Thomas Watson

Industry Advisor

Thomas Watson is the founder and managing partner of TWG (Thomas Watson Group), a boutique executive search, executive coaching and consulting firm. Prior to founding TWG, Tom was the President & CEO of four different companies, one was a business unit inside a Fortune 100 company and the other three were private equity backed middle market businesses. He came up through the finance ranks and has held CFO and COO roles in a number of high-growth companies across multiple industries – healthcare, insurance and financial services, as well as business services.

Tom held senior roles at Aetna/CVS, Optum, and CIGNA where he helped create three start-up businesses (new divisions/BUs): 1) an Individual Insurance Division at Aetna/CVS, 2) Optum Bank at UnitedHealth Group, and 3) a BenAdmin business at CIGNA. While at CIGNA Tom also worked in the Health Service division, a $6.5B revenue division, which managed five BUs: Dental, Vision, Pharmacy/PBM, Behavioral, and Disease/Case Management.

His experience in PE included: Zelis, a high growth HCIT/Fintech business that transacted at $5.7B; Avizent, a workers comp business where he executed a turnaround and sold the company for $190M; and Sandler, a global sales training franchise sold for $110M. Over his career Tom successfully executed 17 M&A buy and sell-side transactions. He has strong relationships with the major investment banking houses, including Goldman Sachs, William Blair, Houlihan Lokey and others.

Tom is a Columbia University certified executive coach. He has an MBA from the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business, obtained while working full time.
He self-funded and earned his undergraduate degree in Accounting from The Ohio State University, and holds a non-practicing CPA license.

Tom lives in Connecticut, is married (33 years) and has three children. He grew up in a rural town in northeast Ohio.