Leadership Assessment


Managing Director, Wholesale Business Unit. Global responsibility for one of the fastest-growing and most profitable areas of the company. Reporting to the CEO and a member of the global Executive Team.


Having built a highly successful team and a new business stream that accounted for a significant portion of the total profits for the Group, the incumbent MD Wholesale was due to return to his native country for personal reasons. As part of a Group-wide talent management initiative, a number of potential successors had been identified.

The company was keen to ensure that none of the potential internal candidates for the role should leave the business. Hence the need to deliver an assessment process that was not only seen to be fair and transparent, but also one which would help to identify future development priorities for those internal candidates that were not appointed to the role.


Archer Mann met several times with the Group Head of Human Resources and the CEO in order to prepare a brief and to formalise the key assessment criteria. We also spoke to the incumbent in the role to understand more about the dynamics of this particular area of the business and what factors had contributed to it’s recent success. Having analysed the personal characteristics of the individual and the current market conditions, it became apparent that the successor would have to consolidate the current team, stabilise the position of the business, and identify new areas for future growth.

The profile, therefore, would be more focussed on finding someone who could lay the foundations for long-term sustainability without losing any of the entrepreneurial spirit that had helped to build the business in recent years. Based on our understanding, we then prepared a formal job specification and a set of key assessment criteria which were signed-off by the Group CEO and Group Head of HR.

Over a period of two weeks Archer Mann conducted interviews with six internal candidates. Each candidate was assessed separately in two two-hour meeting with two Senior Partners from Archer Mann. The candidates were assessed against six pre-defined criteria, with specific observations on their recent achievements, leadership style, and ability to articulate a vision of the business both internally and externally.

The final report (prepared within a few days of the final assessment interview) assessed the Performance and Potential of each of the candidates, in order to help the company plan future career development priorities, as well as benchmarking the candidates against the general population of executives doing similar roles elsewhere, and identifying specific Strengths and Weaknesses.


The successful candidate stood out for his strength in all of the key assessment criteria. He was also a relative newcomer to the business, someone who understood the external factors and could provide an alternative perspective to challenge some of the existing assumptions. In a series of face-to-face meetings the unsuccessful candidates also received some specific career guidance and mentoring from Archer Mann as part of the final de-brief.