Boyden to re-design its service offering

Unicorns, tomorrow’s corporate giants and high growth start-ups need to re-think talent strategies; executive search firms need to provide new forms of advisory capabilities


Boyden, a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries, is re-designing its service offering to private equity and venture capital firms due to their need for a very different and holistic approach to attracting and retaining talent in the evolving economic environment.

“The days of classic senior-level recruitment are over,” comments Andreas Landgrebe, Managing Partner, Boyden Austria and Global Sector Leader, Cloud, Big Data, Analytics/BI. “Start-ups, the wealth creators of tomorrow, need ‘business advisors specialising in talent’. At Boyden, we work with venture capital and private equity houses as collaborative mentors to their portfolio leaders, providing a wealth of market, business and tech insight from seed stage to major investment”.

Berthold Baurek-Karlic, Founder and Managing Partner of Venionaire Capital based in Austria, explains, “We have a very atypical way of working with Andreas Landgrebe at Boyden. At our end, he is more like a business development sparring partner, supporting our young founders as a mentor, guiding them through the corporate landscape; for example, when to acquire in-house resources, how far to go with external contractors, going global and hiring world-class talent, and positioning the business to attract that talent”.

This objective, mentor-style input creates a relationship based on exceptional knowledge of the evolving company, it’s proposition and future outlook in a market context, as well as emerging talent needs, particularly next generation tech talent and seasoned board-level leaders.

Baurek-Karlic elaborates, “A strong company culture needs to be nurtured, with different working cultures and organisational understanding between generations. Senior talent brings a certain skill set on board that young talent does not have; younger talent has a better understanding of new technology and a fresh education. Experience plus agility with emerging tech is the ideal, and if you get the culture right you have the most accurate and efficient ‘Swiss clock’”.

“In order to understand a start-up and its potential, it is essential to have a very strong network in the market, creating a rich context for advice and guidance,” adds Landgrebe. “Boyden has a long term presence in Central and Eastern Europe and continues to invest in the region, not relying on hub offices, but ensuring we are deeply embedded in every local market; this is how we provide the best opportunity for success for tomorrow’s wealth creators”.

In helping portfolio companies to achieve high growth aspirations, Boyden leverages proprietary tools, such as the Boyden Leadership Framework and PROPHET Profiling, enabling clients to evaluate and anticipate leadership styles and performance through different business cycles.

“Our team in Austria is among Boyden’s pioneers in developing these innovations to deliver unique expertise in leadership consulting at senior management, C-suite and board levels,” comments Andreas Landgrebe. “Clients benefitting from these approaches include high growth businesses and some of the largest companies in infrastructure and services in Austria, reinforcing the ‘early adopter’ nature of Boyden and our clients, who together are actively driving change and investment in talent.”

Looking at the private equity sector in a wider context, the geopolitical environment is changing capital flows.

Baurek-Karlic explains, “The level of institutional investment in private equity and venture capital is much higher this year, due to institutional shareholders identifying our sector as one of the most attractive for its risk/return profile. While economists might have expected plenty of capital in the markets this year, given inflation, geopolitical risk and supply chain problems, aggregated lending from banks is not high. Private equity is an increasingly important source of capital.”

Landgrebe adds, “Current corrections in the capital markets are having a particular impact on sectors with above-average growth and substantial financing needs, namely cryptocurrency and blockchain. However, this does not change the medium to long-term need for talent solutions and the implementation of innovative approaches as immutable standards across all industries.”

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