Demand for Senior Expatriates in Africa on the Rise

Simon Kingston talks to the Sunday Times

The Sunday Times | April 22, 2012

The Sunday Times quotes Simon Kingston on the rising demand for senior expatriates in Africa:

"There are two groups looking for expatriates, said Simon Kingston, a consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates, the search firm. The first is traditional multinationals, which want leaders who can make the most of growth opportunities while operating in a culturally and environmentally sustainable way. “They demand a combination of cultural dexterity, curiosity about the country and sensitivity to working with partners in government,” he said.

The other group that wants expatriates’ experience is, increasingly, multinationals that have expanded from Africa into other parts of the world. “These are companies that are growing rapidly . . . and, like any multinational, they are in the market for talent and skills.”

Roles in such firms require a subtle but important shift of mindset: it means recognising that you are moving to a corporate HQ, not an outpost, said Kingston. “The centre of gravity is different, the way you define success is different and the way you think about your career is different. It is not, ‘I will have interesting adventures in Africa for five years and then return to London’.”

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Russell Reynolds Associates

Leadership for a Changing World. In today’s global business environment, success is driven by the talent, vision and leadership capabilities of senior executives.

Russell Reynolds Associates is a leading global executive search and assessment firm with more than 300 consultants based in 40 offices worldwide. Our consultants work closely with public and private organizations to assess and recruit senior executives and board members to drive long-term growth and success.

Our in-depth knowledge of major industries and our clients’ specific business challenges, combined with our understanding of who and what make an effective leader, ensures that our clients secure the best leadership teams for the ongoing success of their businesses.

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Demand for Senior Expatriates in Africa on the Rise