Search Firms Continue Expansion In Africa As Demand Rises

December 3, 2015 – Boyden has opened a new office in Nairobi, further expanding its presence to a third region in Africa. The firm has appointed Farah Samanani as managing partner to lead its East Africa operations, serving Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Boyden East Africa service offerings cover a number of high growth sectors, including financial services, real estate, life sciences & healthcare, technology and the industrial arena. Since 1999 Boyden has operated within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be supported by the firm’s Johannesburg regional office.

“The increasing investment in the region by global organizations has created an exciting landscape, and there is strong demand for world-class professionals to repatriate or transfer to East Africa”, said Trina Gordon, Boyden president and CEO. “With Boyden’s rich heritage as a pioneer in global executive search with local expertise, we offer an ability to support clients’ leadership solutions in this growing market.”

“Farah’s extensive management experience, her network of connections in East Africa, as well as her passion for the rising tide of economic opportunity in her home of East Africa will make her a key member of Boyden’s global team,” said Magdy El Zein, managing partner for Boyden Middle East and North Africa.

Ms. Samanani has worked in a number of different sectors and geographies, including North America, India, the Middle East, and Africa. She started her career in the U.S. as a management consultant focusing on the healthcare industry. She subsequently returned to Kenya as director of strategic planning within the Aga Khan Development Network. In 2013, she founded Kenyans Come Home, a pioneering boutique search firm in East Africa. It focused on the repatriation of experienced, educated and talented members of the East African diaspora into regionally based roles.

“There is an abundance of opportunities for leading professionals in East Africa,” said Mr. El Zein. “However, there are some challenges for businesses to identify those individuals with the right credentials, education, knowledge and experience. We are ideally suited to identify the very best talent to help transform multinationals and regional businesses.”

Africa has seen a recent growth wave within the executive search industry. Just recently, MRINetwork expanded in the region with the launch of offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg Fourways. Lynn Kleinsmith was named president of MRINetwork Cape Town while Nina Axt will lead the offices as managing director in Johannesburg Fourways.

Just this summer, Heidrick & Struggles added Debbie Farnaby as a partner in its Johannesburg office and a member of the firm’s global technology & services practice. In addition, Modise Makhene joined Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa as a principal in its Johannesburg office, bringing business development and client relationship management experience having worked in the FMCG, media, advertising, digital & communications industries.

Global consortiums have also expanded their footprint in the region. Search organizations Amrop, IIC Partners, and IRC Partners have all added member firms in the region this year.

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

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