This senior-level role within our client’s Real Estate Division was newly created to effectively manage the company’s five-year redevelopment process of a world-class headquarters facility. The LEED-certified project consists of unifying two adjacent buildings into one modern, fully integrated 2.7M SF facility complete with an external curtain wall facade makeover; and internal renovation and construction of space to house the executive office suite, numerous trading floors, office space, lobby, fitness center, and town square. Once completed, this facility will hold nearly 12,000 employees and be unequaled in terms of footprint and significance with a lobby that will have similar square footage to Grand Central Station.
The Managing Director search had a variety of stakeholders involved in the hiring process, and as it evolved, the scope and focus of the role changed. Helbling was initially tasked with leading a search to secure a strategic industry leader to oversee design, engineering, and capital from a global perspective who would develop strategic initiatives and best practices across the organization, and manage a large-scale global capital program. As the search progressed, the focus shifted from a global perspective to the necessity for an individual capable of leading a high-profile project for the firm, which is a well-respected leader in the New York City metropolitan area.
To fulfill this role, our client sought a candidate who was politically savvy, and whose personality and approach could inspire and lead a large team of internal members and external constituents, and instill trust and ensure confidence to upper management. Our client needed a “face” of the project who was a hands-on executive with an established reputation and track record, and who possessed a strong knowledge of the A/E/C community, and experience working closely with government and city officials.
For this executive search, we worked directly with our client’s Managing Director & Global Head of Real Estate and its Chief Operating Officer for Global Corporate Real Estate. Due to the level of the role and the experience that it demands, we focused our efforts on professional service organizations, real estate developers, corporate conglomerates with large global footprints and significant capital programs, and third party real estate and project management services organizations that work within the corporate sector.
We targeted highly accomplished leaders who possessed the breadth and depth of talent that was necessary to succeed in the Managing Director role. We focused on individuals whose leadership experience entailed oversight of large capital programs with responsibility for project planning, delivery, and strategy; and who could fluently integrate themselves into highly matrixed and political environments. We sought individuals who would quickly earn respect with their credentials and who would have the abilities to manage both “up” and “down” within our client’s organization.
The candidate who was ultimately secured for the Managing Director position is well known in the New York City marketplace due to having held multiple executive leadership roles within large construction and real estate services organizations. This individual was selected for his deep background in overseeing large scale complex developments and renovations, and for his acute ability to work with executive leadership of significant organizations, having led the Project and Development Management practice of a national real estate services provider. Furthermore, he has worked in the New York City marketplace for the past 30 years; and he possesses an intimate knowledge of the A/E/C community, city planning, zoning, and permitting, and the additional nuances, politics, and complexities that are associated aspects of working in such a high-profile and parochial market.
In speaking with our client and the successful candidate many times since we completed this search, we have learned that the individual quickly became immersed in the project and has made significant strides to date, meeting several initial milestones in the five-year plan. He has been granted approval to develop his own team of experienced professionals to deliver the project and maintain its strict schedule. Additionally, he has been given direct access to the financial conglomerate’s Chief Executive Officer to ensure that all decisions are being made judiciously for a strong return on investment in the years to come.
In speaking with our client and the successful candidate many times since we completed this search, we have learned that the individual quickly became immersed in the project and has made significant strides to date, meeting several initial milestones in the five-year plan. He has been granted approval to develop his own team of experienced professionals to deliver the project and maintain its strict schedule. Additionally, he has been given direct access to the financial conglomerate’s Chief Executive Officer to ensure that all decisions are being made judiciously for a strong return on investment in the years to come.Tom Helbling, President