Case Study: Chief Legal Officer / General Counsel Appointment
Our client is a global financial services organisation that sets the standards on legal, regulatory and compliance matters. It has a trusted reputation and presence in virtually all key areas of the global economy and therefore exposure territories often with considerable political risk.
During the course of a previous General Counsel search for one of the world's leading energy companies (itself with legal issues comparable with any organisation) we met a US government official who had spent the last 10 years seeking to stop the flows of terrorist finance through the banking system (unusually serving in both Republican and Democrat administrations). Working at the highest levels of the US Treasury and State departments, he had gained an unusual insight into how global governments interact with the financial system. We kept in touch with this individual.
When it was indicated to us by our banking client's Chairman they would need to explore succession in the legal area, we arranged for them to meet and the personal chemistry worked.
To ensure both sides' expectations were aligned and that the profile matched requirements, we ran a full search process alongside introducing this candidate. It involved: drafting a revised role brief; research of the marketplace for other suitably qualified candidates; and a remuneration study to ensure the planned enhanced seniority of the role was reflected in a fair market value level of compensation.
The CEO subsequently met three other candidates (based in New York, Switzerland and Hong Kong), who had a more traditional financial institution General Counsel background. They were impressive experts in their field; however, the CEO concluded that our original candidate brought complimentary and pioneering skills to the bank, which could elevate its level of engagement with outside bodies and attract other individuals of talent. With our guidance, the bank ultimately bet on his intellectual capability and personal drive, despite the fact that the candidate represented a new profile for both the bank itself and the industry in general in this role outside the US.