Choi & Burns Rebrands to CBK Partners, Launches Tech Platform Pointr

Big changes are underway as the New York City-based recruitment firm hits reset, including the naming of co-founder Sumi Kang as president. CEO Julie Choi sits down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss what’s happening at this innovative talent provider, including the launch of tech platform Pointr.

December 20, 2019 – New York City-headquartered executive search firm Choi & Burns has rebranded to CBK Partners on its 20th anniversary, following the launch of Pointr, a tech platform designed to foster relationships with sought-after talent. As part of its rebranding efforts, Sumi Kang, CBK co-founder, was named president.

“As part of our rebranding, we elevated Sumi Kang to president to recognize her immense contributions to the firm since its founding,” said Julie Choi, CEO and co-founder of CBK Partners. “Sumi embodies our core values and mission to achieve excellence for our clients. The CBK team takes pride in delivering marquee hires who substantially increase revenue and lead our clients’ business builds.”

“In 2019, we were rewarded for our achievements in management and innovation with five top American Business Awards,” she said. This month, the Women in Business Awards recognized Ms. Kang as Female Executive of the Year, and CBK as Company of the Year (Women-Owned or Led) in Business Services.

While traditional executive search is typically transaction-oriented, Ms. Kang’s approach was recognized for advocacy, sponsorship and “coloring outside the lines” to inspire talent, allowing clients to attract and retain the best and brightest in a fierce market. Ms. Choi said: “Sumi’s leadership is driven by excellence derived through expertise, objectivity and trust, resulting in multi-year partnerships with talent-centric CEOs.”

“Diversity is a cornerstone value of the all-female firm and its creative, solution-oriented approach,” Ms. Kang said. “It is essential in today’s corporate environment to attract and retain high performers with diverse backgrounds and perspectives who serve as role models to the rising next generation.”


Revolutionizing the Hunt for Top Talent

In this brand new episode of ‘Talent Talks,’ Hunt Scanlon host Rob Adams is joined alongside Julie Choi,  CEO and founder of Pointr & CBK Partners. In this exclusive podcast, Ms. Choi discusses her  recruiting business, its recent rebrand and the promotion of Sumi Kang to president. Ms. Choi then shifts her focus to discuss her latest venture, Pointr – a digital platform which is set to revolutionize the way companies recruit and view potential candidates. Listen Now!


Ms. Kang has been instrumental in establishing CBK Partners as an industry-leading search firm in financial services. She is a key advisor to many of the firm’s clients on important strategic assignments addressing leadership, next generation, diversity, business builds, sector expansion and new business entries. Ms. Kang has extensive relationships with industry dealmakers, C-suite advisors and institutional stakeholders which have been built over the course of her career. She has been at the forefront of gaining client mindshare and developing multi-year long partnerships with top financial institutions.

Ms. Kang has completed numerous senior-level searches across sectors and regions and has advised key clients on the recruitment of highly sought after talent at the group head, sector head and senior levels in the following industries: TMT, consumer and retail, business services, energy and power, financial institutions, industrials, natural resources and M&A. In addition to an investment banking track record, Ms. Kang has led and completed assignments in private equity and venture capital, including team builds across levels.

New Technology Platform

CBK Partners recently launched Pointr, a technology platform that cultivates a high performance culture, “starting with the first conversation,” according to the firm. “We free talent from labels and boxes and empower them to bring their whole selves to work,” said Ms. Choi. “Pointr complements, and does not replace, existing processes, whether technology-driven or not. We personalize the relationship between talent and teams at scale. Culture happens between people.”

Since Pointr’s launch, early adopters, including iconic Wall Street firms and high growth companies have used the platform for recruiting, team building, relationship enhancement, and diversity, Ms. Choi said. “Our subscribers realize the criticality of allowing talent to be themselves. Pointr helps teams tap into talent’s intrinsic motivators, which dramatically impacts performance and ROI.”

CBK Partners practice areas focuses on high-profile searches in the corporate finance ecosystem with strategic relevance to the market. “We are considered generalists and provide our advisory and search expertise across all industries,” the firm said. “We leverage deep relationships with business leaders, independent board members, innovators, decision makers and sector experts.” CBK Partners is also called on to provide wide-ranging advisory services including planning for succession, diversifying boards, developing leadership, and attracting and retaining great talent.


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Over her career, Ms. Choi has provided counsel to blue chip clients and industry-leaders: CEOs, founders, business leaders, directors and strategic advisors. Under her stewardship, CBK Partners has maintained a strong track record and reputation. Ms. Choi has built strategic partnerships and mindshare with clients, such that many directly cite their work with the firm as a driver of their precipitous growth and impact on shareholders. She is a champion of the people agenda driving the business agenda. Ms. Choi is not afraid to disrupt the search industry’s approach to diversifying boards, according to those who know her. She serves as U.S. chairman of Nurole, the board and executive-level digital hiring platform that is addressing the disconnect between demand for diversity and the hidden supply of board-ready women.

Ms. Choi recently reflected on some of the biggest changes she has seen in the executive search industry since the launch of her firm. “During our 20 years in business every aspect of the search process has become commoditized except for relationships and providing strategic, objective advice,” Ms. Choi said. “Access to great talent remains the toughest challenge, but value to clients must be differentiated well beyond filling the job.”

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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Jeff Tobe
7 months ago

Keep Coloring Outside the Lines!!!! Congrats on the re-branding