Sunday 21 October 2018

Another heavyweight headhunter weighs Dublin expansion

Bank of England governor Mark Carney
Bank of England governor Mark Carney

Gretchen Friemann

High-end financial recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson is set to enter the Irish market through a tie-up with Amprop's Irish arm, the Irish Independent has learned.

News of the potential move comes months after global recruitment specialist Korn Ferry bolstered its presence here by opening a headhunting operation targeting senior hires.

The New York-based group already had a significant footprint in the market due to its 2015 acquisition of human resources company Hay Group.

But the possible incursion of Odgers Berndtson poses a further threat to local players.

The recruitment heavyweight dominates the influential London market, where Korn Ferry takes second billing.

It has landed some of the City's most prominent roles, including the appointment of Bank of England govenor Mark Carney as well as the appointment of Inga Beale as head of, Lloyd's of London.

According to sources the five partners at Amrop's Irish operation have agreed to join Odgers Berndtson's platform.

It is understood the union is likely to take effect in November.

Amrop, also an international recruitment agency, first opened an office in Ireland in the early 1980s, and along with other local players like Merc Partners has dominated the financial services, consumer retail, tech, media, private equity and state-body sectors.

While the influx of international firms on the back of Brexit provided a spur for both Korn Ferry and Odgers Berndtson, the two firms have long considered expanding into Ireland. As reported by this newspaper, Korn Ferry's plans to open an executive search office here got under way prior to last year's referendum.

Sources said a number of firms had approached the Amrop office, underscoring the increasing attraction of the recovering Irish market - viewed as a tech and financial services hub - to external recruitment firms.

Top-tier international firms like Korn Ferry and Odgers Berndtson offer a wider range of services than traditional headhunting companies.

Their presence here has heightened expectations that another global heavyweight, Heidrick & Struggles, is plotting an Irish expansion.

Amrop declined to comment.

Meanwhile Brexit has ushered in another law firm with the immigration specialist Fragomen confirming it will open an office in Dublin.

The IDA said the decision "will allow the company to continue to provide this service in a post-Brexit world".

Irish Independent

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