Global Executive Search for Emerging Software Companies

About IPO Strategy

IPO Strategy is an Executive Search and Coaching company, recruiting globally at all levels for Client Companies and Coaching Individuals (Executives and Entrepreneurs) to achieve successful outcomes.

The idea or "seed" for IPO Strategy was planted in June 1996, I was working as an Executive Search Consultant in London, recruiting for pre-IPO software companies. With great mentors and great clients, I was successful, challenged and fulfilled. Then the one company I most wanted to work with said "If you want to recruit for us, recruit a German Country Manager for us". After six months of trying, paying three retainers to three different search companies and many failed interviews, they had no candidates they thought were viable. I had never recruited outside of the UK and there were plenty of people saying it could not be done. I agreed to do the search without a retainer (they had already paid too much).

I successfully completed the search within 21 days.

The client was delighted with the search and has remained a loyal client since then. The candidate they hired sold the two largest deals ever worldwide for the company in his first six months (actually the first two $1m+ deals anywhere in the world, which was significant at at the time for a $30m software company). Interestingly, the candidate is still working at the client (as of October 2012) in a global EVP role.

During that first German search, I stayed true to the fundamental principles of executive search that I had been taught, but through necessity began to innovate and experiment with the search process to solve the challenges of distance, culture and language. I rapidly learned how to best approach and initially assess candidates on the other side of the world, where and how to interview them and how to best manage recruitment processes from far away.

Successful searches followed in Japan, Italy, Holland, USA, Sweden, France, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. I found myself traveling and working from different locations, which resulted in strange combinations - whilst in the USA I was recruiting in Italy and Holland, whilst in Australia I was recruiting in Singapore and Sweden, and whilst in the UK I was recruiting in Australia and Norway. As the geographies expanded, the challenges of time zones and distance became greater, requiring further improvements to the methodology and systems.

I learned quickly that if I treated candidates in other countries with lots of respect, was very well prepared, was very honest and really knew my clients inside out, then candidates were prepared to listen and that made all the difference. 

In 1998, I decided to branch out on my own and start my own company that would stay true to it's core values Since then, we have evolved our processes and always stayed true to those principles of delivering successful outcomes for all our recruitment and coaching clients.

In early 2001, I was fortunate to interview Warren McIntosh and saw in him immediately those same principles and beliefs that I wanted IPO to be about. Warren joined IPO in March 2001, recruited his first Japan Country Manager (Plumtree Software) in 2002 and has consistently overachieved every year since then. Many VP's, Country Managers and leading Sales Executives in the Software industry across Asia Pacific now treat Warren as a trusted career confidante and problem-solver.

Anthony LaFrenais
Managing Director
anthony@ipostrategy.com