July 22, 2016 – Executive search firm The Onstott Group has assisted A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies in the recruitment of Leslie E. Greis to serve on the company’s board of directors. Joe Onstott, managing director, led the assignment.
Ms. Greis is the founder and managing member of Perennial Capital Advisors, LLC, an investment firm specializing in evaluating and investing in private real estate strategies worldwide on behalf of institutional investors. She was previously with Cambridge Associates, an advisory firm to endowments and foundations, and she has also served as acting director of investments at MoMA in New York City.
In addition, Ms. Greis is an owner and director of Kinefac Corporation in Worcester, MA, and serves on the executive committee of Associated Industries of Massachusetts. “We are very pleased to have the benefit of Leslie’s expertise as a director for A.I.M. Mutual,” said John Myers, chairman of the board of the insurance conglomerate.
Founded in 1987 and with offices in the greater Boston and New York City area, Onstott Group is a mid-sized executive search firm serving technology, manufacturing, clean technology, consumer, business services, non-profit, higher education, venture capital and high growth companies. The firm has filled senior level roles for clients, including American Science & Engineering; MorphoTrust USA; Dyn; Paytronix Systems; Valore; Vicon Industries; Demandware; Welch’s; Bose Corporation; and Direct Energy, among a host of others.
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Director recruiting has grown markedly more challenging in recent months, according to recruiters with board practice emphasis. According to Egon Zehnder, heightened expectations now placed on boards have elevated both the professional standards and personal commitment required of all directors.
At the same time, many boards find that the supply of independent-minded ‘board experienced’ directors – especially those who can add vital forms of specialized skills and expertise – is limited, as such candidates are both widely sought after yet sometimes hesitant to take on the intensive responsibilities now required of board service.
And for boutiques focused on identifying directors, there might be a new reason to redouble their efforts to offer assistance to companies in need. According to John Weste, a consultant with BoardsGlobal, a specialist provider focused on director recruitment, “overwhelming feedback is that the bigger firms regard board placements as an after-though and a loss leader to more lucrative executive search assignments.”
Whatever the reason, companies are turning to executive search firms of all stripes to find new board members. Here is a look at just a small selection taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media newswire archives:
- Greenwich Harbor Partners placed Liz Ritzcovan as a member of the board of directors at The New York Pops. She is the sixth director to be placed on the Pops board by the Greenwich, Conn-based search firm.
- Harvard Group International (HGI) has been selected by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to recruit six new board members. Chuck Cain, a senior partner active in the firm’s non-profit practice, is heading the search.
- Heidrick & Struggles tapped Mary Dillon as a member of the board of directors at Starbucks Corp. Ms. Dillon is chief executive officer of Ulta Beauty.
- Boutique recruiting firm Barton Executive Search recruited Chris Neugent as a member of Welch’s board of directors. Mr. Neugent was recently president and CEO of Post Consumer Brands.
- American Express has retained Russell Reynolds Associates to help it identify potential new board members. The credit card company’s board members come from backgrounds ranging from healthcare companies to an ivy league school to a sports and entertainment company.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media