July 28, 2021 – Private family office Nobel Investments has named Ken Kanara president and CEO of its portfolio company ECA Partners, a data-driven executive search firm.
“Ken has been instrumental in growing the firm over the past five years,” said Atta Tarki, founder of ECA Partners and managing partner of Nobel Investments. “He helped to formalize and scale our sales team, and more importantly, build out various technology solutions, which will give our clients more effective ways to engage with candidates. In many ways, Ken has already been leading the firm in a CEO capacity, so we are excited to formalize it. Him formally stepping in as our CEO will help us put a stronger emphasis on our technology solutions.”
Mr. Kanara has more than 15 years of experience in consulting and executive search with a focus on serving private equity and private equity portfolio clients. Most recently, he was in a president and managing director role at ECA, working directly with clients on project and full-time executive search roles. Prior to ECA, Mr. Kanara was at Booz & Company (now PwC – Strategy&), a global management consulting firm, where he held positions in both New York and Dubai, working with both private equity and large corporate clients.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, ECA Partners is a tech-enabled executive search firm with more than 300 clients, the majority being private equity or investor-owned companies.
“This is certainly an exciting time to lead the firm,” said Mr. Kanara. “We’ve been developing a number of tech-enabled solutions so we can better serve our clients, and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact it has on their businesses and ours.”
Nobel Investments, which is also based in Santa Monica, invests in B2B services companies with a focus on recruiting and talent. Since its founding in 2020, Nobel has made four major investments: ECA Partners, TalentCompass, Bulletin and SellingBee.
Leadership Appointments Rising at Recruiting Firms
Top leadership appointments, of men and women, have been gaining traction at executive search firms over the past year. Here’s a look at several examples taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
The board of directors of Isaacson, Miller has appointed Ericka Miller as the firm’s next president and CEO. She will officially start her term on July 1, 2021, upon the retirement of current president Vivian Brocard. “As one of the first women of color to lead a major national executive search firm, Ericka brings a deep and lifelong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, consistent with Isaacson, Miller’s core values,” the search firm said. “Ericka has done an excellent job of building and leading our PreK-12 education and education improvement practice, chairing the promotions committee, and serving as an indispensable member of the board of directors,” said John Isaacson, founder and chair of Isaacson, Miller.
San Diego, CA-headquartered executive search firm Bespoke Partners has added a new president and chief operating officer to its leadership team as it seeks ways to drive and scale its human capital advisory service offerings. Joining Bespoke as president is Eric Walczykowski, a technology industry veteran who has served in leadership roles in business development, sales and marketing. He is charged with driving Bespoke’s transformation from a pure executive search firm to a full-service human capital advisory firm. Mark Hood joins as chief operating officer, bringing decades of experience in operations, management, and capital market activities. Mr. Hood will be expected to build the firm’s talent and management infrastructure to scale its capacity across multiple service lines, while sustaining the firm’s track record of performance, quality, and client satisfaction.
Chicago-headquartered referral recruiting service Hunt Club has expanded with the addition of Stephanie Tysdal as its chief operating officer. “Stephanie is incredibly customer focused. We spent our first conversation talking about all the ways that the recruiting industry (to date) has neglected using technology to change the customer and candidate experience,” said Nick Cromydas, co-founder and CEO. “She immediately understood the advantage our business can have by further unlocking our expert network marketplace to access the best candidates via trusted introductions. She’s spent time in archaic industries in benefits and logistics, redefining how to use technology, engineering, data science to deliver an unparalleled experience, and we’re really excited to have her deliver that for Hunt Club and the recruiting space.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media