August Leadership Expands Footprint in Asia, Europe

May 13, 2020 – Executive recruitment firm August Leadership, which changed its name from Ward Howell USA earlier this year, is growing its global presence by adding new partners in Asia and Europe.

“We are witnessing a very high interest from top performing partners to join our firm to re-position themselves within the industry,” said Asad Haider, founder and CEO of the New York City-based firm. “They tell us that our distinctive, low-cost platform model, with excellent support structure, one of the highest industry payouts at 70 percent, and ability to earn equity in the firm is a no-brainer as well as a game changer. As a result we expect to be an 80-plus partner firm by the end of 2020 and have 200 partners spread strategically across the global firm by 2022.”

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Most recently, the firm expanded into Shanghai. Leading the team there is Michael Maeder, managing partner. Mr. Maeder, who was born in China and is German by origin, has combined work experience in six countries spread over two continents. Having started his career in supply-chain consulting, he later co-founded an award-winning human resources services practice in China and a global IoT consulting firm. He is also involved in board advisory and supports clients on their leadership and organizational development work in China and broader Asia.

Deep Experience

Mr. Maeder is joined by partner Chun Liew and advisory partner Jane Feng.

Mr. Liew has more than 12 years executive search experience. He has worked in Europe, Latin-America and Asia with particularly extensive experience in China. As a consultant, Mr. Liew supports clients with executive search, leadership and organizational effectiveness and talent management solutions in the Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region.

Ms. Feng has worked as a professional and executive in leading international companies in the field of HR and learning and development for over 25 years. She has worked with corporations including Coca-Cola, Intel and PepsiCo. Just prior to joining August Leadership, Ms. Feng was senior human resources director, talent sustainability and staffing for PepsiCo Greater China.

“After having already worked for eight years with many of the August Leadership partners globally, this joint launch of the new brand is truly a professional highlight for our team,” said Mr. Maeder. “We are confident that with our track record in executive search and leadership consulting in China and Asia more broadly, as well as with our sector experience in the Internet of Things (IoT) space globally, we can help the group to continue its growth journey.”

A London Location

Earlier this spring, August Leadership opened a London office. Leading the location is Alastair Paton, managing partner for Europe. Mr. Paton previously spent 16 years in sales, marketing and general management roles in major global consumer goods businesses, living and working in Europe, the Middle East and North America. Prior to joining August Leadership, he co-founded a search business in 2004 which became part of a major global network in 2011. Since 2014, Mr. Paton led what is now Signium’s U.K. business while also playing a role on the firm’s global board. He became its first elected global chair in 2018.

Mr. Paton joined by partners Peter Bowstead and John Purkiss.

August Leadership Adds HR Specialist
August Leadership recently added Fran Luisi as a partner within its human capital & human resource practice. He is a leader in executive search across industries and geographies, helping organizations build the depth, breadth, and quality of their human capital and human resources talent and functions globally. Mr. Luisi previously served as partner and head of the HR practice at Odgers & Berndtson.

Mr. Bowstead, a Zimbabwean national, worked in leadership roles in the industrial, finance, trading, transportation and logistics industries in Africa, North America, Europe and Asia. For nearly 30 years, he has led, owned and developed global search practices, personally conducting over 275 retained mandates in over 60 countries.

Mr. Purkiss has more than 20 years’ experience in executive search and is renowned as a thought-leader in the field. He was a partner with one of the largest global firms, and has since run his own business. Prior to that, he had a successful career in financial services, in Europe and the U.S.

Optimizing Relevance

“This is an important start to our European story as we work with our clients, today and tomorrow, to solve their leadership talent challenges.” Said Kimberly Bishop, chairman of the firm’s advisory board and managing partner.

In February, August Leadership made the switch from its iconic Ward Howell name and brand. “The purpose of the rebrand was to break from traditional roots, which we will always appreciate and respect, and point the firm to true north in terms of optimizing relevance in today’s marketplace,” Ken Greger, partner in the firm’s travel and hospitality practice, told Hotel Business. “This also allows us to continue being strategic advisors to our clients from a big picture perspective, versus just an industry silo, and add real value. Ultimately, these attributes aren’t found in a name alone—it has to be in the mindset and culture of the firm. Our rebranding is a statement to that effect.”

“The word ‘August’ conveys someone who is respected, dignified and impressive,” said Mr. Haider. “Our clients tell us that we deliver ‘August’ leaders, focusing on relationships rather than transactions. We’re doing our life’s work to help our clients do theirs.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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