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AESC CEO to step down

“During his tenure, Peter expanded AESC from a largely regional association focused on North America to a truly global enterprise, with members serving clients from offices in over 70 countries,” noted Hertlein. “For over 15 years, the worldwide profession of executive search has benefited mightily from Peter Felix’s leadership and counsel.”

The Association of Executive Search Consultants is the worldwide professional and trade association for retained executive search and leadership consulting firms.  Its members include four of the five largest search firms in the world, a majority of the top 20 and hundreds of others around the globe.  Collectively, the 6000 consultants in these member firms serve tens of thousands of clients with executive search and leadership consulting services every year.

A recognized expert in the field, Peter Felix leads the organization from headquarters in New York.  AESC employs some two dozen staff in the US, Belgium and Hong Kong.

“Many industry associations have been struggling for relevance,” noted incoming chair Aidan Kennedy, a London-based partner with CTPartners, “but AESC has been thriving in terms of membership, program growth and financial stability.  Our members respect AESC’s role as a nonpartisan forum and source of new initiatives geared to member’s interests.”

The AESC is governed by a global board of directors and three regional councils for the Americas, Europe and the Asia Pacific.  In recent years, the organization has been especially active in promoting the use of retained executive search in such markets as China, India, Brazil and the Middle East.

Current and incoming board chairs, Hertlein and Kennedy, noted several of Peter’s core accomplishments during his 15-year tenure:

•             Best practices.  An established calendar of regional and global conferences and events for members to discuss the dominant topics of the day in executive search, highlighting best practices and providing thought leadership.

•             Education.  Numerous educational opportunities for consultants and staff through AESC’s online Campus, partnerships with 32 of the world’s leading business schools and an advanced course in executive search consulting developed in partnership with Cornell University.

•             Exclusive connections.  BlueSteps, the exclusive online connector between senior executives and the global community of executive search consultants.

•             Marketing.  An active program of outreach to the client community and media around the world to promote the executive search profession.

As the search profession’s unified voice globally, AESC emulates the best practices embodied by its member consulting firms.  Accordingly, the board of directors has established a succession committee of the board to guide the transition process.

In a unanimous resolution dated December 12th 2013, the AESC board of directors endorsed Peter Felix’s service in part as follows:

The role of President of the AESC is an unusual one. It bears similarities to other associational roles but fundamentally, due to the dynamics of our profession, the position remains unique. In 1998, the AESC’s members were hungry for a leader who could place a unique stamp on the organisation, enhance its relevance and broaden its appeal. Peter has achieved that and more. On behalf of all of the Association’s membership and staff, the Board and Executive Committee would like unreservedly to thank Peter for his immense contribution. He will be a hard act to follow.

Peter Felix will continue to serve the organization as CEO through December 2014.  He commented:  “It has been my privilege to lead the AESC through a period of immense change in the world economy and in the professional services sector.  Helping the Association to become a relevant global organization in representing one of the most important professional services available to top management has been one of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of my career.  As I move on to other professional interests, I shall always greatly value the friendships and contacts made during my tenure at the AESC.”


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