„Resilience and applied empathy - Let’s talk about future-oriented management capabilities.“

Marco Arcaini

Professional Experience

Marco Arcaini is a founding member of AltoPartners Germany. He has over two decades’ experience in this field with more than 600 executive searches to his credit.

An international education (Marco holds an MBA from the OU Business School, UK, and a Bachelor in Business Administration from Hofstra University, New York) steered Marco toward multinational consulting projects from a very early stage in his career.

Over the past two decades, he has successively built on this focus. Today, his client portfolio includes well-known companies from the Financial Services, Retail & Consumer Products and Energy & Sustainability sectors, whom he successfully advises on staffing at management level.

Marco specializes in Human Resources, Finance, Marketing and Technology across all sectors and accompanies the search and selection of executives for multinational corporations, their subsidiaries in Germany and abroad and medium-sized companies with an international orientation.

As an onboarding coach, Marco advises and accompanies all managers placed by him on the basis of a structured onboarding plan in a practice-oriented way during the preparation and positioning phase.


  • Apprenticeship as bank clerk
  • Bachelor of Business Administration at Hofstra University, New York, USA
  • 1998: Entry as junior consultant in the banking and financial services sector of a renowned personnel consulting firm
  • 2002: Involvement in the establishment of a personnel consultancy boutique
  • Part-time study for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the OU Business School, UK
  • 20 years professional experience as personnel consultant (since 2006 senior consultant) in the field of executive search
  • Operational control of over 700 search projects
  • Since 19 years successful direct control of search projects, since 8 years focus on executive positions
  • 7 years of practical experience in onboarding consulting
  • June 2011: Partner of executive consulting group (today AltoPartners Germany)
  • Since January 2015: Member of AltoPartners Executive Search Worldwide / AESC Member
  • February 2017: Founding member of AltoPartners Germany

Focus areas:

  • Financial Services
  • Private Equity
  • Energy & Sustainability
  • Industrials, Manufacturing, Infrastructure
  • Board Practice

Interview with Marco Arcaini

How did you get into personnel consulting?

Marco Arcaini: »I learned from scratch, as they say. After graduating, I joined a personnel consultancy, then completed my master’s degree part-time and gained practical experience at the same time. In doing so, I dealt intensively with the search process, which has stood me in excellent stead and as a result, today I have a wide set of tools at my disposal.«

Is it necessary today to be specialized?

Marco Arcaini: »Perhaps not necessary, but there are definite advantages to setting priorities. Today, I am able to familiarize myself with a wide variety of tasks and use my experience and methods to develop tailor-made solutions. Over the years, I have been guided by my needs and personal interests and now focus on the Financial Services, Retail & Consumer Products and Energy & Sustainability sectors. In addition, I specialize in the cross-sector functions of Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and Technology.«

Is this job more of a craft or an art?

Marco Arcaini: »I come from the skilled trades. You can be very structured, set up a search, define search fields and handle everything systematically. It works like clockwork. There are many customers who appreciate this approach very much. The art here is probably to muster empathy and to develop a sure feeling for who fits what position and will meet the requirements. Such decisions cannot be made mechanically, and require a high degree of empathy and intuition in addition to experience.«

How do you deal with change processes?

Marco Arcaini: »Change is part of life, everyone comes into contact with it every day. I accompany people in change processes and my aim is to offer them the best possible preparation and support. The key words here are information and openness. I inform my interlocutors very comprehensively and clearly, motivate them to ask questions, question and evaluate all facts and aspects precisely. This is the only way to form a solid basis for decision-making and achieve the security and courage to take the next steps.«

Tell us more about your onboarding consulting practice!

Marco Arcaini: »Well, onboarding consulting, which I have been practicing for many years, has been a matter close to my heart from the very beginning. We used to place managers and then somehow leave them to face the challenges and expectations of our clients. It was obvious, that with all the information and impressions we could gather in the course of the search, we could also prepare the managers in a structured way for their new task. That’s why I have been advising all placed managers since 2011, especially in the preparation and positioning phase.«

You have been a member of the AltoPartners Alliance since 2015. How does this affect your consulting services?

Marco Arcaini: »For us as a consulting group, joining this globally renowned alliance was a stroke of luck. We already had access to international search assignments, but it was limited to a few selected countries where we were able to carry out searches by co-operating with select partners that met our quality standards. That’s different now. With my 350 partner colleagues, we can now conduct complex searches in 35 countries if we wish to. Since its foundation in 2006, AltoPartners has successfully handled over 1,000 cross-border orders. In addition, we maintain an intensive exchange across all major sectors. The partners meet at regional and global level several times a year at specially organized workshops and conferences to analyze and discuss market developments and trends. Our Global Operating Committee specifically promotes the transfer of know-how and creates many friendships. In short, everyone benefits from each other and together we are stronger.«

How do you get new ideas?

Marco Arcaini: »When it comes to a complex task, I am in a position to “zero myself”, so to speak, to go deep inside. Then I usually find an immediate answer to the questions. Sometimes you have to sleep on it for a night. If you are able to relax and calm your thoughts, new possibilities arise, and you gain new ideas or a fresh understanding.«