September 13, 2021 – Fisher Leadership has acquired the Centre for Leadership Advantage (CLA), a move that is expected to boost the firm’s advisory capability under its CogNative brand and strengthen its delivery of future of work executive solutions. Managing director, Michelle Loader, described the new merger with CLA as “disruption by design.” Joining the firm’s partners Liz Jones, Andrew Norton, David Baber, Kate Wheeler and Sharyn Gowans, Adam Kyriacou will lead the gig executive practice, and Marcele de Sanctis will continue to lead the CLA team.
CLA is a leadership and talent assessment firm, with affiliations to Business Chicks and blue-chip corporations throughout the APAC region. Founded five years ago, CLA has grown rapidly, earning a position in Financial Review’s “Fast Starters 2020.” CLA anchors the CogNative offering in the science of leadership and will continue to be led by co-founder and CEO Marcele De Sanctis. “CLA have managed to carve a great brand in this highly competitive market,” said Dr. De Sanctis. “I think that is because we talk about the psychology and science of leadership in very practical and pragmatic ways. Our recommendations come from experience, yes, but also top-quality research and evidence. We are true scientist-practitioners who build trust, credibility and deliver on what we promise.”
Fisher Leadership will leverage its newfound technology and assessment capabilities to provide a full product HR suite enabling the firm to support executive solutions across the HR lifecycle. The company’s diversification strategy to date has accomplished the launch of the Gig Executive brand, specializing in immediately available executive talent solving for capability and capacity at pace. In addition to its advisory arm, CogNative is emerging as a key provider of leadership, coaching, transition and mental health products and services. The CogNative suite is already underpinned by technology capability including a digital career transition program, and mental health and wellbeing programs with wearable technology and hybrid delivery capability.
“The executive search side of our firm, is always looking to bring the difference, generating true value for our clients and candidates,” said Michelle Loader, managing director at Fisher Leadership. “We have helped shape leadership today via cultural, environmental and board governance solutions alongside ensuring diversity at decision-making tables. Today we remain committed to our purpose of ‘creating a world of difference,’ our extended capability enables future-facing solutions that support leaders and organizations at every stage on the leadership journey.”
Chairman Leon Lau is a human resources technology pioneer who founded Peoplebank, and has long understood the need for an entrepreneurial mentality within big business. As a shareholder in the firm, Mr. Lau has a global mindset with experience in the Asia-Pacific region. “I’m delighted with the way the team sees disruption as opportunity, and shifts gears to meet it head on,” he said.
“This acquisition is a key milestone for our firm to meet the accelerating demand for proven contemporary, future-facing solutions to executive leadership challenges and opportunities for both organizations and executives,” said Jo Fisher, founding director.
The firm noted that the continued focus on exceptional candidate care overlaid with the long-standing commitment to executive diversity will underpin new products and services across executive search, strategic advisory, leadership transition and gig executive talent.
Fisher Leadership, formerly Jo Fisher Executive, is based in Melbourne. Founded in 2002, it operates nationally and internationally on behalf of Australian and New Zealand organizations. The firm’s services include executive search, interim appointments, career coaching and mentoring, and leadership advisory. Fisher Leadership focuses on organizations with strategic objectives that include positive social impact, in which strong people skills, change-agility and enthusiasm for positive societal outcomes are important leadership qualities.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media