Sourcing A Head of Internal Audit (SMF5) for An International Investment Bank


A Global Investment Bank needed a Head of Internal Audit (SMF5) with urgency as the prior incumbent had already resigned. There was sensitivity with the recruitment, the client did not want it advertised and wanted a discreet approach because a Deputy to this Head of Internal Audit (SMF5) position had been hired recently and they didn’t want the market to feel they had any major management problems within the team. Their previous approach had also identified some possible candidates, so these were carved out and ultimately rejected.


Exclusive contingent. I scheduled weekly meetings with HR, Talent Acquisition and the Line Manager for this role. I put together a shortlist within a week of credible candidates while also sharing a longlist with the client highlighting who had been approached from which competitors.

Initial interviews were arranged from the shortlist and the feedback was useful to fine tune subsequent approaches and adjust the focus of the longlist. The longlist was updated in real time and shared on the weekly meetings with the client to show the market coverage and also give market intelligence on the client’s brand in the market and also insight into market compensation for similar roles.

Because of the urgency, candidates were interviewed within a couple of weeks of the assignment going live and this helped fine tune the search. Early on it was agreed that they wanted someone stepping up into the position so an experienced Director or more junior MD. A second tranche of candidates were seen within 3 weeks and within a month the favoured 3 candidates were put through to complete further stages including the Global Head of Audit and the Head of HR for the UK Business.


A single candidate was identified to meet with the Chairs of Audit Committees, the Chief Compliance Officer and the CEO.  All interviews were completed within 2 months and an offer extended which because it was a SMF5 and Material Risk Taker position required further discussions about the various rules of bonus deferrals etc.  The candidate resigned from their existing role and scheduled a start date that allowed time off between roles and all within 6 months from the start of the process.