Korn Ferry 2Q17 Earnings Call Notes

Korn/Ferry’s (KFY) CEO Gary Burnison on Q2 2017 Results

Pick up after the election

” November, in Europe, we had our best month of new business in probably two years. Asia was also incredibly strong. And when you look at North America, we did see a pause around October 2015 or so. We saw pause in kind of the level of new business. And as Bob indicated, that seem to pick-up a little bit after the election. So, overall, if you were to look at North America in November — and the level of new business was essentially, it was almost flat with a year ago which was a very strong month. And the other thing that’s encouraging is that we’ve seen an uptick in energy. And energy is today about 6% of the portfolio. And prior to the transaction, energy was about 7%; it went down to 3, 3.5%. So that’s another good sign.”

Conversations are definitely more optimistic than in May and June

“Well, I think there is certainly — it’s hard to generalize. But I would say that the conversation is certainly more optimistic than it was in May and June, no doubt about that. Now, we’ll see if that turns into increasing levels of business in early calendar 2017.”

Bob Rozek

Mixed business trends

“Now, turning to new business trends. First, for Executive Search, on a global basis, monthly new business trends in the second quarter were mixed. We saw strong August and September followed by a weakening in October. At actual foreign exchange rates global Executive Search new business in the second quarter was down approximately 3% year-over-year but up approximately 7% sequentially.”

New business ramped after the date of the election

“To start the third quarter up through the date of the election, global November new business remained slow. But after the date of the election, we saw new business ramp up in both North America and in Europe. Globally, total new business in November finished up 2% year-over-year. If historical patterns remain consistent with prior years, December new business is expected to be seasonally weaker and should be followed by a stronger January.”