Korn/Ferry International Earnings Call Insights: Environment by Region and Global Novations

Korn/Ferry International (NYSE:KFY) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Environment by Region

Kevin McVeigh – Macquarie: Wanted to just get a sense – obviously it was a nice sequential uptick in new engagements we hadn’t seen that, in terms of strength it seems pretty encouraging. Just thoughts on the environment overall, and just if you could get specific by region, that would be helpful.

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Gary Burnison – CEO: Well, we were encouraged us as well. When we look at the flagship business we saw very good sequential growth in almost every region, except for Europe that continues to be obviously, continues to be a challenge but we were particularly hardened by what we saw in North America in the quarter. When we just think about the organization overall, certainly Financial Services, as you all know, has been deeply, deeply challenged over the last several years. But on the other hand, for us, Life Sciences and Healthcare where I believe we’ve just got an incredible opportunity across all the businesses showed real strength in the quarter. And also we saw strength in Financial Services in North America in the quarter.

Kevin McVeigh – Macquarie: Gary, has this been first sequential uptick in Financial Services since the downturn?

Gary Burnison – CEO: I can’t say that off the top of my head. I wouldn’t want to call that, but it was certainly encouraging. One quarter doesn’t make a trend, but it was encouraging.

Kevin McVeigh – Macquarie: Then just, if I could real quick, I mean, real nice job on the margins and that was obviously with some investment in Leadership & Talent Consulting and then, it looks like the corporate line was high too. As it normalizes, can we expect just continued margin expansion?

Gary Burnison – CEO: Well, we hope so. We’ve made a number of strategic investments and acquisitions over the past two or three years. What we really haven’t done is fully integrated the support areas. The front office, we’ve gone all out, but in terms of the support areas, there is opportunity there, and that’s what Bob is driving. We’re going to continue to work at that, putting in process and systems to be able to really drive scale in the Company, and hopefully efficiency as well…

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