Jauch Associates AG and Schulthess Zimmermann AG, two well-positioned executive search companies with Swiss roots, merged on January 1st to become Schulthess Zimmermann & Jauch. The combination gives the new advisory and executive search firm additional strength, especially for its international activities and ambitions, for which it already has well-established business operations in Zurich, Munich, London and New York.
Like its constituent predecessors, the newly-merged company has its core competencies in composing executive and supervisory boards. The new company is led by three managing partners: Reto Jauch (formerly of Jauch Associates AG), Robert Zimmermann and Matthias Schulthess (both formerly of Schulthess Zimmermann AG). And its ambitions extend well beyond the usual scope of such a corporate merger: the three experienced partners and their team intend to transform the consulting services in their business field.
Diversity and leadership: tomorrow’s key success factors
Managing Partner Matthias Schulthess questions the suitability of today’s usual executive search approach for the challenges of tomorrow.
“Search specialists focus far too much on a profit-oriented and transactional performance of their search mandates,” he explains. “And what is lost all too often in this approach is the explicit search for the specific qualities that a candidate will need to possess if they are to meet both the functional requirements and the cultural demands of the top management position.”
Schulthess also notes that clients are coming more and more to seek genuine diversity and pronounced leadership skills in their executive appointees.
“This clear desire often comes directly from the strategic bodies of the companies concerned,” he explains. “And boards of directors and executive boards are being increasingly required to demonstrate and document both a sustainable business approach and their full compliance with all applicable regulatory and legal provisions.”
Top independent board members increasingly hard to find
Mirroring the trends in the USA, Managing Partner Reto Jauch, who has been independently active in the executive and board search field since 2002 (via his previous company Jauch Associates AG), notes that it has become increasingly difficult in Europe as well to find suitable candidates for board of directors positions at internationally active companies. “Conflicts of interest of the kind we have seen time and again in the last few years are becoming a major consideration in appointments of this kind,” he observes. “The corporate governance provisions in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe are applied quietly and discreetly, but increasingly in line with the demands and expectations of major US investors. Finding excellently qualified and truly independent board members will be a prime focus of our new merged executive and board search company.”
Switzerland still home base
Schulthess Zimmermann & Jauch have established their head office at the previous domicile of Jauch Associates AG on Basteiplatz in Zurich (Switzerland). The further operating locations that the firms bring into the new merged business are in London, Munich and New York.
“We will focus on continued quality growth,” stresses Managing Partner Robert Zimmermann, formerly of Schulthess Zimmermann AG. “We are an efficient, agile and exclusive service provider with international business networks that extend across industries. And we are united in making our top quality standards and our prompt and timely delivery to our regional and international clients our paramount priorities.”