Sports Association Taps Korn Ferry and Major, Lindsey & Africa to Recruit Top Leaders

March 16, 2016 – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has selected executive search firms Korn Ferry and Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA) to oversee the Confederation’s search for a general secretary and chief legal / compliance officer.

Korn Ferry’s global sports practice will lead the search for a general secretary, while MLA will run the compliance officer assignment. The firms will advise on key qualifications for both positions and manage the global search processes before offering candidate recommendations to the CONCACAF council.

For its general secretary post, CONCACAF is seeking candidates who have a proven track record of running a successful business, managing profit and loss statements, overseeing regional staff, organizing large-scale events, and managing broadcast, commercial, and digital media rights.

Candidates for the chief compliance officer position must have appropriate legal credentials, extensive work experience in legal or compliance positions within multinational corporations, and strong management skills.

Candidates for both positions are required to have experience with and an understanding of cross-cultural work, and impeccable reputations on issues relating to integrity and ethics.

“CONCACAF is entering a new phase of governance and management, and a robust executive search process is required to find individuals to lead the Confederation in two very important areas. For the development of football across our region to flourish, CONCACAF needs to continue professionalizing its operations by identifying the right leaders to implement reforms and maintain the Confederation’s growth and stability,” the organization said in a statement.

Both searches are in their beginning stages, and the Confederation expects each process to be complete within a few months.


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The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football covering these three regions. Three South American entities — the independent nations of Guyana and Suriname and the French department of French Guiana are also members. CONCACAF’s primary functions are to organize competitions for national teams and clubs, and to conduct World Cup qualifying tournaments.

The Confederation chose two very different types of search firms to handle these assignments, both considered vitally important to the organization.

Korn Ferry, the largest of the global recruitment firms, has a highly developed sports practice, today led by Jed Hughes. His relationships within sports and intercollegiate athletics are extensive, having spent 20 years coaching in professional and intercollegiate football and working for five Hall of Fame coaches. KF’s sports practice has conducted a number of prominent searches in the field, including Commissioners of the National Football League and Major League Baseball, as well as the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The firm has also been active filling head coaching and general manger roles for both professional and colligate sports teams. At the end of the most recent Major League Baseball season, the firm placed David Sterns as general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. Korn Ferry also recruited Rob Manfred into the commissioner’s post last year. The league also retained the firm last year to provide league-wide talent support services, which includes assisting candidates who reach the interview process for baseball operations positions. For this reason, executive recruiters continue their expansion into the sports industry.

With offices throughout the U.S., London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Major, Lindsey & Africa is focused almost exclusively on legal sector recruiting. The firm has a long track record of general counsel, corporate counsel, partner, associate, and law firm management placements.

Finding senior leadership within the regulatory and compliance functions, which MLA has been tasked here to do, is exceedingly complex today, as companies face intense pressure under the current regulatory environment. Leaders who can foster close collaboration between compliance and other corporate functions, as well as communicate to a more complex and sophisticated set of stakeholders, are in sharply rising demand.

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

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