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Jay Gaines is President and CEO of Jay Gaines & Company. He founded the firm in 1982 and is widely respected as a leader in the executive search industry. He is recognized for his expertise and deep focus on client cultures and his rigorous approach to candidate assessment, aimed at optimizing the candidate-client match.

Those who have worked with Jay note his perception, his intense, probing methodology, and his straightforward, collaborative style. Insight, passion, and integrity in the partnering process are signature qualities of his work.

Jay’s career-long mission has been to constantly improve his assessment methodology. To this end, he dedicates several hours to meeting with each candidate, building an understanding of each person’s motivations and strengths.

Similarly, Jay probes into group and corporate culture with each client, constructing a precise pattern for the search strategy and the ideal candidate profile. He views each search as an opportunity to advance the client company’s mission.

As a result, his client and candidate relationships last decades. Clients have credited his guidance as being the most on-point in their search experience. One Principal at a Big Four consulting firm wrote that “he’s one of the few people in his business that I contact for advice.”

Jay Gaines’ work is client-centric and almost exclusively based on referral or repeat clients. He has had considerable impact shaping senior leadership teams and enjoys close, enduring partnerships with firms such as Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments, Vanguard, CalPERS and Prudential Financial.

His work spans all aspects of Information Technology, as well as operations, finance, security, audit, compliance, and controls.

Jay Gaines’ search coverage includes:

  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Presidents
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Chief Information Officers
  • Senior executive management within financial services, the information industry, software services, technology, and manufacturing
He is recognized in every major study of leading professionals in executive search. Citations and engagements include:
  • Who's Who in America
  • The Global 2000 Executive Recruiters (BusinessWeek)
  • John Sibbald's The Career Makers (consistently ranked first in information technology and among the top five in securities and commercial banking, as well as within several functional disciplines)
  • Dialogues with the Organizational Psychology department of Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal and interviewed on business programs such as CNBC
  • Served two terms on the Board of Directors and Americas Council of the Association for Executive Search Consultants
Jay received a B.A. in Psychology from George Washington University and an M.S. in Industrial Psychology from Columbia University.