2015 was generally been a good year for the consumer and FMCG segments. As with most other business segments, we saw some geographies or regions where there were concerns or fears about investments and economic growth. However, overall 2015 has been positive for our Consumer customers. If we look at what our clients are searching for in the way of executive talent, anything connected to online and digital business is generating demand. Also the Consumer segment is currently experiencing a significant amount of technological disruption that creates new work for us thanks to demand for new executive and leadership skills. These sought-after, new skills are also generating work for us in other ways: mainly through requests from clients to assess their corporate culture and examine how it works.
As companies bring in new talent with different (in some cases completely new) skill sets, they have to think about how to keep these executives happy and how to support them in their roles.
In 2015 we saw a shift in the content of client service demand. Much more of what clients want from us, with regard to my previous comments on helping client-businesses redefine and develop their corporate culture, revolves around cultivating leadership skills and forming corporate meritocracies. Companies are looking for candidates who are values-focused. This is the type of candidates they want to find to fill vacant leadership positions. Companies are working more to tailor jobs to a specific candidate type or profile that matches a corporate vision or values-oriented philosophy for the company moving forward. We now see this values-based executive search often coupled with overall efforts to modernize and make businesses more efficient. This is exemplified in a project we did for a partner representing a handful of globally-known companies pursuing such projects include 3G, Berkshire Hathaway, Heinz, AB Inbev and Burger King among others. A lot of our work during 2015 focused on developing strategies for values-based executive talent search. We expect this trend to continue in 2016.
Change or disruption (perhaps evolution is a better word) has also boosted demand for a cross-offering of SpenglerFox services in the Consumer segment via our Human Capital Solutions (HCS) counselling. Consultancy in this area recently generated a call for a dedicated consultant at our offices in Germany as clients look at how they need to adapt and modernize.
Since I mentioned how specific markets are doing, I believe it’s worth pointing out that our Consumer practice is growing fastest in what I call Europe-adjacent markets. We see interesting growth in the number of projects we have in Middle Eastern countries; however, South Africa is an interesting market as well. Growth in Europe has slowed down somewhat.
Central and Eastern Europe is a smaller market for us than it used to be, but growth in Germany and Western Europe is generally positive. I think the factors of greatest concern for us at the close of 2015 relate to how geopolitics impacts economies in different regions as we move forward. For example, the Russian market is now smaller and is growing slower than it used to: due to political uncertainties.
This situation, however, has helped us to rethink our business; both in assessing strategy for the markets where we operate as well as developing our skills in helping clients make placements in roles at much higher levels. These include, for example, searches for a region-wide president for EMEA or a corporate president for the US market. In a nutshell, 2015 for SpenglerFox’s Consumer practice group has been about keeping pace with our clients and making sure our services evolve as their needs evolve. Our key focus is to keep a step ahead of our clients.
SpenglerFox are pleased to announce a strategic alliance with Cowley Brown Recruitment which will see both companies look to grow and expand their retained executive search business in Ireland. Cowley Brown is based in Dublin with a mix of retained and contingency search business mainly in the Irish healthcare sector and as a consequence, also in the UK and Middle East. SpenglerFox is a leading retained global Search & HR services firm, with Irish heritage, across multiple territories serving both the mature and emerging markets. This new alliance will target the retained executive search business in the Irish market with an initial focus on C-suite roles in Life Sciences and related sectors, but will also create an opportunity for Cowley Brown to engage with SpenglerFox jointly on assignments in other countries around the globe. Through this strategic alliance both companies will bring considerable added value to their respective domestic and international clients, Cowley Brown having successfully built up a considerable local footprint in Ireland and SpenglerFox having a strong international brand as a retained executive search expert, with a wide international reach for sourcing the best talent for their clients. Jens Friedrich, CEO of SpenglerFox, added ‘’Following our Management Buy Out in 2017 we have been focussing on increasing our specialised expert industry knowledge as well as expanding our geographical reach and Ireland has been a priority market on our radar. We are delighted to form this new alliance with Ken and his Team at Cowley Brown. Such an alliance will give SpenglerFox the executive search exposure in the ever improving Irish market, while also continuing to strengthen our Life Sciences practice and serving our international clients who are expanding into the Irish economy.‘’ Ken Cowley, Director of Cowley Brown, is very excited about this new alliance for his firm, and says; ‘’We feel this was the perfect time for us to strike this arrangement with the team at SpenglerFox due to the continuing growth in the Irish economy and our own growth over the last 12-18 months. We have seen an ever increasing demand from our clients for assistance in helping to fill key C-Suite roles, so we are very much looking forward to the prospect of tapping in to the resourcing strength, market-specific expertise, and the global reach that our new business colleagues at SpenglerFox will provide. Also, we feel that the values of our two organisations are highly aligned, with a massive level of enthusiasm for finding top talent and for putting our clients at the centre of everything we do.’’ Both companies feel that there continues to be significant opportunities in the Irish market, as both FDI and indigenous Irish companies continue to expand. The combined set of strengths of both teams, as well as the level and quality of existing contacts and candidate-reach, means that ambitious targets are being set by the new strategic alliance, and both companies are very much looking forward to an exciting future, collaborating on multiple assignments together, both in Ireland and internationally in the best interest of our respective clients.
The Budapest Business Journal – Book of Lists 2018/2019 is an industry guide unique to Hungary and provides company data of 2,500 of the largest companies in more than 70 fields. We are pleased to share that SpenglerFox ranked 3rd amongst Executive Search firms in Hungary. I am delighted once again by this recognition of our services to the Hungarian market. Since our Budapest office first opened in 2005 we have been continuously identifying the very best senior executive talent for our clients businesses. As we now enter the second year of our MBO in 2017 our team in Budapest is continuing to grow and our Research team strengthened to further support our client and candidates as they evolve. Jens Friedrich, CEO
Delighted to gather our entire company in Frankfurt one year post our MBO for two packed days of relationship building, learning and fun. Since our MBO in July 2017 this was the first All Staff event, there was an incredible atmosphere and energy, we certainly needed the energy to help us through the networking, workshops and of course the party! No event is ever complete without an award ceremony, so we presented our staff with more than 10 years tenure travel vouchers, we’re really proud that 50% of our Foxes have been with SpenglerFox between 5 and 14 years! Damien Stork, Chris Beedle and Dan Godsall from Chamonix Hard Cross joined us on day two to take us through their Personal Eco System program. Showing and reminding us why our environment, sleep, exercise and nutrition can help our mental performance, and find more time for that work/life balance. It was great to get the family together once again, so many friendships strengthened, already looking forward to the next. Jens Friedrich, CEO.