Read the interview with Nicolas Rogier, Managing Partner AIMS France, about the benefits for our local and international clients of coordinated cross-border cooperation throughout the countries sharing French as one of their national languages, as well as the points of view of the Managing Partners of the other Plateforme France countries.

Nicolas Rogier, Managing Partner France: when it comes to executive search, AIMS International is a “global boutique”

“You are not well-positioned to meet client needs effectively as an independent service provider to the domestic market only. Not at the level we operate at.” That’s Nicolas Rogier, Managing Partner of AIMS International France, who says the ability to operate cross-border has become crucial in the battle for talent. 

“We take another approach by offering our expertise as a global boutique. We are on the ground in several countries, where we can directly interface with our French-speaking clients, but we are supported by an international network of partnerships and global practice groups.”

Nicolas Rogier is explaining why the combined forces of AIMS partnerships in France, Belgium, Morocco, and Switzerland are more than the sum of their parts. The group currently comprises 15 people: 10 Managing Partners and consultants and 5 in the back office. 

All of the constituent partnerships have a strong Executive Search offering. Senior consultants have typically held managerial roles in the private or public sectors. They have been recruiting all of their professional lives and have a firm idea of what effective recruiting processes look like. Talent Management is a particular focus of the Swiss office, but France and Belgium also provide it, and they are actively working to expand their capacity in that area over the next couple of years. The French office has expertise in corporate governance and social responsibility too. 

The partnerships contribute to all of AIMS International’s global practice groups but are nonetheless recruiting new consultants to cover a wider range of industries. Consultants generally have 10 to 20 years of experience in sectors ranging from industrial, automotive, manufacturing, defence, and life sciences to finance, media, FMCG, human resources, and sales and marketing – at multinationals through to SMEs, at home and abroad. Together, they speak and work in 10 languages, including all those of the surrounding countries. The idea is to build on that diversity of experience so that the partners in France, Belgium, Morocco, and Switzerland, can offer clients who are active in the widest range of markets both deep industry and cultural know-how and the agility or flexibility that results from close cross-border cooperation. 

“Our priority is to build an efficient network with our AIMS colleagues from other countries,” says Nicolas Rogier. “We believe in the importance of closer collaboration for the benefit of AIMS clients everywhere, as many of them have interests in France. We are excited to cooperate with our peers and create synergies based on our complementary backgrounds and expertise.”

Karim Ahniche, Managing Partner Morocco & France on foreign direct investment

Morocco became independent on 7 April 1956, but French continues to be an important language in business there 66 years later. French has no official status (Arabic and Berber do), but it is a compulsory subject at school, and about 35 percent of the country speaks the language. Several French companies have back-office functions located in Morocco as a result. (Spanish companies have sometimes done the same because there is Spanish-language proficiency in the north of the country.) Morocco’s location, relative political stability, and business friendly policies are other factors driving foreign direct investment. The pandemic has made Morocco more attractive to European companies that want to shift production from China to better maintain supply chains, and the country’s engineering talent has aroused interest from businesses moving out of Russia and Ukraine. Last but not least, Morocco is also the gate to the whole of North and West Africa. Plateforme France allows us to offer full support to our clients who want to develop their activities in the region or require remote services from Morocco.

Olivier Legrand, Managing Partner Belgium & France: the markets are completely interconnected

Belgium is France’s 3rd largest supplier and 5th largest client. Exchanges with the Netherlands are of a similar level in spite of the smaller size of the Netherlands compared to France. Finally, intra-EU trade accounts for 65% of the country’s exports and 62% of its imports. Obviously, our country is predestined to build bridges between the French and Dutch-speaking parts of Europe. As an administrative and commercial hub housing the European institutions as well as many corporate headquarters, Belgium is also heavily reliant on Europe for its specialised and managerial workforce. In this context, the stronger union of the Plateforme France partners within the larger framework of AIMS International is the right way to go as it enables us to pool our expertise and resources across this vast area and accompany our clients in their dealings with other linguistic areas within and around our country.

Grégoire Depeursinge, Managing Partner Switzerland & France on global competitiveness and innovation

The International Institute for Management Development ranked Switzerland the most competitive economy in the world last year and second this year behind Denmark while the country ranks first in the Global Innovation Index of the World Intellectual Property Organisation and was considered the most innovative country in Europe – ahead of all 27 EU states in a report by the EU Commission last year.

The country’s economic vitality and diversity result from government policy stability, public–private cooperation, strong emphasis on R&D, great infrastructure, excellent education, and deep talent pools, as well as a long-term international orientation. These benefits have sustained the technology, machinery and automation, life sciences, chemicals, and luxury goods sectors. They – especially technology – will drive growth in the coming years and boost the country’s attractiveness for top talent.

With one of the most diverse top management populations in the world in terms of nationalities as well as 3 important national languages (German, French and Italian), the country is ideally situated at the heart of Europe. Every day, about 350’000 workers cross the border to work in Switzerland, coming mainly from France (55%), Italy (23%) and Germany (18%). Many foreign nationals have also elected to live permanently in the country with the French citizens in Switzerland numbering close to 200’000 and Germans close to 300’000 and Italians even above that figure. All of this for a total population of 8.6 million. The integration into Plateforme France will allow us to develop even more our traditional role of bridgebuilder between linguistic and cultural areas, especially between German and French speaking Switzerland as well as Germany and France. Being able to work indistinctively in Swiss-German, German, French, Italian and of course English, we can really help our clients connect the dots.


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