“Endless opportunities… solid foundations” – Why we joined Drax

November 9th, 2021

“Endless opportunities… solid foundations” – Why we joined Drax

Drax is at a pivotal point in its search and predicative analytics journey. To reflect on this, we asked three of our 2021 new joiners about their working backgrounds, their first impressions of the private equity market and what has pleased them so far about Drax’s culture and vision.

Meet Daniel Yeates (Director, Tech and Tech-Enabled), Lara Belanyi (Associate Director, CFO) and Lucy O’Byrne (Associate Director, CFO).

What prompted your move into search?

Daniel: It was the opportunity to craft and deliver a quality-based, in-depth service to clients. Search allows you to form long lasting partnerships with clients. We are then trusted to help strengthen their leadership teams and advise on their own career objectives.

Lara: I started my career in consulting and qualified as an accountant. I really enjoyed the people and client-facing aspect of consulting (other areas less so). Search was suggested to me by a friend and I thought it played to my strengths and preferences in that regard. Being an accountant, CFO search naturally made sense!

Lucy: As a naturally outgoing and social person, I always knew that after finishing my masters I would want to start a career in something that was people orientated and client facing. I also wanted to utilise the research skills I had gained whilst studying and therefore search seemed like a good amalgamation of the two. Financial search was new to me as I come from more of a humanities background. However, I like the pace at which our CFO practice operates and the breadth of sectors it allows me to work across.

To the unacquainted, private equity can seem mystifying. Does that assumption hold up?

Daniel: For the first couple of weeks it did but you quickly learn that the fundamentals of private equity are actually pretty simple. I have flirted with this market for a number of years but I’d never been in a position to focus on it full time. Private equity is one of those subjects that the more you learn, the more you want to learn.

Lara: Not at all. Private equity is very interesting, largely because there is always an exciting story to tell and a clear vision for the businesses we are working with. It is also a lot more dynamic; having worked on a lot of PLC roles in the past, I found that those engagements were often bogged down with bureaucracy! Beyond some terminology you have to become acquainted with, there is nothing complicated about it.

Lucy: Private equity, as with anything new, can seem mystifying at first, but it is all very simple once you get your head around the necessary terminology. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the world of private equity and have enjoyed the speed at which the business operates. Search mandates have clear objectives and confined timeframes so we are always working at pace. Its enthralling.

What has encouraged you about Drax’s working environment?

Daniel: The quality of the people and the collaborative ethos. It’s these two elements that have driven our value position in the market. We are genuine specialists. We are not just another firm that plays at PE; it is something we live and breathe. That is how we have been able to create our data platform capability, Leadership Dynamics, which adds another dimension to how we can look at the market and enhance our clients value creation strategies across the whole investment cycle.

Lara: Having worked in both large international organisations as well as very small businesses, Drax offers a perfect hybrid of the two; still relatively young, growing and ambitious whilst having solid foundations in place, a clear strategy and the infrastructure to support you. It’s a very open and meritocratic environment.

Lucy: At Drax we have a collaborative culture and a meritocratic environment. Progression through the business can be quick, too. The business is a market leader in private equity search and  Leadership Dynamics is a fantastic addition to our client work.


Daniel Yeates
Director, Technology & Technology Enabled

Lara Belanyi
Associate Director, CFO

Lucy O’Byrne
Associate Director, CFO

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