NEW YORK (February 7, 2017) – With more than 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day in North America, identifying and developing the next generation of leaders has become a critical business requirement for organizations in the public and private sectors.

Odgers Berndtson, a leading global executive search and leadership advisory firm, is expanding its services in the U.S. with the launch of a Leadership Practice to help organizations strategically manage executive selection, succession and development. Services will include executive and leadership team assessment, coaching and onboarding. Odgers Berndtson is known globally for executive search services, and its Leadership Practice already has a strong presence in Canada, Europe and Asia.

“With a shortage of qualified leaders in the marketplace, an executive team replacement strategy is critical for organizations to build and sustain strong growth,” said Steve Potter, Managing Partner at Odgers Berndtson in the U.S. “Our new Leadership Practice will help Boards of Directors and CEOs build their C-level bench by rigorously assessing and developing executives so that they can quickly jump into action and tackle difficult business challenges – whether they are new hires or up-and-coming leaders.”

It’s a candidate market. Organizations are demanding a higher level of rigor in their vetting process.

Dr. Robert Satterwhite is spearheading the new U.S. Leadership Practice from Odgers Berndtson’s New York office. He is an industrial/organizational psychologist with extensive experience designing and delivering robust assessments for measuring executives’ potential, readiness and fit. Over his nearly 20-year career, Dr. Satterwhite has served a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, financial services, insurance, pharmaceutical, hospitality and federal organizations. 

“It’s a candidate market. Organizations are demanding a higher level of rigor in their vetting process. The Leadership Practice brings a quantitative element to executive selection and succession planning," Dr. Satterwhite said. “We are working with more and more clients on evaluating executives, both externally as new hires and also internally to identify and develop those who have the potential to be the next leaders.”

According to PWC’s annual CEO succession study, planning ahead can save an organization billions of dollars. They estimated that in recent years, large companies that underwent forced successions would have generated an average of $112 billion more in market value in the year before and the year after their turnover if their CEO succession had been the result of planning.

“We have a lot of data looking at what makes a successful executive,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “No candidate or leader is perfect. We quantitatively evaluate executives based on each organization’s unique business needs and challenges to gauge personal strengths and risks, and then we use this data to advise companies on whom to hire and how to prepare them for their leadership role. Assessing them for fit early on is very inexpensive compared to the cost of turnover and the negative brand impact of a failed transition.”Assessing them for fit early on is very inexpensive compared to the cost of turnover and the negative brand impact of a failed transition.

The trend towards succession assessment and development of high potential talent can be seen globally, with multinational organizations increasingly vying for ways to identify and accelerate the development of their senior leaders. “We are seeing companies use talent data in increasingly sophisticated ways in order to bolster their chance of attracting and retaining top talent,” says Eric Beaudan, Odgers Berndtson’s Global Leadership Practice Head, based in Toronto. The firm’s global clients in the assessment and executive coaching spheres include companies such as Siemens, Mazda, and Fresenius Kabi as well as a host of Financial Services regional powerhouses, including CIBC in Canada, Santander in Spain and Nordea in Northern Europe.

Services offered under Odgers Berndtson U.S.’ new Leadership Practice include:


  • Assessing and selecting the right external or internal candidates, using our proprietary LeaderFit methodology, which blends psychometric and other instruments
  • Identification of high potential leaders, using robust data analysis and assessment to identify enterprise talent pools and determine any gaps in future leadership capacity
  • Onboarding of executives transitioning into a new role, as a way to ensure that the executive can fit with the culture and the leadership team and ramp up quickly to meet performance expectations
  • Executive coaching of senior leaders and C-suite executives, linked to organizational goals and the individual executive’s leadership development objectives
  • Leadership team effectiveness and alignment of senior teams, with a view to maximize the team’s ability to execute strategy and lead change
  • CEO and Board evaluation, using customized 360 tools and evaluation surveys



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