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Anyone know about ExecReps? "Agents" for execs to get onto boards of directors...

I was contacted by a company called Execreps, which is essentially a talent agency for corporate execs. To wit, if you are a CFO and want to get on to corporate boards, they will help you find those positions, get the inside track through their connections/reach, and then they take a %. It's an interesting idea and I can see the potential value. And I do want to get board directorships and continue climbing and contributing. However, they take an up front fee which rubs me the wrong way (I'm better with their ongoing commission % b/c at least they have to have helped you earn it first), and I don't know them from Adam, so I am dubious and, of course, I know I'm hearing a sales pitch (I don't blame them, it just is what it is). I'd love to know whether anyone is familiar with this model or this company itself and can share their experience before I spend more time on it.


Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Standard business acumen applies. Anytime someone offers connections for a position but wants an upfront fee to get those, use great caution.

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

If you're interested in company and product reviews, take a look at our business-to-business directory:

(CFO) |

I was interested in seeing whether anyone had actually used these folks.

In the meantime, if I do anything with them it would be for no up-front fee. Thanks for that reality check, though.

(SVP) |

I was also contacted and came to the same conclusion.

(CFO) |

Likewise, I was contacted by them as well. I have the CFO title but have no illusions at this point in my career at being qualified to be on a board. Someday...but not today. Anyway, after a 5 minute phone "interview" I was told they would have their new client committee vote on me. Luckily, I was voted in. They would work with me....

After digging into the details, even just using LinkedIn, you can see that most of the employees are in their early 20's with no corporate experience. And they have been there less than a year. The company itself has only been around for a year. They wanted $5k upfront and about 1/3 of the first year board cash compensation. Seeing everything as negotiable, I pushed for nothing upfront, with even offering to give them my first full year cash comp from a board seat. They declined. I asked if I could speak to someone they've placed with similar skills/experience as myself. They declined. I asked how many people they've placed. Declined....

I hope to have a board seat someday but I had no confidence in them.

(CFO) |

Being on a board does not require qualifications as you define them. It only requires connections or celebrity.

I once worked for an Inc 500 up and coming that was swallowed by a Fortune 100 and then put back out to pasture when the results were dismal. The know it all execs at that company bought it from the Fortune 100 at that point and tried to run it themselves. In order to garner recognition and legitimacy so that they could go public in the future, they went searching for board members that they thought would provide that legitimacy. As in, well known people.

They ended up with a famous, high profile person as one of their board members. He was nothing but the phony, two bit self promoter that anyone with a brain can see. And, he was pompous on top of it all, making ridiculous demands on the then struggling organization for his own and his traveling entourage's personal needs.

The company folded not long after.

As far as I am concerned, this substituting notoriety and connections for true business qualifications for board membership is one of the great weaknesses in corporate America.

Title: CFO
Company: WaveMark, Inc
(CFO, WaveMark, Inc) |

I also received the same pitch, but have yet to find any client of theirs who can give a reference. So no deal.

(President) |

I just got contacted by this company, went through a very brief "screening" then got the letter explaining a $5,000 retainer. Thanks for already asking about this so I could quickly see what this is about. It sounded slightly interesting, but there is no reason an executive should pay for "representation" like this.

(Executive VP - CFO) |

I engaged Exec Reps about a month ago to represent me for a Board seat and have already been contacted about a board position, so far all good. Time will tell.

Matthew Zinn
Title: SVP, General Counsel, Corporate Secretar..
Company: TiVo Inc.
(SVP, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, TiVo Inc.) |

I've spoken with ExecReps as well. Went through the brief screening and then got the letter explaining the retainer and commission. I am curious about it though. Was the board position one of interest to you? Was it a full board position or advisory board position? Did you accept the position?

David Lawrence
Title: CEO
Company: National Pecan LLC
(CEO, National Pecan LLC) |

Did you get the Board seat?
Do you think it is worthwhile?

Jonathan New
Title: CFO
Company: Net Element, Inc.
(CFO, Net Element, Inc.) |

Did anything ever come from your contact?

(Principal Consultant ) |

I was just contacted by the firm. Very nice young fellow "interviewed" me. Paying up front doesn't interest me. Did you land a Board engagement yet?

Linda Lane Gonzalez
Title: President/CEO
Company: ViVA Partnership, Inc
(President/CEO, ViVA Partnership, Inc) |

Has anyone received an answer from Anonymous regarding the Board seat and if anything ever came of it?

(Partner ) |

Have been approached by these guys, and was not able to get many positive references on them from past clients. The two I did talk with seemed like they were giving "rehearsed" answers (answers were almost identical) and the upfront fee does not seem to be justified by success. I would stay away from them.

(Executive Director of Operations) |

I was also contacted within the last two weeks. No mention of an upfront fee until I had to click on a registration field asking for a credit card payment of $5k. Not the way I do business.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I've been approached by one or two of these groups. The "Consultants" are way too young to be able to understand and approach Boards on my behalf.

In addition, why would I want to pay an upfront fee? A back-end fee? Wouldn't the company want to pay that?

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

I agree with Wayne. I wouldn't think you would pay upfront. I can see though if they find you a board that ends up being a great fit giving them something like a finders fee.


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