Retained Search

Successful companies use DAK Associates retained search for various reasons, including:

  • Confidential nature of search due to replacement or desire to keep a new business expansion discrete
  • Access to hard-to-find talent, hidden candidate pools, or specialized bandwidth
  • High standards and screens
  • Consultation on compensation trends, position definition, competitive landscape, and employment contracts/equity formulas
  • Collaboration on identifying and securing future Culture Bearers to perpetuate the organization’s vision

DAK works on “flat-fee” retainer basis with our clients providing total transparency and fair pricing while ensuring discretion, intense focus, and complete alignment. We have several customized engagement models including The Select Client Commitment designed for multiple hires and on-going recruiting scenarios.

The Ten Tenets of Search Originally written in the 1990’s,
the Ten Tenets are just as valid today

TENET #1 — Service isn’t something we offer in hope of selling you a product. Our product is service. We want you to judge us from the first phone call.

TENET #2 — Tomorrow’s heroes are sometimes one or two levels down on the org chart. Knowing who they are is the mark of a great search firm.

TENET #3 — Our service is an expense if you don’t put a premium on talent, and a value if you do.

TENET #4 — The market intelligence you receive from a quality search is sometimes as worthwhile as the ultimate hire.

TENET #5 — If you are committed to paying a recruiting fee, a retained search is almost always a better experience than a contingency effort.

TENET #6 — In the Financial Services industry, we don’t have factories, plants, and physical inventory; we have people, capital, ideas, systems, and our reputation. It makes good business sense to set the bar high on your people, because at the margin they have a huge impact.

TENET #7 — “Recruiting hard to manage easy” is a pretty shrewd management mantra. Recruiting is an art form but is borne out of the science of research.

TENET #8 — As a search firm, we try to stay away from the expression “It’s a small world” as it leads to a lack of curiosity and research. If it’s a small world, you’d know everybody in it.

TENET #9 — Sometimes we wonder why companies spend millions on naming rights and advertising campaigns, but don’t truly invest in their people, or pay to find the best possible talent. If you spend on both advertising and people, you’re bound to win. If you tilt toward the people side only, you’ll probably win also, except with much more profit.

TENET #10 — We are passionate about two things: having our clients respect us, and finding them valuable, productive people. The day we lose that passion is the day we should be fired, or quit.

Strategic Partners


DAK’s affiliated company, Gladstone provides comprehensive Merger and Acquisition Advisory services focused on the Independent Financial Advisory sector encompassing RIA wealth managers and asset managers, Retirement/Benefits Providers and Broker-Dealers. Services include:
  • Buy-side Advisory
  • Sell-side Advisory
  • Succession Planning and Merger
  • Valuation Services
  • Strategic Business Advisory
If you would like more information, please contact Michael Bilotta at (610) 834-1989, ext. 110 or

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