25 Apr 2013
When it comes to recruiting senior executives and board members, geographical boundaries are no longer important. According to Vice-Chairman of CTPartners, Geneva-based Sylvan Dhenin, the majority of the briefs the firm receives in Europe are from corporations looking for executives with international experience to help them expand into new regions. “These people might be working almost anywhere in the world,” he says.
CTPartners provides these services through 22 offices in the Americas, Europe, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Clients range from Fortune 1000, FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 companies to private equity and venture capital firms and their portfolio companies.
Managing Partner, Deirdre Kenny, who is based in London, says that this means that the firm has to be able to “connect the dots” between various regions. She explains that there are plenty of nuances and surprises when it comes to operating in a new environment: “It’s both easier and less risky if you can work with a local market expert with 15-20 years experience who has an in-depth understanding of the competition, can identify new commercial opportunities and knows what it will take to succeed in granular detail.
“The strongest relationships are with companies that ask for us to help while they are still in the initial planning phase. It’s at this stage that we can really help with their strategic goals. For example, a client based in North America might require help expanding into Asia, or a Chinese client might be looking for support in Germany,” she adds.
Executive search is about identifying, attracting and integrating the highest calibre people. CTPartners believes that you have to have top people on your own team to achieve this. As well as being functional and sector experts, most of the company’s consultants have first-hand experience of either studying or working in different regions of the world. Their own CEO, Brian Sullivan, even relocated from the US to spend a year in London so that he could get the inside track and work alongside the company’s growing European business.
Another factor that sets CTPartners apart and underpins its commitment to seamless international delivery is that it does not follow the traditional office-by-office profitability structure of most executive search firms. This leaves little or no incentive for different country teams to work together as it means dividing up the profit. In contrast, CTPartners’ approach to working with one profit and loss centre encourages team-working and means that consultants collaborate and share their insight, expertise and knowledge with each other – regardless of where they are based.
Transparency is also important. “We don’t keep our search in a little black box,” says Gert Stürzebecher, Managing Partner in the Frankfurt office. “We share information with both clients and candidates and we’re always on the look-out for new ways to improve what we do,” he adds.
In fact, CTPartners is the only retained executive search firm to track and publish key quality metrics verified by an independent accounting firm. Proof of CTPartners’ ability to deliver results is its 81 percent successful placement rate. Significantly, independent post-placement audits show an industry-leading candidate stick rate of 88 percent. The firm also offers clients cloud based 24/7 access to their search status through its unique ‘ClientNet’ extranet.
CTPartners are keen to emphasise that it is also crucial to ensure that boards are willing to embrace international diversity within their own top teams. “Some boards can ignore the simple truth that diversity of nationality and culture bring with them the new perspectives and insights that are essential in a challenging business environment,” concludes
Today’s most talented executives view mobility as a basic component of their careers and it is clear that CTPartners, now one of the fastest growing global search firms, has invested significantly in its capability to identify and source the very best C-Suite, senior-level, and boardroom level talent from anywhere in the world.