May 17, 2017 – Executive search firm Ratliff & Taylor has appointed Beth Sweeney as its new president. An accomplished leader with deep industry experience, she has been widely recognized for her work in sales and marketing throughout a 20-plus year career.
As president, Ms. Sweeney will have full profit-and-loss responsibility for each of the company’s three practices: executive search, leadership development and career transition. The firm leads searches for the non-profit, private and public sectors in a variety of functional areas and industries. It extends its local expertise globally through formal memberships with Career Partners International and Cornerstone International Group.
Ms. Sweeney will also continue to lead all strategic growth initiatives, including sales, marketing and new product development. Ratliff & Taylor currently employs 25 professionals at its Independence, OH location.
“Beth has proven to be an insightful leader, trusted colleague and a true steward of our corporate culture,” said Mike Milby, chief executive officer of Ratliff & Taylor. “Her thoughtful, customer-oriented approach has strengthened our position in the market and enabled us to bring on many exciting new clients and assignments.”
Ms. Sweeney previously served as market president at the firm; she was responsible for sales, marketing, new product development and customer experience. Prior to joining Ratliff & Taylor, she was SVP and general manager for Lee Hecht Harrison, a global talent management organization. Ms. Sweeney also held positions with the Mt. Sinai Health Care System as corporate director of marketing and public affairs and as a producer and reporter for WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland.
“I am delighted to work with 25 of the most talented professionals and true friends one could ever hope for, and even more flattered to lead them,” said Ms. Sweeney. “A close friend told me that in this life, you can work to find your people or your purpose. I found both.”
Women Assuming Top Leadership Roles
A number of women have been appointed to top leadership appointments at search firms, many of which are focused on strategy, growth, branding efforts and operations:
Eric Salmon & Partners recently announced that its long-standing president, Massimo Milletti, has handed over management of the search firm to two partners who will co-head the partnership. Sophie Wigniolle from the firm’s Paris office now leads the firm together with Raoul Nacke, a managing director in Frankfurt.
Executive search firm Slone Partners named Leslie Loveless as its CEO. She succeeds Adam Slone, who founded the firm in 2000. Ms. Loveless joined Slone Partners in 2007 and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2014. Prior to joining the firm, she served as director of training and development for AmeriPath.
Isaacson, Miller appointed Vivian Brocard as its new president. In her role, Ms. Brocard leads the search firm’s management committee in overseeing firm-wide operations and work with its executive committee to guide strategy and execution. She replaced Elizabeth Ramos. Ms. Ramos previously served as Bain & Company’s first global chief people officer.
What Makes Women Great Leaders
“Successful women I know in executive search have a highly developed emotional quotient that contributes to their success in becoming leaders,” said Linda Mack, founder and president of Mack International. “In a business based on discretion and trustworthiness,” she said, women also possess a “distinctive competency in assessing culture fit” between candidates and clients. “In the niche in which we specialize (family office / wealth management), culture fit is paramount for success – and trumps technical skills.”
Ms. Mack said that these traits, often referred to as the ‘soft skills’ that women are often credited with, are being increasingly valued in the market and contribute to more women rising to positions of leadership in every business, including executive search.
“Recruiting is a ‘whole-brain’ exercise, requiring both an analytic component as well as an evaluation of softer elements such as culture fit,” said Gabrielle F. Parish, president of another ‘Financial 50’ search firm, GF Parish Group. “It is quite possible,” she said, “that applying these two pieces simultaneously is particularly satisfying to many women.”
Combining that with the desire of financial services companies to hire more women and to crack the glass ceiling wide open, she said, it is understandable why executive search firms in the finance sector are increasingly composed of, or led by, women.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media