Boyden Executive Outlook Finds CEOs’ Growing Confidence Points to a Hiring Uptick

– Top global executive search firm reveals expected increase in talent acquisition due to new growth in financial services, industrial/energy, technology and digital consumer –

NEW YORK--()--An expansion of management ranks is expected to result in an overall uptick in talent acquisition, thanks to economic stability in the US and growth projections in key developing markets including Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, according to the latest edition of the quarterly Boyden Executive Outlook, released today by Boyden Global Executive Search.

“Overall, CEOs and decision makers are preparing to increase hiring of executives and talent investment in several sectors,” said Trina Gordon, President and CEO of Boyden World Corporation. “After a long period of political and economic uncertainty, organisations are more optimistic and they’re planning to grow their ranks in key markets.”

“Most companies are focused on growth opportunities in China, Asia and Latin America,” said Gray Hollett, Chief Marketing Officer of Boyden World Corporation. “The emphasis has now moved ‘beyond BRIC’ and expanded to markets such as Africa, Indonesia, Singapore and new territories in Latin America. Even if companies are based in the US and Europe, the type of executives that are hired often have an even greater global focus to maximise these key emerging markets as well as their home markets.”

Finance Officers Practice

“Demand for CFOs continues despite some challenging times,” said Simon Bailey, Leader of Boyden’s Global Finance Officer Practice and Partner at Boyden UK. “This year companies will continue to need CFOs who can handle turnarounds, change strategy and manage relationships with banks.”

“The most profound hiring and replacement of CFOs is taking place in the industrial, consumer and retail sectors. Top finance executives are working with CEOs on the ’change agenda,’ and companies are moving swiftly to replace CFOs who cannot execute shifts quickly enough,” according to Bailey.


“Executive hiring trends in the consumer goods sector continues to run parallel to the general consumer and economic sentiment, which is moderately up,” said Doug Ehrenkranz, a Managing Director at Boyden Houston.

“For management roles in sales and marketing, the ability to innovate and collaborate are highly sought-after attributes. Within marketing, the ability to connect the ’digital dots‘ is critical, especially in social marketing,” Ehrenkranz added. “The proliferation of e-commerce sales is a bright spot in the US, though a number of CEO changes are expected among retail companies,” according to Howard Gross, a Managing Director of Boyden New York.

“In EMEA, companies expanding in Africa are demanding executives who can manage large transformational projects that include commercial expansion and human resources development,” according to Fay Voysey-Smit, Leader of Boyden’s Global Consumer Practice and Managing Partner of Boyden Sub Sahara Africa. “South Africans are being recruited back and the need for global experience is pushing companies to also look for candidates based in the UK, Australia and other locales.”

“Clearer, more precise strategic thinking is essential for C-level positions. Fast-paced sector changes, including increased competiveness, changing customer needs, new technologies and complex organisational structures of multinationals have created a new threshold of experience needed,” according to Dirk Friederich, a Managing Partner of Boyden Germany.

“Companies need leaders who have the savvy to find lucrative markets outside Italy and often beyond Europe,” said Anders Lindholm, Managing Director of Boyden Italy. “This also often requires senior executives who can reset their outlook with a totally different approach and make decisions in a swift manner.”

“For the CEOs, many organisations are favouring globally experienced, inspiring leaders, rather than specialists in a retail/consumer sector. In addition, finance and efficiency minded management is in demand, including CFOs as well as supply chain and purchasing executives,” added Lindholm.

“In Latin America, the introduction of premier global brands in a more direct way is obligating companies to recruit consumer and retail executives with broader experience. This includes executives that possess knowledge of English as well as a third language,” according to Antonio Sanchez, a Boyden Board Member and Managing Director of Boyden Colombia. “Consumerism is on everyone’s mind and companies are taking a more proactive approach to the region’s booming middle class, and this includes recruiting talent much more aggressively,” said Sanchez.

John Byrne, Managing Director of Boyden Chile, explains that strong investment in Latin America and a need to manage growth is generating demand for top CFOs and controllers. Generally, the preference of companies is to build local teams in each country formed by nationals.

“In Brazil, large retail companies are awarding strong bonuses to attract and retain talent. In addition, there is rising demand for candidates with top-level MBAs, which also reflects the upward trend in total compensation,” according to Aurea Imai, a Managing Director at Boyden São Paulo.

Financial Services

“In 2013, we’re already experiencing a real shift in financial services firms setting a strategy to include hiring this year,” said Jeanne Branthover, Leader of Boyden’s Global Financial Services Practice and Managing Director at Boyden New York. “From banking, investment firms and private equity to insurance and hedge funds, companies are planning to add human capital and not just replace people.”

“In addition, 2012 bonuses paid in the first quarter will be generally flat or slightly down from the previous year. The modest bonuses, in some cases, will result in talent movement. Due to continued regulation, government intervention and shareholder activism, the need for transparency will be paramount. Thus, hiring is expected for management roles related to compliance, regulation and risk management,” according to Branthover.

“Companies are invigorating their capabilities in compliance by further automating compliance and legal functions. New talent is being recruited to set up and manage these systems to further optimise risk,” according to Kate Quinn, a Managing Director of Boyden New York.

“Most major firms in wealth management are trying to grow their businesses again and are hiring more aggressively now,” said Andrew Reese, a Managing Director of Boyden New York. “We’re also seeing a trend of larger asset managing institutions moving trading capabilities in-house, which has resulted in talent acquisition.”

“In the insurance sector, property & casualty underwriters, along with retirement & annuity providers, are joining the ’war for talent‘ to ensure they keep pace with other financial industry companies as baby boomers live longer and healthier lives,” according to Greg Coleman, a Managing Director of Boyden New York.

“This year there will be a big break between winners and losers and that translates into a huge premium on leadership,” explains Roger Wilson, Managing Director of Boyden Singapore. He added that “Singapore is fast growing as a global hub for industry IT, with many companies adding significant talent in the region to lead companies’ IT and FinTech operations.”

“Hong Kong, China and Taiwan remain very active in recruitment of top professionals in asset management, wealth management and private banking. The flurry of recruiting activity in the fourth quarter of 2012 is expected to continue into 2013, although the limited size of the talent pool continues to be a challenge,” according to William Farrell, a Boyden Board Member and Managing Director of Boyden Taiwan.

“In the Middle East, regional and local banks are actively upgrading their talent pools and recruiting from global organisations. This contrasts the ’hiring freezes‘ in bigger institutions, which have been affected by the region’s political instability and uncertainty in the business community,” according to Magdy El Zein, Managing Director of Boyden Middle East.

“In Europe, financial services firms are growing to new and sustainable levels through restructurings, which have limited hiring to only roles that fit into these changed models,” according to Armin Meier, Managing Director of Boyden Switzerland.


“In the energy sector, there’s been a significant increase in board recruitment, as many directors are at or near retirement age,” said Jim Hertlein, a Boyden Board Member and Managing Director at Boyden Houston, adding that “recruitment of CFOs and financial officers in the industrial and energy sectors is expected to remain active in 2013.”

“This year, the outlook for increased management acquisition is in sync with the growth plans of many companies in the industrial, energy and mining sectors,” said Robert Travis, a Boyden Board Director and Managing Director of Boyden Canada. “Many organisations are struggling with succession issues arising from an ageing workforce. There remains a constant need for identifying strong leadership skills, combined with identifying talent who have the ability to ‘come up to speed’ quickly to seamlessly transfer relevant knowledge from executives who are retiring.”

“Increased economic stability in Canada has given industrial and manufacturing companies more confidence to invest in strategic plans and talent, compared to the last few years,” according to Janice Detta Colli, a Managing Director at Boyden Toronto. “In addition, small and medium sized organisations have a strong opportunity to grow their market share, and talent acquisition will be an important part of the expansion equation,” she added.

“Hiring of manufacturing executives is expected to remain active in Central and Eastern Europe, which often provides geographic advantages over Asia. COOs, operations directors and supply directors are among the positions in demand,” according to Zbigniew Plaza, Managing Director of Boyden Poland. “The operations need to be state-of-the-art,” said Plaza. “In some cases the new CEE plants are replacing closed facilities in Western Europe and an important part of the equation is bringing in world class talent.”

“In Norway, the oil and gas sector is booming due to several new discoveries last year. Thus, oil companies and oil service companies are recruiting internationally for experienced engineering management and project directors,” said Kaare Bringa, Managing Director of Boyden Norway. “In addition, industrial companies are recruiting globally to attract management talent that will help them expand their activities in developing markets.”

“In Australia, a China-led economic recovery this year will reignite the mining boom and subsequent recruiting, although hiring projections are sluggish as companies are relatively cautious about expanding. On the upside, Australian companies’ expansion in growth markets including China, Brazil, Chile and India is expected to boost talent acquisition in these key developing markets,” according to Michael Catlow, Managing Director of Boyden Australia.


“Companies are working overtime to figure out how to leverage and monetise social media and digital platforms, and talent that is able to advance that agenda is being recruited very aggressively,” said Dan Grassi, Managing Director of Boyden Atlanta. “Compensation for executives in digital marketing, e-commerce and digital business development continues to be on the rise, including base, bonus and equity.”

“In China and Taiwan, senior managers that can help locally based multinationals expand their market share and deliver a broader suite of services in hardware manufacturing are in strong demand,” according to Jed Van Voorhis, a Managing Director of Boyden Taiwan. “This includes supply chain management, software development, media delivery expertise and strategic marketing. Foreign multinationals continue to fill out their leadership teams with strong managers who work effectively with local and overseas counterparts to maintain a foothold against increasingly competitive local competition.”

“In India, technology continues to be a leading sector and thus the executive hiring outlook remains positive. Specialists in cloud computing, engineers for product & quality, information security experts and computer network architects are among the areas of expected increased hiring activity in 2013,” explains Dinesh Mirchandani, Managing Director of Boyden India.

“Executive recruitment within the UK’s technology sector remains strong,” said Mark Soden, a Partner of Boyden UK. “However, there is even greater pressure on compensation and bonuses as shareholders continue to question the remuneration packages of leadership teams.”

Healthcare/Life Sciences

“The industry is shifting and seeking management talent who are able to think like investors and act more independently,” said Kerstin Roubin, Leader of Boyden’s Global Healthcare Services Practice and a Partner of Boyden Austria. “Pharmaceutical companies are moving toward building a more balanced portfolio. To reduce risk, some companies are creating independent committees of senior executives to determine which assets will be acquired or which departments should be separated from revenue generating activity.”

“The entire healthcare business is showing solid growth opportunities,” said Andreas Landgrebe, Managing Director of Boyden Austria and CEE. “Companies are acquiring talent in Eastern Europe, and Romania is particularly dynamic as more multinationals are planning to increase or upgrade their local presence.”

“In the US, the 2013 outlook for hiring in life sciences is ’guardedly optimistic.’ Many companies are slower to make decisions to observe the impact of US fiscal cliff legislation on corporate taxes,” according to Lori Christiansen, a Managing Director at Boyden San Francisco.

Trevor Pritchard, also a Managing Director at Boyden San Francisco, pointed to an uptick in hiring related to the personalised medicine sector. “Consumer companies are acquiring strategic talent to assess products and markets,” he explained. “Several venture capitalists that have departed life science divisions of VC and investment firms are being recruited to management roles in consumer companies to define and develop their strategies,” Pritchard said.

About Boyden World Corporation

Boyden is a global leader in the executive search industry with more than 65 offices in over 40 countries. Founded in 1946, Boyden specialises in high level executive search, interim management and human capital consulting across a broad spectrum of industries. For further information, visit


Anushka Seth for Boyden
t. +1 415.293.4436

Release Summary

Boyden Executive Outlook reveals growing CEO confidence and an uptick in talent acquisition in 2013 due to improving economic stability in the US and growth projections in key developing markets


Anushka Seth for Boyden
t. +1 415.293.4436