21 January 2010

Greentech investment leading to career opportunities say Altium

Waste management and recycling is fast losing its rough and ready image. Many of the businesses that grew from roots in haulage and scrap metal have now developed to be sophisticated companies with professional management teams that can hold their own in any sphere. Many are now successful public companies.

Cleantech generally is becoming sexy. Recent figures from the Cleantech Group and Deloitte show that the venture capital community invested over £5bn in the sector in 2009, with 557 firms receiving fresh venture capital funding. As global environmental imperatives making the sector look like a good long term career bet, the cream of finance, management and technology professionals are being drawn to this sector.

As executive recruiters who operate exclusively in this area, Altium Associates are particularly aware of the increase in demand for the best. Altium was formed by a group of experienced executive search and HR specialists to work primarily with early stage and fast growth businesses in Cleantech. Our clients include venture capital backed businesses in renewable energy, recycling and nanotechnology. Over the past year we have been asked to recruit a raft of senior talent, equipped with the skills to make these companies global players. This is partly due to the fact that ‘Green’ investment is perceived as sexy and that there is a queue of Cleantech businesses waiting to IPO. So whilst these businesses are the brain-children of technologists and entrepreneurs, backers are insisting that they beef up the management teams with impressive, high-calibre finance and operational managers to wow brokers and entice new investors.

Some of these hires come from other industries, particularly those that have similar business models or KPIs. For example, operations managers with a heavy manufacturing or chemical engineering background can adapt to the recycling sector and managers from conventional energy businesses can establish themselves in renewable energy companies without breaking sweat. Generally however, the most sought after candidates possess both sector experience and first class management credentials. Even in the recently troubled venture capital and investment banking industry, investment professionals who have the ability to combine the skills and knowledge to evaluate cleantech prospects technically as well as financially are attractive recruitment targets. Make no mistake, Cleantech will continue to offer hot employment opportunities in 2010.

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