Meet the Experts: Mark Frank

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‘Calibre One: Meet The Experts‘ is a series that delves into the minds of our Partners at Calibre One. Join us as we talk with our industry leaders about their experiences, insights, and strategies in navigating the competitive landscape of executive search and placement.

Growing up, I had no idea what executive search was. In college I studied international affairs because, at the time, I wanted to be a foreign service officer. Halfway through college, I spent a summer working with the senior leadership team of a startup airline, helping to prepare the airline for certification so it could fly. It was during this summer that I truly became interested in business and the human elements that went into making a company successful. 
About a year later, I joined Christian & Timbers as a member of their professional services practice. This was fascinating for me because while people are at the core of any company, for professional services firms, they are often the product as well. This creates the additional challenges of running the businesses and recruiting for them. I continued in my search career when I joined the Allegis Group, one of the world’s largest staffing companies, to help build a retained executive search business. 
Ten years ago, I joined Calibre One as the second employee in the New York City office. Fast forward to today, I have built a practice focused on fintech and private equity. 

Outside of the office, my wife and I are proud parents of an almost six-year-old boy and an almost two-and-a-half-year-old girl. We enjoy traveling to see friends and family and to explore the world around us. I also like to cook and occasionally even find a successful new recipe. My wife and I are involved in and support several non-profits in our community. 

Areas of Specialization

I have built my practice serving companies, typically investor backed, that range from pre-revenue startups to the Fortune 500, all undergoing growth or transformation. I typically partner with CEOs and board members to help design the role, profile we are recruiting for, and the overall direction and tone for the executive team. 
I have been fortunate throughout my career to build several executives teams. I am often asked to leverage my educational background in International Affairs to partner with US companies to help hire executives in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.  I regularly collaborate with colleagues in London on these searches and support them by helping international companies build their teams in the US.

What Do You Love About Your Role?

What I love about my role is that no two days are the same. Every search I work on is unique and has a critical impact on my clients, who have entrusted me with the future of their business. It is also the opportunity to place candidates in careerdefining roles. Last, but not least, I get to work with a truly special group of colleagues at all levels at Calibre One that makes coming to work as much a joy today as ten years ago when I joined the firm.

What is the Landmark Placement for a Client?

It is hard to pick a single landmark placement. I believe that every placement is critical and impactful for my clients.  My most rewarding experiences involve those that significantly impact both the candidate’s career and the client’s trajectory. 

For instance, I partnered with a $500M well-known legacy internet brand that had been taken private. My colleagues and I were retained to rebuild the leadership team from the CEO down. This team was able to turn the business around, stop the losses, and save an iconic business. Another example is when my partner and I built the leadership team for a FinTech by recruiting the founding CEO, CTO, Head of Sales, and Head of Product. That company is now successfully transforming the asset class they focus on. I am also proud of career transforming placements, such as when I recruited an executive from a small slow growth founder-led SaaS business to a private equity backed rapid growth SaaS company as COO. She was recently promoted to President. 

What Does Success in Executive Search Look Like For You?

I define success as when both the client and the candidate are happier and more successful than they ever would have been without each other. I also define success by maintaining relationships with the executives who I did not place and becoming a trusted counselor to them in their career. I get great satisfaction by knowing that they were well treated, had a great candidate experience, and the client’s brand was well represented in the marketplace. 

What is the Greatest Opportunity of the Decade?

Like many, I view Artificial Intelligence as having the greatest positive potential over the next ten years. However, we still need to separate the wheat from the chaff; and society, including governments, supranational organizations, and the business community, need to agree on limits on AI while creating systems to support those who might have their industries and livelihoods disrupted by it.

What’s Your Favorite Quote?

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett