When Keith Mann introduced the Alternative Investment Practice into the Dynamics Executive Search in 2002, the hedge fund industry received a great boost in its growth. He had already served in the field for many years and his new initiative did not only pump in new blood into the industry but also the reliable expertise needed to take it to the next level. Four years later, he established excellent relationships with various large equity firms in his quest to provide competitive and highly talented personnel to hedge fund industries.
Now the CEO of Dynamic Search Partners (DSP)—which he founded in 2009—Keith Mann is the man to watch in the industry charged with hunting for executives for alternative investment firms. He has been greatly successful in ensuring that an annual 200 firms in alternative investment industry based in the US, Asia and Europe have some of the best professionals in investment, internal strategy as well as marketing. When we cornered him up, we had a few questions for him:
What’s the inspiration behind the founding of Dynamic Search Partners?
Coming up with Dynamic Search Partners was simple. We already had Dynamic Associates and we thought it would be just fine if we retained the name. However, the inspiration behind it is much deeper and has a long history. Growing up in New York, I witnessed firsthand the big gap in the provision of top cream executives in the industries. I was determined to fill that gap as soon as I got the opportunity, and the first opportunity I got, I established Dynamic Search Partners.
In a day’s job, what do you accomplish?
There is so much to do in a single day. I love meeting people. Unfortunately, time and distance does not allow it. The alternative is emails and phone calls and there are lots of them. I begin my day with a rejuvenating morning exercise session. It gives me the energy and focus needed in achieving my day’s goals.
What’s your strategy in incorporating new ideas into your company’s system?
Our current system is not too rigid. I’m always ready for an idea that would lead to a new direction as long as it is a better one. However, the idea must be based on satisfying a need in the market in the best possible way.
What’s does your industry expect in the coming years
There is so much to expect. Ours is the fastest growing industry. Therefore, diversity of ideas as well as the qualities of the candidates we interview is inevitable. We want to give our clients the best we can in filling professional positions.
What is the most persistent challenge in your work?
I have to work the same job every day. That’s quite a challenge. However, a morning session at the gym is enough to keep me in top shape and focused on the job the whole day long.
Why did you choose to be self-employed?
I once worked at a foreign exchange desk in one of the largest banks as a trading assistant. I hated the job and there was no way I could continue working there. However, I could not live without working. The best solution was to be my own boss, doing what I loved most.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
I work with some of the greatest people. I learn a lot from them. If I was offered an opportunity to change anything in any aspect of my work I wouldn’t take it. I just like it the way it is.
What is your entrepreneurship statement?
Collect as much information as you can. Never suppose that you’ve made the best decision. It doesn’t hurt to seek assistance.
How have you adopted technology in the running of your company?
There is a technological aspect in all our operations. Our online portal has been of great benefit to both our clients and candidates. In simple terms, technology is part of our strategy. It has made my team’s work much easier, especially in saving time.
What is the biggest drawback in spotting top talent for hire in your company?
My team is composed of professionals who have always been at their best. In our early years, however, we hired a great talent but one unsuitable for the job. We recognized our mistake early enough and corrected it immediately. I wouldn’t consider that that such a big drawback.
What most inexpensive but valuable thing have you done for your family?
That would be paying for pizza making lessons for my kids. I spent only $100. They were more than overjoyed.
What is the influence of the internet and new software in your industry?
LinkedIn is great in connecting everyone in our industry. We also use almost every Google product in our day-to-day operations. In addition, several members of my team can handle the same piece of work courtesy of docs and spreadsheets. However, there are several great services and software that I beg to keep secret.
What is the place of books and other literature in your career?
They have a special place. If you want to succeed on anything in life, you must love books. They are some of the most helpful source of counsel on the best ways of not only running a business but also conducting personal life. For starters I would recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
In whose footsteps would you like to follow?
Several people especially the ones I worked with have been a source of inspiration for me. If I have to choose just one, however, I will go for Michael Bloomberg. His great achievements and the will to lead from the front make him quite an appealing character.