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Make people happy

This is our core ambition. As simple as it sounds, it is only achievable through deep and thorough understanding of your needs as a client or candidate, and hard work. Something our Founder and Chief Executive Officer Bjørn Johansson embodies and the entire team lives by.

[ Our values ]


We limit ourselves in the number of assignments we execute, to provide the attention, quality, service, and speed you expect from us. That is how we can tackle each assignment with uncompromising commitment. To remain impartial, we agree on a clearly defined fixed and flat fee. You can be sure that we will advise you solely in your interest and will not rest until we deliver the optimal solution.

[ Our values ]


We consciously avoid specialization in any particular field of business, thereby retaining a broad focus that allows us to foster a culture of non-conformist creativity. Although we have built an exceptional database over the years, we start each search from scratch with new and thorough research. The results are outstanding, and sometimes surprising, with refreshing candidate proposals.

[ Our values ]


Not being limited by big network restrictions enables us to have a practically unlimited hunting ground and a much larger choice of potential candidates. With no imposed territory and no conflicts of interest between offices or consultants, every path remains open in our searches to only serve your interests.

“Pride, passion and fun
for our unique business.”

Dr. Bjørn Johansson


Bjørn in his own words

An interview from David A. Lord with our founder. David A. Lord is the Principal, of Executive Search Information Services based in the USA, and sat down with Bjørn.

David A. Lord: What are the advantages of working with a small search boutique versus one of the large global players in Executive Search?

Dr. Bjørn Johansson: The main advantage is that we have a large hunting ground and few off-limits when searching for candidates. As we focus fully on each client and its potential candidates, we have more speed and creativity in the search process. Thirdly, the client always knows who is doing the search as we do not delegate to junior consultants or researchers. Last but not least, «I have my name on the door», compared to the large global players, where the founders all left, died or have retired.

The largest search firms claim they have impressive information resources. How does a boutique address this?

Of course, after 40 years in the Executive Search business, we have an up-to-date and relevant database in our Firm, and a great network. Often, we use the very best external research organizations, but only for the identification of candidates. These research firms are often specialized in an industry sector, a specific geographic region, or a functional area such as Chief Financial Officer. As we work only at the very top level, our relationships at this level, as well as online resources, give us access to all relevant data on companies and their executives worldwide.

When a company has a global search, why not select a firm that has offices and consultants in many countries?

I personally do not believe that a search consultant sitting in another country who does not know the client and its culture could convincingly represent the client. We undertake assignments only where we are sure we can solve the needs of our clients. By focusing on top management only, we can take a global approach. We turn down assignments below top level that are the bulk of the business for the large search firms. Since I started our Firm 30 years ago, we have successfully executed assignments in more than 40 countries on all continents.

How do you price your services?

We are a retained Executive Search Firm, and we always offer a fixed flat fee based on two elements: Complexity of the search and expected compensation. Personally, I have never understood how US search firms could charge one-third of first year compensation. If I have to find a Chief Executive Officer of a Swiss private bank, 90% of all potential candidates would be based in Switzerland. If on the other hand, I have to search for a Chief Executive Officer of a global European based chemical company, the candidates could sit in Europe, the Americas, Asia or Australia. Such an assignment is truly global, much more complex, time consuming, and will involve extensive travel. Therefore, a higher fee is justified. By the way, our minimum fee for a search assignment is USD 180`000, and for a Board of Director search USD 120`000. We bill the client over a three- or sometimes a four-month period depending on the urgency.

When should a client choose your Firm?

When a client is looking for a new Chief Executive Officer, a new Chairman, or a Board Member. The client should also come to us when a Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technology or Head of Human Resources or Legal & Compliance, is needed. We prefer difficult search assignments where the candidates could sit literally anywhere on the globe. A client should also choose our Firm when highest discretion is critical, and speed is of importance.

What experience does your Firm have in placing women in top management and Board of Director positions?

We have built a strong track record in the appointment of women, in particular. Over the past years, approximately 30% of our Non-Executive Director placements were female.

How has the Executive Search business changed over the last 30 years?

Most of the «mystique» of the 70s and early 80s has gone. Executive Search has become «big business», very transparent and fully accepted as a part of the free market economy. There is greater specialization in search. And management talent has become a global issue. But the search consultant's main objective has not changed: To help the client find the very best candidates for a specific position where the placed candidate will deliver exceptional results.

How do you see Executive Search changing in the next 10 to 15 years?

First of all, I hope there will be a focus on quality instead of on growth and quantity. We will see ups and downs as in the last years. The big five will stay as will various network organizations, specialty firms and local players. I see no new large search firm emerging. Middle management search will more and more be taken over by online solutions providers. Chief Executive Officer and Board of Director searches will continue to be in demand. Clients will continue to ask for quality and speed. I hope our Firm will strive to be the best and that our Associates will always have pride, passion, and fun for our unique business.