MADRID – 14 November 2014 – Retained executive search professionals, represented by the worldwide Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) gathered at the 18th Annual European Conference, “Renaissance of Southern Europe – Challenges and Opportunities for Executive Talent,” held on November 13th in Madrid. Luis Truchado and Carlos Ordás were representing AIMS-Spain, one of the seventeen Spanish firms members of the AESC in Spain. The following topics were discussed by the speakers and delegates: Spain as a business gateway to Latin America and the 21st Century corporate governance After an introduction by Joaquin Castillo (Director General of Tourism, Comunidad de Madrid), Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros (High Commissioner, Marca Espana) kicked off the day’s sessions with “Spain is Back,” where he outlined how in just a few brief years, Spain has moved from making world news about its dire economic outlook in the wake of the global financial crisis, to now a reinvigorated hub for multinationals and other companies often strategically headquartering in Spain to build stronger relations with Latin America. Jaime García-Legaz (Secretary of State for Commerce, Spain) moderated a panel on “Spain as a Gateway to Latin America.” Panelists included Amparo Moraleda (Non-Executive Director, Caixabank and Solvay), Javier Pérez Fortea (CEO, GLOBALVIA) and José Manuel Vargas (President & CEO, Aena Aeropuertos). The panel discussed how Spain is a good gateway to Latin America and its global competitive advantages, which included:
- Geography: Spain is a natural Europe-to-Latin America “bridge” – 25% of Europeans visiting Latin American travel through Spanish airports.
- Cultural links: Latin American governments have confidence in Spain and there are numerous Spain/Latin America business and cultural alliances and Common language: Spanish is spoken by 400 million people worldwide.
Monika Hamori (Professor of Human Resource Management, IE Business School) presented “Changes in Executive Career Paths,” where she demonstrated how, since 2001 and the global economic recession of 2008, corporate loyalty has actually increased among executives, with overall, more executives staying with their companies longer than perhaps perceived. Following Hamori’s session, a panel moderated by Manuel Conthe (Of-Counsel, Bird & Bird) and consisting of Rosa Garcia (CEO, Siemens, Spain), Miriam Gonzalez (Partner, Dechert) and John de Zulueta (Non-Executive Director, Bankinter), spoke about 21st century corporate governance. Highlights included discussions about:
- The lack of independent non-executive directors in Spain
- 75% of companies have no reelection limits for directors
The conference concluded with a “State of the Executive Search Industry” report by Peter M. Felix (President & CEO, Association of Executive Search Consultants), where he demonstrated that the retained executive search market is once again reaching record peaks, demonstrating strengthening markets in Spain and around the globe.