Happy Days Are Here Again: 2013 Battalia Winston, Executive Search Firm’s Annual Survey Finds Corporate Holiday Parties Are Near an All-Time High

NEW YORK, N.Y., Nov. 25, 2013– More companies will return to their tradition of holding holiday parties this year, according to the 25th annual survey of corporate America’s holiday party plans conducted by Battalia Winston, a leading global executive search firm.

An astonishing 96 percent of the companies polled will have parties this year – this is the highest percentage since 1997 – up from 91 percent in 2012, 74 percent in 2011, 79 percent in 2010, 81 percent in 2009 and 81 percent in 2008.

Holiday parties were held by 95 percent of companies in 1988, the first year of the survey, and an all-time high of 97 percent was recorded in 1996 and in 1997, all years when the economy was robust.

“The Battalia Winston survey has served as a bellwether for the economy over the past 25 years, and this year is no exception,” said Dale Winston, Battalia Winston’s Chairwoman and CEO.

“Our findings reflect an increasing confidence in the economy. Although only 6 percent of those having parties are having more lavish events. The parties are back but the champagne and caviar are no longer flowing,” said Winston.

2013 Survey Findings:

2014 Planning: As companies make plans for 2014, almost three quarters (70 percent) of respondents say they’re on track to “grow and hire” next year – up from 66 percent in 2012; less than a quarter (18 percent) expect their company’s performance will stay the same as 2013. Only 6 percent are uncertain and 6 percent are planning to consolidate.

What’s the reason this season? Nearly half (42 percent) are having holiday parties to boost employee morale, while slightly more than a third (38 percent) are holding a party to celebrate 2013 as a good year, and 7 percent to show employees and clients that they are optimistic about next year. 16 percent of companies selected “other” and indicated that they would be staying true to “tradition”, for the obvious reason of simply “celebrating the holidays”, and some even confidently said because they “persevered”.

Why no celebration? Of the 4 percent of companies not holding a holiday party this year, half (50 percent) said that it’s just not in the budget this year and the other half (50 percent) said that they felt it was “politically inappropriate”.

Who’s invited? A majority (76 percent) of the parties will be for employees only, while 18 percent will be held for both employees and their families.

The budget: A majority of the parties (83 percent) said that their party will be the same as previous years, 10 percent will more modest and 7 percent will be more lavish.

When and where? Of the companies holding parties, slightly less than half (43 percent) will be held in the evening and 47 percent will be at lunch. The trend towards daytime parties continues.

Drink up — if you can: Drinks will be served at most (72 percent) parties, but some are staying dry (28 percent) and will be alcohol-free.

Tis the season to be generous: Slightly more than half (54 percent) of the companies are donating money or goods (up from 51 percent last year, 39 percent in 2011, 47 percent in 2010, and 66 percent in 2009), employees at 15 percent of the firms will be doing volunteer work. 23 percent of the companies aren’t involved in holiday charitable activities.

Employee morale is still important: A majority (66 percent) of companies are taking steps to boost employee morale for the year to come (e.g. flexible work schedules, performance incentives, pay raises, team building/training, etc.), leaving only 17 percent of companies that have no such plans. 17 percent were unsure.

Are corporate holiday parties coming back to state of normalcy? “We believe this year’s results reflect stability,” said Winston. “We hope this indicates increased confidence and perhaps at some point we might even ‘pop the bubbly’ again.”

The 2013 Battalia Winston nationwide survey was conducted among a cross-section of 100 companies.

About Battalia Winston:
Battalia Winston has been successfully meeting client needs in executive recruitment for 50 years and is currently ranked as one of the nation’s 20 largest retained executive search firms, as well as one of the world’s largest woman-owned search firms. Headquartered in New York City, the firm also has offices in New Jersey, Boston, Washington, D.C., Denver, Los Angeles and Chicago. Battalia Winston is an agile and uniquely flexible firm and their culture is focused on providing highly personalized, responsive client service.

More information: www.battaliawinston.com/_oldsite

Cara Silverman
Battalia Winston
212 308-8080

Terence Gallagher Speaks at the Conference Board Succession Management Conference

Terence Gallagher, President of Battalia Winston, recently spoke at the Conference Board’s 2013 Succession Management Conference on October 17, 2013 at the Westin New York in Times Square. This conference addressed leveraging high potential leadership talent through effective identification, engagement, development, retention and deployment. It also focused on integrating talent strategies to improve succession management effectiveness and developing new global talent management strategies. Terry served on a panel of speakers presenting a succession crisis business case to provide an interactive learning experience.


New York, NY, July 15, 2013 – Battalia Winston (BW), one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, today announced that it has acquired the executive search business of Norm Sanders Associates, a Fair Haven, New Jersey-based executive search firm specializing in the Financial Services and Consulting industries.  Walter J. McGuigan, Jr., Founder and Managing Director of Norm Sanders Associates, has joined Battalia Winston as a Partner covering Financial Services, Professional Services, and Technology.

With more than twenty five years of executive search experience, Walter has conducted Senior Level Partner search assignments for consulting clients in the areas of Banking, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Technology and Operations.  Additionally, for clients in the Financial Services sector he has recruited CIO’s as well as senior level systems professionals in the areas of Sales and Trading, Derivatives, Asset Management, Foreign Exchange and Commodities. His clients have included Ernst & Young, IBM Global Services, Deloitte Consulting, and McKinsey & Co., as well as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.

“We are thrilled to have Walter as part of our team.  His strong background in financial and professional services as well as his technology functional recruiting expertise will help us to better serve our clients,” said Dale Winston, Chairwoman and CEO of Battalia Winston.

Prior to joining Battalia Winston, Walter was a Vice President with Handy Associates. He entered the executive search industry with KPMG, where he developed a financial services recruitment function. Walter’s early experience includes institutional fixed income sales with both Lehman Brothers and Lombard Wall. He is a graduate of Georgetown University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

About Battalia Winston

Battalia Winston (BW) is widely recognized as one of the top twenty retained executive search firms.  Currently in its 50th year of business, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Washington, D.C., Denver and Chicago, BW is noted for servicing the needs of its clients from start-up organizations to members of the Fortune 10.

Boards and Family-Owned Businesses

by Bruce H. Walton, Partner at Battalia Winston

Family-Owned businesses are complex and filled with emotional, often multi-generational challenges, and they are the backbone of U.S. business.  To recruit top executives into these businesses, there are some important conditions for recruiting success.

 Perhaps the most important is an active, outside board.  Once a company reaches revenues of around $30-$50m, it is high time to seek outsiders’ perspective.  Many companies start earlier with an Advisory Board, but eventually a Fiduciary Board is important to the company’s success and important transitions. 

 Long before transitions are needed, most family business leaders have at least a gut feel for a potential family successor.  If a hole is evident, the need for a bridge to the next generation of leadership jumps out.  And sometimes the company will more properly transition from family-managed to family-owned.  If a top leader will be needed, the search will need an outside board’s perspective for a couple of reasons.

 First, any good outside CEO or COO will bring ideas to the table that will scare the pants off the owner.  The owner will need a sounding board to fairly evaluate those ideas.  Second, the CEO/COO will feel the need for some mechanism for influencing ownership.  Operating totally at the owner’s whim places the outside executive in a high risk position.  And that perception will cause the best candidates to back away from an offer, even a good one.

 Newly minted boards take a couple of years to find their footing.  Since nobody wants to be the sole outside board member in a family-owned business, there will be some complexity to forming a balanced board and establishing good governance processes.  So starting a board when you need to do a top level search is already too late. 

 A properly constructed and operating outside board should also have the governance courage to trigger the top management transitions important to company health and longevity.  Like an aging professional athlete, family leaders may need caring and clear-eyed advice on when it is time to let go and open a new life chapter. 


New York, NY, May 13, 2013 – Battalia Winston (BW) announced today that Debra Pollick, RN, MS, joined the firm as Partner within the Healthcare Practice Group.  She will be based out of Denver and New York.

A seasoned executive, having spent more than 30 years within the healthcare industry, Ms. Pollick brings extensive experience and a strong reputation for outstanding client work.

“We are pleased to have Debra as part of our team.  Her breadth of search experience coupled with her clinical background will serve to enhance our healthcare practice,” said Dale Winston, Chairwoman and CEO of Battalia Winston.

Prior to joining Battalia Winston, Debra was an Executive Vice President at a leading executive search firm.  Based in Denver, Colorado she was an integral member of the Healthcare Practice Group.  Earlier in her career, Debra was the founder of a retained healthcare search firm, Pollick & Associates, LLC.

Ms. Pollick has a depth of experience in recruiting senior leaders for hospitals, healthcare systems, academic medical centers, physician practices and managed care companies.  She has helped clients identify and attract qualified executive leadership for key positions including CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CMOs, nursing services and human resources.

Debra received her Diploma in Nursing from Riverside/Ohio Wesleyan University in Columbus, Ohio; her Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine; and her Master’s from Clayton College in Birmingham, Alabama.

About Battalia Winston

Battalia Winston (BW) is widely recognized as one of the top twelve retained executive search firm, both nationally and globally.  Currently in its 50th year of business, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago, BW is noted for servicing the needs of its clients from start-up organizations to members of the Fortune 10.

Inzito Partnership Forms Transatlantic Executive Search Alliance with Battalia Winston

London, Wednesday 30 January 2013 – The Inzito Partnership, London’s leading, strategic executive search firm, is delighted to announce that it has formed a Transatlantic alliance with Battalia Winston.

Headquartered in New York, Battalia Winston is one of America’s top executive search firms, with offices in New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The firm has more than 20 consultants and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Dale Winston, the firm’s CEO and Chairwoman, has more than 25 years of experience in executive search and is a recipient of the Gardner W. Heidrick award for outstanding contribution to the executive search industry. Terry Gallagher, the President of Battalia Winston, is recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the world’s most influential recruiters.

The Inzito Partnership is London’s most dynamic executive search firm. Founded in 2009 by Carol Leonard, the former head of the Board practice at Whitehead Mann and a former financial journalist for The Times and London Evening Standard, the Firm has already grown into a firm of seven professional consultants whose corporate client base consists of more than 20 FTSE companies, as well as a number of significant privately owned companies, both PE backed and family businesses, and several large pension funds.

The alliance will enable both firms to offer their clients superb research, selection and recruitment services on a global scale to ensure they have the widest selection of the best possible candidates for their critical executive posts.

“We are very pleased to have signed this alliance with such a well-known and respected U.S. search firm,” said Carol Leonard. “Since first meeting on our way to a conference in Eastern Europe over 12 years ago, Dale and I have developed a strong friendship and I am excited that this relationship has now blossomed into a partnership that will be the first step in creating a broader global alliance, with representation in North and South America, continental Europe, Asia and India.”

“The Inzito Partnership is characterised by the professionalism and dynamism that we were looking for in a London based partner,” said Dale Winston, CEO and Chairwoman of Battalia Winston. “The culture, values and ambition that their founder has instilled are very similar to our own and I am personally excited to be embarking on this journey with Carol to bolster our companies’ global presence. I look forward to being in a position to serve our respective clients even more effectively.”

“Known for having greater access to the best talent, higher quality placement results, Senior Partners as engagement managers, and timely search execution, this alliance will allow Battalia Winston to further leverage our client value proposition on a global scale,” said Gallagher. “These differentiators have enabled us to achieve 82% repeat business with our clients who represent the Fortune 1000, privately held organizations, and private equity firms.”