Executive Capital Partners Career Agent Private Equity

San Francisco Magazine


For months now, the millennial milestone has been trumpeted as a global metamorphosis, as if January 1, 2000 would all of a sudden twist a black-and-white Kansas into a Technicolor OZ.  When was the last time a flip of the calendar offered up such a spectacle?  We went in search of the subversive agents of change and found 15 of them-scientists, artists, executive agents, entrepreneurs - futurists who will shape how we live, think, work and play.

Like Joe Meissner of Executive Capital Partners®, an executive agent for superstar CEOs.

Let's say you're a six-figure exec ready to make your move.  You could call a headhunter, get your resume out there, and settle into an established company.  Or if your talent and creativity exceed what the working world has to offer, you could contact Joe Meissner and have him build a company around you.

But you'd better be good: Meissner is looking for boardroom Michael Jordans.  For every executive he takes on, there are 200 he turns down.  "I don't sell anybody," says Meissner.  "They have to sell me."

Once Meissner admits you into his stable, you'll feel like a thoroughbred in pinstripes.  The two of you will tour the country courting investors, and Meissner will find you a CFO and other top execs tailored to your leadership.  He recently represented executives from Levi Strauss & Co. and the Harry & David catalog company.

"People are now the prime source of competitive advantage," says Edward Michaels, a director of McKinsey & Company, a corporate consulting firm.  But Meissner already knew that.  In the early '90s, his company, Executive Capital Partners®, pioneered the talent-agent model for executives (a Jerry Maguire meets Jim Clark sort of thing).

"In our business, he who has access to CEOs is king of the mountain," says Ted Stolberg, cofounder of a Denver private equity investment firm.  "We need Joe, because he's connected to talent."  If Joe needs you, you will give him a retainer and a share of your new venture.  Which is a small price for being Muhammad and having the mountain brought to you. - Kate Rope.

©2000 San Francisco Magazine