A Video Conversation with Terry Williams, CEO of Cross X Platform and ORS Partners - Part III


Terry Williams

Click here for Part IPart II

Helping organizations grow through human capital solutions

Terry Williams is the founder and CEO of Cross X Platform (CXP) and its subsidiary, ORS Partners. Drawing on his 30-year career as a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Terry leverages his expertise in talent acquisition and business management to help emerging companies grow. CXP is a human capital shared services platform that allows executives to improve their organizations’ sales, recruitment, leadership, and more. ORS works with its clients to solve complex business issues through strategic outsourcing and hiring solutions. Other companies founded by Terry include TWC Group (formerly T. Williams Consulting), Movitas, and NextStage Capital. Additionally, he currently serves on the board of directors for Net Nanny, and on the board of governors for the Sixers Innovation Lab.

Terry Williams spoke with Jeff Mack of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank for this interview.

JEFF MACK: You’ve been involved with many emerging companies over the years? What challenges have you faced, and what have you learned?

TERRY WILLIAMS: I am in the business of early stage. In that business, you have many failures. The key is to keep the failures to a minimum. In particular, just with my own business, TWC: our clients were venture-backed, or private equity-backed businesses. After 9/11, 2002 was a very difficult part of our business. We tried to do our best to keep employees. Our business lost over $1 million a year. We were intent on keeping people rather than making money. Very difficult time.

And 2008 was a very tough market as well for some of our companies in the fund. We made investments in 2006, 2007; we were building and scaling companies, and everyone was excited about the growth—and everyone knows what happened in the financial markets in 2008. It stunted the growth of many of our portfolio companies. We probably lost two years for these companies in their growth cycle, which put us more into a difficult position, here in 2016, with harvesting these companies after losing those two years of growth.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the years in terms of this business. I certainly have learned what I do best. And I know this is something a lot of other CEOs share: the need to surround myself with really smart people. Really, I can just kind of orchestrate the choir, but the people around me are the people that make me look good and make the company look good. We’re very particular about how we hire.

Q. Where is the company headed next?

A. In our acquisition strategy, both at ORS as well as in some of our other businesses, we’re going to be looking for companies whose location is strategic. Our plans to grow ORS are going to be on a national level. We have opened up a presence in New York. We’re certainly looking at the Chicago market. We’re going to be looking at the West Coast. We also may be looking at the Atlanta area. For us to look at these companies in terms of our focus, in terms of acquisition, it’s going to be more about location than size.

Connect with  Terry on LinkedIn

Sponsored by:


Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is one of the world's leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 12,800 professionals operate from more than 370 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.

With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.

NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.

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