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Background

Over the past several years there has been an unprecedented change in human capital consulting as it has reached maturity particularly in executive recruitment. Many of the senior consulting staff in the established recruiting firms were nearing retirement just as the dot com boom occurred. Most of these firms had wealth accumulation plans in form of deferred income or stock which consultants could ‘cash out’ when they left. The increase in the value of their plans resulted in many consultants leaving just as the firms had undertaken ambitious expansion and diversification initiatives predicated upon the boom. This caused a cash crisis which resulted in many firms seeking outside capital or making a cash call to the remaining partners. When the boom collapsed, increased fixed and variable costs and the costs of developing consultants who were not easily reduced. Many firms were compelled to reduce overhead, support services, and consultant compensation and benefits to survive. Faced with making less with reduced support, many of the remaining senior consultants left to form their own boutiques. While there are substantial advantages to both clients and consultants in working in a boutique, they have the disadvantage of having a more limited scope than large firms. ASCS Group and Affiliated Search was created to fill that void. It recreates the scope and capabilities of a traditional firm without the limitations and compromises in client quality and service delivery while retaining a greater percentage of the fees they generate. A senior consulting staff with fewer client conflicts and increased flexibility with all the scope of a large firm provides a superior alternative to traditional firms for experienced consultants and sophisticated clients alike. ASCS also added other forms of human capital consulting and a private investment subsidiary.