Management consultancy Ankura changes up senior leadership

08 August 2018

Amid a strong year of inorganic growth, management consulting firm Ankura has made three new appointments to its leadership team. Ben Seto has been appointed Chief Financial Officer; Gina Ciavarro has been promoted to Chief Information Security Officer; and Angela L. Cinefro has been selected as Ankura’s Chief People Officer.

Founded in 2014, Ankura Consulting Group has expanded rapidly over the past four years. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the consulting firm already has 14 offices across the United States. Ankura provides advisory services in the areas of restructuring, investigations, forensic accounting, dispute and litigation, transactions, and valuation, among others.

Buoyed by $100 million of development capital from Madison Dearborn, earlier this year Ankura purchased the Disputes, Forensics and Legal Technology (DFLT) and Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) divisions of Navigant Consulting, as well as Nashville-based management consultancy c3/consulting.

Amid the management consultancy’s strong M&A-driven growth, Ankura has made a raft of new appointments to its senior leadership team in the last couple of weeks. Ben Seto has been named Chief Financial Officer, while Gina Ciavarro was named Chief Information Security Officer. Additionally, Angela L. Cinefro was selected as Chief People Officer.

Management consultancy Ankura changes up senior leadership

Ben Seto – Chief Financial Officer

Ben Seto joins Ankura from Avendra – a leading hospitality sector procurement services firm – where he was vice president and CFO. As Ankura CFO, Seto will leverage his more than 25 years’ experience in strategy, finance, and M&A to support the firm’s financial performance and help build it into a unique global advisory firm.

“As we enhance our capabilities to serve clients globally, it is important that we have outstanding financial and operational leadership on our team, ensuring we have the financial and operations structure to support our growth and ability to provide comprehensive and customized expertise across a wide array of issues, industries, and disciplines,” commented Ankura CEO Roger Carlile.

“Ben brings a collaborative nature and client-centric outlook that – coupled with his strong business acumen, extensive international experience, and depth of experience in M&A and the integration of new businesses – will be an invaluable asset to our firm, its people, and its clients.”

Before Avendra – where he aided in the firm’s strategic sale to Aramark for $1.35 billion – Seto worked at international power firm AES Corporation, where he oversaw country and regional finances. He started his career in finance in the consumer products industry, working at Haagen Dazs and Philip Morris USA. Seto holds an MBA and BA from the University of Rochester.

Gina Ciavarro - Chief Information Security Officer

Ciavarro brings nearly a decade of experience in information security and governance to her new role as Ankura CISO. Before her promotion, she served as the leader of information security program development and compliance initiatives for one of Ankura’s largest clients. In the role, she helped bring custom solutions to reinforce security systems and meet regulatory compliance.

“As a recognized expert in IT security, Gina is a perfect fit for the role of Chief Information Security Officer,” said Ankura’s Chief Information Officer. “She brings real-world security management experience and a consulting mindset to the role, which will allow her to approach issues from numerous perspectives and deliver valuable business and technology outcomes for Ankura and our clients.”

Prior to joining Ankura, Ciavarro was a principal consultant at Symantec, where she helped large, multi-national clients solve complex data protection and governance issues. She has also worked as a security consultant for firms in retail and technology, among other industries. Ciavarro holds a BA in Management Information Systems from Ohio University, and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

Angela L. Cinefro – Chief People Officer

Cinefro joins Ankura from data-focused consultancy Clarity Insights, where she served as Chief Operation Officer, and Chief People Officer before that. She brings with her more than two decades of expertise in strategy, scaling businesses, and performance driven via human capital.

“Ankura has undergone a period of significant growth these past two years, and as we look to further enhance our presence and capabilities, our talent will be the foundation that assures we are able to continue to deliver the high-quality services and expertise our clients have come to expect from Ankura,” remarked Philip Daddona, Co-President at Ankura. “Angela brings decades of experience in combining business and strategy with employee development and advocacy to enable culture and client success.”

Before Clarity Insights, Cinefro served as Chief Human Resources Officer at MedExpress and Operations Vice President of Business Solutions at HP. Prior to that, she also was Chief People Officer at Knightsbridge Solutions. Cinefro has also held leadership positions at IBM and PwC. Cinefro holds a BA in Communications from Michigan State University.


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Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO

18 April 2019

London-based global leadership consultancy YSC has appointed Eric Pliner as its new CEO, replacing Robert Sharrock, who held the role for five years. Pliner, previously the firm’s Americas leader, will remain based in New York City.

For 30 years, YSC Consulting has been providing leadership advisory services to clients across a wide range of industries. The firm provides services in the areas of leadership strategy, performance, research, and analytics. YSC also has offerings in organizational leadership and CEO & board advisory. The firm’s approach is grounded in the behavioral sciences, allowing clients to better align business strategy and leadership.

In 2017, Graphite Capital complete a private equity investment in the firm, which has allowed YSC to continue its rapid expansion across the globe. Today, the firm has 19 offices across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions, staffed by 225 professionals with backgrounds in clinical psychology and organizational behavior, among other areas.

YSC’s incumbent CEO, Robert Sharrock, will now move into the roles of managing director of YSC’s board and CEO of the advisory practice. Sharrock had previously indicated that he would move into a client-facing role following one year of results after the private equity infusion.Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO


 “Having achieved the goals we established as a business during my tenure, I look forward to fully devoting my time to the client service areas of the business I find most rewarding, which is working directly with board members and CEOs,” Sharrock said. “I will also be offering my unreserved support to Eric and our global team as we continue to expand our distinctive business around the world.”

Eric Pliner, who has been with the firm since 2010, will step into the role of CEO. An expert in organizational behavior, talent management, and development, Pliner joined the firm as a senior consultant, working his way up to managing director and head of YSC Americas in 2014.

Prior to joining YSC, Pliner was director of organizational talent management & development at the NYC Department of Education, and was an adjunct instructor in the curriculum & teaching department at Hunter College in New York. He holds an MBA in management, organizational behavior, and human resources from the City University of New York – Baruch College.

“Robert has successfully led the business through five years of sustained growth and shaped the brand into a premier global leadership consultancy,” Pliner said. “I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead this iconic firm as we continue to serve world-class organisations in understanding and developing the critical leadership to achieve their future business strategies.

“Whether through individual executive assessment, pre-deal due diligence and post-deal integration for private equity transactions, design and execution of inclusive leadership and diversity strategy, coaching for senior executives and teams, resilient change leadership, and more, YSC’s global services are and will remain distinctive, characterful, and best-in-class,” he added.

Related: Ohio-based consultancy Change 4 Growth launches UK office