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The Boutique Search Firm Switching to Retained Status After
Fifteen Years as a Contingency Executive Recruiting Firm
The Boutique Search Firm Switching to Retained Status after Fifteen Years as a Contingency Executive Recruiting Firm

January 2007 - The Boutique Search Firm has been serving such clients as Hilton Hotels Corporation, Kiana Resorts, Chatham Bars Inn, LXR Luxury Resorts, Pali House, Soho House, SBE Entertainment, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, St. Regis Hotels and Resorts, Taj International, Kahala Resort, Pinnacle Entertainment, Hyatt International, The Palms Las Vegas, Auberge Resorts, MGM Mirage, Morgans Hotel Group, Orient-Express, Pearl Resorts, Groupe Alain Ducasse, Rosewood Hotels, Concorde Hotels, Innovative Dining, the Peninsula Group, GLA Hotels and many more for over fifteen years.

Search assignments have run the gamut from Chief Executive Officer down to unit-level Executive Committee management positions, and have included such hard-to-fill positions as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Corporate Executive Chef, Director of Property Maintenance and Director of Housekeeping.

Benoit Gateau-Cumin, the founder of Beverly Hills based Boutique Search Firm, has one motto: small is beautiful. Accordingly, the Boutique Search Firm only conducts a limited number of search assignments at any given time, in order to provide the highest level of service to its clients. 

Says Gateau-Cumin (who insists on the title of Chief Recruiting Officer): “The biggest challenge for the hospitality industry is to find the right management talent. You can make up for rising construction costs by raising your rate. There is however nothing you can do to make up for weak or deficient management. Our role is to help our clients find talent matching their goals and culture.”

In addition to its team of seasoned recruiters, the Boutique Search Firm has recently added two full time database and research staff to constantly update and augment its database of over 20,000 key hospitality talent worldwide.

The Boutique Search Firm will now be conducting its searches on retainer, with each client being assigned a team to include a researcher, a search consultant and a principal of the company.

To announce its entry into the retained search arena, The Boutique Search Firm is mailing 1,000 magicubes to its clients, symbolizing the change. The cubes follow the graphics and black-and-white photography of the Boutique Search Firm’s award-winning website. Paris based photographer Eric Sander shot a new series of “calendar girls” using his daughters Isaure, Philippine and Alienor as he did seven years ago. Just as the teenage girls morphed into young women, the types of searches conducted by the Boutique Search Firm have evolved as well.

The change from contingency to retainer is effective January 1, 2007. Whereas the basic fee continues to amount to 30% of the placed candidate's first-year annual salary, one third of it is now payable prior to the beginning of the search process, with the balance due upon commencement of employment by the selected candidate. For searches taking more than thirty days, a second third of the fee is due one month after the first one.

“We deliver the same level of service as the Blue-Chip generalist firms,” says Gateau-Cumin, “while deploying a level of specialized expertise unavailable from generalists.”


Lisa Leroy
The Boutique Search Firm




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