Richard Lannamann's recent job change was a case of the head hunter head-hunting the head hunter.
Mr. Lannamann had been at Russell Reynolds Associates, New York, for 23 years when Thomas Neff, U.S. chairman of Spencer Stuart, New York, finally made him an offer he couldn't refuse: vice chairman.
Mr. Neff had approached Mr. Lannamann several times in the past decade. In November, the talks got serious. "At last, my age (54) and gray hair is an asset. They made me a very attractive offer," Mr. Lannamann said.
Mr. Lannamann was a securities analyst before and after business school and, briefly, a portfolio manager. Then Russell Reynolds offered him a job as global head of research, director of corporate communications and director of strategic planning. "I wasn't smart enough to know that the title had more words than I had people I would be supervising," Mr. Lannamann said.
After two years, he moved to executive recruiting, and over time built the company's investment management practice to one of the largest in the world. "I realized that doing searches was exciting, that I really liked doing them," Mr. Lannamann said.
He joined Spencer Stuart's global financial services practice in New York Feb. 20, and the hope is that some of Russell Reynolds' clients will move with him. "We're not in the business of trying to raid Russell Reynolds' clients, but we'll give them a run for the money," he said.
Elizabeth Pierpont Engstrom, who has worked with Mr. Lannamann since 1992 but left last year, also moved to Spencer Stuart, in the global financial services practice at the New York office.
Jane Pook, a spokeswoman for Russell Reynolds, said successors had not yet been named for Mr. Lannamann or Ms. Engstrom.