IIC Partners Expands Into Eastern Europe, Adding 45th Member Firm

April 6, 2017 – IIC Partners Executive Search Worldwide has added CEO Search into membership. The firm, located in Sofia, expands IIC Partners’ global reach into Bulgaria, an emerging market for the executive search industry.

Bulgaria has an emerging market economy in the upper middle income range, where the private sector accounts for more than 80 percent of GDP. Its labor force is comprised of 2.45 million people, of whom seven percent are employed in agriculture, 35 percent are employed in industry and 58 percent are employed in the services sector. Tourism is the most significant contributor to its economic growth.

CEO Search was founded in 2003 by Milen Ivanov and is an independent executive search firm specializing in senior level and C-suite placements across a wide range of sectors. The firm delivers client-focused solutions across various industries both locally and internationally.

International Reach

“We are very happy to join IIC Partners and take advantage of the expertise, high level capabilities and cross-selling opportunities of the global network,” said Mr. Ivanov. “In this fast changing business environment, it is important to provide our clients with international reach and access to a vast network of contacts. Being part of a larger family creates more opportunities and sense of meaning for everyone.”

“IIC Partners is one of the few top 10 global executive search networks to enter directly into the Bulgarian market,” said Nikolai Nikolov, senior partner of CEO Search. “Joining IIC Partners is a unique opportunity for CEO Search to reintroduce Bulgaria in the global executive search arena.”


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“Joining forces with IIC Partners is the next logical step in our strive for excellence to provide our clients with best practices, knowledge and an international level of service,” Teodora Atanassova, managing partner of CEO Search, added. “We see huge potential in combining our local experience with the global expertise of IIC Partners.”

“IIC Partners is excited to welcome CEO Search in Bulgaria into membership, expanding our footprint in Eastern Europe,” said Christine Hayward, executive director of IIC Partners. “We are looking forward to learning and collaborating with Milen Ivanov and his team of talented search professionals. As IIC Partners broadens its presence in different markets, we learn from our new colleagues, helping us to further serve our clients around the world.”

Continued Growth 

Since the beginning of the year, IIC Partners has experienced a wave of growth expanding in Amsterdam, Dubai, Milan, Singapore and Washington, D.C.

Holtrop Ravesloot, located in Amsterdam, has appointed Boudewijn Vellinga as an associate partner. Mr. Vellinga has spent nearly 15 years in the financial services sector and specializes in executive search assignments from to C-suite level. Previously, he was founding partner and a senior producer at search firm Newington International, where he specialized in placing professionals in risk management, quantitative analysis, structuring, sales, trading, research, origination and private wealth management in EMEA across FICC (rates, FX, credit and commodities) & equity.

Envision Partnership, based in Dubai, has announced the appointment of Karin Legein as a partner. Ms. Legein has over 25 years in communications and branding and specializes in managing executive search and talent mandates across the Middle East and Europe. Formerly, she served as associate partner, Middle East and Africa, at DHR International.

Key2People, headquartered in Milan, has appointed Daniela Mombelli and Uberto Thun-Hohenstein as partners in its industrial practice. Ms. Mombelli has nearly 20 years of expertise within the consulting sector and specializes in the industrial sector. She most recently served as managing director at Accenture and prior to that was a vice president of AlixPartners.

Dinte Executive Search, based in Washington, D.C., recently appointed Sam Dinte as senior associate. He specializes in both search and talent assessment mandates for corporations spanning the value chain and leading financial sponsors. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Dinte spent five years at Avascent, a global aerospace and defense consultancy.

IIC Partners also added Singapore-based Hofer Tan & Partners as member firm marking its seventh office in the Asia Pacific region. Established over 20 years ago, Hofer Tan & Partners is a boutique search firm that specializes in senior level executive and board search, leadership development and talent management mandates across industries and markets.

Branding Partnerships

IIC Partners recently formed a marketing and brand management partnership with CoolBrands, a multinational branding company with over 10 years of experience in creating and packaging profiles for companies and for C-suite executives who are seeking broader market exposure. Through the partnership, CoolBrands will host webinars for IIC Partners members in 2017 covering online reputation management and the importance of portraying brands in the digital space. Together, CoolBrands and IIC Partners will also collaborate on content subject relevant to executive search and reputation management.

The partnership follows IIC Partners launching the IIC Partners Knowledge Academy. The platform provides IIC Partners members with access to a library of professional development webinars, training and educational resources and collaborative learning tools. Knowledge Academy serves as an opportunity for members to grow their business through the exploration of a wide array of topics relevant to today’s industry trends and demands. It was created with the intention to capitalize on the wealth of knowledge that IIC Partners holds as an organization and to bring new tools, services and ideas to its membership community on a complimentary basis.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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