About us

Signium is the second oldest Executive Search firm and a leader in providing services of Executive Search, Leadership Advisory, Corporate Operations, and Market Intelligence.

Signium has a global network of 39 offices strategically distributed in 30 countries (see map).

In Iberia, Signium has three offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon, with a team of more than 20 professionals, led by Ignacio Bao, who is Emeritus Chairman of the Board globally.

Signium is also one of the founders of the AESC (Association of Executive Search Consultants), the only global association in the sector, which helped to develop the Professional and Ethical Codes, still in force today.


Henry Wardwell Howell founded Ward Howell USA (today Signium) in 1951 in New York City as one of the first management-consulting firms focused solely on senior level executive search.

In 1979 the international company was founded and named Ward Howell International, Inc. as a subsidiary of Ward Howell USA.

In 1982 the name of the international company was changed to Ward Howell International Group, Inc. (also known as “WHIG”). At that time it remained as a subsidiary of Ward Howell USA.

In 1994 the company reorganized and became owned by the shareholders – the global member.

In 1998 the firm was renamed to Signium, maintaining its reputation as a leading company in the executive search sector.

Bao & Partners, founded in 2004 Spain by Ignacio Bao, was integrated in Signium International

In 2010 Bao & Partners announced its transition to the Signium brand.

Signium redesign its Corporate identity through a change of the name (from Signium International to Signium) and logo.

In 2017, the Portuguese firm Xara-Brasil | Proença de Carvalho was integrated into Signium, which allowed us to strengthen our presence in Portugal and work jointly with a team with more than 20 years of experience in Executive Search and Leadership Advisory Services.


Help companies to create the best teams and keep and develop talent.

Be recognized as the most trusted and credible Executive Search and Leadership Advisory firm in the market.


  • Passion for our clients: They drive us to work with enthusiasm every day.
  • Compromise with our team: Promoting collaboration and teamwork.
  • Trust: We fulfill our commitments to our clients.
  • Confidentiality: Maximum respect to our clients and candidates.
  • Innovation: We create and innovate services to be at the vanguard.
  • Diversity: We apply a policy of equal opportunities in all levels.