AESC Celebrates 60 Years with Refreshed Brand Purpose, Mission and Promise

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AESC announces today the launch of its new brand purpose, mission and promise. As the association reflects on the past six decades of representing the quality standard in executive search and leadership consulting, AESC and its global membership also look to the future of the profession in a rapidly changing business environment.

Thorndike Deland formulated the concept of executive search in the United States in 1926, when he founded the first retained executive recruiting firm, Thorndike Deland Associates, specializing in recruiting executives for the nation's burgeoning retail companies. The post WWII economy spurred phenomenal business growth in the United States and executive search quickly grew to become a prosperous profession throughout the 1940s and 50s. Thorndike Deland Associates later became an AESC founding member.

AESC was founded in 1959 as the Association of Executive Recruiting Consultants (AERC) for the dual purposes of creating a professional association for the most competent and reputable search firms, and for providing clients and prospective clients a means by which to differentiate qualified and ethical practitioners in the profession.

AESC President and CEO Karen Greenbaum explains, “The people on AERC’s early boards were pillars of the profession: Spence Stuart, Gardner Heidrick, Russ Reynolds and Ward Howell were all on the Board. Russ Reynolds was on the Board representing William H. Clark Associates (an AESC founding member) and again after he formed his own firm. By 1974, members included Boyden, Heidrick & Struggles, Korn Ferry, Russell Reynolds, Spencer Stuart and Ward Howell (which later became Signium) and many other leading search firms.

AESC changed its name in 1982 to the Association of Executive Search Consultants to more accurately reflect the work undertaken by its members, as distinct from the recruiting undertaken by employment agencies. The next decades saw continued expansion in executive search, which led AESC to establish the AESC European Council in 1996 and the Asia Pacific Council in 2004. 

In recognition of the expanding role of executive search firms into broader leadership advisory, AESC embraced leadership consulting in its identity, and in 2014 changed the name of the organization to the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants.

“Clients are now looking to our members as strategic advisors who provide counsel not only on the critical advice of finding the right executive talent but also on assessing leadership teams, advising boards on their effectiveness, succession planning, culture shaping and more,” commented Greenbaum.

She continues, "The profession, just as the industries it serves, now requires much more agility. In a fast-paced, ever-shifting business climate accelerated by technology, we have to be at the forefront to best serve our clients with expert advice and insights."

AESC Chief Marketing Officer, Joe Chappell, added, "As we look forward to the next 60 years of this association, we want to ensure that our brand reflects both who we are today but also who we vow to be tomorrow. The new AESC purpose, mission and promise will guide us to stay true to our core standards while at the same time embrace future innovation in the profession." 

AESC Purpose
Dedicated to Strengthening Leadership Worldwide

AESC Mission
AESC and its members share a deep commitment to the highest quality standards in executive search and leadership consulting—for the benefit of clients and the profession. Through collaboration and innovative thinking, we deliver the future of global leadership today.

AESC Promise
We Shape. Connect. Educate.

  • Shape quality standards, legislative response and best practices.
  • Connect members with peers, clients and candidates.
  • Educate through insights, trends and continuous learning.

AESC will commemorate its 60th anniversary with programs throughout 2019, including at its three global conferences in New York, Sydney and Amsterdam.

About AESC
Since 1959, AESC has set the quality standard for the executive search and leadership advisory profession. AESC Members, ranging in size from large global executive search and leadership advisory firms and networks to regional and boutique firms, represent 9,000+ trusted professionals in 1200+ offices, spanning 70+ countries. AESC Members are recognized leaders of global executive search and leadership advisory solutions. They leverage their access and expertise to place, find and develop more than 80,000 executives each year in board of directors and C-level positions for the world’s leading organizations of all types and sizes. Dedicated to strengthening leadership worldwide, AESC and its members share a deep commitment to the highest quality standards in executive search and leadership consulting—for the benefit of clients and the profession. We Shape. Connect. Educate. Learn more about us at

Joe Chappell, AESC
+ 1 (646) 757 5492