June 15, 2023 – Leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) has acquired Nvolv, a boutique leadership consulting firm serving CEOs and C-suite executives of global businesses. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Our acquisition of Nvolv represents a powerful opportunity for us to bolster our client offerings and further strengthen our preeminent position as leaders in C-suite leadership advisory services,” said Constantine Alexandrakis, CEO of Russell Reynolds Associates. “Bob and the entire Nvolv team have an enviable track record of building deep relationships and driving extraordinary results at the most senior levels of organizations, and we look forward to joining forces to increase the depth of both firms’ impact in advising and coaching C-suite executives, preparing the next generation of senior executives, supporting new leader integration, de-risking CEO succession, and aligning top teams to deliver on their transformation agendas.”
Founded in 2017 by Bob Marcus, Nvolv serves as a partner in enabling CEOs and executives to accelerate the development and transformation of individual leaders, their teams, and their wider organizations. Nvolv’s team bring more than 30 years of experience as thought leaders, change strategists, executive coaches and process consultants. “This making the business a natural fit to complement RRA’s renowned leadership advisory services,” the search firm said.
Through the acquisition, Mr. Marcus will join Russell Reynolds Associates as a managing director in the firm’s New York office. He brings strong experience working with C-suite leaders – particularly first-time CEOs and CEOs pursuing significant transformation objectives – and is an expert in change strategy and leadership development. For 30 years, Mr. Marcus has been an advisor, mentor, coach, strategist, consultant, confidant, and friend to leaders around the globe. He has experience working with CEOs, CFOs, CHROs and other C-suite leaders, and especially enjoys partnering with first-time CEOs, executives preparing for C-suite roles, and emerging women leaders. RRA also welcomes Nvolv’s team of consultants and operational staff as part of the acquisition.
“Russell Reynolds Associates deserves its reputation as the best of the best in leadership advisory and I am excited to be joining this prestigious firm,” said Mr. Marcus. “We are eager to integrate Nvolv’s leadership, team, and organizational development services and unique client relationship architecture into the company, working together to create market-defining capabilities. Today’s CEOs and C-suite leaders are looking for a range of services from their leadership advisory partners and this combination of our collective expertise and experience will reshape the leadership advisory landscape.”
Russell Reynolds Associates is a global leadership advisory and search firm. Its 520-plus consultants in 47 offices work with public, private, and non-profit organizations across all industries and regions. The firm also conducts in-depth organizational culture assessment and measures the cultural fit of key leadership and candidates in the following areas: arts and culture, global development, higher education, non-profit health and human services, public sector, social justice and advocacy, as well as trade and professional associations.
Russell Reynolds provides executive search services across all areas of the global media, entertainment, technology, and athletics markets. The firm’s consultants bring the experience and ability to assess competencies and cultural fit of board members, CEOs, senior functional leadership, and players, with expertise in professional sports teams and leagues (CEOs, general managers, coaches, and players); digital, media, and entertainment; and technology-based start-ups.
Russell Reynolds recently expanded with the additions of Alison P. Ranney and Theodore Dysart who have joined the firm as managing directors. Both are based in Chicago. Ms. Ranney and Mr. Dysart bring nearly five decades of combined experience advising CEOs and boards and leading director and senior executive searches across the globe. Ms. Ranney will lead CEO and board director searches for corporate and social impact clients and Mr. Dysart will focus exclusively on board, CEO, and succession planning engagements for industrial, consumer, financial services, social impact organizations, and family-owned enterprises.
Transactions Will Continue to Drive Transformations
According to the just-released U.S. CEO Outlook survey, significantly more U.S. chief executives plan to pursue deals compared with their global chief counterparts. A full 63 percent reported they will pursue an M&A deal in the next 12 months, much higher than the 46 percent of CEOs globally who plan to pursue M&A. This fairly robust U.S. number may in part reflect a recent easing in asset valuations and may also reflect pent-up demand.
Private equity firms, which have slowed their deal pace in recent months, are even more likely to pursue an acquisition, with 69 percent of private equity portfolio company CEOs saying they would pursue M&A. Across U.S. sectors, a majority of CEOs in financial services, consumer products and retail, advanced manufacturing and mobility (AM&M), and technology, media and telecoms (TMT) plan to pursue M&A. Interestingly, joint ventures are very high on the U.S. CEO agenda: 73 percent plan to pursue JVs or strategic alliances, arguably the more recession-proof options.
“Alison and Ted bring impressive expertise in leading CEO and board of directors searches,” said John Madera, leader of Russell Reynolds Associates in Chicago and Minneapolis, MN and a member of the firm’s board and CEO advisory practice. “Alison’s experience in recruiting women and leaders of color into CEO, C-suite, and board roles will help diversify leadership, a key focus for our firm. Ted’s expertise in board governance and succession planning will help strengthen our clients’ resiliency, reduce their risk profile, and drive market impact. Furthermore, Alison and Ted’s civic commitment will underscore Russell Reynolds Associate’s commitment to Chicago and our region.”
For the past nine years, Ms. Ranney served as managing partner of Koya Partners focused on mission-driven search. She founded and led its Chicago office during a period of significant recognition and growth through its acquisition by Diversified Search Group. At Koya, Ms. Ranney specialized in leading CEO, president, executive director, and other senior executive searches for mission-driven clients across the country and around the world. Ms. Dysart previously spent 22 years at Heidrick & Struggles as a managing partner and later vice chairman. During his time there, he helped lead the global board of directors practice and was an active member of the CEO practice. Mr. Dysart began his career working for Russ Reynolds, founder of Russell Reynolds Associates.
“Russell Reynolds is where I found my passion for executive recruiting,” said Ms. Ranney. “I am excited to return to this exceptional firm to continue to work with boards on their most important leadership issues.”
“I look forward to helping clients build and manage effective businesses and working with boards on long-term development plans,” said Mr. Dysart. “Russell Reynolds Associates’ initiatives and company values align with mine and they offer a tremendous opportunity to further the field of search and executive leadership advisory.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media