America’s Top 99 Retained Executive Search Firms for 2021

It is easy to find people who are trying to be found

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In the United States, there are over 1,200 organizations that provides Executive Search services but only less than 140 firms that offers true Retained Executive Search. We are proud to present you our Top 99 Retained Executive Search Firms in America for 2021.

The ranking covers executive search firms that are headquartered in the US.

Retained Executive Search consultants are some of the most powerful people in corporate America. They are insider’s insider and wields significant power over Boards and senior executives.

Retained Executive Search takes a consultative approach like management consulting in hiring senior executives, typically Board positions, C-Suite, and other critical leadership positions. The search methodology systematically identifies all relevant candidates including passive and hard-to-reach ones.

They harness the power of their closely guarded network and research team to reach high-quality candidates otherwise not accessible to normal recruiters. This form of search is ideal when you need the most qualified person and not just a qualified person.

Our ranking is based on a combination of factors with confidentiality being the cornerstone of the methodology. We gathered feedback from clients and candidates over a period of 9 months with extensive research on the search process of these individual firms.

Our ranking is not solely based on revenue or size of the business. “Revenue-only” approach to ranking puts smaller firms and those not willing to disclose revenue at a disadvantage even though they are deeply valued and trusted by candidates and clients alike.

Search firms that post jobs online or on LinkedIn simply do not make it to our list.

Company
HQ
Industry
Services
Ranking
Heidrick & Struggles
Chicago, IL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Leadership Services +
#1
Korn Ferry
Los Angeles, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Assessment & Succession +
#2
Russell Reynolds
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Assessment +
#3
Daversa Partners
Westport, CT
Technology
Retained Executive Search
#4
SPMB
San Francisco, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#5
Rich Talent Group
San Francisco, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#6
Spencer Stuart
Chicago, IL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Board Services +
#7
Focus Search Partners
Brentwood, TN
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Interim Executive Services +
#8
RSR Partners
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Board & CEO Services +
#9
Hanold Associates
Evanston, IL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#10
CarterBaldwin
Atlanta, GA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#11
Herbert Mines Associates
New York, NY
Consumer and Retail
Retained Executive Search
Succession Planning +
#12
Cabot Consultants
McLean, VA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#13
Abeln, Magy, Underberg & Associates
Wayzata, MN
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#14
Raines International
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Leadership Consulting +
#15
Chartwell Partners
Dallas, TX
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Board Advisory +
#16
Bespoke Partners
Philadelphia, PA
Private Equity
Retained Executive Search
Leadership Advisory +
#17
Boyden
Purchase, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Leadership Consulting +
#18
Pearson Partners International
Dallas, TX
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Management Assessment +
#19
Parker Remick
Seattle, WA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#20
Wiser Partners
Cincinnati, OH
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#21
The Leadership Group
Palo Alto, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#22
Lonergan Partners
Redwood City, CA
High Tech
Retained Executive Search
#23
Hitch Partners
San Francisco, CA
Information Security
Retained Executive Search
#24
Stanton Chase
Baltimore, MD
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Board Services +
#25
DHR International
Chicago, IL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Leadership Consulting +
#26
Discovery Search Partners
Moorestown, NJ
Life Sciences
Retained Executive Search
Market Assessment +
#27
Kincannon & Reed
Arlington, VA
Food and Agriculture
Retained Executive Search
Executive Assessment +
#28
Preng & Associates
Houston, TX
Oil & Energy
Retained Executive Search
#29
Beecher Reagan
Houston, TX
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Assessment +
#30
CEO Search Partners
Chicago, IL
Fodd
Retained Executive Search
#31
Sheer Velocity
Denver, CO
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#32
Savage Partners
West Palm Beach, FL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#33
Kaplan Partners
Philadelphia, PA
Financial Services`
Retained Executive Search
Board Advisory +
#34
Diversified Search Group
Philadelphia, PA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#35
The Brownestone Group
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Consulting +
#36
Howard Fischer Associates
Philadelphia, PA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#37
True Search
Haddonfield, NJ
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#38
The Marymont Group
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#39
Chasm Partners
Rowayton, CT
Healthcare
Retained Executive Search
#40
Salveson Stetson Group
Radnor, PA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Leadership Development +
#41
Crist|Kolder Associates
Downers Grove, IL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#42
Willard Powell
Stamford, CT
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Talent Research & Sourcing
#43
PierceGray
Chicago, IL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#44
BridgeStreet Partners
Irvine, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#45
The Syverson Group
Alpharetta, GA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#46
Ridgeway Partners
Boston, MA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
dvisory Services +
#47
Krauthamer & Associates (K&A)
Bethesda, MD
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Advisory Services +
#48
Furst Group
Rockford, IL
Healthcare
Retained Executive Search
Talent Management +
#49
Hammer Haley
Raleigh, NC
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#50
Technology Executive Group
Mount Laurel, NJ
Technology
Retained Executive Search
#51
Ellig Group
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Advisory Services +
#52
The Elliot Group
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#53
Z3Talent
Denver, CO
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#54
Ormsby Park
San Francisco, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#55
ON Partners
Hudson, OH
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#56
Leadership Capital Group
Westport, CT
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#57
Hobbs & Towne, Inc.
Valley Forge, PA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Advisory Services +
#58
Spectrum Search Partners
Denver, CO
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#59
Y Scouts
Scottsdale, AZ
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#60
The Talent Studios
Los Angeles, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#61
FlemingMartin
San Ramon, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#62
Reilly Partners
Chicago, IL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Board Consulting +
#63
Torch Group
Cleveland, OH
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#64
BeecherHill
Columbus, OH
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#65
N2 Growth
King of Prussia, PA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Leadership Development +
#66
Battalia Winston
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Leadership Assessment
#67
Kindred Partners
San Francisco, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#68
Second Line Advisors
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Succession Planning
#69
Dinte Global Executive Search
McLean, VA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Talent Mapping +
#70
Charles Sterling Group
Burlington, MA
Financial Services
Retained Executive Search
Research
#71
Bonell Ryan Executive Search
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#72
Bay Street Advisors
New York, NY
Financial Services
Retained Executive Search
#73
ChampionScott Partners
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Leadership +
#74
DAK Associates
Plymouth Meeting, PA
Financial Services
Retained Executive Search
#75
Anderson & Associates
Charlotte, NC
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#76
The Stevenson Group
Fort Lee, NJ
Life Sciences
Retained Executive Search
Talent Mapping +
#77
Spectrum Search Partners
Denver, CO
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#78
Polachi
Boston, MA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#79
L&E Partners
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#80
Rice Cohen International
Yardley, PA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#81
Waverly Partners
Cleveland, OH
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#82
ClearPath
Newport Beach, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#83
BK Associates International
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#84
Heller Search Associates
Westborough, MA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#85
Berkhemer Clayton
Los Angeles, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#86
Dressler Search Group
Pittsburgh, PA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#87
Signature Search
Appleton, WI
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#88
Industrial Search Partners
Charlotte, NC
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#89
QueensBench Search
San Francisco, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#90
Winner Partners
St. Petersburg, FL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#91
Rhodes Associates
New York, NY
Real Estate
Retained Executive Search
#92
BOB Search
Irvine, CA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#93
Sterling Search and Consulting
Jacksonville, FL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#94
Madison Gunn
Charlotte, NC
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Interim Management +
#95
Hunt Executive Search
Charlotte, NC
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#96
Mack International
Chicago, IL
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#97
The Tayler Group
New York, NY
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
Talent Advisory +
#98
Broad Street Consulting Group
Boston, MA
Multi-Industry
Retained Executive Search
#99

This ranking is the result of an evaluation process within the parameters set by C-Suite CV Secure, Inc., its affiliates, and partners if any. C-Suite CV Secure would not comment on the quality of executive search firms that are not included in the ranking, and their reputation is not disputed.

For more information on logo licensing and methodology, please write to [email protected]

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