Kennedy 10th Anniversary

Nov 26, 2023

Vista Executive Search - Kennedy 10th Anniversary Paris 2023


A Decade of Excellence: Kennedy Executive Search Network’s Grand Celebration in the Heart of Paris

Many people say that time is our most valuable commodity and of course, it is the one thing that we cannot create or store. When an organisation reaches its 10th anniversary, it is something to be celebrated because clearly, they are doing something that is working well.

I am the Irish partner of the global Kennedy Executive Search network and we recently celebrated our 10th anniversary in Paris. Kennedy was the brainchild of Jorg Stegemann at Apollo Executive Search. As part of my own company’s growth strategy, I was looking for a global network to affiliate with and I looked at three other networks before I found Kennedy. What really stood out for me with Kennedy was its culture. It is no surprise that being in the ‘people’ business, Kennedy put a really strong focus on its culture and accepting new partners who would align with that culture.

There are other global recruitment networks which are bigger but Kennedy’s business model is a collection of exclusively owner-managed boutique Executive Search companies, who only operate on a retained basis. This gives the best result for clients, candidates and the recruiter.

Our anniversary dinner was held in the magnificent L’Envue restaurant beside the imposing Church of Sainte Marie-Madeleine, a few hundred meters from the Seine. The restaurant celebrates haute cuisine and haute couture.  We started with a meeting in our private dining room to discuss some new potential partners who wish to join our network. The ethos of the restaurant was evident in the beautiful black and white photographs on the wall of Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel. The latter who once said; ‘Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door’. I feel this is a great analogy for Executive Search as we spend our time trying to open doors between candidates and clients.

We then commenced our beautiful dinner and of course, there were a number of short but passionate and humorous speeches. In addition, there was the normal witty banter that happens when you get a collection of people who work together in the same industry but also come from many different countries. After our meal, we went for the obligatory photo opportunity at the nearby Eiffel Tower (see photo below) and then on to a club for music and cocktails.

The following day our host Jorg Stegmann took us on a wonderful walking tour of the main sights in Paris and then for lunch in a traditional Paris restaurant. I have visited Paris a dozen times but I’m embarrassed to say it’s been over a decade since I was there. We all know the French are very proud of their culture but it is only when you visit Paris that you realise that culture is everywhere. It is how they dress, their cuisine, and their architecture, most of the advertisements in the Metro were for the opera, poetry, theatre, music and art exhibitions. The one thing that really stood out for me was the amount of people reading books on the Metro, which you just don’t see in other countries. The rest of the world seems to just tap away at their phones.

The recent pandemic curtailed the relationship building that is so important in business, especially when you operate in the people business. It helps us grow and learn from each other and helps our clients attract the best talent in multiple countries. I look forward to the next ten years of achievements for the Kennedy network. I wonder where our 20th anniversary will be held, maybe Dublin?

Executive Search

‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’ – Steve Jobs

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