Spencer Stuart Launches Kincentric From Newly Acquired Aon Businesses

July 18, 2019 – Executive search firm Spencer Stuart has launched a new business unit formed from the culture and engagement, leadership assessment and development, and HR and talent advisory businesses it acquired from global professional services firm Aon in a transaction that closed July 1. Collectively, these businesses form a distinct entity now known as Kincentric: A Spencer Stuart Company.

“Our new name, Kincentric, puts people at the center of business,” said Kevin Connelly, chief executive officer of Kincentric, and a former chairman and chief executive officer of Spencer Stuart. “We will continue to focus on helping organizations change from the inside, delivering new ways to unlock the power of people and teams.”

While the name is new, Kincentric has a history of helping clients foster change and accelerate success through its global team of experts, proven insights and intuitive technologies, said Spencer Stuart. Kincentric’s deep experience complements the search firm’s portfolio of leadership advisory services – including executive assessment and development, CEO succession, team effectiveness, culture shaping, board effectiveness and the people side of merger integration, said Spencer Stuart.

Uniquely Positioned

“This is a further step on our journey to extend our leadership advisory capabilities for our clients,” said Ben Williams, chief executive officer of Spencer Stuart. “As leaders increasingly focus on leadership, culture and engagement to drive change and positive outcomes in their organizations, together Spencer Stuart and Kincentric are uniquely positioned to engage with boards and the C-Suite more deeply on these critical levers.”

In April, Spencer Stuart reached a definitive agreement with Aon to acquire certain businesses within its talent practice, specifically its culture and engagement, leadership development and advisory, and related products and services. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.


Spencer Stuart Acquires Several Business Units of Aon

With culture shaping now seen as one of the most important drivers to achieve competitive advantage among companies, many search firms – including the global leaders as well as the boutiques – now offer some variation of it. It includes human capital management, business transformation strategy, leader engagement, talent optimization, organizational development, HR transformation, and leadership and talent management.

To bolster its leadership in the space, executive search firm Spencer Stuart has reached a definitive agreement with global professional services firm Aon to acquire certain businesses within its talent practice, specifically its culture and engagement, leadership development and advisory, and related products and services.


“Leaders everywhere are striving to increase their organizations’ performance and agility, often by pulling the essential levers of strategy, finance, technology and more,” said Mr. Williams at the time. “We believe the single greatest lever is people, mobilized through leadership, culture and engagement.”

Winning on the Inside

An engaged workforce is a competitive advantage that drives higher productivity, innovation and retention, said Mr. Williams. “Engagement is also an essential measure of effective leadership, and brings valuable, relevant data to the critical leadership decisions businesses need to make,” he said. “Adding these capabilities from Aon will enable us to work with boards and C-suite leaders more closely on a matter of increasing importance to them.”

Patrick Hynes, who leads Spencer Stuart’s leadership advisory services, said the search firm was pleased to add these capabilities in engagement, leadership development and related advisory services to its expertise in leadership and organizational culture. “More and more leaders now understand that to win on the outside, you first have to win on the inside,” he said. “These capabilities in using online experiences to go more deeply within organizations, and added expertise in HR effectiveness, will also expand our collective ability to help address the important leadership and talent needs of top teams.”

“Selling the culture, engagement, and leadership development & advisory businesses provides an opportunity for Spencer Stuart to create greater value for clients, given their focus on talent and leadership,” said Cary Grace, CEO of Aon’s retirement and investment solutions.

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

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