The Cleveland recruiting firm Christian & Timbers is looking for business executives to direct start-up small businesses that are backed by venture capitalists.

Bankers would be strong candidates for the jobs because they have analytical skills and understand mergers and acquisitions, said Michael Nieset, a senior associate at the search firm.

"We look for the leaders who have directed change and growth and understand the need to generate strong returns for investors," Mr. Nieset said.

Most of the venture capital-backed businesses are high-tech companies in industries such as computer software or biotechnology; they are typically more than a year old.

They pay executive salaries of $200,000 to $300,000 with bonuses. Start- up executives usually hold equity stakes in their company and can reap as much as $10 million when it goes public or is acquired, Mr. Nieset said.

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