July 8, 2009

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Barry Bregman ’77 brings leaders to companies as vice chairman of major executive search firm

A company’s success often depends on the right fit between corporate culture and a leader’s talent. That’s where Barry Bregman ’77, vice chairman of executive search firm CTPartners, comes in.

Strong relationships are an important part of what Bregman does as the leader of his firm’s chief financial officer (CFO) practice. A friendship that began 25 years ago when he worked at Goldman Sachs brought a high-profile client on board. When Duncan Niederauer P’08 took over as CEO of New York Stock Exchange Euronext, he trusted Bregman and CTPartners to find a talented CFO. Niederauer recently celebrated the graduation of his daughter, American studies major Amanda ’08.

“It was an exciting search, and we were able to attract a terrific candidate who has been there for over a year,” says Bregman. “It’s one of the more exciting projects I’ve done in the last few years because of the brand and stature of the NYSE Euronext in the world and certainly in the financial community.”

What many people don’t realize about performing executive searches, says Bregman, is that more often than not, he reaches out to candidates who are not seeking another job.

“Often times, we’re looking for people who are employed and doing well,” he explains. “Typically, the individuals we’re calling are already very successful in prominent positions. Everything we do is on a highly confidential basis because we’re dealing with individuals’ personal and professional lives.”

Bregman and the team at CTPartners performed the global treasurer search for JP Morgan Chase.

“They set the bar at a very high level, so to find someone who could meet all their criteria was very challenging,” he says. “The most rewarding part of this job is making a good match between a client’s leadership needs and a talented executive who can add value to the organization and, at the same time, further his or her career. It’s a merger of an executive with a company, and when you make a good long-term match, it’s a great thing.”

He notes that CTPartners is the sixth-largest executive search firm in the world. Like Lafayette, the firm operates globally, yet is small enough to provide personal attention to clients who may get lost in the mix at a larger firm. It is the first and only search firm to publicly publish search performance statistics, such as days to completion, placement rate, and stick rate (how long placements remain with their companies).

Bregman recently became chair of the Alumni Association’s Career Services Committee and has enjoyed hosting a number of Lafayette students for externships over the last few years.

“One of the real positives about Lafayette is that there is a very strong alumni network in the New York business community,” says Bregman, who earned his MBA at New York University. “And it’s not just New York, it’s across the country. It’s advantageous for students seeking internships and externships.”

Bregman, a psychology graduate, played Division I football and lacrosse at Lafayette and remains actively involved with the College’s football and lacrosse booster clubs. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, which he considers to be his strongest bond with the College.

“In addition to the academics, there were three things at the core of my undergraduate experience—meeting my wife of 31 years, Barbara Fox Bregman ’76, my fraternity life at Phi Gamma Delta, and my participation in lacrosse and football,” he says. “The lessons learned and the relationships formed at the fraternity and on the ball fields at Lafayette have had a tremendous impact on my professional life.”

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