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.