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Goodbye 2013! Hello 2014!

January 7, 2014


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to 2014.   We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that whatever resolutions you made 6 days ago are still holding.   I, for one, haven’t had a cigarette since new years.  Granted, I’ve never smoked but that’s not the point.


Many of you will be receiving this newsletter for the first time.   For those still reading we thank you.   Your loyalty will be rewarded with twice-monthly notes such as this.   Our readership over the past 4 years has been small, loyal and sarcastic.  Like an Oompa Loompa.  In honour of the new year, we have decided to add several new names to our distribution list.   People we know or people who know people we know but, absolutely, people.

You can easily unsubscribe by clicking here.   But before you do so we would invite you to peruse previous editions of our newsletter which can be found on our website or by clicking here.     Or you can call my mother who says they’re really quite good.   We write twice monthly.   On or about the first day of the month (or the first day of the month people actually start caring) we provide a brief though mostly self-serving synopsis of what we’ve been up to the previous month along with a listing of a few of the newer searches on which we have been engaged.  In the middle of the month we attempt to offer more substantive thought leadership on topics of interest by not only writing original content but also linking articles of interest from various publications produced by ‘real’ authors.   We don’t wish it to be an intrusion thus the easy unsub option.   Like a U.S. President our popularity, or at least our ‘click rate’, hovers around 40% but unlike politics, we’re told that’s quite good for electronic mailers such as this.

Here at the firm we were quite pleased to bid adieu to 2013.   It was a challenging year.   If you play golf the year felt like playing the first few holes of a round with the wind stiffly in your face yet when you arrived at a hole facing the other direction the wind remained in your face.  Although we have successfully, but not take-it-for-grantedly, established ourselves as Alberta’s leading boutique search firm, executing once again on over 60 complex and senior level searches across numerous industries and functional areas throughout Western Canada, 2013 was a year that required more hunting than fishing.   The June floods seemed to knock the entire summer off kilter and July slowed down to the “uncomfortable” setting on the dial.  Our corporate clients were rightly and prudently managing budgets closely, some even having to lay off people.    Our government clients were doing the same, yet under greater scrutiny and our professional services clients, rarely accused of demonstrating long term talent management succession strategies, retreated and retrenched.   Yet, we can only control the things we can control so we continued focusing on doing high quality work, frequent communication and superlative customer service.  I don’t have my MBA but I’d suggest that’s a winning formula.

Our mantra at Pekarsky Stein is that boutique is beautiful.   Our size and strategic partnerships across the country allow us to compete with the national and global firms whilst offering lower fees, more personalized service and fewer off limits challenges.  Speaking of challenges, it has been an interesting few weeks in the search industry as, first, staff of three key branches of Odgers Berndtson “abandoned ship” (the Globe’s  words, not mine) to move to another national firm.   I was never great at math but when you double your client list you cut in half the places you can recruit from.  Then, the day before Christmas when people are naturally glued to the newswire, another national firm quietly announced it was raising capital through a private placement financed by partners of the firm.   Did I mention headwinds?

We’ve already begun to feel the winds shifting direction enabling us to serve more clients across more industries with mandates to grow.  Our team in Edmonton and Calgary is fully fed, watered and rested and ready to tackle 2014 with our usual sense of purpose, pride and humour.  And for you, our loyal reader, you Oompa Loompa you, we will continue to try to keep it light and fun.  After all, as Willy Wonka said, “[A] little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

On behalf of everyone at Pekarsky Stein, Alberta’s leading boutique search firm, we welcome the uninitiated and bring warm greetings of a new year to you all.


Adam Pekarsky

Founding Partner, Pekarsky Stein


This month’s featured job postings:

  1. Director, Corporate Finance – Alberta Accountants Unification Agency
  2. Senior Manager U.S. Tax – Global Accounting Firm
  3. Legal Counsel – Oil Sands Company
  4. Manager, Human Resources – Environmental & Energy Services Company