October 25, 2021 – Spencer Stuart has named Lucy Lopez as general counsel and chief legal officer. She will succeed Dave Rasmussen, who is retiring after 24 years with the firm. “Over his long career with Spencer Stuart, Dave Rasmussen has built an incredibly strong legal and tax team that has been critical to our success as a firm. We wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement,” said CEO Ben Williams. “We are delighted to welcome Lucy Lopez to Spencer Stuart. Her extensive legal background within professional services, deep experience in serving clients effectively and helping evolving businesses grow, as well as her demonstrated commitment to supporting and developing others, makes her an ideal choice for this role.”
Ms. Lopez, who is based in New York, joins Spencer Stuart after more than two decades with McKinsey & Company, most recently serving as deputy general counsel and head of legal, Americas. In this role, she helped partners and clients in the region drive strategic priorities while managing legal and reputational risks and advised the global managing partner and board of directors on governance-related issues.
Ms. Lopez has recruited, led, and mentored large teams of legal professionals, including lawyers who handle the public, digital and analytics and healthcare sectors. She is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, having served as chair of the legal department’s DE&I committee and as a member of firm’s global DE&I leadership team, driving talent recruitment, development, retention and other internal and external initiatives. Prior to joining McKinsey, Ms. Lopez was a corporate lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton, where she advised clients on cross-border transactions, including acquisitions, joint ventures, and project financing across Latin America. Ms. Lopez serves on the board of trustees of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York, the nation’s oldest youth mentoring non-profit, and was its board president until early 2021.
“I am thrilled to start a new chapter as general counsel and chief legal officer of Spencer Stuart,” Ms. Lopez said. “The firm is focused on discovering and developing outstanding leaders, which is more important than ever, and I am looking forward to joining Spencer Stuart to help deliver meaningful impact to teams and organizations.”
Privately held since 1956, Spencer Stuart focuses on delivering knowledge, insight, and results through the collaborative efforts of a team of search professionals, now spanning 56 offices, 30 countries and more than 50 practice specialties. Spencer Stuart helps clients address their leadership needs in areas such as senior-level executive search, board recruitment, board effectiveness, succession planning, in-depth senior management assessment and many other facets of organizational effectiveness.
New Board Member
Spencer Stuart recently added Wanda Felton, former vice chair and first vice president of the Export-Import Bank, as senior advisor to the firm’s board practice. As senior advisor, Ms. Felton will act as a key thought leader, advising Spencer Stuart’s North American board practice on expanding diversity capabilities and recruiting efforts as well as helping to connect the firm with the diverse governance community. Ms. Felton will help identify board-ready prospects from diverse backgrounds, expand the definition of what board-ready means today, and cultivate and create opportunities to expand Spencer Stuart’s network of diverse board candidates.
“Wanda’s experience, her wealth of knowledge, and her network of directors and executives will help us elevate our efforts to achieve best-in-class diversity, equity and inclusion recruiting practices that lead to better outcomes for our clients,” said Julie Hembrock Daum, leader of the firm’s North American board practice.
Ms. Felton’s hire reinforces Spencer Stuart’s ongoing efforts to ensure that clients have access to the best existing and potential director talent, and assist boards in increasing the diversity of their composition. Last year, women and people from underrepresented minority groups comprised more than 60 percent of the firm’s U.S. placements.
Spencer Stuart recently appointed Shami Iqbal as U.K. managing partner. He succeeded Simon Fenton, who has served a three-year term as managing partner following his return to the U.K. after seven years based in Hong Kong from where he led the firm’s Asia-Pacific business. Prior to taking up his role as U.K. managing partner, Mr. Iqbal has been leading the firm’s legal, compliance and government affairs practice in EMEA and chairing Spencer Stuart U.K.’s diversity equity and inclusion committee.
“I am incredibly grateful to Simon for his enormous contribution to the U.K. business and for steering the firm through an unprecedented period,” said Hugh Thorneycroft, who leads Spencer Stuart’s regional operations in EMEA. “Over the past 18 months we have focused on U.K. leadership succession and we are delighted to appoint a successor as capable as Shami who will lead with great energy and judgment.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media