On the podcast: The ABCs of ESG for PE Firms

March 8, 2022

Tom Eveson, Sustainalytics' director of sustainable finance solutions and ESG for the Americas, joins PitchBook lead analyst Hilary Wiek to share his thoughts on how PE firms can support their portfolio companies in managing ESG risk, nonobvious factors that contribute to assessing that risk, what capital pressures are mainstreaming ESG and more. Plus, Ryan Prete joins to discuss his recent reporting on how major players in private equity are making sustainable investments, find the recently updated Female Founders Dashboard, and subscribe to The Daily Pitch.

In the Upwork segment of "Innovations in Private Equity," Tim Sanders is joined by Jody Greenstone Miller of Business Talent Group. Jody reveals why PE firms are gravitating toward high-end freelance consultants and contractors to unlock value across portfolios. She also discusses the interim-executive opportunity for PE firms looking to upgrade or fix portfolio company C-Suites.

Listen to all of Season 5, presented by Upwork, and subscribe to get future episodes of "In Visible Capital" on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen. For inquiries, please contact us at podcast@pitchbook.com.


Hilary Wiek: Today I have with me Tom Eveson of Sustainalytics, best known for its public company ESG ratings work going back 30 years. Tom, however, works in an area of the business that has been more focused on assessing ESG risks of private companies.

Tom, I think for some, the perception of people working in the ESG space is that they all came to it from a passion for trees and social justice, but you came from a much more traditional financial background. Why don't you introduce yourself and the work your team is doing?

Tom Eveson: My background comes from the finance industry. I was both on the buy-side and sell-side and eventually ended up here at Sustainalytics. Specifically, I lead the Americas team for Corporate Solutions. That's worth noting because I think most people don't associate that with Sustainalytics or ESG in general.

Sustainalytics began approximately 30 years ago, and its main mandate was to look at portfolio managers, approach asset managers, and say, "We could give the stocks that you own, the companies in your portfolio, a certain score that's related to social responsibility: SRI."

That goes back to the very beginning, and it was very few and far between. It was definitely viewed as a nice to have. Let's fast forward all the way to where we are today. Obviously, sustainability, climate change, social footprints are becoming mainstream and part of all corporate and government operations. We found that companies were increasingly asking questions about, "Where did I get this ESG score? One of my investors brought it up, and I don't know what it is." Going back about five years ago when sustainable finance bonds really took off with green, social and sustainable bonds, companies [and] corporate issuers became more and more exposed to having a sustainable footprint. They started to ask more questions and want[ed] to know more about their ratings and what they can do to improve their strategies and inputs into their ESG.

We have a Corporate Solutions team now that helps companies understand their ESG rating. Companies are now using their ESG ratings in their marketing and investor communications. We are there to help them with that. Then, of course, the[re's] sustainable finance, where they need their bonds and issuances reviewed by a third party to align with sustainable guidelines in the market. We offer that for companies as well as a verification service. My team here in the Americas is responsible to corporate issuers, the investment banks and private equity firms that interact with those issuers directly. Our services are there to help.

Hilary: You don't hate trees. [laughs]

Tom: No, I love trees as well, absolutely.

Hilary: PitchBook has run a Sustainable Investment Survey in each of the past two years. Both times there were a handful of respondents who provided angry open-ended responses about the subject of the survey. To quote one from last year, "I'm only interested in returns. ESG is a political issue, one that promises to destroy portfolios." For those who still haven't taken the time to understand ESG, what are the top reasons why asset managers and their portfolio companies should care about ESG and sustainability?

Tom: Well, first of all, I certainly understand some of that perspective. I think the term[s] ESG and sustainability are broadly used [and] interchanged with a lot of different aspects. I think there are many things in sustainability that are politicized. And of course, those can create challenges and be skewed. What ESG is not at Sustainalytics, and what ESG is not in the financial industry, ... is a scorecard, or subjective scorecard, about the level of good corporate citizenship that you have.

I think a lot of people equate ESG, the acronym, and when they read about it in the press, with people judging the morality of business ethics and the management of a company and what that company does. I'm not suggesting that that doesn't play into good governance and good social responsibility, etc. What I do want to clarify is, a company can have the most magnificent sustainability report that you've ever seen and still come up short on an ESG rating. ESG ratings are taking material ESG issues that a company in its sector might face, whether it's environmental, because of the type of business that that company is involved in its operations [and] depending what it's exposed to. Fossil fuels is what everyone assumes is the main category or enemy of ESG because it's obviously involved in high-carbon industry. That's just not the case in most ESG ratings.

Social, I think people equate that with a lot of charitable giving in a lot of diversity in your hiring. That's just a tiny part of it. Then G, obviously, governance. I would ask everyone to take an obvious assessment of what's been going on in the world over the last 20, 30 years. Transparency is here to stay and will only increase. I've been watching regulations and reporting requirements escalate over the last few decades on the financial side, long before ESG was even an acronym that everybody would use. When Sustainalytics started, and when I was on the early mutual fund days, it was called SRI: Socially Responsible Investing.

Even at that time, the reporting requirements and transparency for asset managers on money laundering and all sorts of these types of regulations, and transparency and tracking, were increasing on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. It's just a norm of the business. We have Twitter now, we have social media. Things that would have happened outside of people's view are now happening clearly in real-time for all to see.

I think we just need to accept that running a business, regardless of its size, regardless of its industry, needs to account for how you treat the world around you, how you treat people that you work with, and your clients. How you treat the capital structures, and the equity, and the governance and oversight that you have on that. I don't think anyone's going to argue that that's a bad idea.

If we separate that from any politicized part, having a company that manages its exposures to environmental issues [and] takes into consideration the social impacts of what it does or how it manages people or operates within a community, I can't see people thinking that that's a bad idea. Governance, people lose their jobs for not taking this seriously anymore, no matter how high profile you are. I think it's important to isolate ESG as material factors that are environmental-, social- and governance-related. I think it's in everyone's best interest to take those seriously. At least take them into consideration when building your operation. I'll stop there.

Hilary: One of the things we talked about in our prior conversation—your response there was just great in laying out the E, the S and the G, and that it's not just about carbon, for example—you talked to me about some really practical implications of "If you do ignore this, you may not get money from a variety of sources." Can you talk a little bit about that?

Tom: Absolutely. I'll say that even coming to Sustainalytics relatively recently, even I was surprised to see how material of an impact ESG or sustainability was having within the capital markets industry. I too, admittedly, came to Sustainalytics understanding that people wanted to see diversity and that there were definitely issues with fossil fuel and carbon footprints [and] emissions. Pollution, I think, was straight forward for most people. I was not yet aware of how quickly this was effecting the access to capital and the cost of capital in real transactions.

I find that fascinating. You have the large nation-leading banks or global banks that are all adopting through public pressure, through internal politics as well, regulation to adopt sustainability frameworks into their activities and financings. I would say not quite yet ... in North America, but in Europe it is getting increasingly hard to finance construction or buildings or real estate that will not be designated green or affordable housing.

The alternatives to raising that capital or raising that debt are going to become more expensive, not because of a political issue—maybe that's where it once started—but the real [reason] is they can't have that on their books. If this is not going to be a lead-certified building or have a very clear path to transition and improvement, it will not be eligible for financing at some institutions. That started as a nice-to-have or a very focused sustainable strategy maybe five years ago, and now it's becoming mainstream.

I've seen debt issuances out there on the market where non-sustainably-mandated investors on the institutional side have said, "I like your bond. I like this issuance, but the ESG risk is too high—based on whether it's a Sustainalytics rating or someone else's or another metric—and I can't own your bond." I would say what I would compare this to is credit ratings. I'm aware there's a big difference between the two. I'm aware that one is financially driven and regulated, and ESG is still a methodology that is not unregulated. But I would point out that at the beginning—certainly in the mutual fund rating world when there weren't that many institutional portfolio managers and there were only a few hundred mutual funds in the market—I remember fixed-income asset managers as that industry ballooned could reference a credit rating and say, as far as their methodology for managing a fund, ... "I only buy a certain level of credit rating or above." In its infancy, that was enough.

Obviously today, no credible institutional asset manager would buy bonds strictly on a third-party credit rating and leave it at that. It would be an indication, it would be a baseline, it would be a threshold that is just a given. I can only buy investment grade and that's it. Then obviously there's a ton of work that goes in after that. I see ESG ratings regardless of the provider slowly moving into that category. It's not an end-all, be-all. It doesn't answer all questions. It's not a globally recognized standardized methodology that everyone uses, but there are certainly a lot of common approaches to what ESG is, and it's becoming a threshold or a baseline.

There are some companies and asset managers ... that have huge sustainability teams gathering metrics on impact and sustainability to monitor their investments, and other asset management teams that have only a few people and are being asked to take this into account, and their immediate default or their first line of filtering will be ESG ratings. Whether it's a combined methodology using a few providers or a single use, that would be where most people are starting and moving on from there. I hope that gets that point across.

Hilary: Particularly in [the] Americas, I feel like my conversations with general partners and private equity and VC are all over the map in terms of their ESG thinking. I feel like ESG got acceptance earlier in public companies, and PE said, "Leave us alone, and let us do what we know will make us money." Are you seeing a change in that attitude from fund managers you talk with?

Tom: Yes, absolutely. I think that's generally in the finance and investment industry in general. I think private equity by its namesake is more private and companies are in there and they're not used to as much disclosure. I think we can all point to the announcement, the news today, [where] the SEC is also looking for more transparency and disclosure from private equity and hedge funds. As I noted earlier, I think transparency is just here to stay and will gradually increase through all aspects of our lives. That includes capital markets.

I noticed that Blackstone made an announcement recently that they will now be requiring their portfolio companies to report on ESG metrics as well as financials going forward. If stakeholders care and if LPs are trying to slowly incorporate sustainable mandates into their approaches to their own portfolios, that will spill over into the GPs, which will spill over into the companies they invest in, and that's happening.

Whether the mandate is strong—that I want to invest in green only industries, or divest of assets that I think are no longer part of acceptable investments for certain institutional or LP investors—then that's just going to trickle down. We've seen that. As I've mentioned, I'd say 60% to 70% of the work we're doing now is with private companies. Most of that is being led by the private equity firms that hold them as portfolio companies, because in the event of some sort of liquidity transaction, whatever structure that might be, having your ESG ship in order is starting to become a prudent business strategy. I would add that.

Hilary: I've been having a lot of conversations lately with fund managers and companies about what they can do, how they can get started on fulfilling the requests of their investors to improve their ESG profile. At the company level, where are some places to start both actions to take and places to go for advice?

Tom: There's obviously a lot of public information out there. As a baseline, I think the resources available through the various ESG rating industries are a good place to look. Most of them offer ESG ratings publicly ... that you can log on and view by each company. Obviously, deep level data dives tend to be part of the business model, but ESG ratings are there to compare and see. You can look at a company that's related to your sector or to your focus of asset management and see where scores are and get a brief understanding of what the different ESG ratings are based on. Usually, it's exposure to certain risks and a company's efforts to mitigate that. I'd say going to those sites to at least understand what an ESG rating is, versus what it is not, is important.

Of course, the bond industry sustainable finance. A great introduction to this space, or to understand how the financial industry and investors look at this, is to look at the various sustainable bond principles, whether it's green, social or sustainable, all published by ICMA. They're based on UNSDGs, they take into account the market practice of approaching sustainability in finance. If you look at what those topics are and how they are defined, that is a fantastic start to understanding what considerations a company or an asset manager should be taking into account when formulating their strategy.

Hilary: When you go into a small company, for example, it's a private company, there's not going to be any public comparables to them. What areas do you have as a checklist? If you were just starting your journey: here's the policies you should have in place, or here's a good place for you to start. You're talking about some great research ideas, but maybe some practical advice for companies that are just trying to start their journey.

Tom: Of course. I'll bring up again an earlier point when I said that an ESG profile or an ESG rating, as our company certainly interprets it, and I'd say in general, is not a company that spends the most resources on having the most comprehensive or extensive sustainability report. It is not about highlighting all of the good, charitable, giving and community programs your company is involved with.

ESG is about, this is what your company does by its sector. Here are the inherent risks associated with a business in this sector operating here. These are the main key risks or material issues in the environmental part, in the social part and in the governance part. Here are the main policies and procedures that are considered best practice to, at a reasonable level, mitigate.

So, hiring policies. I think any company—no matter their size, whether it's a venture startup or a multinational with thousands of employees—is widely aware or very aware that hiring policies will matter. Depending on what region of the world you're in, diversity, whether that's gender-based or ethnicity-based, it's a factor and you need to be aware of it. So having a policy about that and making it public, whether you are used to being a public company that needs to, by regulation, disclose a lot of items or whether you're a private startup. Private startups will invest in a website, they will invest on how well they do what they do, that's common practice, why wouldn't you talk about the good things you do? I think people just need to incorporate into that the most common material issues for environmental, social and governance.

It ranges by sector and a company in what we consider a hard-to-abate industry, we'll call it fossil fuels, could have an overall higher ESG score, a better ESG score than a company in the tech space or consulting firm that is not into the production or use of fossil fuels, because the material ESG issues differ by sector. Managing those and making sure you have good policies on them, whether you're a five-person company or a 5,000-person company, does not necessarily take a lot of resources. It's accounting for them, having a policy, and making it clear, those are the main things that people need to understand when they're looking at ESG.

Most of our business now, as we deal with corporations, [is] with private companies that either have a lot of stakeholders, whether it's private equity, or venture investors and the LPs that care about what their private equity fund is involved in. Or stakeholders like consumers, or there's a potential liquidity event fund in the distance, whether they might have to issue some form of market debt, or whether there might be some potential M&A. A company that spent a lot of time and effort on their acquisitions and their own ESG internal footprint doesn't want to acquire a company that's going to come with ... controversies and a really high-risk ESG footprint.

It doesn't take resources above-and-beyond good management to have a good ESG footprint, at least as far as the risk ratings from our perspective.

Hilary: Interesting. I've heard many argue, and you've just spoken a little bit about this, that startups shouldn't focus on ESG, because they have a concept to prove, a fledgling business to launch, and a need to get to profitability. They don't have the time or money to focus on this, the argument goes. But perhaps the venture capitalist, the fund manager, does have that time and money. What can fund managers do to ensure that their portfolio companies are in a good place from a sustainability perspective, when it comes time to exit?

Tom: Thank you. That is a very good question. With regards to ESG and helping companies to improve, whether that is companies that can afford to put a lot of resources to that internally or whether it is a very influential stakeholder, ... we see parallels in the way a large multinational in manufacturing may approach their supply chain to make sure that they are not exposed to strong ESG risks ... especially their top tier or most material suppliers. In the same way, we're seeing that transfer into the asset management world.

Whether you are a venture capital firm or private equity, all the way up to the large publicly listed asset management firms, having a say in that or encouraging your company to look for the various services that are out there to be aware of what your ESG score is, to be aware of what the material issues are, and getting an overview of that or establishing a baseline, and then forming a strategy to work with it: We find a lot of stakeholders are doing that on behalf of the companies that they have exposure to.

Again, whether I'm an investor, whether I have a strong commercial relationship as a supplier, if the ESG risk of what a company I am a stakeholder in could affect my business, we find that they're stepping in to fill that gap. We can support through all the different levels. I know I'm saying we as in Sustainalytics, but ...& whether it's a consulting firm or other companies out there that do similar things to Sustainalytics, we're finding that the main stakeholder will invest the time and effort to ensure that the companies that they're materially attached to are doing the best possible to ensure manageable ESG exposure risk.

Hilary: Thank you so much, Tom, for bringing your wealth of practical knowledge to this conversation. I think ESG is not what a lot of people think it is. It's been great to have a conversation that talks about the real risks and opportunities that ESG entails, completely separate from what many perceive to be a values issue.

Disclaimer: Sustainalytics and PitchBook are both Morningstar-owned companies. 

In this episode

Tom Eveson headshot

Tom Eveson
Director of Sustainable Finance Solutions and ESG for the Americas, Sustainalytics

As director for the Americas at Sustainalytics, Tom leads the team focused on sustainable financing, ESG Ratings, performance benchmarking and impact reporting. Tom has held senior roles on the buy- and sell-side of capital markets, including investment banking and asset management. Tom is active in the advancement of sustainably themed financing and was recently a contributor to the UNGC working group for the establishment of Blue Blonds as an instrument to support Sustainable Ocean Business, as well as advocating for sustainable bonds to be utilized in support of reconciliation and economic inclusion for Canada's First Nations.

Over the past several years Tom has been involved in initiatives to support blended finance solutions in emerging market infrastructure, closing the gap between vital development and private capital. He is a founding partner of EMIF Group, established to provide sub-national governments in emerging economies with the capital and direction to develop critical urban infrastructure that is bankable for global private capital. In cooperation with UN Habitat and its Cities Investment Facility, EMIF Group is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and catalyzing infrastructure development required under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to meet 2030 SDG targets. In his private life, Tom is passionate about healthy oceans and supporting local artists. He has served on the board of the Ontario Crafts Council and volunteered at the Sunnybrook Veterans Hospital in Toronto.

Sponsored content

Tim Sanders: Tim Sanders with Upwork here, and this is our latest installment of "Innovations in Private Equity." Today, we'll talk about innovations in workforce design. Whether it's an interim executive, a high-end freelance consultant, or on-demand talents, PE firms are looking for solutions to bridge skills gaps for portfolio companies at all levels. It's the key to generating value.

Recently, I caught up with one of the world's leading experts in on-demand talent for PE firms. And as you are about to find out, she comes from the investment community. Let's tune into that conversation now.

Tim: We are talking to Jody Greenstone Miller, the founder and CEO of Business Talent Group, also known as BTG, and they are the leading marketplace for high-end business talent on demand. Jody, welcome to the segment.

Jody Greenstone Miller: Thank you, Tim. Pleasure to be here.

Tim: So where did the idea for BTG come from?

Jody: Well, I was actually an investor at a venture capital firm, and I started to notice just how often we needed talent. And we needed it in all different shapes and sizes and in different timeframes, and it was always a scramble. Who do we know? Pick up a phone. And I started to think there are a lot of people who like to work differently. Come in quickly, do a project, move on. But there was just no efficient way to access them. And so I kind of thought about it and decided there was a new piece of human capital infrastructure that might benefit both talent and investors, who were the group of people I was most focused on at that time.

Tim: Jody, talk about the ways that BTG supports private equity firms.

Jody: Sure. I mean, private equity firms are ... organizations themselves, but most importantly, they oversee the development and value creation in all of their portfolio companies. So a company like BTG, which has this incredible resource of immediately available on-demand talent that's independent and available very quickly, is able to come in and work as a partner with private equity firms across their portfolios, to provide the kind of actual implementation of the strategy that the private equity firm has decided is the right way to create value. If it's an M&A strategy, if it's a cost reduction strategy, if it's a new business opportunity strategy ... we're able to come in and provide that talent very rapidly. Which of course is important for private equity firms, because they are moving at a very fast pace. And obviously support the firm themselves if they have bandwidth needs or subject matter expert needs as they develop their own firm. So we play both in the portfolio arena, as well as supporting the firm itself.

Tim: So what that really brings me to is this discussion of talent innovation. And you know what I mean by that, Jody. It's whether it's at the portfolio company level or upon the recommendation of a partner at the PE firm, companies are innovating how they think about talent in so many ways, from workplace to workforce to work arrangements, etc. Which private equity firms are showing a lot of talent innovation these days?

Jody: I think what we're seeing is the very big firms who have a lot of internal resources devoted to what I would call the operations of their portfolio companies—these are often internal operations groups, internal consulting groups—are the ones, I think, who are first looking at, "How do we take an idea and a resource like on-demand talent," which is, as you know, broad, much broader than BTG. I mean, Upwork has an enormous capacity to help these companies. How do we take this new way of thinking about talent and make it available easily to our portfolio companies? Because we believe as a firm that that will help them move faster, be more flexible, more nimble. And so ... the most innovative PE firms are starting to think about this in an institutional way and making it a part of how they think about developing their investments. And to me, that's the key. Because I think everybody in the early days of the marketplace of independent talent, people went to it when they were in a crisis. Something went wrong, we don't know what else to do. Why not try this?

Many of our early clients, that was the scenario. But then they start to understand, and particularly with what's happening in the labor markets today, that this resource, this new arrow in their quiver, can actually play a bigger role. And I think ... the move from this is kind of an interesting, quirky thing we can do occasionally when we have no other options, to let's think strategically about how we utilize this increasingly important population of talent. And I think what will happen is, as we see, I think we're coming into kind of a perfect storm. We went through COVID, where the notion of having remote talent became normalized and people understood that a lot of great work could be done in a different manner. And what that did, the first thing that did, is it opened up the labor market globally. You could have talent anywhere do what you need them to do. And so that was kind of the first step.

And I think the second step is this incredibly tight talent market, where I think we're seeing two things. Everyone talks about the "Great Resignation," but one of the interesting data points I saw last week was that ... the number of people resigning in [professionals and business services] has gone up 23% from Q4 2019.

Tim: Wow.

Jody: So we're seeing a big jump within the "Great Resignation" of people leaving in the categories certainly that BTG focuses on. And at the same time, you're seeing all kinds of data points that the people who are leaving the workforce are moving into independent work, and you see it from a recent study that said just overall independent workers are up 31% in 2020. You have Upwork [which] has great data, [saying] that people are not being able to find talent, even though they need [it], 68% of the teams are hiring. You've got Robert Half coming out and saying 39% of the workers are seeing project work as their next step in their career path.

So what you're seeing is this massive shift from, I think, a talent perspective. Which I believe will force private equity firms, who, I think, are on the cutting edge of needing talent fast and creating value from talent fast, to make it incumbent upon them to understand how to access and utilize and over time be desirable to the independent talent community.

Tim: Jody, many private equity firms fundamentally look to improve their portfolio company C-suites. That's just foundational a lot of times. But that replacement takes time. There's a lot of risk there. Talk to me about the interim-executive opportunity that's in front of them through BTG.

Jody: Yes. Thanks, Tim. That's a really important point. So, you're absolutely right. C-suite evaluation and change is probably step one in most private equity playbooks. And when there does need to be a change, it's a really critical time. And sometimes the change is delicate and search[es] needs to be performed. And I think you know we were acquired by Heidrick & Struggles, who does a lot of the permanent search work in the private equity community. And if a search has to be confidential, it's much harder. It takes longer, it's harder, more risk.

So one of the things that has emerged as a real opportunity is if there's an ability to put in an interim executive—and that could be anything from an interim CEO to CFO down to a director if it's a critical role—allows a company to more normalize the search, to make it not confidential, because they can get somebody in who can keep the ball rolling. And also, interestingly enough, it also allows a portfolio company to figure out what is the right next C-level person.

You can try one flavor, maybe it's a marketing bend, but you may decide you need more of a financial bend. So it gives you information that I think actually improves the long-term decision. So it really frees up the search process, and I think ultimately improves the result because you get information about what's working and what's not. And I think it's one of the real interesting ways that particularly portfolio companies have been using BTG. Our PE work has doubled in the last year. And I think one of the reasons is because of the interest in interim execs.

But I guess I would say, as I really think about the intersection of what you're doing, what we're doing and PE. If you think about PE as an engine in general of economic innovation, back from when KKR started doing it years ago, they have innovated on financing structures. They have innovated on cost controls. They've innovated on driving M&A and platform plays.

I think they really do have the potential to be the leader in innovating on talent. And I think it's because they have portfolio companies, so they have a big reach. They have a very clear value proposition when they make investments. They know what they want to do, and they just need to be able to implement it as well and as fast as possible. And it's hard not to see the most innovative firms figuring out quickly that this is an important piece of how they need to get that done.

Tim: Absolutely. Speed, boy, if anybody values speed, it's private equity, especially given their charter and how difficult it is to create the kind of alpha that everybody expects.

Jody, this has been a fantastic conversation. As usual, you've provided so many things for me to think about, and in this case, I think you've given our listeners a glimpse into all types of innovation across private equity. Thank you so much for being part of this program.

Jody: Thank you, Tim.

Tim: There were several insightful themes in that conversation. First, the future favors the flexible in every way. Next, solutions that offer speed to market unlock value. And then finally, it's time for companies and PE firms to make themselves attractive to the independent talent community of freelancers, contractors, and virtual teams. It's time to make the leap from thinking talent acquisition to fostering the talent access mindset.

If you'd like to download our free report on Innovations in Private Equity, which covers a variety of developments over the last year ranging from technology to deal structure to talent strategy, visit upwork.com/pitchbook. Until next time, this is Tim Sanders.


Jody Greenstone Miller - Co-Founder, Co-CEO and Chairwoman of Business Talent Group (BTG)
Jody co-founded BTG in 2007, serves 50% of the F100 who rely on the company to curate, vet and deliver independent management consultants, project leaders, managers, subject matter experts and executives to help solve their biggest business challenges and fuel growth, innovation and performance improvement. Jody co-authored "The Rise of the Supertemp," a Big Idea feature for the Harvard Business Review, that observers cite as the definitive analysis of the alternative professional services trend. Jody's thought leadership on the evolving talent marketplace has also been featured in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Forbes, Business Insider, The Economist, Financial Times, CNN, Stanford University, Fox Business, NPR and Bloomberg.

Tim Sanders - Vice President of Client Strategy, Upwork
New York Times best-selling author and his insights have been featured in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Money section of USA Today. Former chief solutions officer at Yahoo! and early-stage member of Mark Cuban's broadcast.com. Faculty member of the Global Institute of Leadership Development.

Related content