June 9, 2014 10:15 UTC

Opportunities for Central European Companies and Executives Despite Ukrainian Crisis

  • Investor focus moves from Russia/CIS to CEE
  • Austria and Western Europe are opening up a new chapter of growth in selected markets of the region
  • Boyden looks to CEE as an opportunity for its clients

NEW YORK & VIENNA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- At this year’s global partners meeting which recently concluded in Vienna, 150 company shareholders of industry leading Boyden Global Executive Search gathered to advise on international management trends and growth strategies for emerging markets.

“Vienna was selected as the location for the 2014 conference because Boyden Austria and CEE, with headquarters in Vienna and subsidiary offices in Prague, Warsaw, Bratislava, Bucharest and Sofia, have grown into the fifth largest Boyden entity in Europe with annual growth averaging nearly 30 percent,” said Trina Gordon, President & CEO of Boyden World Corporation.

Positive development in CEE

“After the gold rush phase until 2008 and then through the subsequent financial crisis, the CEE region experienced a spectacular recovery,” explains Andreas Landgrebe, Managing Partner of Boyden Austria & CEE. “The region now offers more interesting prospects compared to Russia and CIS. Direct investment from abroad is almost back to pre-crisis levels, between three and four percent of GDP.

The four countries of Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland were able to triple their exports and thus together represent the fourth-largest exporter in the EU 28. But, at the same time, average wages in these countries are again at very competitive levels, which are between 50-75% below the EU15 average. As a bonus, skill and experience levels are simultaneously rising,” he added.

Political Situation

In addition, the current political situation has led to a reduction of growth prospects in countries such as Russia and Turkey, which have lost their appeal in the medium term. Also, Germany continues in its role of export market and strategic investor directly bordering on the region. Cost pressures in Western Europe, especially in the automotive and services sectors, promote outsourcing and near-shoring trends, benefitting mainly the CEE region.

New opportunities for Austria

“For Austria CEE growth is a means to escape the ‘prosperity trap’,” explains Mr. Landgrebe. “Rising qualifications in education and advanced training give us access to top-of-the-line resources for placement – from skilled managers to board members – and at favorable compensation levels.”

But the opportunities can also be exported. Geographical and cultural proximity lower the entry barriers for Austria and are a competitive advantage over the other EU15 countries and over investors from the Asia/Pacific and North America. Austrian experts and executives can benefit from the growth in the region and profit in the medium term as well as take advantage of new career opportunities.

“But this opening up of new career opportunities for Austria also calls for greater flexibility such as relocating home bases or improving language skills such as adopting Slovak as the ‘lingua franca’ for the entire Slavic-speaking realm,” explains Mr. Landgrebe. “The role of Austria as simply the passageway for Western companies wanting to expand into Eastern Europe is over. The more robust development of the region is absolutely necessary.”

Boyden as the executive search benchmark

“Boyden is the perfect example of growth in the Central and Eastern Europe,” Ms. Gordon explains. “Our focus is uniquely on Austrian and international companies that have a need for top-level management in the region. Therefore, they need of a global player with uniform processes and quality standards.”

Our uniform, integrated structure makes this possible even in the smaller markets in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. A clear focus on specialization and practice expertise ensures Boyden partners are at an eye-level point of contact for clients with specific requirements in key industries,” she added.

About Boyden Global Executive Search

Boyden is a global leader in the executive search industry with 70 offices in over 40 countries. Founded in 1946, Boyden specializes in high level executive search, interim management and human capital consulting across a broad spectrum of industries. For further information, visit the firm’s website at www.boyden.com.


For Boyden
Dan Margolis
+1 213-452-6472
Boyden Global Executive Search
Andreas Landgrebe, Managing Partner Austria and CEE
+43 1 5338357

Source: Boyden