Egon Zehnder Acquires Minority Stake in AI and Advanced Analytics Firm

Egon Zehnder Acquires Stake Sinequanon

May 30, 2019 – Egon Zehnder, the third largest search firm globally as ranked by Hunt Scanlon Media, has formalized an agreement to purchase a minority stake in Zurich, Switzerland-based Sinequanon (SQN), a firm that uses AI and advanced analytics to improve workplace culture and performance.

The investment in SQN signals Egon Zehnder’s intent to build on its 55 years of experience shaping leadership and culture through SQN’s combination of advanced technology and a human approach to leadership. The companies will work together to disseminate SQN’s “Living Analytics” platform and “Flow Operating System.”

SQN’s flowOS technology uses a data-driven and AI-enabled process to identify an organization’s optimal culture and then drives the behavioral change needed by individuals, teams and business units.

“We hear consistently from clients that culture change is one of the most challenging aspects of leadership,” said Jill Ader, chairwoman of Egon Zehnder. “In SQN we have found an innovative partner to deliver integrated services to our clients by marrying both human leadership insights and pioneering technology. We strongly believe the best consulting services we can offer our clients combine technology and humanity.”

The partnership is founded on the shared belief that culture change is critical to helping organizations adapt to and thrive in today’s complex world, said Egon Zehnder. The union combines the search firm’s expertise in recruiting senior leaders with SQN’s ability to assess and accelerate the power of the full organization through cultural change.

“It has always frustrated me that large organizations trap massive amounts of human energy,” said Per Lagerstrom, CEO of SQN. “In fact, our data shows that less than 10 percent of employees operate at their full potential.”

Unlocking Human Potential

“Now as organizations are feeling the brutal effect of disruption, an extraordinary win-win opportunity between employees and businesses is emerging,” he said. “My life’s mission is to find a business-minded method to enable this – and that is flowOS. Egon Zehnder and SQN share a core mission to unlock human potential. I believe we can make magic together, and am excited to be partnering with them.”

Related: Analytic and Assessment Tools Gain Traction Among Headhunters 

“We believe the world needs more great leaders,” said Gabriel Andrade, partner, Egon Zehnder and board member, SQN. “In fact, recent research we conducted with 402 CEOs revealed that they find culture change one of the most challenging aspects of the role. With SQN, the intelligence of the end-to-end operating system and guided support we can provide clients can change human resources and performance management for the foreseeable future.”


Russell Reynolds Associates Partners with pymetrics
Russell Reynolds and pymetrics, a business that uses neuroscience data and artificial intelligence to help companies make hiring and internal mobility more predictive and less biased, announced a research partnership to help reduce bias in executive selection decisions. The goal is to identify the cognitive, social and emotional traits that differentiate those who ascend to (and succeed in) C-suite roles within organizations.


SQN brings new capabilities and is the latest in a set of intriguing partnerships for the talent provider. Egon Zehnder recently formed a strategic alliance with Mobius Executive Leadership, the London and Cambridge, MA-based leadership development firm. The company delivers customized executive development programs at the CEO and executive levels that enable breakthroughs often described by participants as “life changing,” which in turn can serve as a multiplier to the impact of SQN.

“Readiness to lead at the top levels in business and society today requires leaders develop a willingness to understand who they are and who they can become so that they can unlock their full potential – and help their organizations unleash their potential as well,” said Ms. Ader. “Together with Mobius, we have found success in doing that.”

Related: How Predictive Analytics Promotes Better Decision Making and Efficiency

Egon Zehnder has also partnered with Paradox Strategies, the consulting firm co-founded by Harvard University professor Linda Hill, to develop the “Innovation Quotient” (IQ), a proprietary culture diagnostic based on Ms. Hill’s research that helps clients better understand the degree to which their cultures enable – or inhibit – their ability to innovate.

“Responsibility for innovation cannot be confined to one part of a business or business cycle,” said Greig Schneider, Egon Zehnder partner and board member. ‎”The IQ helps organizations understand where opportunity for transformation lies across the entire business, so CEOs and senior leaders can take steps to unlock widespread innovation. The insights enable leaders to create organizations with the agility to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions, and to identify executives capable of delivering sustainable innovation.”

Related: For Executive Search Firms, Analytics Can be a Game Changer

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

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