Supporting a long-term CEO succession process through advisory for a global property and investment business


The Board of a successful global property investment business instigated a long-term CEO succession process.

Their key objectives were to anticipate the long-standing CEO’s departure, select the right successor to deliver the company’s future vision, whilst ensuring an objective process that minimized risk and maximized the chances of an internal successor

Aligning the Board around future direction and implications regarding CEO requirements was a challenge during a time when the company was re-examining its business model. The Board were concerned that their existing service provider had a conflict of interest.

The Board appointed YSC to take over as CEO succession advisors to support the remaining 4 years of the end-to-end process. YSC was appointed for our objectivity, developmental impact, global scale and credibility at ExCo and Board levels.




  • We facilitated Board alignment sessions around the organization’s future strategic direction and the implications for CEO characteristics that underpinned the succession process.
  • We conducting in-depth assessments with every member of the top team to ensure a fair, inclusive process. A rigorous benchmarking and calibration process from enhanced the objectivity of judgments and provided global consistency.
  • To accelerate the progression of candidate’s development toward future requirements, we provided tailored coaching and aligned expectations between potential successors, the CEO and the Chair, supporting them to help develop talent while remaining objective.
  • The entire succession process was underpinned by multi-layered global advisory to the Chair, Board and CEO. This included  raising awareness of potential biases and how to minimize them, advising on the final decision-making process and on communications with candidates to ensure on-going commitment and retention.
  • Once the successor has been chosen, we supported the incoming CEO to accelerate their transition into role.


  • The Board considered the process to be robust, fair and objective, with YSC’s advisory and insights having accelerated development in a way that challenged the Board’s thinking, including appointing a CEO who was not originally the lead contender.
  • The Board was able to accurately track progress over two years, which provided a key data point in evaluating candidates. Over the course of the program, the successful candidate accelerated his development, enabled in part through YSC’s leadership coaching.
  • The Chair had confidence in YSC’s insights and data; they helped to inform difficult choices and nuanced trade-offs about candidates in light of a somewhat reshaped view of what the company required.
  • The Board considers it a successful appointment, borne out by the CEO’s performance.
  • Key talent was successfully retained, minimising unwanted turnover and through the process we identified longer-term CEO succession talent.