Spotlight on Rishi Jain: Why I Joined Accordion
After 10+ years at Alvarez & Marsal, Rishi Jain took a chance on a lesser-known firm.
…that lesser-known firm, of course, was Accordion.
When Rishi first met the Accordion team (in Spring 2017), he wasn’t looking for a new role. But the opportunity to start a West Coast office for a high-growth New York-based company was one he “couldn’t pass up.” Fast forward to today: that West Coast office is sourcing their own deals, 20 staff strong, and already moving to a larger space.
Not only has Rishi built a San Francisco-based team that perfectly complements the team in New York, but he has set the blueprint for future Accordion expansion – both nationally and globally.
“My journey with Accordion is a prime example of how nimble and entrepreneurial this company is. Everyone acts quickly and with intention. There’s true camaraderie – a spirit fueled by friendships and a genuine sense of encouraging one another to make their mark on the firm’s growth story.”
Interested in Rishi’s story? Keep reading. Think Accordion could be the right fit for you? Get in touch.
How did you first hear about Accordion?
I was at my previous firm, Alvarez & Marsal, helping lead their San Francisco office for more than 10 years. I wasn’t looking for a new role, but several of my private equity contacts were buzzing about Accordion and encouraged me to meet the team. As soon as I did, it became clear that there was a real opportunity here. Not only did I see value in the services Accordion provides, but I saw a specific need for Accordion in the Bay Area – a market that is shifting from venture capital to private equity and requires growing operational support.
What were your initial impressions after meeting the Accordion team?
It’s a very compelling story that Accordion has – the growth, the culture, the unmet opportunity. There was an energy I could sense in each of my encounters, but what struck me most was how nimble the team was. Within 24 hours of meeting Nick [Leopard, CEO] he introduced me to five of his colleagues, and before I knew it, I was having drinks with half of the Accordion leadership team. At most firms this process would take months, but it’s symbolic of how Accordion acts quickly and with intention.
How does Accordion compare to other firms?
At a lot of consulting firms and financial institutions, culture is what’s written on a piece of paper. But here, culture is how people act and behave. There’s true camaraderie – a spirit fueled by friendships and a genuine sense of encouraging one another to grow. I’m a big believer in stretching people outside of their comfort zones – in challenging them to do something new every day. That’s why I was drawn to the Accordion approach. Here, people who have never led teams are encouraged to lead. Everyone is respected for their different interests and motivators, and learning is valued above all else.
Speaking of recruiting, can you describe the ideal Accordion candidate?
Accordion is unique in that most everyone here has operating experience – and then private equity, accounting, or investment banking experience on top of that. So, from a recruiting standpoint, we’re not just looking for an accountant or an investment banker; we’re looking for someone who has served in an operational role and understands the importance of streamlining operations for portfolio companies. In terms of personality, we need candidates with an enthusiastic, entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to have fun. Fun is key here. There’s a “magic” that exists in the Accordion NYC office, and it’s important that we continue to leverage that magic in SF.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining Accordion?
If you’re looking to do something different – to leave the structure of a big firm behind you, to make your mark on a growing firm’s future, to be around wonderful people – Accordion is the best place for you. Our culture is a hybrid between a well-established firm and a fast-growing startup, and there’s never been a better time to be a part of it.
Where can we find you on the weekends?
I’m the father of twin 8-year-old, sports-obsessed boys, so you can find me chasing them or cheering them on in one of their games!
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