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Retained Search

Successful companies use DAK Associates retained search for various reasons, including:

  • Confidential nature of search due to replacement or desire to keep a new business expansion discrete
  • Access to hard-to-find talent, hidden candidate pools, or specialized bandwidth
  • High standards and screens
  • Consultation on compensation trends, position definition, competitive landscape, and employment contracts/equity formulas
  • Collaboration on identifying and securing future Culture Bearers to perpetuate the organization's vision

DAK works on "flat-fee" retainer basis with our clients providing total transparency and fair pricing while ensuring discretion, intense focus, and complete alignment. We have several customized engagement models including The Select Client Commitment designed for multiple hires and on-going recruiting scenarios.

The Ten Tenets of Search

TENET #1 — Service isn’t something we offer in hope of selling you a product. Our product is service. We want you to judge us from the first phone call.

TENET #2 — Tomorrow’s heroes are sometimes one or two levels down on the org chart. Knowing who they are is the mark of a great search firm.

TENET #3 — Our service is an expense if you don’t put a premium on talent, and a value if you do.

TENET #4 — The market intelligence you receive from a quality search is sometimes as worthwhile as the ultimate hire.

TENET #5 — If you are committed to paying a recruiting fee, a retained search is almost always a better experience than a contingency effort.

TENET #6 — In the Financial Services industry, we don’t have factories, plants, and physical inventory; we have people, capital, ideas, systems, and our reputation. It makes good business sense to set the bar high on your people, because at the margin they have a huge impact.

TENET #7 — “Recruiting hard to manage easy” is a pretty shrewd management mantra. Recruiting is an art form but is born out of the science of research.

TENET #8 — As a search firm, we try to stay away from the expression “It’s a small world” as it leads to a lack of curiosity and research. If it’s a small world, you’d know everybody in it.

TENET #9 — Sometimes we wonder why companies spend millions on naming rights and advertising campaigns, but don't truly invest in their people, or pay to find the best possible talent. If you spend on both advertising and people, you're bound to win. If you tilt toward the people side only, you'll probably win also, except with much more profit.

TENET #10 — We are passionate about two things: having our clients respect us, and finding them valuable, productive people. The day we lose that passion is the day we should be fired, or quit.

Strategic Partners


DAkdirect has a unique solution to employers who don't want to commit to a retained search, but haven't found the right candidate through Job Boards, Links, and personal networking. DAKdirect is designed for a variety of users:

  • Small, closely held companies seeking a key hire.
  • Emerging growth companies in rapid expansion mode, with multiple needs.
  • Established mid & large cap organizations with Talent Acquisition departments who would like an additional, unique tool to aid in recruiting campaigns.

If you would like more information, please contact Mike Kreuter at (610) 834-1100, ext. 124 or

Gladstone Associates, LLC

DAK's affiliated company, Gladstone provides comprehensive Transaction and Business Advisory services focused on the Independent RIA sector encompassing wealth managers and asset managers. Services include:

  • Buy-side Advisory
  • Sell-side Advisory
  • Succession Planning and Merger
  • Valuation Services
  • Strategic Business Advisory

If you would like more information, please contact Michael Bilotta at (610) 834-1989, ext. 110 or

Envestnet Institute on Campus

Envestnet Institute on Campus is a program that is designed to advise young men and women on college campuses about the incredible career path opportunities that exist within Financial Services, and in the process help to drive and develop the next generation of industry professionals and leaders. The program is the culmination of efforts stemming from leading industry organizations, and numerous high profile sponsors. EIOC is now available at over 35 major universities, training and placing over 2,000 students in various interim and permanent positions throughout the financial services industry.

If you would like more information, please contact Ashley Bang at (610) 834-1100, ext. 113 or

Wealth Management: DAK works across the broad Wealth Management landscape. This includes large independents as well as national, regional, and independent Broker Dealers.

Asset Management: DAK has deep experience across all product structures and asset classes, and our clients range from Trillion AUM+ global asset managers to specialty boutiques.

Asset Servicing/FinTech/Back Office Solutions: Back Offices and Technology Infrastructure is what makes it all work for Financial Services companies. DAK works with firms large and small.

Insurance: DAK works with well-known and top-branded (Top 25) Life Insurance and Property & Casualty companies across a myriad of mandates.

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"C Level" Searches — "C Level” searches comprise an ever-growing portion of our search mandates, and currently represent 10% of our practice.

Sales Management — DAK has successfully completed dozens of high profile searches for Distribution Leaders.

Sales — DAK has a storied history in securing proven revenue generators for our clients. We have completed hundreds of sales searches spanning multiple channels throughout the Americas.

Investment Management — DAK is engaged at all times with Investment Management searches covering all product structures and Asset classes.

Marketing — DAK is engaged at all times with Senior and strategically critical Marketing search mandates.

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DAK has been a national player since day one. We service the entire US Market from our HQs in suburban Philadelphia.

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We provide high-touch, customized Executive Search for firms that put a premium on hiring the best. Our service includes Position Design; Compensation Guidance & Benchmarking; Intense Research inclusive of up to hundreds of calls and dozens of meetings; Position specific Interview Questions; Deep, personalized Assessment Interviews; Deep industry references and comprehensive background investigation; Behavioral Profiling; Onboarding and Follow-up post hire.

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DAK works on "flat-fee" retainer basis with our clients providing total transparency and fair pricing while ensuring discretion, intense focus, and complete alignment. We have several customized engagement models including The Select Client Commitment designed for multiple hires and on-going recruiting scenarios. DAKdirect is our web-based recruiting portal for non-retained search.

Learn More...