February 14, 2019 – Executive recruitment firms have made a number of top leadership appointments over the past year, many focused on strategy, growth, branding efforts and operations. The latest: U.K.-headquartered executive search firm VMAGROUP has appointed Andrew Harvey as CEO. He succeeds Julia Meighan, who moves into the role of chair.

Mr. Harvey came to the firm in 2013, and for the last two years has been U.K. executive director, responsible for the growth and development of all aspects of the U.K. business. As CEO, he will focus on driving growth from the company’s recruitment and executive search services across the entire international business, including offices in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and in the U.K.

Prior to joining VMAGROUP, Mr. Harvey was a principal consultant with Badenoch + Clark, a specialist recruitment service to the internal communications industry. Before that, he was with ING, where he led the management of internal communications and customer marketing campaigns.

“Over the last two years Andrew has been instrumental in driving the growth of our U.K. business and I am delighted that he is now taking on the group CEO role,” said Ms. Meighan. “For my own part, I am looking forward to continuing meeting with our clients, providing long-term strategic oversight and guidance to the firm, and further developing my career as an executive business coach to senior communications and marketing professionals.”

Mr. Harvey said he was excited about his new role. “This is an exciting new challenge in my career and I am looking forward to working with the senior management team to ensure that our long-established VMAGROUP brand continues to respond effectively to the challenges and trends in recruitment and executive search that the communications, digital and marketing sectors face today, he said.   

Founded in 1978, VMAGROUP in an international interim and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist for communications, digital and marketing. The firm’s specialist practices cover: internal and change communications, external communications, investor relations, public affairs, marketing, digital and agency services. Its clients range from innovative, independent start-ups to large, complex multinational corporations, as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.

Leadership Appointments Rising at Search Firms

Top leadership appointments have been gaining traction at executive search firms over the past year. Here’s a look at several examples taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Waltham, MA-based WinterWyman appointed Scott Ragusa as president, succeeding Bob Boudreau, who had been CEO since 2002. Mr. Ragusa was previously president of WinterWyman’s contract staffing and contingency search businesses. He will now be the executive in charge of companywide operations as the firm shifts away from retained recruiting to contingency and interim work.

Egon Zehnder appointed Edilson Camara as its new CEO. He took over from Rajeev Vasudeva, who stepped down in October after holding the position since 2014. Based in Toronto, Mr. Camara assumed the role immediately, becoming the sixth CEO in the firm’s 55-year history. 

Perth, Australia-based executive search firm Gerard Daniels appointed Alison Gaines as the company’s global CEO. Following a 12-year tenure as the head of its board consulting practice and recently as managing partner of Gerard Daniels’ Asia Pacific practice, Ms. Gaines will now lead the firm to continue to drive growth across all regions and offices.

Spencer Stuart appointed Ben Williams as its new CEO, succeeding Kevin Connelly, who served two three-year terms as the firm’s leader after previously serving six years as its chairman. Mr. Williams previously led Spencer Stuart’s North American business and, before that, led its financial services practice in the region. 

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. 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. 

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 …

TillmanCarlson appointed Kelly Carlson as its president and CEO. Entering its 16th year, the firm said that 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. She previously worked with him at Russell Reynolds Associates. 

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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