Odgers Berndtson Adds Sector Specialists, Doubles In Size

October 12, 2016 – Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson has launched a new higher education practice in the U.S. and strengthened its life sciences and healthcare practices. In the process, the firm has added four executive search industry specialists – Nick Brill, Allen Reed, Jennifer McDonough and Ora Smith.

Mr. Brill joins Odgers as a partner and will head its U.S. higher education and academic medicine practice. He also serves as a member of the firm’s healthcare practice. Previously, he co-founded boutique search firm Brill Neumann and recruited senior academic and business leaders for top U.S. universities, academic medical centers and affiliated organizations. Earlier in his career, he was an officer of the Harvard Community Health Plan, a leading health maintenance organization and founder of health services company, Commonwealth Care, which was eventually sold to a publicly-traded company.

Mr. Reed becomes a partner with the firm and will serve clients in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Based in Washington, D.C. and New York, he specializes in senior functional and general management roles, including at the C-suite and board level. Prior to joining Odgers Berndtson, Mr. Reed founded Reed & Associates, an executive search firm serving healthcare and life sciences clients. Before that, he led the healthcare practice for Slayton Search Partners, after serving eight years as managing director at Russell Reynolds Associates in its healthcare and life sciences practice.

Ms. McDonough joins the firm as a principal in the firm’s Boston office and will serve as a member of Odgers’ higher education / academic medicine and healthcare practices. She brings extensive experience recruiting for a wide variety of academic and operational leadership roles for clients that include research universities, liberal arts colleges, academic medical centers and biotech companies. Ms. McDonough built her foundation during tenures with search firms Brill Neumann and J. Robert Scott. Prior to her search career, she conducted pharmacology and infectious disease research at Johns Hopkins University and Yale University.

Mr. Smith becomes a principal in Odgers Berndtson’s higher education and technology practices. He has recruited in the public-private partnership arena as well as in technology commercialization, academia and research assignments. Previously, he was a senior leader at Brill Neumann. He also has experience in senior corporate positions, start-up companies and university organizations. Over the years, he founded and co-founded several technology-based companies including ISCO International, as well as a company acquired by Superconductor Technologies, Inc. and another by Gordian Associates. In addition, Mr. Smith was the first CEO of The Ohio State University’s affiliated research park and he is also a former Industrial research institute fellow in the White House Science Office.

Cross Pollination

According to Odgers’ U.S. vice chairman and director, John Hawkins, who heads the firm’s U.S. life sciences and board practices, the opportunity to cross-pollinate across practices allows for the transfer of knowledge, which provides clients with a “competitive advantage” required in today’s talent environment.

“The biggest benefit for clients in regards to these new hires is the synergies across the partners in terms of their different areas of expertise within life sciences and healthcare,” said Mr. Hawkins. “For instance, Nick Brill is also a specialist in the academic medicine area, so there is overlap with life sciences and healthcare, and Jennifer has both the academic and non-governmental organization medicine expertise. Ora brings a deep technology background, while Allen offers very specialized experience in areas such as pharma services, and medical devices and diagnostics. These are all seasoned recruiters who really know their markets and who, together, can deliver the best talent solutions to our clients.”

On a Tear

Recent Odgers Berndtson appointments for clients in life sciences and healthcare include the chairman and CEOCFO and six new board directors at Valeant Pharmaceuticals. In the last year, Odgers Berndtson has also recruited over a dozen non-executive directors, four CEOs and three CFOs to other public life sciences companies in the U.S.

Outside of the life sciences sector, other Odgers Berndtson searches include recruiting the CEO of Tetragon USA (a $17 billion dollar hedge fund), the CEO of Lloyds of London and the Governor of the Bank of England.

Odgers Berndtson U.S. has added more than 15 sector specialists to its roster in the last two years, with revenues doubling in size as a result. The firm recently ranked No. 22 among Hunt Scanlon Media‘s Top 50 executive search firms in the Americas. It is expected to rise in rank next spring when the 2017 list is published. Globally, Odgers now has more than 210 partners managing client engagements from offices in 51 cities across 29 countries.

“Clients entrust us to recruit top talent eager to tackle business challenges unique to their transforming industries,” said Steve Potter, Odgers U.S. managing partner. “Our newest search specialists are authorities in their industries who are ready to help clients in pursuit of executives with a proven track record of success.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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