Who We Are:

The Association for Excellence in Retained Search and Leadership Consulting (AERSLC) is an organization and  accrediting body for retained search and leadership consultants who hold themselves to the highest standards in the world.

AERSLC members practice retained search as it was intended, as a specialized form of management consulting, not as a transactional exercise of filling seats in a vacuum. We don't just sell cookie-cutter products, we practice leadership consulting with sustainability in mind.

Everything our members do is designed with the transparency and knowledge transfer necessary to produce permanent solutions. We’re trying to change the world for the better, not just ring our cash register.

AERSLC Professional Practice Guidelines and Code of Ethics

1) Purpose – Member firms serve with an absolute commitment to enhance client performance and place the client’s interests above their own.

2) Discovery – Member firms gain a comprehensive understanding of each client’s unique culture, specific performance expectations, and critical success factors.

3) Performance – Member firms track, and report retained search time to fill, completion rates, retention, and offer-acceptance ratios.

54553976 - two female colleagues working together in office

4) Alignment – Member firms ensure the leadership, assessments, workshops, and training solutions they deliver are in the best interests of the client.

5) Due Diligence – Members conduct assessments, reference audits, and background checks before presenting finalist candidates, to screen out all but A Players.

6) Transparency – Member firms present opportunities and candidates accurately, including strengths and weaknesses, to facilitate matches that last.

7) Persistence – Member firms follow through on each engagement until its completion, without time limitation.

8) True Search – Member firms commit to thoroughly canvas the market, surface and present talent NOT on the radar screen of the search community at large.

9) Alignment – Member firms will assess candidates to ensure cultural fit and the ability to deliver on specific strategic and tactical performance expectations.

Meet Our Founder

Rob Andrews built Allen Austin, an executive search and leadership advisory firm with global reach, from the ground up. He founded the firm in 1996, when the principals of his previous firm, for whom he served as Executive Vice President and General Manager, said he was just a misguided young man, for believing that retained search was more than just filling seats in a vacuum and that its practitioners had a responsibility to do everything in their power to facilitate matches that would actually work and last for both parties. From the beginning, Allen Austin has been committed to the relentless pursuit of outstanding client service.

After practicing as a consulting professional for over thirty years,  and serving on some of  the largest and most recognized professional associations, he realized an opportunity for a new organization, serving consulting professionals who aspire to highest levels of excellence in client service, and  who were willing to submit themselves to the highest possible professional practice standards and code of ethics on earth.

Rob Andrews

Rob Andrews

Founding Chairman of the Board

Based in Houston, Rob Andrews is Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Allen Austin, a leadership advisory and executive search firm. Rob leads Allen Austin’s global CEO, Consumer Packaged Goods & Durables Practice, and is also a member of the firm’s Leadership Advisory, Private Equity, Industrial and Marketing Officer practices. Building on his earlier career experience as an operating president with major convenience store and supermarket chains, Rob conducts searches for board members, CEO and senior officers across a broad range of sectors. He also helped design and helps deliver Allen Austin’s premier Leadership Institute, Organizational Review, Leadership Communications Dynamics, Culture Shaping and Extraordinary Service Leadership Program.

Rob’s passion is long lasting and meaningful relationships. Helping CEOs and boards drive revenues, cut costs, maximize the effectiveness of human and capital resources, and build enterprise value are hallmarks of his practice. Rob’s clients have run the gamut from $6 million privately held enterprises to $75+ billion publicly held multinational corporations, and include companies such as Safeway, 7-11, Maverik Markets, Sonic, Kroger, Sysco, PepsiCo, Kraft, Kmart, Tyson, Nestle, Lindsay Goldberg, Littlejohn and many more.

Prior to launching Allen Austin, Rob’s consulting experience included assignments as President of a national healthcare search firm, and EVP of two boutique generalist search firms. Rob is the author of High Performance Human Capital Leadership and a widely respected consultant focused on what can best be described as “reinventing the search and selection process.”

A former top-performing operator, Rob is a strategist, visionary, and human capital leadership aficionado and lends his passion for facilitating and building high performance teams to boards and CEOs worldwide. Rob has earned a reputation for being able to cause the good numbers to rise and the bad numbers to fall. His experience includes senior operating, marketing and administrative assignments with Kash n’ Karry Food Stores and National Convenience Stores with total P&L responsibility for enterprises with store count up to 516, revenues of up to $2.4 billion and headcount of 10,600. He also led major culture change, service excellence initiatives and major research in choreographing the customer’s shopping experience and extraordinary service excellence.

Rob completed an undergraduate degree in marketing and economics at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, while managing the southwestern division for NCS in 1991. He completed his graduate work in business at the University of Texas at Austin in 1996, and the Leading Professional Service Firms Program at Harvard Business School in 2007.

Next Step

Interested in taking part in this groundbreaking organization? Reach out today!