February 12, 2021 – Kennedy Executive Search, a network of independent executive search firms, has elected Pablo Perella-Berdun as its new president and Frank Knudsen as vice president. The election is a consequence of the network’s economic interest group (EIG) structure. In an EIG, all partners become equal stakeholders and together elect their leadership each year. “It’s been an exhilarating ride leading Kennedy through 2020,” said Caroline Frisenberg, parting president. “The challenges that came with COVID-19 forced us to explore other areas and think more strategically as a network. As a result, we are working even closer, across borders and across continents than we did before. For this, I am very proud.
“Pablo has a proven track record of success in multiple areas of business development, sales, and marketing,” she said. “Combined with his leadership credentials and significant international experience in executive search, I am very confident in Pablo’s ability to lead Kennedy forward and wish him the best of luck.” Mr. Perella-Berdun is managing partner of Talent Corporate Solutions, the Latin-American partner office of Kennedy Executive Search with offices in Miami, Sao Paulo and Mexico City. He is based in Miami and runs the daily operations in North America. Mr. Knudsen is managing partner at DNA Headhunting, Kennedy Executive’s partner office in Denmark.
“During the very challenging 2020, Kennedy Executive Search was uniquely positioned to deliver value for our clients,” said Mr. Perella-Berdun. “As a network of interconnected boutique firms, our partner’s attention to detail and confidentiality in both the client and the candidate experience clearly set us apart. We saw an acceleration of senior talent upgrade projects in support of organizational transformations (i.e. digital transformation, supply-chain de-globalization) as well as in support of significant company restructuring (i.e. divestitures, M&A).”
“We also experienced an increase in the demand for consulting related to diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond the U.S. and Europe,” Mr. Perella-Berdun said. “Therefore, in 2021, we will focus on reinforcing our network partners‘ capabilities with two new practice areas: digital transformation and diversity and equity management. We are also very excited about the addition of newly selected partners in the U.K., America and Asia.”
Mr. Perella-Berdun, born in Argentina, is a seasoned business leader who started his career in Argentina with Santander Rio Bank and Alpargatas. He spent 20 years with Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Argentina, Brazil and the U.S., in roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, Mr. Perella-Berdun was president of Microban International, a global provider of antimicrobial and odor control innovation. He is also on the advisory board of deep-tech market accelerator Network Science AI.
Mr. Knudsen had a career in marketing before he entered the executive search industry in 2006. He was marketing director of McDonald’s and marketing manager for Kuwait Petroleum. After this, he was CEO for a knowledge management company and for a leading executive search firm. He joined DNA in 2011. Over the years, Mr. Knudsen has served a variety of Danish and international clients from a wide range of industries and sectors. He conducts C-level executive searches as well as recruited general manager roles in sales, marketing, finance, HR and IT domestically and internationally. In addition, he actively consults and coaches in career developments, assessments and integration programs for senior managers.
Serving Clients Globally
Kennedy Executive Search offers “360 talent management,” as the firm calls it, from executive search to coaching during a placement’s integration period, and a host of other talent and leadership consulting services.
In 2020, Kennedy established a foothold in Sweden. Frisenberg J. & Associates, Kennedy’s partner office in Monaco opened a second office in Gothenburg, marking the 20th partner destination for the global network of privately-owned recruiting firms. Frisenberg J. & Associates is headed by Kennedy’s current president, Swedish-born Caroline Frisenberg. It is the second Scandinavian city for the network along with DNA Headhunting in Copenhagen.
“Sweden is my heritage, my home market so to speak,” Ms. Frisenberg said. “I know the culture, the language and am in tune with current trends in the Swedish job market. Furthermore, I have a strong network of both clients and candidates here, gained through my 15 years of experience in recruitment for Swedish companies. It made perfect sense to open an office there.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media