Editor’s note: This publication recently interviewed Jonathan Fraser, who heads up European operations for the international executive search firm Octavian Partners. Against a backdrop of continued economic uncertainties, the market for wealth management jobs has had to contend with headwinds in some sectors, and easier conditions elsewhere. So we asked Fraser for his views about his business and the outlook for the jobs market in general.
How big is Octavian Partners and when was the firm launched?
Octavian Partners has three main geographical presences, in the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific. These are overseen by the head of Middle East, the head of Europe and the head of Asia managing current offices with a full research function and with further hiring plans for the Middle East and Europe. We envisage the business to be at a headcount of circa 15 by the end of 2014 whilst maintaining our key focus on the private banking/wealth management markets.
There are a number of executive search firms operating in the wealth management space. What would you say is your differentiating quality/qualities, and why?
Our greatest differentiator is that we are boutique yet international. We have a presence across three continents yet by specialising in only a few sectors within financial services, and furthermore working with only a select client base, we offer the economies of scale of larger firms but with the speed, flexibility and close consultancy that they cannot. There is the in-depth experience and industry knowledge of all employees, a track record of assignments across three continents and superior research function.
Do you have any specific approaches to how you look for managers, place them, do the necessary due diligence, and so on?
Significant industry contacts and network, coupled with a live industry mapping model that is constantly updated. On top of our pro-active research model, we offer a bespoke research service to match our individual client's needs that not only includes a full market map but competitor intelligence and executive assessment.
Across the different markets you operate in, could you give me an idea of where the strengths are, which markets are busy and others less so? Could you give a brief outline of what you see as being the qualities of the Middle East, Europe and Asia markets?