For more than 40 years, SterlingBackcheck has been combining industry leading technology and service levels to provide fast, accurate and comprehensive pre-employment background screening for clients around the world.


  • Leading international provider of technology-enabled employment background screening services
  • Provides criminal background checks, employment and education verification, drug testing and other pre and post-employment screening services
  • Service delivered via front-end web-based interface, with searches executed via proprietary technology platform

Calera-Supported Initiatives:

  • Sales and Marketing: Calera invested heavily in the sales and marketing capabilities of the organization, increasing sales headcount by more than threefold and marketing headcount by 10x.  At the same time, productivity per salesperson increased by 75%
  • New Services:  Calera helped launch a product offering, Verified Volunteers, which provided background screening services for volunteer organizations.  This new service line provided access to a large, high growth market with significant untapped potential.  Calera also helped create Arrest Direct, a post-employment, recurring revenue product that opened up a large growth opportunity to sell into Sterling’s 22,000 customer base.
  • Acquisitions:  With Calera’s support, Sterling executed four strategic acquisitions which added scale, new products, new customer capabilities and an international presence.  Each of these acquisitions was fully integrated onto a consolidated platform, resulting in significant efficiencies for the business.
  • Senior Management:  With the support of William Greenblatt, Calera Capital invested significantly in Sterling’s management team and infrastructure by adding a new CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO and General Counsel.


  • Source: Calera identified Sterling as part of a dedicated effort in technology-enabled business services working closely with Operating Partner Paul Walsh to identify platforms with a transformational opportunity.
  • Initial Observations: Sterling’s best-in-class operating platform, efficiency, scale and sales culture provided a durable competitive advantage that had resulted in industry leading organic growth.  To sustain and accelerate growth, Calera saw opportunities to enhance the management team, develop new products, complete acquisitions and strengthen the company’s technology infrastructure.
  • Calera as Preferred Partner: Sterling’s founder and CEO, William Greenblatt, was seeking help with strategic planning, improving business and financial processes, enhancing technology capabilities, executing on acquisitions and maximizing organic growth.  He chose Calera as his preferred partner given the firm’s investment approach, strong operating credentials and domain expertise..  Management maintained a 45% stake in the business.


  • In partnership with management, Calera helped transform Sterling to a market-leading, global enterprise with robust infrastructure and world-class management
  • Market share more than doubled from 2010 to 2015
  • Revenue and EBITDA increased by more than 25% annually
  • This significant growth in earnings and franchise value led to a sale to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking and La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in June 2015