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International growth, London expansion, and supporting family businesses – Drayton stride ahead in 2019

One area of particular positivity is our international search and selection operation which continues to build at pace. Rob Seery, Drayton Partners

It’s been a very strong start to 2019 for Drayton and – despite the uncertainties of Brexit – we are feeling very positive about further growth for the rest of the year and into 2020. We are continuing to invest in both developing our ‘Think Smarter’ brand and our key teams to ensure we are able to meet the growing needs of a rapidly-expanding client base, who are seeking a more intelligent and consultative approach to executive search. One area of particular positivity is our international search and selection operation which continues to build, at pace, in a number of regions, most notably in the Benelux.

Regarding specific sector growth, as well as continuing to develop our Food & Beverage business, our Health & Beauty focus has grown exponentially throughout the year, and we have also enjoyed a number of fascinating projects in the ‘fashion’ end of the Home Improvement category.

Drayton’s London office also continues to expand. Josh French, who joined us this year, will be leveraging his extensive Private Equity experience and network across a number of key CEO and MD mandates for major UK and international clients. In terms of our own team, we will strengthen the in-house research function, most likely based out of our Marylebone office.

Another interesting and growing area for Drayton is our – now extensive – experience and reputation with family or privately-owned businesses. The Drayton team has consistently been impressed by the ambition of these companies, but also the long term perspective employed as they look way beyond, say, Brexit. With even a ‘generational’ time horizon – rather than the quarterly focus of a PLC – the best family organisations create a leadership group that combines the commitment and determination of the shareholders with individuals who have benefitted from the very best training and development from the corporate arena. From our perspective, in addition, it is always so much more ‘personal’, and fulfilling, when we are working with a family enterprise.

Rob Seery, Founding Partner, commented: “Drayton have successfully led four Board-level searches, three at CEO level and one Commercial Director project, for family businesses in both England and Scotland. One of our family business clients, a very dynamic food business and a pioneer in their category, demonstrated their forward thinking approach by attaining B-Corp certification, an achievement that shows their belief in business as a force for good - other companies who have achieved this elusive status, include the likes of Patagonia, Unilever, Danone, and Innocent...”

Elsewhere, the alcoholic drinks market continues to thrive - Drayton Partner Byron Beatty has a comprehensive knowledge of the sector - and in the last quarter we secured a new Marketing Director at SHS Drinks and a Sales Director at the Lakes Distillery.

Finally, Drayton continues to enthusiastically support GroceryAid – the grocery industry charity. We recently donated a V.I.P. day for the Great North Run, with the lucky winner provided with all travel, accommodation and even being chauffeured to the start line and picked up from the finish line.

Looking beyond Brexit, there are still, we believe, many positive signs that the senior-level executive recruitment field will continue to be robust.