Search Firms Strengthen Industrial Practices By Turning to Rivals

February 16, 2017 – Korn Ferry has added Patrick Walsh to its global industrial search practice. He will be based in the company’s Minneapolis office. Mr. Walsh joins Korn Ferry from Spencer Stuart, where he was a leader and significant contributor to the firm’s growth in Minneapolis and the industrial market worldwide.

Focused on recruiting board directors, general management leaders and financial executives for public and private equity-backed companies, Mr. Walsh has helped to build strong CEO and board relationships. In this role, he also served as head of the firm’s industrial practice for the Americas, responsible for driving global cooperation across the firm in its largest practice.

Previously, Mr. Walsh worked at McKinsey & Company, where he led engagement teams serving senior management on strategic and organizational issues. Prior to that, he was with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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“Pat has led major CEO searches for some of the world’s leading companies across the agri-business sector and throughout the industrials market,” said Yannick Binvel, president for the global industrial market at Korn Ferry. “His deep industry knowledge and global experience will be a strong addition to the firm. We look forward to having him join our team.”

Korn Ferry’s global industrial market focuses on attracting, assessing, developing, and retaining talent for companies around the world. Its solutions are designed to address specific industrial talent and leadership needs — from strategic search, competency-based assessments, and high-potential leadership development programs to coaching, strategic talent initiatives, succession planning and designing executive rewards.

A Rival Defection

Korn Ferry’s rival Heidrick & Struggles recently named Joe Huddle as a partner in its industrial practice. Mr. Huddle joined the firm after spending over seven years at DHR International, most recently as managing partner of the firm’s global industrial practice. During his time there he was charged with managing the strategic growth and development of DHR’s industrial practice group. Before taking on the role of global managing partner, he served as executive vice president of the firm’s industrial practice in North America.

His expertise in disciplines including P&L ownership, operations and finance leadership have supported placements of C-level executives in both general management positions and functional leadership roles. Mr. Huddle’s industry sector experience spans capital equipment, automotive, aerospace, electronics, construction and basic materials.

Industrial Edge: Competitive Advantage Shifts From Physical Assets to People

From startups to multibillion dollar market leaders, according to Heidrick & Struggles, industrial companies turn to executive recruiters for a host of reasons, including geographic reach, industry expertise and functional knowledge. But industrial companies have unique leadership development challenges to deal with today. Companies across the industrial sector have historically concentrated on making their formidable physical assets their basis of competitive advantage. But leading industrial companies increasingly recognize that the quality of their leadership talent will make the real competitive difference in a world of globalization, rapidly emerging markets, off-shoring, outsourcing, and far-flung supply chains. These companies, according to Heidrick consultants, want innovative global leaders who possess the strategic, operating, and financial skills required to win in this complex environment. They want commercially-focused managers who can develop distinctive value-added solutions. Above all, they want leaders who have the ability to make both an immediate impact and a long-term contribution.

“Joe’s extensive leadership background and expertise in the industrial manufacturing sector coupled with his global perspective will be invaluable to our clients and to our firm,” said Bo Herbst, global managing partner, industrial practice, at Heidrick & Struggles. “As the manufacturing sector continues to be influenced by technological advances in automation, robotics, additive manufacturing and machine-to-machine communications, our clients require the kind of deep sector expertise and exceptional leadership advisory skills that Joe possesses.”

Heidrick’s industrial executive search practice team has deep vertical experience in every industry sector and specialty area and serves every region across the globe, including emerging markets such as China, Russia, India, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. It covers the aerospace, defense and aviation, agribusiness, automotive, building products, capital equipment, chemicals, electrical, engineering, construction and infrastructure, mining and metals, paper and packaging, transportation and logistics sectors.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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