N2Growth Acquires Spanish Search Boutique Blacksmith

July 13, 2023 – N2Growth, a Philadelphia-based management consulting and executive search firm, has expanded its operations in Spain with the appointment of Alberto Herrero as managing partner. Headquartered in Madrid, Mr. Herrero will be responsible for the firm’s operations in Spain and neighboring countries and will report directly to Kelli Vukelic, the firm’s chief executive officer. Mr. Herrero and his team are joining N2Growth in the acquisition of Blacksmith, an executive search firm in Spain.

“I am so pleased to welcome our new team in Spain, led by Alberto Herrero,” said Ms. Vukelic. “Alberto has a proven track record of supporting organizations and leaders to deliver exceptional results. Furthermore, his broad business background and consulting abilities perfectly align with N2Growth’s approach to finding and developing the best leaders.”

Before joining N2Growth, Mr. Herrero spent over 20 years leading Blacksmith, a Spanish executive search boutique focused on the financial industry and professional services with huge recognition in Europe and Latin America. He brings an extensive global background to his role, with experience spanning the U.S., Latin America, the U.K., and Europe. His expertise extends to advising various businesses, including large Spanish and international companies, investment banks, asset managers, and private equities, on strategic talent matters.

Mr. Herrero’s track record includes successful placements of numerous C-suite executives and board members and advising clients on complex succession plans and talent strategies. His experience and strategic insight is expected to bolster N2Growth’s efforts in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Switzerland and reinforce its global financial services practice.

A Wealth of Experience

Mr. Herrero appointed Pilar Muñoz, Eduardo Aguilar, Mario Armero, and Luisa Martínez Abásolo as partners and José Manuel García de Sola as senior advisor. The new team collectively brings a wealth of experience to the firm, ultimately enhancing N2Growth’s global talent acquisition and leadership advisory capabilities.

“After 23 years serving our clients on their talent and leadership matters as an independent firm, it is a pleasure for me and my dedicated and excellent team to give a step forward by joining N2Growth, which will give us a powerful best in class platform to serve our clients and grow our business in the region,” said Mr. Herrero.

N2Growth’s expansion into Spain and surrounding countries follows the recent news of establishing a presence in Latin America, mainly Chile, Mexico, and Brazil. “This solidifies the firm’s commitment to serving our global clients and enabling greater access to worldwide premiere executive talent and leadership advisory services,” said N2Growth.

Related: N2Growth Expands to Chile

N2Growth is a global leadership consultancy with practice areas in executive search, culture shaping, leadership development, strategy, organizational design, risk, digital transformation, and executive coaching. The firm has more than 40 locations across the Americas, Europe, MENA, and APAC.

A New Malaysian Office

In April, the firm opened a new office in Malaysia, adding Armin Effendi as managing partner for its Malaysia and South East Asia operations. Mr. Effendi, who brings over 35 years of executive and advisory experience across Asia, Europe, and North America, is widely recognized for his expertise in board and executive search, board reviews, CEO succession, executive assessment, and development.

N2Growth Expands to Greece
N2Growth expanded to Greece with the appointment of Rebecca Pitsika as managing partner. Headquartered in Athens, Ms. Pitsika will be responsible for the firm’s operations in Greece and neighboring countries and will report directly to Kelli Vukelic, CEO of N2Growth. “I’m delighted to add Rebecca and her team to N2Growth,” said Ms. Vukelic. “With someone of her caliber, both local clients in the area and global companies working in Greece will be extraordinarily well served. Her expertise will also be leveraged worldwide in the technology, energy, and financial services industries.”

Mr. Effendi leads the team in Malaysia to deliver results for clients and strengthen N2Growth’s presence in the region. He joined N2Growth from Korn Ferry, where he served as country chairman in Kuala Lumpur, responsible for all lines of business. Prior to that, Mr. Effendi was the managing partner and office leader for Egon Zehnder Malaysia for over 14 years. His experience also includes senior consultant roles with Bain and Company in London and Singapore, director of strategy products at Accenture, and director of consulting at KPMG. On the executive side, Mr. Effendi was the first general manager of international business development at PETRONAS, where he established the unit to lead the company’s globalization efforts in the early 1990s.

“The firm’s newest addition in Malaysia further expands the firm’s presence and capabilities to help our clients throughout Asia and worldwide, supporting the firm’s vast global network of premiere talent through retained search, executive coaching, board evaluation, and leadership assessments,” Ms. Vukelic said.

”I am thrilled to be in the N2Growth family. It’s a nimble new generation high touch – high tech firm,” said Mr. Effendi. “I look forward to helping our clients shape the future of leadership.”

Related: N2Growth Names Leader of Executive Search Operations in Southeast Asia

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

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