August 27, 2020 – Executive search firm Acertitude has opened a new office in London and appointed Guy Barnes as managing partner to fuel global growth and lead the new location. Working closely together with co-founders Kevin O’Neill and Rick DeRose, Mr. Barnes will help drive the continuing evolution and international growth of the firm. Based out of Acertitude’s London and New York offices, he will lead the firm’s global business and professional services practice and co-lead its global private equity practice.
“Rick and I are delighted that Guy has joined the Acertitude leadership team,” said Mr. O’Neill. “From our first meeting in 2012 in London, it was evident that we shared similar values and a belief that executive search can and must do better. While Rick and I set out to build Acertitude, Guy’s career took another path.”
“Great ideas have a certain gravitational pull, which in this case brought the three of us back together to build upon our early successes and truly transform the industry that we all love,” Mr. O’Neill said. “Guy is an extraordinary executive search leader, recognized throughout the industry and among top CEOs and business leaders in the world for his ability to connect organizations with game-changing talent. And perhaps more importantly, his distinctive ability to build cohesive search teams singularly focused on serving clients and candidates integrates well with Acertitude’s vision for global growth.”
Mr. Barnes has over 20 years of executive search and assessment experience, working as an advisor to boards and CEOs seeking leaders in the business and professional services and industrial sectors. In addition, he has experience serving private equity clients pre-and-post deal, across a broad range of portfolio companies globally. Private equity is a core competency for Acertitude, representing over 60 percent of the firm’s engagements.
Most recently, Mr. Barnes worked as managing director at Russell Reynolds Associates, where he led the business & professional services practice from London and was a partner on the industrial and private equity teams at the firm. He previously founded, grew, and sold a leading specialist executive search firm to a global, NYSE-listed competitor. Prior to executive search, he worked in the insurance and motorsport industries.
“It is genuinely a delight to be working with my friends Kevin and Rick,” Mr. Barnes said. “When all three of us originally met, we found that we shared a common vision for what a reimagined executive search firm should and could look like — a firm of the very highest quality and integrity and with the client and the candidate at the heart of everything.”
“There is a clear — and underserved — gap in our industry for organizations able to sincerely match the confidence, insight, and caliber of the established global firms whilst offering the creativity, agility, and humanity of the disruptor,” Mr. Barnes says. “This gap is even more evident today. In Acertitude, Kevin and Rick have invested and created just that platform and their success is evidenced through market-leading growth and, more importantly, client loyalty and fabulous candidate feedback. I’m tremendously excited to be working alongside them to deliver on the vision that we originally shared, and take ownership for the firm’s global expansion.”
Other New Hires
Acertitude also added three new consultants in London to solidify its international capabilities. Tim Cook has joined the firm as partner, bringing more than 20 years of executive search and assessment experience from Egon Zehnder and Russell Reynolds. He is highly specialized in CIO, CTO, CISO, and cyber recruitment. In addition to focusing on IT officers, Mr. Cook will lead C-suite engagements around the world for clients in the business services, consumer, industrial, and technology industries.
Oliver Staple has joined as principal with over 10 years of consulting and global executive search expertise. He will lead executive searches in both Europe and the U.S., focusing on corporate officers for business and professional services, financial services, consumer, technology, and private equity firms that are looking to unleash ambitions for restructuring, growth, and digital transformation. Most recently, he was a consultant in Russell Reynolds Associates’ corporate officers practice.
James Kenyon has joined as principal and splits his time between London and New York. At Acertitude, he leads assignments for global functional leaders for private equity portfolio businesses. He has more than a decade of global consulting and leadership advisory experience, most recently as a consultant and member of Russell Reynolds’ corporate officers, financial officers, and private equity practices. Specializing in private equity, Mr. Kenyon advises clients both pre and post-deal across Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia.
Founded in 2015, Acertitude specializes in recruiting CEO, C-suite and executive talent in the consumer, financial, healthcare and life sciences, industrial, private equity, professional services and technology sectors. Its consultants work from offices in Boston; London; Los Angeles; New York; Philadelphia; Providence, RI; Raleigh, NC; Shanghai; Tampa, FL; and Washington, D.C.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media