Our client was a private equity fund who were growing their European asset management platform for their real estate and NPL portfolios. They were looking to hire a CEO to grow the team and develop the business, with the longer term ambition of taking on third party clients. Over the previous 18 months, they had worked with two search firms who had failed to make a placement. During this time, we had made several senior placements with them (including the COO, the Head of UK Property, and the Head of Portfolio Management), and they asked us to then take on the CEO mandate.
Our initial discussions with the client were key to our success. A number of senior individuals involved in the process had slightly divergent views on what was required for the role. We helped them to recognise this, and came to an agreement on what was most important. It was also vital that we fully understood the long term potential of the role to pitch it in the most effective way – it was clear from their requirements that the group of people who had the right set of skills and experience was very small, so every conversation we had was crucial. We agreed to search for new candidates, but also revisit the strongest people who had previously turned down the opportunity.
We presented a shortlist to the client that included both newly-discovered candidates and those who had previously not wanted to engage in the process. The successful candidate had previously been approached by both other search firms, but we were able to explain the long term potential of the role in a way that convinced him that the position was a step forward.