Cripps Sears shares more than a birthday with Offshore Europe…

Mike Cripps

Mike Cripps

Started in the exciting 70s, the firm has notched up 40 years of experience with Mike Cripps still at the helm.

It is not by coincidence that Cripps Sears & Partners, the international energy, natural resources and infrastructure specialist executive search company, celebrates its 40th anniversary in the same year that Offshore Europe marks its own remarkable 40th.

Having previously had some very indifferent experiences with other search firms, Mike Cripps and John Sears set up Cripps Sears & Partners in 1973 with a desire and drive to serve clients better.

Talking about the early days, Mike Cripps, who is still at the helm of the business today, credits the early growth of the business with the excitement in the North Sea at that time, saying, “The North Sea discoveries in the 70s gave us a great start in life and investment continued in the early 80s as we opened an office in Aberdeen”. Following the excitement of the 70s in the North Sea the oil price crashed to about $8 in 1986. Life became very challenging for operators and in turn for services companies supporting them like Cripps Sears.

The news in the commodity markets over the last few years has been dominated by phrases like “commodity supercycle” and we have witnessed record high commodity prices in nearly all commodity classes. There are very few recruitment companies who can say that they have truly lived through a bear market.

During the 90s, Cripps Sears diversified and added expertise during a huge surge of investment into the UK as the power and gas markets became more liberalised. Cripps Sears established a very strong midstream practice supporting the entry of a significant number of particularly US commercially-driven gas and power companies.

The spectacular story of the Enron collapse in 2001 jolted the markets but investment in oil and gas continued with the oil price rising to its current point. Despite the global financial crisis, investment in energy is still a top priority and people are the industry’s most important resource.

Markets rise and fall, investment ebbs and flows, but in the world of executive search there is one constant, companies expect a professional service, to be represented to the market in a way they can be proud of, and to get the opportunity to hire from a choice of outstanding candidates. A sentiment echoed by Mike Cripps and his team. As well as a recruitment process it is a public relations exercise and making sure that the message is correctly portrayed is tremendously important. Under- standing and handling the objections of would-be high quality candidates in context will make or break a search.

Cripps Sears’ 40 years of experience and global access to leadership talent has populated the world with people who trust Cripps Sears & Partners. With regional offices now in London, Houston, Singapore, Perth, Dubai and Paris, the business is also doing a tremendous amount of work throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and Canada. Since inception the business has diversified and now has specialist teams focusing on Exploration, Drilling and Ops, Subsea, Commercial and Business Development, LNG, Commodities, Midstream, Downstream, Infrastructure, Projects and Engineering in addition to Finance and Advisory, HR and Legal.