Korn Ferry

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Korn Ferry
Traded as NYSEKFY
Industry Professional services
Founded Los Angeles, California (1969)
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, USA
Key people
Founders: Lester Korn, Richard Ferry
CEO: Gary Burnison
Revenue Increase US $1.346 billion (Q4 FY16)[1]
Increase US $30.913 million (Q4 FY16)[2]
Number of employees
7,000 (2016)
Website www.kornferry.com

Korn Ferry, headquartered in Los Angeles, is an organizational and people advisory firm and the world's largest provider of executive search.[3][4]


The firm was founded in 1969 by Lester Korn and Richard Ferry.[5] The two first met in 1962, when they worked for the same Los Angeles accounting firm—Peat, Marwick, Mitchell. Before leaving to form Korn Ferry, the two made partner at the firm. According to Douglas Cowherd, the firm brought “the practices and standards of professional service firms… into the search business”. Cowherd wrote further that Korn Ferry “innovated in three domains”, those being: “creat[ing] specialty practice groups that focused on recruiting in particular industries”, computerizing the industry, and establishing a “global network of offices”, with its first foreign offices opening in 1972. By 1987, fifteen years later, it had 37 offices in fifteen countries servicing around 1250 client corporations and organizations. By the mid-1980s, the company was the largest executive search firm in the world, with Lester Korn serving as Chairman and CEO.[6] In 1989, the firm’s revenues exceeded $100 million for the first time.[7]

Expansion and acquisitions[edit]

In Asia the company opened its first office during 1973 in Tokyo, Japan. In 1975 Korn Ferry opened an office in Singapore, in 1978 they opened offices in Malaysia and Hong Kong, in 1987 they opened an office in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1994 they opened their first office in India, in 1995 they opened their first office in China, in 1996 they opened their first office in Indonesia, in 1998 they opened their first office in South Korea, and in 2005 they moved their regional head office to Shanghai, China.[8] Korn Ferry began acquiring small to medium-sized enterprises in the 1970s. In 1977 they acquired the Mexico City firm Hazzard & Associados, and in 1979 they acquired Australian-based Guy Pease Associates. In 1978 the company acquired the UK firm John Stork. In 1993 they acquired Carre Orban. In 1999 they acquired the German firm Hofman Herbold. In 2000 they acquired Australian firm Amrop International and PA Consulting Group. In 2001 they purchased Levy Kerson, Helstrom Turner, Westgate Group, and Pearson, Caldwell, and Farnworth. As of 2005, Korn Ferry had 73 offices in forty countries. Then in 2007, Korn Ferry acquired Lominger Ltd and Leader Source, and in 2008 Korn Ferry acquired Lore International Institute. In June 2009, Korn Ferry acquired the London-based executive search firm Whitehead Mann. In 2010 it acquired Sensa Solutions. In 2013 Korn Ferry completed its acquisition of Minneapolis-based PDI Ninth House, a leading, globally-recognized provider of leadership solutions. In 2015 Korn Ferry also acquired Pivot Leadership.

In 2015 it acquired privately held HR consultancy Hay Group for $452 million USD..[9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Company overview[edit]

Korn Ferry assists organizations in attracting, engaging, developing, and retaining their people. Services range from executive recruitment to leadership development programs, enterprise learning, succession planning and recruitment outsourcing. Since the firm's inception, it has conducted over 100,000 senior-level searches,[16] and placed about seventy thousand managers.[7]

Gary Burnison, a former partner of KPMG, serves as the current CEO.[17] Korn Ferry is known for its “headhunting technology”.[18] During the 1990s, Korn Ferry began using the Internet to help advance its platform. In 1998, Korn Ferry then partnered with the Wall Street Journal to start Futurestep.com, which was utilized to help candidates at the middle management level specifically find positions to advance their career.[14] [19] In addition to its search services, Korn Ferry publishes surveys of its clients and other employers regarding trends in hiring.[20][21]


External links[edit]