Ducatus Partners Adds Former HR Executive as Partner

July 1, 2022 – Executive search firm Ducatus Partners has added decades of global human resources experience to its team with the addition of Gary McKinney as partner. “To support our clients at the very highest level, we pride ourselves on providing unparalleled insight,” said Allister Graham, managing partner at Ducatus. “Gary’s experience as an HR leader across multiple large energy organizations and private equity firms, as well as in solving complex talent challenges – both as a CHRO and as an advisor – perfectly equips him to do just that for our private equity and larger corporate clients. We are delighted to welcome him to our team and to our Houston (TX) office.”

Mr. McKinney has driven HR strategies at numerous high-growth companies across the energy; investment; and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) sectors including Schlumberger, Valerus, and Clearlake Capital. Specialists in sourcing and developing talent in the energy, private equity and industrial sectors, Ducatus is also playing an enhanced role in supporting the global energy transition. Mr. McKinney will be key to helping clients acquire, manage and develop the human capital required to drive this transformation playing out across all corners of the sector.

“Many people do not understand how integral HR can be to driving growth and transformation.,” said Mr. McKinney. “Similarly, executive search isn’t just about running the recruitment process. It requires a strong commitment to delivering transformational talent solutions that drive business value – and the ability to execute on that commitment.”

“Ducatus is at an incredibly competitive stage in its history. Not only has the team weathered the pandemic well, it isn’t resting on its laurels – rather, it is pushing for new growth opportunities in every corner of the business,” said Mr. McKinney. “While a lot of companies are doing big dramatic pivots to just wind or just solar, Ducatus is committed to maintaining its position in oil and gas and adding new value in that vertical market; it is also committed to expanding to new clients in the renewables space. I think that’s a good indicator that they are nuanced and realistic when it comes to the transition.”

The appointment comes as part of Ducatus’ long-term growth strategy focused on expanding the team and diversifying target markets. Mr. McKinney will be based primarily in Houston, but will be expected to work with partners in all corners of the globe, including the wider U.S., U.K., and Middle East.

“We are continuing to expand and grow our global footprint,” said Mr. Graham. “The energy sector is very global, and our international focus allows our clients to grow in new regions with the support of a trusted partner. It’s another reason why we reached out to Gary for this role. Every senior HR and search position he’s held has been international in its scope and he has worked across more than 50 different countries.”

In addition to Mr. McKinney, two new associates are set to start at the Houston office in the coming weeks, and additional partner and associate hires are planned for other parts of the U.S., U.K., and Middle East before the end of the year.

Serving Global Energy and Infrastructure Sectors

Ducatus Partners was launched in 2016 by workforce solutions provider Airswift. The firm delivers executive search, market mapping, leadership consulting and advisory services, operating from its offices in London, Houston, Aberdeen, and Dubai. Ducatus Partners has experience across the entire value chain of the energy, private equity, and industrial sectors, partnering with the world’s largest integrated energy companies to technology start-ups and the advisors and financiers that support them.

HR Leaders Transition to Recruiters

For CHROs, chief talent officers, and other C-suite HR executives, the crossover skills required in the search business are nearly identical, and Hunt Scanlon Media has recently tracked a number of successful transitions. We have taken note of the trend among top-ranking HR executives reestablishing themselves as executive recruiters. Here’s a look at some of the more prominent ones:

London-headquartered executive search firm Hedley May has added former Houlihan Lokey CHRO Janine Cristiano as a partner in New York. “We are delighted to expand Hedley May’s market presence in the U.S. and enhance our franchise,” said Laura McPhail, U.S. partner. “Janine adds specialized expertise to our platform that will provide our clients with fresh insight as they seek to develop world class HR functions.” Ms. Cristiano previously served as chief human resources officer at Houlihan Lokey, Ares Management, and Smith Barney, and as head of human resources for corporate groups at Ernst & Young.

N2Growth, a Philadelphia-based management consulting and executive search firm, named former HR executive Jos van der Steen as partner, focusing on the firm’s European retail, financial services and digital transformation practices. “In his capacity as HR director, Jos has always been a vocal supporter and client of N2Growth,” said Jaco Erasmus, EMEAA partner and member of the N2Growth board. “Having made a career switch to executive search, we are honored to welcome him as partner within the executive search practice of N2Growth Benelux. Every HR director knows how crucial it is to get the right executives onboard at the right moment in time. Jos has been on the hiring side of the table for many years and offers a lot of experience and understanding with respect to clients’ executive search needs.”

Minneapolis, MN-headquartered Versique Search and Consulting expanded with the addition of former HR leader Jenna Estlick to be the firm’s managing director of client partnerships. In her role, she will be responsible for leading the human resources client partnerships team and providing solutions to the HR community through best-in-class consulting services. “We are so thrilled Jenna will be leading our HR consulting – client partnership division,” said Chris Dardis, president of consulting services at Versique. “Her values and personality are a wonderful match for our company, and her tremendous professional experience will be a great benefit to our team, our clients, and our candidates. Having known Jenna for a number of years, I am personally excited to partner with her to continue to grow our company and provide our unique service to the local HR community.”

Platinium Executive Search added former HR executive Céline Daubresse as a partner. “We are very pleased to welcome Céline here at Platinium Executive Search, as her international HR track record in various EMEA HR roles is both contrasting and complementary to ours,” said Olivier Bouhoulle, founder of Platinium Executive Search. “I’m certain that having someone on board who has been on the other side of the table for years, and who understands perfectly the daily constraints and objectives of our key HR director clients, is a huge asset to our company.”

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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