CEO statement

In the year 2020 our team completed €62.8m of client work, significantly ahead of our expectations but below 2019 income. This is explained by a planned reduction in headcount in line with our strategy to focus on the leadership segment.

As importantly, given world events, our team stayed safe and looked after colleagues and clients alike – without interruption or hesitation. A remarkable year. Together we took further extraordinary steps towards our strategic objectives:

  • Continued development of revenues and earnings per consultant – both new team members and existing colleagues had increased client fee income in 2020.
  • Accelerated expansion of business share in our main Executive Search solution – continually generating most client work in the leadership segment.
  • Reduced our fixed cost base and re-allocated expenditure to consultant development and R&D.
  • As in recent previous years, progressed with higher rated employee engagement – well above global benchmark.
  • Increased value provided for clients – reflected in continued expectational client perception ratings and higher average assignment fees.

2020 was an unprecedented year in so many ways, and it has been turbulent for all of us. Our story in 2020 had many challenges, but also remarkable continued achievements that underlined the significant strength of our company for the good of our colleagues and our clients.

Our team stayed safe and looked after colleagues and clients alike – without interruption or hesitation. A remarkable year.

Read more about ‘Outperform in the Next Normal’ here 


The year ahead

We help clients build better leadership. Spreading the word about the importance of leadership and how our evidence-based Leadership Acquisition and Advisory solutions secure better outcomes for leaders and organisations is a huge opportunity in 2021 and the decade that comes ahead. To this aim, the key focus areas for management in 2021 are:

  • Enlarge our presence in key markets and our global reach through ongoing targeted hiring of senior consultants.
  • Re-certification for all consultant and delivery colleagues in our pioneering Leadership Assessment solution.
  • Further investment in developing IT, data mining and digital capabilities through our IT and R&D team.
  • Continued strong financial management and leader empowerment.

Our teams’ work is so important and urgent because acquiring and improving leadership is the greatest challenge organisations face – the only way they can sustainably outperform. Today our clients need us more than ever – and in 2021 we are ready to help them build better leadership, wherever in the world they need us.

Acquiring and improving leadership is the greatest challenge organisations face – the only way they can sustainably outperform.

Ready for our next exciting step forward

We are a truly international company with teams operating in 60 countries worldwide. During 2021, we plan to further increase and develop the leadership work we do for clients. We will continue driving our strategy of working in intentional sectors or practice knowledge groups, a truly collaborative business. Experts working together, with an equally strong bond to their sector peers globally – as well as to their fellow city-based colleagues and clients.