Viewing post categorized under: Operational Infrastructure



October 28 / C-Level Management, Operational Infrastructure

COO – Global Investment Bank

The Brief

To find a COO for a global investment bank.

The Challenge

The client wanted to identify a non-traditional COO with a particularly strong understanding of front office functions across the securities market, which narrowed the target candidate pool and necessitated a creative approach.

The Solution

To provide the desired result necessitated a fresh perspective and the ability to look and think beyond the existing COOs within our client’s competitor banks. Our client’s remit required the right candidate to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of markets and the ability to transfer that knowledge from the front office to the CEO’s office for a truly transformational approach. Due to our cross-sector and cross-product expertise and our established relationships with senior candidates, we were able to look at solutions from the front office and in the end the successful candidate was identified in a front-office role.

Our success in this search depended on us thoroughly understanding both our candidate and our client.  Knowing our candidate, we correctly anticipated that the candidate would be interested in a completely new and different challenge outside the scope of their current remit. Through knowing our client well, we were able to find the right mindset, outside of the traditional skillset, to fill this brief.

Key Contact

Taru Oksman
October 27 / C-Level Management, Operational Infrastructure

Head of Strategy, Consumer Product – North African Commercial Bank

The Brief

To identify a Head of Strategy for Consumer Products for a leading North African commercial bank.

The Challenge

The job title did not fully reflect the scope and seniority of the role, nor its central importance to our client in achieving their ambitious expansion plans in the North African retail banking market.   The challenge therefore was to understand what the role really meant to the bank, and to position it accordingly with the right candidates.

The Solution

Our relationship-driven approach to search means that understanding our clients, their businesses and their requirements fully is an essential starting point to our work.  Applying this approach, we were able to perceive how important this position was to our client’s future growth, and how much more senior the role was within the organization’s structure than first appearances would suggest.

Armed with this knowledge, we directed the search towards individuals with the necessary seniority and ambition, and shared with them the true scope of the position and the bank’s growth strategy.  The next phase was to demonstrate to the client that candidates of this level of seniority were indeed the most suitable. Our granular understanding of our candidates’ strengths and motivations, coupled with our ability to navigate the successful candidate speedily through the search and the bank’s complex hiring process further exemplifies the added-value of our relationship-driven approach.

 Key Contacts

Mikael Zoghbi
Taru Oksman
October 27 / C-Level Management, Financial Investors & Portfolio Companies, Operational Infrastructure

CFO, Independent Power Producer, Sub-Saharan Africa – Private Equity Portfolio Company

The Brief

To find a CFO for an independent power producer (IPP), owned by a private equity vehicle and aimed at developing early-stage power-generating assets across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Challenge

Given the political sensitivities surrounding the power sector, the search was hard to position. In addition, the role required an individual with both greenfield power-development experience and very early stage project finance experience.  Our client’s firm mandate for impact investing necessitated gender and nationality diversity of candidates, with an emphasis on the Sub-Saharan diaspora.

The Solution

Understanding the profile of our client from the outset enabled us very quickly to identify suitable candidates. In our estimation the government-owned power providers across Africa would not provide candidates with relevant experience, so we investigated companies with emerging markets operating presence which developed the assets themselves and put power purchasing agreements (PPAs) in place.

Candidate sourcing was further facilitated via our large network across project finance and more broadly debt, particularly mining & metals, oil & gas, infrastructure and power.  Based on Riverhouse’s 20+ years of emerging and frontier markets experience, we were also able to identify internationally mobile candidates from frontier market regions. As a result of our comprehensive research approach, we were able to produce a highly relevant shortlist showing gender and African diaspora diversity. The search concluded with a successful placement.

Key Contact

Max Fraser
October 27 / Operational Infrastructure

Head of Government Affairs & Legal, Russia – Competitor Analysis for a Global Investment Bank

The Brief

To conduct competitor and market analysis focused on the government affairs and legal counsel functions within international investment banks operating in Russia, on behalf of a global investment bank.  The competitor analysis would assist the bank in formulating effective succession planning and hiring strategies for these key functions.

The Challenge

The timing of this assignment coincided with a rapidly changing market environment and economic instability in Russia as a result of international sanctions.  Consequently, a large number of our client’s traditional competitors were in the process of retrenching or exiting the Russian market. Understanding the market environment and talent landscape was therefore particularly challenging when both were in a state of significant flux.

The Solution

In order to fully grasp the complexities of the changing market environment, we adopted an ordered and thorough search approach.   Mapping out the government affairs and legal departments not only of the key international investment banks but also the major multi-national corporations and international law firms in Russia allowed us to comprehensively identify and assess the relevant senior professionals operating in these functions across a broad section of the market.  This breadth and depth of analysis enabled us to effectively benchmark our client’s existing team set-up and incumbents against their peers, and to provide our client with advice based on an up-to-date and precise understanding of how economic sanctions were impacting other international businesses in Russia.

Key Contact

Taru Oksen