June 26, 2018 – Executive recruitment firms have made a number of top leadership appointments in the past year, many focused on strategy, growth, branding efforts and operations. The latest: The RSA Group, which is based in London and focuses on the life sciences sector, has appointed executive chairman Nick Stephens as its CEO. Alex Bennett recently stepped down from the top post.
“Our strong start to 2018 means that we are on track to deliver the next phase of our development,” said Mr. Stephens. “Alex has led transformation at the RSA Group and we’re now operating from our own offices in London, Boston, New Jersey, Frankfurt, Basel, Singapore and Istanbul, delivering talent solutions to our clients at a higher level and with a greater geographic reach than ever before.”
Mr. Stephens has been with RSA since 1986 and leads the firm’s board services practice, handling about five or six C-level assignments each year. He is a law school graduate with broad commercial experience in various roles in metals trading, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and the British National Health Service.
During his tenure, “Mr. Bennett has led significant transformation towards the firm’s objective of becoming a global alternative to the world’s leading executive search firms in the life sciences sector,” the firm said. “The RSA Group has achieved this goal and is consistently executing C-suite retained executive search work directly in all major markets and continents.”
Mr. Bennett said the RSA Group had achieved much in the past few years. “It hasn’t always been easy, but building something to be proud of never is, and I’ve loved every minute of the journey,” he said. “My personal highlight is always knowing our hard work delivers the human capital to ensure great science and technology gets to the patients who need it most, leading to better people – our corporate strap line.”
Life Sciences Recruiters
The RSA Group advises on the selection, assessment and onboarding of board and senior executive talent for the life sciences. The firm has offices in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Singapore and China.
In April, RSA expanded into Switzerland. Thomas Schleimer, a partner with the firm who has extensive international search and healthcare experience, is now working from the Basel office as the search firm expands its reach in the EMEA region. “Switzerland is home to a unique life sciences industry including MedTech, BioPharma, BioTechs, CdMOs and diagnostics companies,” said Mr. Schleimer. “Pharmaceutical giants like Novartis and Roche continue to influence a thriving ecosystem of innovative players in MedTech, BioTech and NanoTech. In an industry driven by innovation, senior-executive-level talent is often the difference between success and failure and I aim to use my 30 years of experience working in executive search to help our Swiss clients attract and retain the most talented people.”
Last year, the firm continued its growth in the U.S. with the addition of Matt Vossler and Shawn O’Connor as partners. Mr. Vossler’s executive search career spans 15 years. He combines expertise in life sciences with firsthand experience of the North American market. For over 10 years, Mr. O’Connor has led his own firm, Shawn O’Connor Executive Search, working exclusively in the life sciences sector.
Leadership Appointments Rising at Search Firms
Leadership appointments have been gaining traction at executive search firms in recent months. Here’s a look at several taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Columbus, OH-headquartered firm Taylor Strategy Partners appointed Mike Gamble as its new president. Mr. Gamble has been instrumental to Taylor Strategy Partners’ growth since joining the firm as vice president of business development in 2015, the firm said. He has more than 20 years of experience designing comprehensive talent acquisition solutions for leading …
Chicago-based Quick Leonard Kieffer named Steven M. Derks as its president and CEO. He took over from Roger Quick, who now serves as vice chair. Mr. Derks brings over 25 years of executive level leadership and experience to his new role. From 2012 to 2017, he served as president and CEO of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
TillmanCarlson appointed Kelly Carlson as its president and CEO. Entering its 16th year, the firm says her promotion sets the stage for growth, innovation and the ability to provide a clear alternative to larger human capital firms. Ms. Carlson joined founder Rob Tillman a year after the search firm was founded after having worked with him in her for Russell Reynolds Associates.
DRG Search appointed Dara Klarfeld as its new CEO. She is now responsible for leading all aspects of DRG’s work with organizations in the non-profit sector. Ms. Klarfeld worked in the non-profit sector for more than a decade before joining DRG Search. Ms. Klarfeld worked in the non-profit sector for more than a decade before joining DRG Search.
Hong Kong-headquartered search firm Bó Lè Associates announced that Pierre Zhuang has resigned as CEO and the board named David Chan, managing director and its Shanghai office head, as its new CEO. Mr. Chan joined the firm in 2015 and was head of Bó Lè Associates’ Hong Kong office prior to taking on the role as head of Bó Lè Shanghai office in August of this year.
U.K.-headquartered Armstrong Craven, a specialist executive search and intelligence consultancy, has named Tom Mason as its new CEO. Mr. Mason previously served as senior vice president at Pontoon Solutions, part of the Adecco Group. Before that, he was a partner at boutique firm Mason McLoud and managing director for EMEA at Allegis Global Solutions.
U.K.-based executive search and interim firm Holmes Noble appointed Donna Chapman as its CEO. Her experience at board level includes mergers and acquisitions, commercial directorship, HR, talent strategies and growth through successful leadership for listed companies, privately-owned and private equity-backed organizations.
Non-profit executive recruiters Higher Talent appointed Mindy Cohen as president and managing partner. Ms. Cohen has been instrumental in establishing the firm’s dedication to educational institutions and non-profits across the country over the past 15 years. She has recruited senior executives, nationally and internationally, for non-profit organizations…
Lois L. Lindauer Searches (LLLS) named Deb Taft as its new CEO. The carefully planned changeover comes as the firm celebrates its 20th anniversary. Chosen by founder Lois L. Lindauer to lead the firm into the next era, Ms. Taft brings over 25 years senior-level development and executive management experience to the role.
Sales-focused executive recruitment provider TwentyPine has promoted Jamie Coakley to CEO. In her new role she is responsible for leading growth strategy and execution of the company’s long-term vision across operations, sales and marketing. Ms. Coakley has a history of re-energizing growth and profitability for mature recruiting and staffing companies.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media