Chief Executive Officer: Financial Services

The Mission

When we were invited to pitch to the Human Resources Director of one of South Africa’s foremost Financial Services organisations, to identify a Chief Executive Officer who would be accountable to the Board and Shareholders, we were thrilled! We knew we had to approach this differently to stand out from the competition.  We were going up against Executive Search organisations who had decades of experience, and we needed our pitch to stand out… and stand out we did, we won the search!

banking-ceo-placementWhen we enquired as to why our client chose to trust TSR with this critical mandate, they said their decision was based on a number of factors – our clear and concise proposal, the manner in which we established our credibility early on, our partnership focus and our very clear passion for delivery.

The brief was not an easy one, we were looking to identify an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a combination of commercial and operational experience, highly strategic and experienced in growing a business, a strong leader and able to build and manage complex relationships, tech savvy and innovative, with relevant Financial Services and processing experience.

Challenge and outcome

A full Executive Search process was undertaken.  A team effort, where we worked together to brainstorm and plan and strategize.  In-depth research of the Financial Services, Banking, Consulting, Telecommunications and Retail industries commenced to identify relevant organisations and candidates. We needed to build a full picture of these industries and their operations, services, and key players – to add value to our client, and to be able to critically assess the candidates and their relevance and suitability to the role. Internal candidates were considered and included in the search process.

A highly consultative process followed, with regular discussions and meetings with our client’s Executive team and the Board to ensure all relevant parties were kept up-to-date and that all governance procedures were being followed.  This was a technical, highly confidential search that required buy-in from all parties at each step.

From an initial pool of 202 potential candidates, 30 were targeted by TSR based on several key criteria, including relevant industry and technical experience, as well as leadership capability and depth of relevant functional experience.  Confidential, detailed discussions were held with 11 of these candidates to assess their specific suitability and interest and, of these, 5 candidates were selected to be interviewed by the Board.  A rigorous interview process was undertaken by our client, followed by candidate presentations and assessments.  TSR was responsible for coordinating and managing the entire process.

An internal candidate was placed, and we could not be happier with the result.  Our Search process afforded the Executive team the opportunity to have full insight into the relevant skills market and to be able to make an informed decision for this critical role.  We had delivered!  Post assignment observations had us receiving positive feedback from the Board and Executive Team on our approach, our communications, our high level of engagement and our ability to truly partner with the business to achieve a successful placement.