case study

CASE STUDY: The Search for an Industry Specific President


President sought for $7 billion asset sized banking institution
Highly specialized line of finance
Narrow hiring window for succession planning


Client retained Aureus Group to execute a targeted search for an executive to fill the role of a retiring President. 


Successfully filled position with a candidate who aligned with banking specialty, while search parameters were altered mid-stream due to unforeseen circumstances within the organization.


Aureus Group partnered with a $7 billion banking institution located in the Midwest on its search for an executive to succeed the retiring and long-time President of its Construction Finance division, a highly specialized area of finance. 

The position required the incoming President be based at its home office, likely necessitating relocation. The organization also envisioned a succession period, with the incoming executive working alongside the current President for 6-8 months, prior to a planned retirement in 2021.

Of primary importance to the client was a candidate with a successful leadership pedigree.  The client sought a proven leader within the broader financial sector, as opposed to a manager, with the ability to set strategy and engage direct reports located across all 50 states. Direct experience in the institution’s niche area of finance wasn’t a requirement.

Recruitment Strategy & Execution

Aureus Group began the process with in-depth dialogue with the client and gathered the full scope of information on the organization and the position. Aureus Group created a complete profile of the opportunity and role, including responsibilities, organizational structure, company culture, compensation and relocation package, and timeline of the search, placement, and transition/onboarding.

A full analysis was conducted to identify candidate trends and leadership movement across the banking sector nationally; industry competitors and history; and earning data/compensation plans.

From the information compiled, a multi-pronged recruitment strategy was developed, including networking on a national level, industry/association research, LinkedIn recruitment campaigns, digital communication, and direct contacts.

Shift in Circumstance and Strategy

During the early stages of the formal search, with several viable candidates surfaced within the initial six weeks, the current President of the institution was diagnosed with an illness and passed away shortly thereafter.

Certainly, this presented a challenge for the institution from an organizational and emotional perspective. A shift in search strategy was necessary with a redirect focused solely on targeting candidates with experience within the institution’s niche area, given the absence of the planned transition period. A leader was needed who could step in day one and bring management experience as well as a calming presence to the organization.


Over the next four and a half months, a uniquely qualified candidate was identified that fit the profile of the position and the current need. The candidate brought years of experience with a substantially large financial institution with success in the same niche area of finance. He had also led a team producing at a high level.

Aureus Group facilitated an onsite visit by the candidate consisting of an interview with the institution’s Board of Directors, meetings with the leadership team, and a tour of the community.

Following an extension of a formal offer through Aureus Group, the candidate accepted and remains in place with the organization.

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