Corporate Executive Board CEO talks talent

We chatted with Thomas L. Monahan, 45, chief executive of Rosslyn-based Corporate Executive Board, after Monahan’s executive advisory firm announced this month it was acquiring U.K.-based SHL for $660 million. SHL uses technology to help organizations and businesses hire employees.

Monahan has been with the company for 16 years, and has been chief executive since July 1, 2005.

Why the acquisition?

It makes us far and away the global leader in giving people the tools and ability to manage talent.

It adds $210 million in revenue and about 1,000 people globally, including nearly 150 in Arlington and Chantilly. It brings our local total to nearly 1,300.

What does its division called PDRI do?

They work really closely with the chief human resources officers and operations managers to provide the data and assessments that federal agencies use to make great hires and to manage and develop people.

We are still significantly underpenetrated in the government sector. Less than five percent of our revenue comes from government in general globally.

How is the Washington job market?

I don’t think the recession has affected the market (for top talent) in D.C. at all. For high-end professional talent, great people are going to have lots of options.

What keeps you up at night?

Broadly, talent. We need to have the right people in the right place. We spend an inordinate amount of time to get the right people into the organization and to train and develop them once they are here.

Carlyle watch

McLean-based Booz Allen Hamilton, the government consultant majority-owned by The Carlyle Group, is talking to banks about refinancing its debt in order to pay its shareholders — i.e. Carlyle and others — a special dividend of $1 billion, according to an SEC filing last week. Booz Allen by month’s end may refinance $959 million in outstanding debt with up to $1.75 billion in new senior secured credit facilities.

Cash earnings at Booz have doubled since Carlyle bought the company in 2008, while the private equity firm has slowly whittled away at the amount of debt on the firm, most of which came as a result of the purchase. If the Booz board — which has three Carlyle employees on it — approves this dividend, debt levels as a percent of earnings will still be only half of what they were when Carlyle first bought the firm.

Booz in May declared a special dividend of $1.50 a share, following its initiation of regular quarterly dividends in February.

The Buzz hears:

Bluetext communications firm, formed a year ago by four senior members from Qorvis, is moving into bigger digs in Upper Georgetown — from 1,500-square-foot offices to a 3,800-square-foot space in the CW Building at 2121 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Bluetext said that it grossed $3 million for the first quarter of this year, which is nearly equal to all of 2011 — its first year out of the box.

Another Blue — Blu Venture Investors — leads $1.4 million Series A Round for Baltimore-based SocialToaster. Led by Brian Razzaque, SocialToaster engages audiences to promote business content directly to their own social networks while driving Web site traffic. SocialToaster allows “ambassadors” to register their personal Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to share content. Blu Venture Investors is a venture capital investment company that supports early-stage entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic Region — Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Local entrepreneur Robyn Sachs, a registered Democrat and chief executive of Rockville-based RMR & Associates, has formed Entrepreneurs for Free Enterprise” with Shelby Scarbrough, president of Practical Protocol, and Brien Biondi, former chief executive of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, now the Entrepreneurs Organization, as a resource for fact-based financial information during the presidential election.

RideCharge, the Alexandria-based ground transportation start-up that develops mobile apps that allow customers to order rides from their smartphones, is testing its newest product, Sedan Magic, in Washington. Sedan Magic is to start within a month. The app, currently live in New York City with 1,500 vehicles, connects riders with local town car service providers.

We also hear that RideCharge is moving into a 12,000-square-foot suite on the top floor of its current building, which is managed by Gates Hudson.

This space is four times the size of RideCharge’s current offices, providing plenty of space for expected future expansion in head count. The new office features an open floor plan, panoramic views of southern Alexandria and the Potomac, and it was designed by architect Don Dau. RideCharge also has offices in Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and New York City.

Honorees for his year’s Lone Sailor Award at the Sept. 18 dinner at the National Building Museum, include Navy veteran and hair care industry giant, John Paul DeJoria; David Power, Coast Guard vet and founder of J.D. Power & Associates; Edward Alvarez, Navy vet and first POW in Vietnam and recipient of two Purple Hearts, and political satirist and Marine veteran Mark Russell. The award is given out by the U.S. Navy Memorial for sea service veterans who have excelled in their civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment.

Factoid of the Week:

The Olde Towne Pet Resort day-care centers in Springfield and Dulles saw a 50 percent increase above average in the number of day campers following the wind storm two weeks ago. It appears pet parents were afraid to leave their little friends at home — without power, in 100-degree heat — while they went to work.

 
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