Ad Capita ranked TOP 50 European Executive Search Firm

Ad Capita has been ranked as one of the Top 50 Executive Search Firms in Europe for 2023 in a survey promoted by the US company C-Suite CV Secure.

We are also tremendously happy to share with our clients, candidates and partners that Ad Capita is the only Portuguese Executive Search Firm  included in this ranking.

According to the information made available by this company last week, 16,300 individuals partipated in the survey; the respondents are Clients and Candidates that occupy relevant positions in organizations: Board Members, C-Suite Executives, Next Level Down Executives (SVP, EVP, Heads and critical roles), In-house Senior HR Executives.

One of the main conclusions of the survey is that “in a diverse continent such as Europe, boutique smaller regional executive search firms (as Ad Capita) rule the market with strong client relationships and unique selling points”.


Your Success is Our Responsibility, so whether you are a Company or a Talented Executive, let us ensure you have the best voyage.

Journey with us!

Vasco Sabino joined Ad Capita as Associate Partner

Ad Capita Executive Search is delighted to announce that Vasco Sabino has been appointed as an Associated Partner at the firm.

For the past 23 years, Vasco developed a strong professional career focused on Human Resources ecosystems, holding relevant roles within Energy, Industrial, Insurance and Pharmaceutical sectors for multinational corporations, with responsibilities across various geographies.

With a refined sensitiveness and a contagious enthusiasm for everything related with People Strategies, he brings to the firm a level of expertise and commitment that would add significant value to our clients and executive candidates.

Although concentrating in leading cross-industry Senior Leadership executive search assignments, Vasco will also offer his experienced, business-focused advice on key strategic Leadership Assessment & Development projects.

We are very pleased to welcome Vasco onto the team and we are sure that he will be a great asset to the firm. Feel free to get in touch with Vasco – – for specialist talent advisory.

Ad Capita reinforces its IT Search Practice

We are very excited to announce that Joana Navarro Luis has just been nominated Associate Partner of Ad Capita Executive Search. Joana is a seasoned consultant with over 10 years of experience in the executive search industry and an enviable track record of successful executive placements.

She brings to our firm an extensive exposure to a diversity of sectorial and functional areas while from now on she will be responsible to strengthen our IT sector practice, advising investors, boards and senior leadership teams and providing them with her unique expertise in hiring executive and non-executive leaders in the VC & equity backed Software industry in Portugal and Europe.

Congratulations, Joana!

Feel free to get in touch directly with Joana – – for bespoke advice and support

2021 | Your Success. Our Responsibility.

Now that we are about to turn the page on 2020, we would like to sincerely thank all our clients, candidates and business partners all over the world who have stoically walked with us throughout this tumultuous year.

Despite all the setbacks, together we have accomplished much more than one could ever imagined to achieve.
And I am sure we have all emerged stronger and more determined than ever.

Now is the time to talk about new beginnings and the great personal and professional successes that await us in 2021.

Ad Capita Executive Search renews its commitment and the following video is but a small token of our appreciation to all of you.

Ad Capita awarded for exceptional business exchange performance.

It is with an immense proud and joy we share with our clients, candidates and partners that Ad Capita Executive Search was awarded with second place in the “INAC Global Business Achievement Award 2019” announced this week by INAC Global Executive Search, a leading international organisation of which our firm is the exclusive member firm for Portugal.

This year INAC highlighted the results of three international members for their outstanding results, with INAC Colombia making first place, Ad Capita – INAC Portugal reaching second place and INAC Chile occupying third place.

With this award INAC celebrates the member firms that achieved exceptional results regarding its business exchange performance throughout the year and within the network. Not only does it recognise their hard work, dedication and commitment to develop and retain business internationally but it also reinforces some of the key values of the organisation: Cooperation, Partnership and Global Service Excellence. 

It fills us with pride and satisfaction to see that Ad Capita keeps making a relevant and noticeable contribution by referring its clients and retaining new search mandates for the network, so the business exchange within our organisation grows exponentially and in a very positive way.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Company Directors and Community Expectations

Long gone are the days when Directors of companies around the world simply had to comply with their local equivalent of the Corporations Act and any other specific legislation relevant to their particular industry, for example Income tax legislation, Trade Practices legislation, Stock Exchange listing rules, Foreign Corrupt Practices legislation and a plethora of banking and financial services regulation.

There is now an equally powerful unlegislated code that Directors must acknowledge, respect and respond to… community standards and expectations.

It is reasonable to argue that Directors and Executives should always operate in the best interests of not only their shareholders, but also within the broader interests of the community…unfortunately, that’s where theory and reality don’t always collide happily!

How many times have you heard a CEO or a CFO or a Chair say, ”but what we did was legal”…yes, but the question remains… was it right?

Over the past 10 years there has been a large number of cases where Directors have acted within the law and in the best interests of their shareholders, but acted well outside what is reasonable, in a dynamic and fast changing society. There is an argument that there is a desperate need to enshrine in the legislation and regulation within which Directors must operate, the changing and growing duties and responsibilities of company directors. Let us not forget, Corporations, and those who manage and direct them, play a vital role in the economic and social wellbeing of our society.

I suspect, not since the days of the 60’s and 70’s when society had a voice about the Vietnam War, the flower power revolution and birth control have we seen such agitation in society as today, around climate change and emissions control, financial services organisations acting responsibly and ethically, mining companies respecting the ‘traditional owners’ of the land upon which they mine, sexual harassment in the workplace, personal rights and freedoms.

Notable examples from around the world include major corporate collapses in the late 1990’s and 2000’s with Enron and Worldcom in the US, the banking and finance industry collapses in the USA and Europe in 2007/08 during the GFC and more recently in Australia with a Royal Commission into the Financial Services Industry in 2018/19. All these events have served to undermine public sentiment in ‘big business’ and the Directors governing those businesses. The issues are – corporate greed, profit over values and ethics, disregard for the interests of all stakeholders and a complete lack of respect for the general public’s expectations of big business. The groundswell has been building for a while.

Never has it been so simple for members of society to mobilise against corporations and their Directors through the all invasive and powerful social media channels, it’s almost instant and the impact can be dramatic.

Foremost in the minds of most Australians at the moment is the current situation with Rio Tinto, the world’s second largest mining company, which derives 90% of its global profits from the export of Iron Ore from the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. The company recently approved, for mine expansion purposes, the detonation of the culturally significant (46,000 years old) Juukan Gorge caves in the Pilbara which housed on its walls irreplaceable early indigenous art and contained other significant artefacts. Bad move…the community and media reacted quickly and decisively as did several internationally based shareholders, forcing the hand of the Board to facilitate the ‘resignations’ of the CEO and 2 senior executives. Investors have now turned their attention to the Board where more heads may roll.

An outstanding example of where common sense and blind ambition collide badly.

In closing, let’s recap on the fundamental role and responsibilities of Directors:

  1. Set the cultural tone for the organisation;
  2. Set the governance framework and oversee its application;
  3. Strategic direction and oversight;
  4. Risk management oversight;
  5. Determine and approve corporate policy;
  6. Appointment (and termination) of the CEO;
  7. Monitor CEO performance and provide counsel;
  8. Operate ethically and in the best interests of all shareholders;
  9. and now…recognise, respect and resolve to consider community standards and expectations in every decision made by the Board… forget this at your peril!

But there is hope… a conversation I had with a large company Chairman recently showed that at least his corporation was moving in the right direction. He said that just before every substantive decision or resolution of the Board is agreed, he asks the question of his fellow Directors, “what will ‘the person on the street’ think of this decision?”

Effectively asking if the Boards’ actions are in line with community standards and expectations. Hopefully this groundswell is also building!

By René Johnson – Article originally published on September 2020 on our international website

2020 M&A Activity

During difficult economic times, many businesses circle the wagons and take a conservative approach until the economy recovers. Other companies take the opposite approach and use the downturn to make opportunistic decisions that provide superior value during a bear market. As we reached the half-way point of the year, it’s fair to say we’ve never seen a market like this before, so what does it mean for 2020 M&A activity?

To understand the impact the pandemic has had on M&A activity, HBR surveyed 50 executives across industries and revenue segments. They asked the following five questions to understand the impact on:

  1. Deals in the works when the pandemic hit.
  2. Anticipated 2020 deal volume.
  3. Top “deal-type” strategic objectives in the near future.
  4. Operational challenges of M&A during lockdown and shelter-in-place requirements.
  5. Internal M&A capabilities.

Not surprisingly, more than 50% of those surveyed said they paused deals that were already in motion in order to better gauge the effects of the virus. A full stop on deal activity was mentioned by 14% of respondents. Twelve percent were expediting deals, with another 12% saying they would continue the course with the deals they had in the works.

More than 3⁄4 of respondents said they anticipated slower deal volume for the remainder of the year. This includes the majority that have hit pause. On the flip side of the coin, that still leaves nearly a quarter of those surveyed at the same or higher level of deal volume as they look for improved valuations.

The companies that are continuing to look for deals are taking a variety of tactics. Nearly six in ten are considering the same type of deals that are core to their strategy, almost half are looking at distressed companies where they see value, and nearly 1⁄4 are looking at new non-core acquisitions to diversify future revenues. Additionally, the survey shows that 40% expect geographic expansion to continue, 26% believe we’ll see cost consolidation deals, and 6% expect to see survival deals.

Valuation is going to be a challenge this year. Companies that are poised to come out of the recovery in a strong position will have a number of suitors while those negatively impacted will need to play the waiting game until their valuation can be determined. There are a lot of questions that will need to be investigated. For example, how much of a revenue decline was pandemic related versus other variables? Or how sound is the recovery plan and projected spend?

The so-called new normal will likely require new skills that may not be in place at many companies. The market is forever altered and over the coming months acquisition strategy may increase by 2-3x. This means you need to consider your current process, playbooks, skill sets, and software and upgrade to support your new goals.

We all know how difficult M&A activity is during a stable economic time. The remainder of 2020 is going to challenge even the most skilled acquirers.

According to one of the more insightful survey respondents, “it’s been over 10 years since we even thought about doing a distressed deal, and I’m not sure we ever had a playbook for that.”
Another stated, “divestitures can’t be considered ‘acquisitions spelled backwards’ because they have a completely different value-curve than typical acquisitions.”
Yet another mentioned a new consideration, “the additional cybersecurity risks that may be incurred from extensive work-from-home operations makes careful due diligence all the more important.”

There are going to be winners and losers in the M&A space this year.

If you have questions or need help hiring in support of your M&A capabilities, send us a note. Our private equity recruiters are well versed to not only help build out your portfolio teams, but also can be a source for potential acquisitions.

This post originally appeared on Ad Capita’s US partner Sheer Velocity blog.

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