Big-4 Audit Partner
I was a little skeptical about hiring a reverse search firm to find a board seat for me, I couldn’t get traction using my network or traditional executive search firms. One of the concerns that I had was being presented to companies where the firm I retired from as the auditor. Executive Advisory assured me that they would weed out any target firms where the auditor was my past employer and they were very responsive and thorough throughout the process. What I liked is they have a road map that they follow that insured my background got in front of enough decision makers to get me the interviews that I needed to successfully land a board seat on an Audit Committee. This is very tedious work and there are a lot of pitfalls along the way but Executive Advisory had a best practice for each situation and they gave me an invaluable education on being a board director, the interviewing process ( they did the pre-interview home work for me), asking the right questions and negotiating the nomination.
Paid Board Seat
After many years of successful business launch and growth activity, at an owner level, I was seeking a paid board member seat. During my search, I found Executive-Advisory and decided to contact them. What followed was an impressive introduction of their services and a process which became increasingly productive and enjoyable throughout. These people really know their business; they immediately understood where we might best focus our efforts based on my specific background and desires, knew exactly how to approach each relevant opportunity and then coached me on every aspect of the process going forward. Suffice it to say, the people at Executive-Advisory are some of the most talented and proactive professionals I’ve met in all my years in business.
– Mike R.
Corporate Board Director
I am a corporate attorney and had worked as the General Counsel for a few successful brand name technology firms, as well as the Chief Counsel for a large venture capital firm. I felt I had a lot to offer corporate boards and read that corporations were searching for capable women to bring diversity to their boards. Our chairman was solicited by Executive-Advisory marketing one of their clients and thought they were very professional and might be a good resource for me to pursue. I work eighty hours a week and had very little time to do the leg work on my own, not that I would’ve been able to even if I had. Executive-Advisory developed a strategy for me, wrote my resume, contacted all of the decision makers on my behalf and researched collateral information to assist me with interviews. They were very responsive and generated multiple board seat offerings for me. I only accepted one of the offers to see how well I could handle it with all of my other commitments and my time constraints.
– Wendy L.
Financial Services Board Seat
A recruiter from Spencer Stuart called me for a potential seat on a public company board and, although the interviews went well, I did not get the board seat. I asked the headhunter if he had any other opportunities and he did not but steered me to the Executive-Advisory group. They were very professional and responsive and deployed a strategic approach to get me in front of decision makers, who have the authority to appoint board members, and helped and supported me for interviews, an area in which I thought I may have lacked in my first attempt. I would recommend this group to anyone wanting to get on a paid board, especially women, who have not been an integral part of board elections in the past.
– Stacey L.
My First Board Search
This is a first-class organization. I was sitting on two advisory boards, for a minimal fee, and helping them grow. I didn’t have any equity and thought I was putting in more effort than I was rewarded for. I went on the Internet looking for paid board seats and found Executive-Advisory. I was really pleased that I did. They were very responsive and helped me through the intricacies of finding a paid board seat. As soon as I get my feet on the ground with the board they found for me and resign from the advisory boards I am already on, I will be back to them for another search.
– Harry W.
Pharmaceutical Executive Board Search
My road to a board seat: I am a senior pharmaceutical executive with over 30 years of experience driving business for therapeutic pharmaceutical products in a large volume, high profit market and turning around underperforming brands. Because of my financial contribution, I was always an integral part of the executive team, but never invited to be on a board. A friend of mine told me about the executive advisory service and, after coming across Executive-Advisory during my own research, I called them to see if they thought they could help. They mentioned that, currently, the highest demographic demand for new board directors is for minority women, which I am. So, I enlisted their service and, after educating me on board seats, they took the reins and whipped up some interviews. I ended up getting a board seat with a company 2000 miles away, in a completely different industry, but on a committee where my governance skill was a good match to the company’s long-term growth strategy. I would recommend them, especially if you are like me and know little to nothing about board governance.
– Janet J.
Corporate Doctor’s Search for a Board Seat
I was a healthcare executive, practicing physician and principal and founder of an acute care management and staffing company that we grew to be a national provider. As I reside in California, the recent mandate for women on boards motivated me to look for a paid board seat. I felt I had a lot to offer healthcare organizations in accountable care and efficacy strategy. A friend of mine in Chicago referred the EA group and they helped me get my first board seat with a private equity portfolio company specializing in life sciences. I was the first woman on this company’s board and surprisingly welcomed for my industry knowledge and affiliations. If you don’t know where to start, these are the people to call.
– Dr. Jennifer B.
Hedge Fund Board Director
I launched and managed a successful hedge fund, which I recently sold, and took teaching opportunities at MIT’s and Harvard’s graduate schools of business. I had a lot of free time as I was only teaching one class at each institution, so I thought about sitting on public company boards. One of my fellow professors suggested that I look into Executive-Advisory. I gave them a call and the Strategist that I talked to really knew his stuff. We looked at a wide landscape of companies where two of my skills, M&A and corporate development, were central to the company’s growth strategy. I had 3 phone interviews and one in-person interview that culminated in an offer to be on the board of a rapidly growing, merger-driven FinTech company. To anyone who doesn’t already have a network, you need these guys!
– Dr. Sahara H.
My first couple of jobs out of college were in finance for private equity, media and banking organizations. Eventually, I launched my own consulting practice focused on technology commercialization for research produced at the top 5 U.S. universities. I have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, as well as a master’s from Stanford University, and thought I had a lot to offer companies in the areas of technology transfers and business sustainability. The visibility and interaction would complement my consulting practice, but I had been reluctant to pursue board nominations because I thought they were mostly held by retired, male CEO’s. Then, while completing a fellowship, I ran into a colleague at Columbia who pointed me to Executive-Advisory where I quickly learned that although my suspicions about retired, male CEO’s populating boards were mostly true, the demographics were changing quickly and over 30% of boards nationally are searching for women. I was amazed at how fast Executive-Advisory was able to identify my governance skills and find decision makers to present to me and produce interviews. We generated eleven interviews within 40 days. I accepted one board seat and am considering a second. This firm knows how to accomplish the task effectively and in a timely manner. They are professional and responsive. I recommend them.
– Alice B.
Financial and Operations Executive Board Search
I read that California was legislating the inclusion of women on public companies and it sparked my interest in becoming a board member. I had extensive experience regarding public and private international technology company finance, strategy and M&A planning and integration in the consumer electronics space. I thought I should look at all the companies in California that were public and now needed women on their boards. Executive-Advisory told me that even though California legislated mandatory inclusion of women on boards, the rest of the country had already begun seeking women, minorities and directors with more diverse skills to give their boards a greater sensitivity to customers, employees and new areas of potential risk. We searched nationally and found a board seat in the Houston, Texas area, a location that I was willing to move to from my home in San Diego. I would have never been able to do this on my own! This group has a detailed process that works, and the best part is that they do all the work.
– Miranda H.
Additional Board Seats
I was the President for International Operations of a NYSE-listed packaged consumer goods company and attained a board seat on my own with a Fortune 500 industrial chemical company after my retirement. I found that I really enjoy board service and that it was like getting an MBA all over again. I found Executive-Advisory listed in a business journal and gave them a call, as I wanted to get on another board. They have access to every decision maker in the public and private paid board seat market. Hence, I hired them and found the team to be a pleasure to work with. They started from scratch developing my resume, a target list of almost 500 companies and collateral communications materials. They made all the follow-up calls and all I did was interview. I got a board seat, with a $6B, private equity consumer services portfolio company. As soon as I am acclimated on my newest board seat, I want to hire them again.
– Ted A.
PwC Partner, CPA, Board Member
I recently retired as a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and found myself bored stiff and playing too much golf. I asked the PwC Human Resources Partner if she knew of any special projects or clients that were looking for a part time or Interim CFO. She suggested I look for an Audit Committee board seat. I never thought about that but that sounded like a perfect opportunity for me, given my skill set: I presented financial statements and repositioning strategies to hundreds of public and private equity boards and I was as a trusted advisor to senior management, boards and SEC registrants on major issues pertaining to M&A, earnings releases, financial reporting, disclosures and other material transactions. The HR Partner gave me the names of a few search firms that have director practices, among which was Executive-Advisory. The other search firms seemed to appreciate receiving my resume, but never got back to me with any opportunities. EA, on the other hand, put in the work and had me talking to decision makers within 30 days. I now have two board seats that I’m incredibly satisfied with. My own search, like others who work for professional services companies, required special attention to not solicit present and former clients of my legacy employer. After all, they are going to be sending me a retirement check for the rest of my life and I don’t want to give them a reason not to. The Executive-Advisory group did a great job of navigating this problem and got results quickly. I could never have done this on my own and, to this day, I have never heard back from any of the other search firms I applied with. This service was a positive ROI for me!
– Michael, S., CPA
Board Director and Law Partner and Securities Expert
I have been working for a large NYC law firm ever since my graduation from Harvard Law. I became an expert in driving mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures for both international and domestic companies. I then became very interested in the legal issues related to the Fintech-, ledger-, cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related technologies and systems and went on to start a practice within the firm to address their evolution. I felt that I had a lot to offer boards in the areas of digital evolution and related risk management. I hired Executive-Advisory to assist me in landing a board position, which I felt would help me personally by getting exposure to a variety of different executive views and giving the firm the added cache of having partners on public boards. These guys hit the market hard and they were very patient and understanding when navigating my numerous other commitments. I even suggested that our firm buy them to assist our international law practice and clients. Of course, they are not for sale, but they provide a very valuable service that is hard to re-produce on your own. I know something about client care, and I would give them an “A”.
– Ted. F., JD
I served in the U.S. Congress for six years and considered myself moderately aligned, a consensus builder and a passionate participant in economic development challenges both in the state I represented and the nation at large. A partner in the law firm that I worked for before I was elected to Congress suggested I would make a good board director on a Government and Community Affairs Committee of public companies. I did some research and found Executive-Advisory and they validated my friend’s suggestion. We looked specifically for companies that would be sensitive to community development and/or government affairs and EA went to work crafting an introductory note, resume and verbal presentation and got me in front of over 100 decision makers. Their program really works. I have referred them to many of my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives—I don’t know if I bestowed them a blessing or a curse!
– The Honorable William B.
Corporate Board Member
After a 25-year career as a senior audit partner with a big 4 management consulting firm and 10 years as an executive vice president of global risk management for a leading international pharmaceutical company, I found myself in a position where I could afford to retire but was still too young and driven not to contribute. It was suggested, since I was a CPA and had extensive risk management, IT and Sarbanes-Oxley governance experience, that I might consider a board seat with a public or private equity firm. I researched online, wrote a resume and started mailing colleagues, executive recruiters. I even answered job posts on the Web, but, after four months, I did not get a single bite. I was getting frustrated. During a conversation with a respected headhunter, it was suggested that I contact Executive-Advisory. After my first week of working with Executive-Advisory, my feeling of frustration began to fade. I was now working with professionals and using a process that had a track record of success. I felt like I was in control of my future again. The hardest part of the process was making the follow-up calls. The strategist and team leader working with me provided great support and kept me focused on the positive. After I got through the first dozen calls, I began to feel more comfortable and skilled, and the exercise helped me immensely in preparation for my interviews with boards and their respective committees. During that time, I had a number of interesting conversations with boards, and their respective representatives (law firms, audit and investment banking firms) that expressed an interest. From those conversations, I had twelve follow-up phone interviews and five in-person interviews. I received one offer to join a public company board in the life sciences sector and two additional offers following interviews. I accepted the first offer and decided to decline the other two based on non-compete requirements and potential liabilities. The “Reverse Search Process” that Executive-Advisory offers works if you are focused, follow through with every step, and stay with it.
– Darryl C.
Corporate Board Member Financial Services
I retired as a senior risk executive of a global bank and started a newsletter and consultancy directed at financial services company CFO’s. I had not looked for a job in 35 years, so I didn’t have a resume or really any interviewing skills. A mentor of mine suggested that I get a board seat. He noticed that I had the right skills, education and corporate governance experience. I hired EA and it was the best investment I have ever made. I got instant exposure, interviews with boards in my industry and a great following for my newsletter and blog. They wrote my resume, gave me interviewing knowledge and got me to decision makers that generated BOD interviews.
– Bob A.
I was the CFO of an iconic investment banking and brokerage firm that was nearly decimated during the 9/11 attacks. I was instrumental in spearheading the repair and growth of the company’s global financial infrastructure and won awards for my initiatives during a very challenging period. The company had rewarded its executive team handsomely, so I opted to retire and hopefully fill my free time with consulting jobs and nonprofit boards. The consulting work never really materialized and the two nonprofit boards that I ended up serving on were highly politically charged and more frustrating than satisfying, so I set out to look for a private sector board seat. I asked all of my former business friends for connections and I sent resumes to every search firm in the country with a business listing. Although I received a lot of nice letters, there were no interviews. One of the search firms that I contacted suggested calling Executive-Advisory. I am glad I did, as they explained why my process was not working and educated me on how to best get the attention of the people who have the power to nominate me to a board. I had been trying for a year, on my own, with absolutely no results. Executive-Advisory’s efforts produced two board offers in 45 days and I accepted one. The other company was undergoing a financial reinstatement and I didn’t feel comfortable with the CEO. I may enlist them to conduct another search, as the remuneration from the company from whom I accepted the board nomination, was quite handsome. I plan on resigning from the nonprofit boards and expanding my for-profit governance activity.
– John C.
Healthcare Board Director
I spent 30 years as a pharmaceutical executive and then semi-retired to be a university professor at an Ivy League school. I learned pretty quickly that I missed some of the aspects of the industry and because one of my colleagues had used Executive-Advisory group to find her a board position, she referred me to them. They asked me to keep track of my time for 4 weeks to evaluate whether I could spend the necessary time on a board and still keep up with my teaching obligations. We decided after the four-week trial that I could afford the time and we started the search, which ended 12 weeks later with me sitting on a board, as the only woman, of a private equity-owned life sciences company. It was a sort of painful process (lots of questions, time lapses in meeting getting back to them and resume changes), but the team working with me were cordial, responsive and very proactive. I have recommended them to all my friends.
– Stephanie E.
Board Director and Audit Committee Chair
My golfing partner and I retired at the same time and both had houses in the Northeast and in Florida, so we had a lot of time to reminisce and exchange ideas. One morning, my partner canceled our golf game and said he had to fly back to the East Coast for an interview. That sounded odd because we had both just retired 6 months ago. When we got together, he said he hired a firm in Chicago to help him find a board seat and that he was in the final negotiations to be on the board of a public business services company in Connecticut. Not to be outdone, my next call was to Executive-Advisory. What I liked about them was that they were very well-organized and did exactly what they said they were going to do, when they said they would do it. That’s getting hard to find in this day and age. It took us about four months, but I eventually got a seat on the board of a public Florida bank holding company, with great bunch of guys. The remuneration is great, but to be honest, it’s a lot of fun and I would do it for free. I did get a stock grant, and it is probable that the holding company could be bought, so I might not have to sell my golf clubs to pay for my grandkids’ college tuition.
– Sandy D.
Corporate Board Member
I have an extensive background in IT, ecommerce and media, and I had read in an industry journal that boards have taken notice of the rapid pace of change and have acknowledged the importance of augmenting their ranks with executives at the forefront of these technology advancements, especially as companies increase their investments in digital technologies, social media and mobile platforms. I found Executive-Advisory and they corroborated that there was a 20% increase in what are being called “Digital Directors.” They developed a strategy to present my background to boards in which technology is integral to the respective company’s operations and customer engagement. It took a little work, but within a few months I was nominated to the board of a mid-size, specialty retail company that was forced to incorporate ecommerce functions to their customer base. The average age of their board was 60 years old and as such were not well-versed in digital technology. I really needed the technical assistance that Executive-Advisory offered in defining my governance skills and getting them to the right decision makers. I definitely could not have done that on my own. I am only 35 and the youngest person on their board.
– Brad M.
Educator Gets Board Seat
I contacted Executive-Advisory on a whim when I heard that boards were looking for more women and minorities, of which I am both, and had their Strategist evaluate my background and make some recommendations. On top of being a Business School President, I have a lot of knowledge assessing corporate responsibility and designing B Corporations that meet the standards for verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Executive-Advisory thought that my skills, education, ethnicity and gender would make me a good candidate. I was somewhat skeptical because I had only held advisory board roles in the past, but I gave it a shot and landed a board appointment within 4 months! One company offered me a part time consulting role, as well, which is turning out to be pretty lucrative. The EA group is very energetic and responsive and executes a very effective business model. I am trying to talk them into becoming a B Corporation. I will let you know how that goes…
– Song W.