DHR International Recruits Global Brand Marketing Leader for William Blair Co.

October 26, 2017 | Hunt Scanlon Media

Chicago-based search firm DHR International has placed former MSCI global marketing executive Michaelle Burstin as global head of brand marketing and communications at William Blair Company. Leading the search was Carol Hartman, the search firm’s managing partner of financial services North America, along with Carlos Cata, a DHR managing partner in charge of the firm’s global CMO practice and its retail search unit.

“The partners at William Blair were seeking a marketing leader who would create synergies across the firm’s various businesses, align their brand and advance their digital capabilities,” said Ms. Hartman.

Ms. Burstin served previously served as global head of marketing for MSCI in New York, where she was responsible for the development and execution of the marketing and branding strategy across all of the company’s business lines.  Prior to MSCI, she held several communications roles with Credit Suisse in New York, leaving in 2014 as global head of client marketing strategy, branding, and communications. At Credit Suisse, she was also a member of the fixed income management, fixed income operating, e-commerce steering, social media and human capital committees.

In the early 2000’s, Ms. Burstin was first managing director of technology for Hill and Knowlton, then managing director of corporate PR for Burson-Marsteller. Early in her career, she worked as vice president, head of the West Coast for the Financial Relations Board, as a political appointee, director of public and private sector liaison in Washington, D.C., for the Clinton Administrations.

The Right Match

 “Besides Michaelle’s wonderful experience and qualifications, she had a variety of experience at Credit Suisse and MSCI that translated well to the William Blair platform,” said Ms. Hartman. “Additionally, she brings an energy and demeanor that is a good cultural fit for the company. William Blair Company is a private partnership with predominately corporate and institutional clients,” she said. “Finding a candidate who would thrive and bring best practices to internal and external parties was the key.”

For this search, said Ms. Hartman, “our client did not want the usual academy companies like credit cards or large banks with retail clients. Their client base, products, and services are specific and required a more thoughtful target list to dig into.”

William Blair is an independent and employee-owned global investment banking and asset management firm based in Chicago, with offices in 15 cities worldwide. The company is led by CEO John Ettelson, and of the firm’s 1,400 employees, approximately 190 are partners.

The Recruiters

With more than 20 years of retained executive search experience, Ms. Hartman works with companies to develop talent acquisition strategies and place candidates with a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds in executive-level and board positions.

As leader of the firm’s global financial services practice, her team works with companies providing asset management, commercial and private banking, capital markets, risk/compliance, payments/financial tech and retirement income services. She also has worked with private equity, insurance, real estate and startup companies. Ms. Hartman is often retained to help clients in other industry segments recruit senior financial officers and board members. In 2017, she was named a top producer of the firm.

Mr. Cata has experience recruiting senior leaders across multiple industry sectors, with a strong focus on companies seeking transformational growth. For the past 25 years, he has helped companies build brands and develop relevant customer strategies through emerging technologies in digital and analytics. His search practice extends across the breadth of commercial leadership functions for financial services, consumer, fintech, and technology companies. He also serves as a leader in the firm’s diversity practice group with a special focus in finding Latino leaders.