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Executive Search

Selecting the Chief Executive´s Team

The choice of each member of the executive or management committee is vital to the effectiveness of the leadership team. The styles of successful leaders are as numerous as leaders themselves - whether visionary or directive, passionately involved or detached, collegial or individualistic. For each member, there must be clarity about role, skills and experience. Some chief executives need team members to contrast with their own style, others may need them to replicate it. But either way, there must exist the qualities to give life to the vision and values, and to translate these into core business propositions and competitive excellence for customers and shareholders.

Ward Howell sets out to:

  • Assist a chief executive in appointing and sustaining a top team that is uniquely suited to his/her leadership style and the business context
  • Bring fresh insight and creativity into shaping roles to bring about the best appointments
  • Help ensure that the team as a whole has the capacity to grow through individual potential and the challenge and tension of its internal relationships
  • Enable successful candidates, both internal and external, to be supported in the transition into their new roles
  • Be available as a counsellor to the chief executive at all times

Ward Howell brings the highest quality of dedicated executive search experience, processes and method. We seek to reduce the risk inherent in new appointments through our long experience and understanding of leadership and organizational issues.


General Management Appointments

Superior leadership, general management and skills are predominant sources of competitive advantage. The quality of the general management talent pool, its development, assessment and replenishment, has to be one of corporate leadership's main concerns. It requires professional processes and demanding judgments about the future leadership and managerial qualities needed to outperform others in the sector. External perspective and the ability to benchmark, as well as insight into corporate culture are essential.

Ward Howell´s approach to general management appointments is distinctive:

  • We make sure we gain a deep understanding of the business of each of our clients of the sector and of competitive positioning

  • We operate internationally in all sectors of industry and commerce, but only serve a limited number of clients in any one sector, thereby ensuring the least possible restriction to potential sources of management talent
  • We work in partnership with our client, keeping close to market intelligence; and are alert to and often able to anticipate client needs
  • Our professional in-house research team ensures a focused and tailor-made approach to each assignment, whether by drawing on our extensive contacts, conducting original research or deployment of several databases

  • Our capability is enhanced globally by being an integral part of Ward Howell International, one of the world's leading executive search firms

We have the skills experience and processes, together with total commitment to each of our clients to deliver the best and most suitable candidates and to help with their successful integration.


Functional and Specialist Appointments

Globalization of business, facilitated by the rapid spread of technology, speed of communication and transfer of know-how, has led to significant changes in organization concepts, structures and roles. Delayering and outsourcing has meant flatter, more decentralised organizations, calling for greater strategic contribution from the corporate centre; with the result that in every business sector, functional and specialist roles and relationships have been transformed. Specialist management and skills are becoming increasingly important to business success. The identification and retention of leading practitioners has become as crucial and as difficult as recruiting talented general management.

Ward Howell helps clients make successful specialist line and functional appointments through:


  • A deep understanding of roles and items/appointments, gained as a result of our partners' consulting and business experience, as well as their executive search expertise;
  • Taking time to design and define these roles in the context of changing organisational needs, business objectives and the competitive environment;
  • Extensive network and sources and contacts in industry, commerce and financial services as well as an up to date database and research;
  • Being able to access the market speedily and approach potential candidates on whom we either have an already informed view or can test for their relevance and suitability against carefully defined and thoroughly understood criteria;
  • Being integrated into Ward Howell international enhances our reach into international markets. Participation in its specialist global practice groups, which are the centres of excellence for specific industry sectors, enables us to share knowledge and experience and
  • Collaborating with specialists in each of the key markets on cross-border assignments.