January 28, 2021 – Boutique search firm BarkerGilmore, which specializes in building corporate legal and compliance teams, has added Peter Ganz as a senior advisor. He becomes the newest member of a team of Fortune 500 general counsel and chief compliance officers. “Ganz’s depth of experience brings another dimension to clients seeking to bring out the best in their people and take their organization to the next level,” said Robert Barker, managing partner of BarkerGilmore. “Peter represents the best of dynamic 21st century legal executives. Driven by a relentless focus on strategy combined with outstanding legal expertise, well-honed business acumen and extensive leadership experience, he has been a trusted advisor.”
“Guiding private and publicly traded Fortune 500 global companies through periods of significant transition, he led complex transactions and advised on strategy and corporate governance,” Mr. Barker said. “Peter built high-functioning, business-focused global legal departments and developed the potential of junior and senior lawyers – across the specialty chemicals, engineering and construction, and consumer products industries. With proven success in delivering exceptional results and a strong focus on coaching and leadership development, he will be invaluable in helping BarkerGilmore’s clients to optimize their organizations and drive revenue.”
Mr. Ganz formerly served as senior vice president, chief legal and compliance officer, general counsel and secretary of Ashland Global Holdings. In this role, he oversaw all legal, government affairs, corporate compliance and governance functions for the company in diverse consumer and industrial end-markets. A core member of the executive leadership team, he was responsible for transforming Ashland from a $10 billion conglomerate of businesses into a high-margin specialty chemicals company with revenues in excess of $2.5 billion that focuses on life sciences, coatings, personal care and other differentiated products. Mr. Ganz was the key strategist and advisor to the CEO and board in effecting the structural and governance changes resulting from the transformation, and he led the response to a series of activist shareholder campaigns including the successful resolution of proxy contests.
Prior to his tenure at Ashland, Mr. Ganz was a partner in the law firm of Sedgwick LLP. Before that, he served as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Foster Wheeler AG, a $5 billion international engineering, construction and project-management contractor, and power-equipment supplier. Mr. Ganz rebuilt the legal function after the company’s restructuring and served on the executive committee to direct company strategy, priorities, and governance. Earlier in his career, he served as SVP, general counsel and secretary of G-I Holdings Inc., formerly GAF Corp., a global manufacturer of specialty chemicals and the largest U.S-based manufacturer of roofing products.
To assist in its search efforts, BarkerGilmore utilizes an advisory board of former general counsel and chief compliance officers. This team, many of whom have served in Fortune 500 companies, is charged with providing advisory and leadership development services, complementing the firm’s core recruiting business. These consultants offer the search firm’s clients access to experience that can help them to optimize their organizations and accelerate profits.
This past summer, BarkerGilmore added legal operations pioneer Audrey Rubin to its advisory and coaching division. Ms. Rubin is nationally acclaimed as both a pioneer of the legal operations function and a preeminent leader in the business of law, with an innovative background in advising law departments and law firms on operations, profitability, business acumen, leadership and team development, diversity and inclusion, and the use of process improvement and practical technology to maximize value. Mr. Barker said Ms. Rubin’s breadth and depth of experience brings another dimension to clients seeking to not only take their organization to the next level, but to bring out the best in their people. “Audrey Rubin is considered to be a groundbreaking legal and business executive who has advised organizations in the roles of general counsel, chief operating officer, vice president of human resources, board member, and law firm partner,” he said.
General Counsel: A New Pathway to CEO
The general counsel role has been vital for companies maintaining an international presence. “The role and stature of the general counsel position has expanded globally,” said Paul Williams, a partner in MLA’s Chicago office.
BarkerGilmore also added two senior advisors, A.B. Cruz III and Jamey Seely, to its advisory and coaching division. Mr. Cruz, who brings considerable multi-industry expertise to the firm, most recently served as senior vice president and divisional general counsel at USAA, a Fortune 100 financial services company. Ms. Seely, who simultaneously holds business and legal roles, currently serves as president and general counsel of Integra Inc., a leading developer of blockchain technology for the legal industry.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media