March 1, 2018 – Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting, a network of independent executive search firms, has expanded into South Africa with the addition of Evolve Executive Search in Johannesburg. This becomes Kennedy’s first African partner for the network.
Evolve was founded in 2011 and is headed by Adam Ginster. The firm executes high-end search assignments throughout South Africa and more than 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Its clients include those in mining, metals, oil & petroleum, infrastructure, energy, construction and industrial services, as well as financial services and TMT (Technology, Media and Telecoms). The team is noted for appointing gender diverse candidates and historically disadvantaged South Africans and local talent to drive pan-African market penetration and expansion efforts.
Jorg Stegemann, CEO of Kennedy Executive, said that with the extensive growth of the population on the African continent, the network felt it critical to have a strong partner there. “Statistics show that by 2050, the population of the African continent will exceed that of China and India together,” he said. “As a global network we need presence in a part of the world that is so rapidly growing and evolving into a politically and economically more stable market with a greater sense of governance and competence. Evolve is the perfect partner for this and we are thrilled to be able to set foot on African soil with them. Their mature and genuine approach to corporate social responsibility will help us to ‘evolve’ in that direction, too.”
Mr. Ginster said joining the network comes at an opportune time. “With our new government in place, we feel a tailwind of growth is in our sails again,” he said. “This is not just the case in South Africa but also in other African nations. Business confidence is starting to pick-up, as such we anticipate a strong regional economic performance taking place which will attract more multinationals from Europe, China, India and the US to set-up shop here.”
What’s more, a growing number of South African and African companies will seek to take advantage of their more favorable market position by branching out to other continents, said Mr. Ginster. “Both of these trends increase demand for global executive search on a high level,” he said. “Partnering with Kennedy Executive enables us to offer a true global footprint without losing our well-established name and reputation and the level of service our clients are used to.”
The economy of Africa consists of trade, industry, finance, construction and agriculture. According to recruiters expanding in the region, business is booming, and as a result a number of search firms have continued their migration to the continent. The South African economy is one with enormous potential across a broad base in commerce and industry. Over the years, South Africa has been renowned for its often leading edge capabilities in various sectors, including manufacturing, mining, the petrochemical industry, agriculture, pharmaceutical, the medical and healthcare industry, ICT and the financial services industry, among others.
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Kennedy Executive Search, for its part, offers what it calls “360 talent management,” from executive search to coaching during a placement’s integration period, and a host of other talent and leadership consulting services. The firm serves clients across Europe and North America, with offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Denver, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris and Prague.
Kennedy began the year by strengthening its presence in Sydney, Australia with the addition of JRS International Search Partners. Led by husband and wife team Joe and Paula Screnci, JRS International conducts assignments throughout the Asia Pacific region and across a broad range of industries.
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Recently, the organization also expanded in Central Europe with the addition of Vienna-based Qualitas Management Consulting. The firm’s focus is on private industrial and manufacturing companies as well as those in pharmaceuticals and technology. The founder of Qualitas, Roland Wadl, has over 20 years experience in executive search and human resources.
In September, Kennedy partnered with Human Assets Consulting Group AS in Oslo, Norway to bolster its presence in Northern Europe. Human Assets is a boutique executive search firm founded in 2015 by Petter Berg, Truls Mo and Haakon Heskja. Mr. Berg, who started in executive search five years ago, has a background working for two top tier management consulting firms (including partner-level at McKinsey). He was also a director with a large IT consulting business. Mr. Berg has 16 years in management consulting, including vast international experience in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa.
Kennedy also partnered with Ikelosz in Budapest to strengthen its presence in Central Eastern Europe. George Kobelrausch, Ikelosz’s founder, has been working in the search sector since 2005 after a career spanning blue-chip companies, including Unilever. He has a track record of over 10 years in executive search and has recruited senior leadership functions in Hungary and other countries in CEE. He is an experienced business coach and certified consultant of the Innermetrix personality assessment system. His team includes Klara Gorog, a senior consultant with 20-plus years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, who heads up its life sciences practice.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media