Haas Associates Media


SAC® Press Release Dec. 2007

December 14, 2007

Society for Advancement of Consulting Names Margaret Haas of New York City As Board Approved in Two Specialties

The Society for Advancement of Consulting® (SAC) has approved another member to achieve the rare SAC® Board Approved designation. This approval means that the consultant has worked in a specialized area for a considerable length of time; has provided detailed, documented evidence of success directly from clients in that specialty; and has conformed to the Code of Ethics of the society, serving as a thought leader and exemplar in the profession in general and their specialty in particular.

The individual is:

Margaret Haas, MA, LP, President of The Haas Associates of New York City. For over 20 years Ms. Haas has been providing consulting services to major firms around the world. She has achieved two, concurrent board certifications, in Executive Recruitment and in Executive Coaching. She can be reached at http://www.haasconsult.com.

SAC membership consists of less than 1% of consultants worldwide due to stringent membership requirements, and less than 3% of SAC members have achieved Board Approval status.

"This is a tough position to obtain, at the height of one's profession, and is a great criterion to apply when clients are considering consultants," says SAC CEO Alan Weiss, Ph.D. "It's difficult to choose the right resources in certain areas, and our Board Approval is evidence of documented instances of consistent success in delivering client results." The SAC office will serve as a reference point and share that evidence with any clients seeking more information on Board Approved members.

SAC is an international association of consulting professionals who subscribe to an industry code of ethics and have provided evidence of significant consulting results among their clients. For more information, please go to http://www.consultingsociety.com, write to info@summitconsulting.com, or call 800/825-6153 (401/886-4097).

The Early Days of The Haas Associates, Inc.

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Exporting Japanese talent, International Business, August 1990

By Michael Reade

"We supply Japanese worldwide," Margaret Haas says with an enigmatic smile. And she’s not kidding. As founding partner of Haas & McBryde International Inc., a small New York City and Tokyo-based executive search company, she is capitalizing on a unique market opportunity. Operating equally well from its elegant Chelsea townhouse or its Tokyo working apartment, Haas & McBryde makes a business of providing Japanese executives to American, European and Japanese banks and securities companies, both here and abroad.

While American and European companies are struggling to get a toehold in Japan, Margaret Haas is already a well-established presence. She first studied in Japan in 1969 as an undergraduate from Stanford University, when, as she admits, "It was pretty weird." Her fascination ultimately grew into a Master of Arts degree in Japanese history and language from Harvard. By the time the 41 year old Bronxville, N.Y., native headed for Wall Street, she had already spent nearly four years in selling American stocks to the Japanese and Japanese stocks to American institutional investors well before it had become widespread.

Drawing on a network of friendships in Japan that stretch over 20 years and on connections in the financial community in the U.S., Ms. Haas eventually found herself making introductions that led to job offers for people she introduced. "I wasn’t then in the recruiting business, but I saw I could do it," she recalls. When a career counselor, Marnie McBryde, urged Ms. Haas to set out on her own, a Citicorp contract soon followed. Three months later, Ms. McBryde left her post at New York University and became Margaret Haas’ partner.

Since its establishment in 1985, the partnership successfully has recruited for over 30 companies, more than three-quarters of them involving placement of Japanese nationals with American or European companies. With the financial sector turning global along with the ever increasing movement of money, Haas & McBryde has found itself just ahead of a wave of growing demand for transnational managers.

Then again, Margaret Haas has a habit of being ahead of her time. It might have something to do with the international dateline, which she has crossed so many times that she has good reason for looking years younger than she is. "We think nothing of just jumping on a plane. I once had to jump on a plane just to have tea in Tokyo," recalls Ms. Haas, "but that’s the kind of business we are in."

Although she is as perfectly at home in the Japanese culture as she is in her own, Margaret Haas’ business still had plenty of adapting to do. While the practice in introductions or the role of go-betweens is well respected in business as well as in personal life in Japan, the concept of recruiter or consultant is not as well understood—at least not the fee part. "Traditionally, Japanese don’t see that you receive a fee for introducing someone to someone else, because informally it is done all the time," says Ms. Haas.

Conditions in Japan are rapidly changing, however, making her profession not only economically viable but necessary. American and European businesses eager to find their place under the rising sun are consequently seeking out Japanese executives so that they may gain access and cut expatriate costs. Likewise, Japanese corporations, continuing their decade-long expansion, are beginning to compete for a dwindling supply of managers for their own needs. "More and more Japanese are coming to recognize –[executive recruiting] as necessary, as something that they need in their culture," observes Ms. Haas.

There’s an added twist: Japanese are not as accustomed to purloining executives from their competition as Americans are. That’s exactly where Haas & McBryde fit in. Margaret Haas recalls: "A senior executive at a Japanese bank called me in and asked me to find mid-career Japanese for his bank. He told me ‘Ms. Haas, I think you are uniquely suited to do this because you are not Japanese.’" Gaijins, it seems, can be excused for swiping the best and the brightest.

However, while whirlwind negotiations, wining and dining are common practice in the U.S., careful planning, a Buddha-like patience and the gentle art of taking tea are more the way of the East. "The time frame is totally out of proportion of what your do with Americans and American firms," says Ms. Haas. Placements can sometimes take as long as three years, but that is what the Japanese frequently expect.

Masako Oshina was a student at the American Graduate School of international Management at Glendale, Ariz., more commonly known as Thunderbird, when she first met Margaret Haas, and over the years the stayed in touch. When it came to being recruited, Ms. Oshina confides, "I would be very unwilling to speak with someone I didn't know well. Unless you know the recruiter, you might be giving up your reputation in the marketplace." Although happily employed, Ms. Oshina accepted an invitation to have tea with Ms. Haas and "another person." As Ms. Oshina discretely puts it, "The conversation proved interesting." Soon after, she accepted a position in the New York City office of one of the Japanese banking giants.

If such patience appeals to the Japanese sensibility, it also gets high marks among American clients. Dennis A. Baum, senior managing director of Bear Stearns & Co. in New York City has turned to Haas & McBryde for staffing the Tokyo office. "Margaret is phenomenally thorough," he says. "She really gets into people and into the positions that she is targeting them for and matches them beautifully. She is extremely patient, and I have tremendous faith in her."

Charles E. Conlin, senior human resources administrator at Moody's Investor Service Inc. in New York City, was at first concerned about the depth of a two-partner company, but concluded, "My personal feeling is that they have positioned themselves well to service us even though they are small." Whether looking to fill positions in his Tokyo office now or planning for the future, Mr. Conlin found the Haas & McBryde style perfect for Moody's needs. "They do not tend to push anything on you. And they sense at times that we are really not quite ready to hire, although we will want to look at candidates." Moody's, like a few other farsighted American companies, wants to be able to get up to speed quickly in Japan as opportunities ripen, and so stays in touch with Haas & McBryde.

What window on the future these placements presage for the globalizing financial services industry and how it will affect the companies that depend on those services is far from clear. Thomas R. Horton, chief executive officer of the New York City-based American Management Association, says that globally proficient managers are just beginning to come onto the scene, and some of the first are Japanese. Mr. Horton characterizes Japanese management as "get it right the first time," viewing Japanese managers as innovators who are market-driven. According to Mr. Horton, "Sales is getting someone to buy what you have and marketing is making what customers want," and Japanese have amply demonstrated their mastery of the latter. As for global proficiency, he says: "The Japanese managers tend to develop a highly effective blend of East and West. They pay a great attention to detail and to meaning." In that regard, the Japanese may bring companies to their new home and a new array of financial products to the marketplace.

While the world will have to wait for what financial products might come, Margaret Haas is sure about one thing: "The people we are placing are going to help American companies compete with the Japanese."