Commercial Diligence and Strategy – Senior Associate

Who we are
Our Mission

Build winning companies to deliver superior returns to our investors.

Our strategy

Acquire good businesses and partner with management to drive fundamental improvement.

Our values
  • Partnership
  • Passion
  • Discipline
Our core competencies
  • Sourcing
  • People
  • Evaluation
  • Continuous Improvement
Our Firm
  • Lean, collaborative team, working directly with Partners and senior management
  • Successful track record resulting in exciting growth
  • 6 out of 7 current Partners started as associates or Vice Presidents at Sterling
  • Resources Group, comprised of subject matter experts in Human Capital, Operations, Commercial, Strategy, Technology, and M&A, are members of deal teams and help drive improvements at portfolio companies
  • Hands on investing model resulting in deep engagement with our portfolio companies
Our Culture
  • We believe in long term partnership and collaboration
  • Relentless, firm-wide commitment to continuous improvement
  • We say "we" more than "I"
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Passionate about building winning businesses

COMPANY:         The Sterling Group

POSITION:           Commercial Diligence and Strategy – Senior Associate

LOCATION:         Houston, TX

TRAVEL:               10%



The Sterling Group is an operationally focused middle market private equity firm focused on the industrial sector. Founded in 1982, Sterling is one of the longest standing private equity firms in North America.  Today the firm has over $4.0 billion in assets under management. Over 75% of Sterling’s returns have been driven by organic EBITDA growth, a result of Sterling’s operational investing style. Sterling’s investor base is comprised by some of the largest and most respected global institutional investors.



The Senior Associate in the Commercial Diligence and Strategy group will play in integral role in the next phase of Sterling’s success. We are looking for someone who is passionate about conducting commercial diligence, developing strategic plans, and having big impact on businesses. Ultimately, this role will provide candidates with the opportunity to develop an ‘investor’ and ‘business owner’ mindset through a unique and diverse set of experiences – from evaluating industries and assets to invest in – to helping define strategies for portfolio companies ultimately acquired.



  • High velocity and comprehensive commercial due diligence and theme development (70-80% of time): The primary responsibility of the Commercial Diligence and Strategy (CD&S) Group is to lead commercial due diligence efforts on every platform deal and key add-ons, in addition to helping develop and evaluate investment themes in attractive end markets. Responsibilities will include both conducting commercial diligence internally and/or managing third party consultants to support diligence efforts as needed.
  • Hands-on strategy experience transforming companies (20-30% of time): As a member of the CD&S group, the Senior Associate will also work alongside portfolio company leadership and deal teams to help shape the strategy of middle market industrial businesses. Given Sterling’s strategy and investing style, this is a unique opportunity to be a part of transforming businesses and industries.
  • Personal development programs: Sterling offers an annual stipend towards professional development, in addition to a competitive bonus structure and carried interest.
  • Ability to drive growth at Sterling: The Senior Associate will help shape the firm’s continuous improvement efforts, best practices, and strategy.



  • Commercial diligence: Identify and evaluate assets through market research, focused on understanding elements including, but not limited to: industry dynamics and outlook, competitive landscape, customer dynamics, supplier dynamics, and M&A strategy. Leverage insights to objectively outline the merits and risks of investing in a particular industry and/or transaction (i.e., deal thesis) from a financial and strategic standpoint (e.g., providing input into model, checking against downside risk and identifying upside opportunities, identifying post-acquisition priorities)
  • Theme development: Profile industries and develop investment themes, based on specific sector trends and dynamics
  • Strategy development: Work alongside the deal-team and the broader Portfolio Resources Group to facilitate the Strategy development process for portfolio companies – including initial strategy sessions and/or strategy refreshes. Serve as a thought partner to help outline where to play and how to win for our portfolio companies
  • Strategic value creation initiatives: Support portfolio companies on specific ‘strategic’ projects, such identifying adjacent markets to enter, determining new products to potentially develop, outlining potential GTM strategies, etc.
  • Exit preparation: Clearly communicate the value of the business and develop a well-defined vision for future acquirers to grow the business



  • Participate in Monthly Operational Review (MOR) meetings and quarterly Board Meetings as needed
  • Actively lead internal initiatives and continuously find ways to improve and enhance function using the latest tools, thinking, etc.



  • Extensive experience (~3-5 years) in conducting commercial diligence – either through management consulting or equity research (e.g., developing initiating coverage reports) at a premier firm
  • Passionate about evaluating industries and businesses
  • Experience managing multiple work streams autonomously
  • Detail oriented and exceptional ability to solve problems and identify solutions with rigor and efficiency
  • Demonstrated academic excellence, including a bachelor’s degree from top-tier university with a stellar GPA
  • Exposure to private equity and private equity owned companies
  • Interest in continuous improvement – both personally and professionally
  • Desire to improve and grow industrial businesses
  • Personal ties to, or a desire to live in Houston



  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) at a top-tier business school



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