Communications consultancy Cognito adds three to New York office

10 August 2018

Cognito, a marketing and communications consultancy for the financial services industry, has appointed two new directors in the US: Dominic Leung and Rebecca Cooper.

Dominic Leung, who has been named Group Strategy Officer, will focus on developing positioning strategies for Cognito’s global client base. He specializes in helping companies – from large multinationals to small, disruptive challengers – access untapped market opportunities and maximize their existing assets. He joins Cognito from Interbrand and has experience working in Europe, the US, and Asia Pacific.

Rebecca Cooper has been appointed Director of Digital Strategy, also based in Cognito’s New York office. She is an expert in digital content strategy, providing counsel on the creation of paid, owned, earned and shared media. Cooper was previously a Vice President of Digital Strategy at Ketchum and has worked with global brands including JPMorgan Chase, eBay, H&R Block, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprises.Dominic Leung, Rebecca Cooper and Katie DillonCommenting on the two senior appointments, Cognito Founder and CEO Tom Coombes said: “Clients are increasingly seeking consulting for brand, digital, and content strategy to meet complex communications and marketing needs. We are therefore continuing to hire the best talent in the industry and bring experts with diverse, complementary experience together to help companies tell distinct stories confidently and creatively. We are delighted to see Dominic and Rebecca join our US team.”

Also strengthening Cognito’s New York office is Katie Dillon, who has been appointed Assistant Account Executive. She was a summer intern at Cognito last year and has, on the back of her performance, now joined the marketing and communications consultancy full time.

Cognito’s Americas business is led by Vivienne Hsu, who also heads the EMEA division. The firm, founded in 2000, has offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam.

The three appointments in the US come shortly after Cognito added three to its UK team (James Hannaford, Emma Martin, Kristy Howe), one to its Dutch team (Gwendolijn Kappen) and four to its APAC team (Maya Sivamany, Michelle Kwok Yai Lan, Abigail Peters and Andrew Kagoro).

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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