July 30, 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain the financial services industry, one executive search firm that focuses on the sector sees an opportunity. Hong Kong-headquartered Global Sage has launched a major expansion of its North American executive search practice with the hiring of a new partner in Boston and the opening of an office in Los Angeles. Katie Vande Water joins the firm in Boston and Global Sage’s new office will be led by Douglas Mann.
“Katie’s extensive experience in investment management will further enhance the world-class capabilities of our global team,” said Louisa Wong, executive chairperson of Global Sage. “A permanent presence in Los Angeles will better position us to help our clients access top financial services and fintech talent on the West Coast.”
Ms. Vande Water joined Global Sage earlier this month. She brings over 30 years of executive search experience in investment management and research, private wealth risk management, investment operations and servicing, financial officers, audit, compliance and legal, and risk management. Previously, Ms. Vande Water was a partner at Wilton & Bain. Before that, she held the same title with DHR International and prior to that was managing director of the asset management practice at Charles Sterling Associates. Earlier in her career, Ms. Vande Water worked at Wellington Management and Putnam Investments as part of their internal executive search teams.
Mr. Mann, managing director, joined Global Sage in 2018 and previously worked in the firm’s New York office. He has more than 20 years of executive search experience focused on global insurance and other areas of financial services. Mr. Mann has worked on engagements for clients within the life/annuity, property and casualty, reinsurance and health insurance sectors. Mr. Mann also has extensive experience recruiting talent within the data science, actuarial, predictive analytics and overall business intelligence space for traditional insurance clients as well as relevant insurtech and fintech organizations.
Global Sage is a retained executive search firm focused on the financial services industry. The firm has an over 20-year history and operates from nine locations around the world including New York, London and Singapore.
Searching for ‘Impact Hires’
“The current COVID-19 pandemic is extremely sad and worrying for everyone,” Mr. Barzilay said. “It is affecting all areas of society and the economy. There is even uncertainty as to what the ‘new normal’ will be after the world has navigated through this.”
As Global Sage Expands in London, New Hire Offers Update on COVID-19 Recruiting Climate
Global Sage has hired financial services recruiter Simon Barzilay as managing director in London. Mr. Barzilay has over 30 years of capital markets and executive search experience and works closely with hedge funds, private equity funds and investment banks across all asset classes. He has core search expertise in asset management roles including portfolio management, research, distribution and product specialists, as well as investment banking positions in sales, research, trading, ECM/DCM, prime services and corporate advisory.
Having spent many years in capital markets advisory as well as executive search it is at moments such as this that asset managers and investment banks value considered input from their trusted executive search advisers, Mr. Barzilay said. “Let’s not forget that the profitability of the finance sector has also been impacted over the past decade by regulatory change and technology disruption so we as executive search professionals have already had to adapt in order to add value,” he said. “The type of input clients need can range from market profitability analysis, competitor analysis, compensation benchmarking through to the acquisition of specific talent.”
“The important point is that when conditions are challenging then the management of an institution’s most important asset (people) becomes critical,” said Mr. Barzilay. “That is where knowledgeable, experienced, relationship-driven executive search firms, and professionals, differentiate themselves. Thought leadership in the management of human capital is really the most important thing. Executive search is a natural product of those efforts. This is why it is a good time to be looking to add search professionals who can enhance a firm’s ability to deliver this thought leadership to clients.”
Mr. Barzilay said that he did not expect a repeat of the rapid and significant increase in hiring activity that occurred after the global financial crisis 2007-2008. “While the recession at that time was painful, central bank liquidity got things moving quickly and the level of hiring activity in 2009-2011 was substantial,” he said. “But, once we recover from the worst of the current situation, I expect hiring activity to recover much more modestly, in contrast to previous crises.”
The finance industry has come into the latest crisis with over-capacity rather than under-capacity in several key areas, he said. “But I do believe that global institutions will have a keen interest in impact hires: the top quartile money manager, the distribution professional who can raise high quality assets, the structurer who can use a balance sheet to provide profitable solutions or the investment banking analyst who can contribute substantially to winning primary deals,” Mr. Barzilay said. “The challenge for executive search firms is precisely the challenge of knowing who these professionals are. Those who can combine delivery of this type of talent, with thought leadership that clients value, will increasingly thrive over the course of this decade.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media