Ward Howell Continues to Strengthen North American Presence

Philip Lefebvre rejoins Ward Howell life sciences partner

November 3, 2017 – Global recruiter Ward Howell International has brought back Philip Lefebvre to North America as a partner in its life sciences practice group. Mr. Lefebvre, who spent the last 10 years in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, is now based in New York. He has over 20 years of experience in executive search.

Prior to moving to the U.S., Mr. Lefebvre was based in Dubai, assisting in establishing Ward Howell’s presence across Asia and Africa. He helped build the firm’s life sciences practice in those regions while continuing to serve clients on a global basis. In addition to executive search, Mr. Lefebvre was actively involved in helping the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabian governments establish a regulated investment framework to support the biopharma and health services sectors. In this role, he actively participated in bolstering investments in life sciences within the region, and worked directly with several members of the royal families from those countries.

Two years ago, Mr. Lefebvre assisted in re-launching the Ward Howell brand in the Americas. He maintains close relations with his pharmaceutical clients, and continues to support their needs across all geographies. Over the last five years, Mr. Lefebvre has played a key role in building the senior executive ranks of three of the top 10 global generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as assisting small pharmaceutical companies compete for research and development talent.

Mr. Lefebvre began his career in Montreal and Toronto, where he led the life sciences practice for Korn Ferry International Canada.


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Continued Growth

For its part, Ward Howell is growing. It looks to have 50 partners in two years and perhaps as many as double that in five years, said the firm. Over the next two to three years, it intends to establish roughly eight offices in key cities around the country. The plan is to recruit strong professionals who know the local markets and want to expand their horizons by joining or starting up industrial specialty teams.

Just recently, John Pothin joined the firm as a partner in Ward Howell’s consumer and industrial practices. Based in the firm’s New York office, he has over 30 years of combined business and leadership experience including several senior global leadership roles in human resources at the GTECH Corporation and at Hasbro Inc. Mr. Pothin recently served as the managing director of human resources for Patriarch Partners, a private equity firm in New York. In his time there, he placed more than 250 senior executives in leadership roles across the portfolio of companies as well as specialists within the holding company

At the end of August, the firm acquired Curran Partners, a Stamford, Conn-based executive search firm with a concentration in the life sciences, among other sectors it serves. Ward Howell also named search veteran Michael Tappan as a partner and head of corporate development for its operations in America. Mr. Tappan, who has 46 years experience in executive recruitment, will also help to establish a U.S. board practice for the firm.

“We are delighted to welcome Mike Tappan back to Ward Howell to help re-establish the firm’s presence in the American market,” said Mr. Haider. “We expect that his many years in the search business, in this country and abroad, and his experience in starting and building both new offices and new firms, not to mention his historical knowledge of Ward Howell, will greatly assist in bringing a respected firm back to prominence in executive search in the United States.”

Twenty years ago, Ward Howell, one of the iconic brands in the search industry, virtually disappeared after being acquired. Two years ago, Mr. Haider and Dr. Bernd Prasuhn began efforts to return the name to its former glory in the U.S., but under the auspices of a new firm. Mr. Tappan, who was manager of the New York office, among other roles, for the old Ward Howell, is charged with continuing that work.

This past April, Ward Howell also added Sonia Prais as a partner in the firm’s retail, beauty & lifestyle practice group. Based in Orange County, she works out of Ward Howell’s California and New York offices. Ms. Prais brings 20 years of experience in executive search, having worked in the U.S. and across Europe and Asia with clients including Saks Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren, Vera Bradley, Topshop and Madura Garments. She has specific expertise in relocating candidates globally for clients, often to challenging geographical markets.

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

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