Latest News

Investigo Launches New Executive Brand

By | Investigo Executive, Latest News

With a proven track record in the recruitment of Executive level positions, Investigo have launched their Executive brand to showcase their offering to their diverse client portfolio, which ranges from SME’s through to FTSE 100 organisations and PE backed companies. The brand brings together the most experienced consultants in the search and selection field at Investigo. The team of specialist partners have established close relationships with their networks through providing outstanding service, coupled with their genuine passion to align leaders with their destined organisation.

Working across selected specialist markets; Accountancy and Finance, Business Change and Transformation, Procurement, Real Estate, Facilities & Workplace, Strategy and Technology – the practice leads take a collaborative approach and use their extensive network to identify exceptional leaders to work with exceptional businesses.

Nick Baxter, CEO, commented: “The world today has become increasingly smaller in many ways with the advancement of technology and worldwide mobility. However, the challenge to find leaders who possess the experience and skillset required, along with the right organisational fit, continues to be apparent. Our Executive offering brings our most experienced people together, along with their established networks in a truly collaborative approach to position unique leaders. The process undertaken at this level of seniority is extensive, with the ultimate goal to find an individual and business whose motivations and aspirations are mirrored resulting in the ultimate match. Our aim at Investigo is to make a difference and this exciting next step for the Executive part to our business portfolio will continue to do so for the benefit of both our clients and candidates.”

To coincide with the launch of the new brand, Investigo has also launched a website dedicated to the new united offering as well as an event portfolio targeted at the Exec market. The first INEXEC event will be Executive Finance Leadership Forum, ‘Brexit Breakfast’, taking place 18th October. The event will be hosted by Investigo, Brian Connell, ‘Brexpert’ from KPMG will host the session on the impact of Brexit to businesses, whilst Hann-Ju Ho, Senior Economist at Lloyds Banking Group will look at trends in major world economies. To find out more about our future INEXEC events, please contact

Are diversity quotas necessary for us to reach equality?

By | Investigo Executive, Latest News

Diversity and Inclusion continues to be a core focus for businesses globally, with many introducing informal diversity targets within their recruitment processes. The introduction of formal diversity quotas to accelerate gender parity was discussed at our Diversity and Inclusion breakfast networking event held yesterday at Furniture Makers’ Hall. Hosted by Dan Robertson from Vercida Consulting and attended by over 70 attendees, the discussion covered a novel yet emerging topic for many businesses looking to improve their diversity ratios.

As a specialist Diversity and Organisational Development consultant, Dan drew light on the increasing number of women on UK boards – since 2011 this has more than doubled to 29% from 12.5% as well as the increase in the number of women in executive positions. Whilst encouraging figures, the 2017 World Economic Forum report found that gender equality can only be attained in an estimated 217 years as opposed to the 170 years reported in 2016. Similarly, the representation of ethnic minority candidates at Board level (only 85 of the 1,050 director positions in FTSE 100) and BAME candidates in senior management positions (only 6%) were discussed. So why wasn’t this improving despite companies’ increased awareness and efforts to improve the ratios was hotly discussed.

The key point to note for organisations looking to improve their diversity must begin with collecting relevant data around the recruitment and hiring process. This data can be analysed to find trends, patterns and hiring styles prevalent within existing processes and determine the key blockers to a diverse employee pool. Understanding why a person has been shortlisted, interviewed or appointed and the micro behaviours that drove the hiring process, can help organisations devise a strategy on whether to introduce diversity quotas formally or informally. Conversely, not collating any statistics carries the implication that this is not on a key item on an organisation’s agenda.

Dan’s opinion on introducing formal diversity quotas was to probably consider implementing them for a certain period of time to accelerate equalising gender ratios. However, whether these are explicitly communicated like Lloyds Bank, PwC (banning all-male shortlists), BBC (banning all-white shortlists in middle/senior management posts) or informally communicated to recruitment agencies is a matter of preference as well as an indication of the seriousness exhibited by companies. Either way, there are several approaches that can be adopted including:

  • Market forces approach
  • Soft PA
  • Positive action
  • Target setting
  • Quota setting

Interestingly, Section 159 of the Equality Act 2010 enables an employer to afford a more favourable treatment to a candidate with a protected characteristic who suffers a disadvantage or is under-represented as opposed to someone without such a characteristic. However, this can only be exercised if both candidates are equally qualified with comparable experience and only if the company has demonstrative evidence of gender inequality collected over the preceding 12 months.

Dan went on to outline some steps that companies could adopt as part of improving their current processes:

  • Job Design: reviewing for language bias – removing words like ‘gravitas’ which traditionally attracted male candidates; including diverse images attracted diverse candidate shortlists
  • Candidate attraction: by setting targets both internally and through your supply chain, i.e., your recruitment partners
  • Shortlisting: by adopting blind recruitment strategies, i.e., removing name, university etc. and assessing a candidate’s merit as they are – this strategy has been adopted by EY for graduate hiring
  • Interviewing: using pre-set and uniform questions
  • De-briefing: using aggregate scoring methods and adopting a ‘Devil’s advocate’ who has the authority to influence change

By embedding some or all of the above steps as well as reviewing key leadership criteria, companies can succeed in improving their existing diversity ratios. However, in order for an organisation to effect such a positive change, it has to have the right leadership, right systems and the right culture. By understanding the positive impact that an organisation will have by sponsoring diverse talent as well as ensuring this remains visible across all echelons of a company, change will occur steadily and hopefully not too slowly!

This Investigo Network event is part of a series of events we are hosting to bring insight to our clients and candidates, on topics that are relevant in today’s business world.

If you would like to learn more about the events and publications being released for the Investigo Network please contact Lisa Holberton on

Career International invests in Investigo

By | Latest News
Career International (CI), who listed in mid 2017 on the Shenzhen stock exchange, have announced a strategic partnership with Investigo Ltd with the purchase of 52.5% of the company’s shares. The acquisition of a controlling interest is CI’s first significant investment since last year’s listing and increases the group’s headcount to c1800 staff.

CI was established in 1996 by Wallace Gao and 3 other partners and now has a network of 86 offices working out of 7 countries in China and South-East Asia. The investment in Investigo is the group’s first acquisition in the west.

Wallace Gao is very excited about the possibilities for the future: “In order for CI to become a leading player in the global human capital market place, we recognise that the UK is probably the most sophisticated and competitive market in the world. As a result, the UK has not only been a great innovator of ideas but also an exporter of talent across the world. Our aim therefore was to invest in a business with an exceptional track-record of success together with a leadership team who would continue the growth story and be able to take us in to Continental Europe. Having looked seriously at a number of organisations, Investigo stood out amongst the crowd.”

The new company will be chaired by Gary Watson who promoted Nick Baxter into the CEO role in October 2017. Watson shares Gao’s optimism for the strategic partnership: “Investigo was established in 2003 with an entrepreneurial mindset and a focus on providing permanent and interim solutions in a number of specialist niche markets. We believe that relationships lie at the heart of our success together with a commitment to recruit and retain experts in each discrete market.”

As a result, Investigo has distinguished itself by growing top line every year since the company’s inception – even throughout the global financial crisis. Baxter explains: “Our entrepreneurial approach has enabled us to offer a market-leading LTIP and so reward those leaders who help to create real value. Our MBO in 2013 (which was backed by Investec) was a great success and provided the platform for us to not only reward and retain key people but also to attract the entrepreneurs to help fuel our future growth. Having successfully delivered 2 LTIP’s to our wider management team in 2013 and now 2018, our third LTIP in 2022 is set to be the most attractive and lucrative yet, both for our existing people and any entrepreneur joining Investigo from 2018 onwards.”

The approach from CI came out of the blue. Watson explains: “To be frank, at that stage, we were well down the path with PE and debt funders. We had envisaged that our 3rd deal in 2022 might be a trade sale but in the meantime, we wanted to maintain our independence by being masters of our own destiny. The only exception we would allow ourselves was a light touch trade investment – and once we got to know CI by spending time with Wallace and the rest of his leadership team, it became a very straight-forward decision.”

Investigo’s CEO Nick Baxter joined the company in 2006 and has seen the company evolve and strengthen in so many ways. “Our new and exciting 2022 business strategy will strengthen Investigo’s position as one of the leading specialist contingent recruiters in the UK. It will enable our people to continue developing their careers, be rewarded for their success and be known as experts in their markets. We are excited by what the future holds because culture, people and focus will continue to be at the heart of everything we do. As well as focusing on organic growth, our plan to open in new locations and new niche markets is supported by a market-leading LTIP which is designed to attract entrepreneurially-minded individuals who believe they can create real value within a 5 year time frame. If you back yourself and believe you can make a difference, we’d love to hear from you.”