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AESC Selects New CEO

September 12, 2014
Borderless Leadership

Karen Greenbaum appointed to head the Association of Executive Search Consultants

The Board of Directors of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), the global association for executive search and leadership consulting firms, of which Borderless is a member, announced that it has elected Karen Greenbaum as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 27, 2014.  She succeeds Peter Felix, who had previously announced his intentions to retire at the end of 2014 after 16 years as AESC’s CEO.

A search consultant and experienced leader who has managed a billion-dollar professional services practice, Ms. Greenbaum was selected following a rigorous global search led by a committee of eight senior AESC members.  Committee members were chosen from a cross-section of large executive search firms, networks and independent boutiques across AESC’s three-region geographic footprint in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.  The search was managed by Heidrick & Struggles.

“Karen Greenbaum is a world-class leader in professional services,” noted Aidan Kennedy, AESC board chair and a London-based partner with CT Partners.  “She is a client-focused business person, a thought leader on the human capital agenda and an experienced search professional.  She brings a fresh perspective to the AESC and is the right leader to build on our successes and to advocate for our members.”

When asked about her new role, Greenbaum said, “I am honored and excited by the opportunity to lead the AESC, the association for retained executive search globally.  I know how important it is to respect the past while responding to the changing needs of our members, our profession and most importantly, the clients we serve.  I look forward to building on AESC’s successes and particularly the momentum achieved under Peter Felix’s leadership.”

Ms. Greenbaum is a seasoned global business executive and C-suite advisor.  In three decades with Mercer Consulting, a global leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments, Karen rose from consultant to President & Chief Operating Officer of Mercer’s US consulting practice, then encompassing over $1 billion in revenues and 5000 employees in 40 offices; her concluding role at Mercer was as Worldwide Partner, Civic Leadership.  She also served on Mercer’s Global Leadership Group for many years and was directly involved in major global strategic reviews that fundamentally changed the organization. 

Subsequently, Greenbaum served four years as Chief Operating Officer for Nixon Peabody, a global 100 law firm.  Most recently, she has been a Partner for Pierce Consulting Partners, a boutique retained executive search firm.

AESC board member Thomas Daniels, chair of the search committee and a senior director at Spencer Stuart, applauded Greenbaum’s global perspective, operating savvy and experience in both entrepreneurial and institutional professional service settings.  “Members of the AESC are invited every day to advise the world’s leading organizations on their most significant executive appointments and succession planning issues.  Having a leader with Karen’s experience who understands this and what we do is critical,” noted Daniels.  “The unanimous choice of both the search committee and full board, Karen has demonstrated in numerous venues her ability to strengthen organizational effectiveness across multiple geographies, industry sectors and firm profiles.”

In addition to her corporate service, Greenbaum is on the board of the Committee of 200, a global organization of top executive women, and the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Illinois.  She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, the International Women’s Forum, the Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network.  

Greenbaum is an independent director for FJ Management, a large private company with a diverse portfolio of businesses, including an oil refinery and convenience stores. 

Ms. Greenbaum received her Master’s of Business Administration from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, and her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Marketing, magna cum laude, from the University of Baltimore. 

About the AESC:

The Association of Executive Search Consultants is the worldwide professional association for the $11 billion retained executive search and leadership consulting profession.  Collectively, the 6000+ consultants in its member firms annually serve tens of thousands of corporate, governmental and nonprofit clients with executive search and leadership services in over 75 countries.  Headquartered in New York City, the AESC also has offices in Brussels and Hong Kong.

Source: AESC

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