EDD recruitment

When recruiting, senior EDD consultants look for candidates with a good scientific background. “From experience with our specialist team we found that we need a basic scientific training on which to build our approach to EDD,” says David Hockin. “Across the team we want to be sure to have chemical engineers, chemists, geologists, occupational health specialists, regulatory specialists,” adds John Simonson of ERM.

Commercial experience, especially in corporate finance, is equally important. “You need commercially focused people with good environmental credentials. We need people who know the right time to address a question when all the people involved in a deal are sitting together,” says Jim Finnamore.

As all major consultancies expand their business to offer their clients global capabilities, language skills and familiarity with local regulations are increasingly important. Being able to look at activities worldwide is an aspect Advent International considers carefully when appointing an EDD consultant. “Chemicals do not ship well because of the risks involved with transportation and therefore they are manufactured in local plants. The same consultant should be able to assess plants in North America, Europe and the Far East,” says Ron Sheldon.

Consultants have to be familiar with local regulations, be able to assess the whole basket of exposures in a unified risk assessment procedure and have experience of big cross-border transactions. But these skills are not easily available on the job market, forcing consultancies to provide constant in-house training and also to encourage their employees to move around within the same company. Recruiting, therefore, is seen as a long-term process with a good deal of resources dedicated to in-house training. “Over the last two years we internally trained on M&A 400 people,” says John Simonson. Some firms, such as ERM, also tend to bring in students for summer internships.