April 5, 2016 – Global financial recruiting specialist Options Group has appointed Richard Stein to the newly created role of chief growth officer at the firm. As part of his expanded duties, Mr. Stein will develop and implement programs and management processes designed to accelerate Option Group’s revenue and profitability growth globally.
Mr. Stein joined Options Group 18 months ago as a partner. With more than 25 years of consulting and recruiting experience, he has established a track record in recruiting, market intelligence research, and advisory expertise. Throughout his career, both at his own firm — Futures International, Caldwell Partners and at Korn Ferry, he has originated and executed search and global competitive intelligence assignments for investment banks, hedge funds, asset managers and alternative investment firms.
In addition to his new role as chief growth officer, Mr. Stein will serve as a member of Options Group’s partners operating committee and act as global head of OG iQ, a division of the firm that provides leadership development, corporate culture and performance management assessments and other consulting services. He also oversees OG University, the firm’s professional development and certification business.
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Mr. Stein’s expanded responsibilities include overseeing collaborative strategies across the firm, including large account integration management; developing and implementing collaboration “rules of engagement” across the firm; collaboration training; strengthening compliance rules; and overhauling performance metrics, compensation and incentives to encourage enhanced collaboration among the firm’s consultant base.
“My mission is to create strategies for improved sector management and more effective business development strategies and activities here at the firm,” said Mr. Stein. A key additional focus area, he said, will be the development and implementation of the firm’s M&A growth initiatives, both in terms of acquisitions as well as select producer recruitment.
“I am very pleased to announce the creation of this role, and I am confident that Richard will continue to propel Options Group to new levels of profitability through the implementation of market leading strategies,” said OG CEO Mike Karp.
“Richard has demonstrated an enormous ability to create, adapt, and innovate, and we are excited about the next chapter of Options Group with his enhanced role,” added firm president Bob Reed.
Chief growth officer is a relatively new C-level position within organizations — and while not every company has one, more are likely to emerge. A search on LinkedIn of the title generated more than 2,100 results.
“The CGO role is growing and it’s rising in popularity, especially among professional services firms that understand client needs and who want to be front and center to achieve long term revenue growth and stay competitive,” said Mr. Stein. “The CGO is free to challenge the status quo in order to discover new pathways to growth. But the position holder also leads their organizations to a heightened sense of responsibility and purpose.”
Recruiters focused on luring C-suite leadership to their corporate clients say that CEOs have created the position of chief growth officer to drive revenue growth at times of slowing economic activity. But CEOs are now seeing advantages in bringing growth leaders into the C-suite much earlier, when business is booming, in order to establish the necessary rigor that chief growth officers bring with them.
“CGOs are there to discover new pathways to growth. In today’s global, digital world, there’s suddenly this imperative to focus on growth at the highest possible level,” said Mr. Stein. “Many companies think about growth in the context of quarterly earnings, or in terms of meeting current demand. The benefit of having a CGO is the ability to develop a longer term vision.”
Part of the CGO’s job is to build cross-functional teams that can meet shifts in global demand, said Mr. Stein. “But you need to be willing to invest heavily when the timing is right and the vision is clear,” he added. He said the role of CGO does not necessarily require a marketing background. “Companies like Options Group look for people like me with strong commercial experience, people who can actually run a business. I have done exactly that during my career at large search firms as well as boutiques. My job is to harness power by creating, organizing, and energizing powerful teams, and encouraging people to push the boundaries of their own roles.”
Options Group currently operates from more than a dozen locations outside of its New York headquarters, including London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Frankfurt, Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney and Zurich.
The firm has grown in recent months, including acquiring Whitney Correlate, a capital markets search firm with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Whitney Correlate co-founders, Russell Kopp and Niall MacDonald, along with four other employees have joined the firm’s existing Asia team.
Options Group is the 12th largest search firm as ranked by Hunt Scanlon Media. The firm reported Americas revenues of $27 million this past year, a 15 percent increase over the prior year, from three office locations consisting of 72 consultants. Globally, the firm employs over 175 consultants and market intelligence professionals who provide key competencies focused on the financial industry.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media