Madison MacArthur Executive Search - Insurance Assignments

INSURANCE

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VP, Strategic Sales

Organization
Multinational, Public, Specialty Insurance Company

Situation
This multinational niche insurance company engaged us to find them a top-notch sales executive that could manage and grow a key account in Canada.  The key account had provided revenue of nearly one billion-dollars for our client in the USA and was insistent on having the same dedication and level of service in Canada, as a condition of maintaining their partnership with our client on both sides of the boarder. The candidate would need to have worked in the industry, have the ability to manage a highly active and demanding client, as well as come with a proven track record of success in consultative business-to-business sales.

Assessment
The organization is a publically traded company and works across the globe in a variety of niche insurance products. The company is ardent about their sales and account management as well as determined to remain the top player in the industry for this particular niche of insurance.  The role offered a challenge in identifying candidates that possessed all of the skills and experience to meet both the current mandate as well as the requirement to come from the particularly small niche industry.

Challenge
The candidate was required to have a broad scope of B2B services industry experience including account management, sales, product knowledge and the ability to effectively train a team of indirect sales people who would be selling the product to the end user.  It was required that candidates have an undergrad degree, a demonstrated track record of relationship building in an account management capacity as well as proven sales successes so as to assure our client’s largest customer that they were in capable hands.  In addition to the depth of experience, the candidate had to have deep knowledge of the niche product.   This was a real challenge due to the limited scale of the industry and because most of the organizations that would typically be targets for recruitment of candidates were “hands off” as they were current partners with our client.

Solution
Due to the nature and sensitivity of the client’s business, candidate identification had to be very targeted and creative. Madison MacArthur targeted candidates across North America and the USA that had held a specific combination of sales, account management and training roles in the niche product or in a related product.  In addition to targeting key prospects within specific companies, we identified and networked through all of the specialized insurance industry products that would yield candidates with transferrable experience and skills and that would still meet the criterion. A shortlist of four candidates was presented, three meeting all of the client criteria. The fourth candidate, while not having the requisite depth of account management experience, did bring a strong marketing foundation and very relevant experience and was hired for another role in the organization in the same niche product line.

Candidate
The client agreed to put all four candidates through a rigorous interview process. While all of the candidates were deemed by the client as being very appropriate, three candidates were moved on to the final round of interviews. The selected candidate had most recently been working for a US-based firm within the industry. He was a strong fit culturally and was a true relationship and sales leader with growth results to prove his powerful candidacy. 

Postmortem
Although the new Vice President has only recently started in the role, he has already had a very positive impact on the organization. The client made a point of calling to thank us for presenting this candidate, going as far as saying ‘the candidate is one of the best hires we have ever made’.  The strong fourth candidate continues to partner with the organization in both a marketing and technology capacity. Given the client’s satisfaction with our services, Madison MacArthur was awarded an additional leadership search at a Presidential level.