Odgers Berndtson Adds Latin America Offices, Starts Blockchain Practice in U.S.

May 13, 2021 – Odgers Berndtson continues to ride a wave of growth. This month, the executive recruitment firm made two moves that are expected to deliver big dividends. Internationally, the firm announced that it is opening offices in Buenos Aires, Santiago, Puerto Montt and Montevideo, further expanding its presence in the Americas. And in the U.S., Odgers Berndtson is starting a blockchain practice. “The launch of Odgers Berndtson Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay is another step in growing our presence in the Americas and adds one more major market in which we can meet our global client’s needs,” said Kester Scrope, CEO of Odgers Berndtson.

Odgers Berndtson’s Southern Cone will be led by managing partner John Byrne, a veteran of the Chilean executive search industry. “The launch will enable us to draw upon Odgers Berndtson’s global network and combine it with our experience of local markets across all the major cities in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay,” said Mr. Byrne. “Combined with Odgers Berndtson’s other South American offices, we will have a commanding presence on the continent.”

These new offices mark another milestone in the firm’s expansion throughout Latin America and builds on its presence in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico where it has offices in Bogota, São Paulo, Mexico City and Monterrey. In late 2020, Odgers Berndtson launched its executive search and interim management businesses in Colombia, enabling it to provide both interim and permanent leadership services across South America.

An Evolving Talent Landscape

The opening of the blockchain practice, meanwhile, will help meet the needs of a rapidly changing environment. Partner Richard Pooley will lead the blockchain practice in the U.S. “Distributed ledger-enabled technologies are impacting the corporate world across the industry spectrum,” said Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S. “They’re changing the way companies edit and sign contracts; they’re bringing unprecedented levels of visibility into supply chains; and they’re poised to drastically restructure our financial system. As our clients grapple to find and implement novel uses for blockchain—or to react to the disruptions resulting from it—we felt it was important to step formally into the space and help bring clarity to the evolving talent landscape.”

Odgers Berndtson’s move comes just days after the launch of OBDynamics — a proprietary AI-enabled talent platform and analytics service that allows Odgers Berndtson to provide highly detailed mapping and analytics services alongside C-level executive and middle market search.

Odgers Berndtson Launches Proprietary Intelligence Platform OBDynamics
Odgers Berndtson launched a proprietary intelligence platform, OBDynamics, which uses big-data and machine learning to deliver data-informed talent intelligence and recruitment services rapidly and accurately. Built on a continually updated data lake of 1.1 billion personal and corporate records, all of which are gathered in accordance with the most stringent international privacy regulations, OBDynamics’ AI-powered platform augments Odgers Berndtson’s traditional offerings, allowing consultants to provide highly detailed talent mapping and analytic services alongside top-end executive and middle market search.

“As the most extensive talent intelligence tool in the search industry, OBDynamics allows us to separate meaning from the vast web of digital noise, and enables our partners to find talent and analyze trends with heretofore unimaginable precision,” said Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S. “For our clients, OBDynamics breaks down into three primary utilities,” Mr. Potter said. “The first is our Talent Intelligence offeringin which we use OBDynamics to build custom analytical maps of things like skills and talent distributions, compensation variation, career progressions and pipeline analyses. The second is a product we call Talent Streams, which is often used in tandem with our Talent Intelligence service. Essentially, it is a highly customized name-generation product in which we provide tailored shortlists of ready-to-hire mid-level candidates to our clients.”

The firm intends to bring a data-driven approach to the blockchain talent market. “Across nearly all industries, the workplace is becoming more distributed, faster paced, and increasingly consists of both full-time and gig workers,” said Mr. Pooley. “This blended workforce requires organizations to adopt a new kind of ‘liquid’ talent strategy tailored to their short-term and long-term hiring needs and can provide their business areas with fluid resources to quickly scale up or down as needed.”

A Hybrid Leader

“This is why OBDynamics will be such a central part of our blockchain recruiting offering,” said Mr. Pooley. “Underpinning the platform is a proprietary machine learning data lake ingesting and resolving thousands of data sources which continually update and enrich our database of people and companies. For instance, we are working with clients to rapidly build geographical maps of particular talent types, highlighting location and diversity density and illustrating how compensation fluctuates across geographies and sectors.”

Mr. Pooley also noted that the nature of blockchain talent is maturing alongside the technology. “Companies developing or adopting blockchain technologies are increasingly looking to hire a kind of ‘hybrid’ senior individual who has deep distributed ledger technical expertise combined with the executive presence and organizational sophistication to be able to act as a ‘bridge’ between a company’s blockchain engineers and its senior leadership team,” he said.

Reflecting the technology’s wide base of applications, Odgers Berndtson’s blockchain practice will not be limited to financial services and/or technology applications and will instead work closely with clients across a broad range of industries.

Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search, leadership assessment and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries. The U.S. wing of the firm launched in 2011 and has been one of the fastest growing search firms in the Americas. It now ranks No. 12 on the Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Recruiters ranking. Odgers Berndtson currently has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

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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