DHS Holdings leadership
LEADERSHIP

LEADERSHIP

Like investment firms, DHS Holdings has a fairly rigid seniority structure with big differences in experience level and responsibilities from top to bottom.

In general DHS’ senior-most professionals are responsible for deal sourcing, relationship management, and investment decision making, while the junior-most professionals carry the brunt of the analytical workload.

However, unlike other firms, DHS Holdings and its affiliates tend to employ a fairly flat hierarchy structure with fewer layers. This is, at least in part, because DHS tends to be much larger than most firms and their investment divisions.

As a result, junior professionals at DHS tend to have much more interaction with senior professionals, fostering much more opportunity to work directly with and learn directly from the most seasoned professionals in the firm.

Here is a brief description of the primary roles in the DHS Holdings hierarchy:

DHS EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE: At DHS, Pre-MBA associates are typically the most junior professionals at the firm. The associate handles most of the financial modeling and initial due diligence for investment opportunities, while assisting with the management and monitoring of portfolio companies as well as sourcing deals and supporting transactions. More day-to-day details on the associate’s role are provided later in this guide.

VICE PRESIDENT/SENIOR PRINCIPAL: At DHS, Vice presidents and principals typically manage the daily responsibilities of the deal teams and work closely with the senior partners at DHS on strategy and negotiations.

DHS professionals in these roles are also expected to generate investment opportunities and potential acquisition ideas. Compensation for a VP or senior principal varies depending on the size of the division. DHS will almost always offer some amount of carried interest in the fund to employees at this level.

 DHS Holdings
 DHS Holdings director

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT at DHS manage entire divisions and internal due diligence streams by themselves and have a large role in negotiations.

They typically have an MBA degree from a top-tier business school, and one of their main responsibilities is to source investment opportunities by cultivating and maintaining relationships with investment bankers, consultants, and others. EVPs also usually manage the pre-MBA associates and often play a large role in the negotiation aspect of the transaction process.

MANAGING DIRECTOR/PARTNER: At DHS Holdings we view managing directors and partners as some of the most senior members of the firm and are, second to the Executive Vice Chairman and the Chairman, the ultimate decision makers.

They interact directly with the management of portfolio companies, target companies, and investment banks, they conduct negotiations, they source deals, and they deal routinely with DHS’ Investment Committee. A typical managing director at DHS receives significant compensation in terms of carried interest in the PE fund(s).

EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN/VICE CHAIRMAN serves as the second in command at DHS and direct and oversees all operations for the firm and conglomerate.

The primary qualifications for being appointed Vice Chairman at DHS are an MBA and several years of experience in private equity. Vice Chairmen move through several other positions first, including Vice President, executive associate, and senior associate before finally getting a job as a vice chairman.

At DHS Holdings these are highly competitive positions, but many senior associates change career paths instead of becoming appointed vice chairman because the nature of the job changes significantly at that point. As such, consider looking for an opportunity to shadow a vice chairman in this field to ensure this job matches what you expect from it.

Fulfilling the responsibilities and duties of a vice chairman at DHS requires interpersonal skills, attention to detail, presentation skills, leadership skills, and the ability to travel as necessary.

 DHS Holdings
 DHS Holdings

CHAIRMAN at DHS Holdings serves as the ultimate authority in hierarchy and ascension to a lead position of power and responsibility as it is first and foremost, the utmost fundamental role of keeping maximum cohesion and alignment within the Governing Board.

A large part of this is defining the priorities in accordance with the CEO, then setting the Board agenda to allow for honest and open debates, setting the right environment for making informed decisions.

At DHS Holdings the contribution of the chairman goes well beyond this in our private equity backed environment, where there is often an accelerated value creation strategy in motion, with a number of moving parts at play.

In this environment at DHS it’s important be a sounding board, coach, advisor and, sometimes, mentor to the CEO and management team, sharing experience and best practices from operating in similar industries over many years.

Just like its successor, the Executive Vice Chairman, this position gives the Governing Board and management team space for creative thinking, promoting ‘out-of-the-box’ insight to help enable accelerated value creation.

As a firm, DHS Holdings helps ensure that any aspirations, visions and challenges put forward by the management team are executable according to the financial objectives set by the Governing Board. It is a key role for the DHS Chairman to help the company stay on track with its core goals while promoting dialog between the Directors and the CEO to maximise innovation, whilst also making sure that the right analysis and relevant KPIs are available for the Governing Board, to able them make the right decisions. This is important when multiple views are expressed and, ultimately, key decisions need to be made.

LEADERSHIP
RAKESH SARNA

Executive Chairman & CEO
DHS Group, DHS Holdings, DHS Energy

FERNANDO AGUIRRE

Executive Vice Chairman, President
DHS Energy, DHS Holdings

JONATHAN ELLISON

Executive Vice President, Initiatives

SANDRA DAVISON-HOLMAN

Senior Vice President, Strategy

PATRICK NEEL

Chief Operating Officer
DHS Holdings & Subsidiaries

JOHN TAYLOR

Executive Vice President
DHS Holdings & Subsidiaries

SARAH SANDERS

Vice President of Investor Relations
DHS Group

CARLTON WILBANKS

Vice President of Advancement
DHS Group

STEVEN SANDERS

Vice President of Communications
DHS Holdings & Subsidiaries

ELLEN GARRISON

Vice President and General Counsel
DHS Holdings & Subsidiaries

STEVE COHEN

Vice President of Operations
DHS Holdings & Subsidiaries

GIOVANNI FERRERO

Executive Vice President 
DHS Group Ventures