitive advantage and deliver a higher ROI to customers

· Use technology to expand product offerings and customers reached

· Develop further knowledge from prospect database of 3M+ responders

· Maintain a competitive advantage in technology among the market competition

  • Position the company for a successful exit in 2022

 

NON-DISCRIMINATION

Our client and Buffkin / Baker firmly support the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law.

CONTACT

Buffkin / Baker
420 Lexington Ave, Suite 820
New York, NY 10170
Phone: (929) 436-0930
www.buffkinbaker.com

Craig Buffkin, Managing Partner
Tel: (615) 417-4383
Email: craig@buffkinbaker.com

Raj Das, Partner, Global Head of Digital
Tel: (917) 279-7960
Email: raj@buffkinbaker.com

Kimberly Melcer, Senior Associate
Tel: (917) 301-6371
Email: kimberly@buffkinbaker


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