Korn Ferry engages in the provision of global organizational consulting firm. It's solutions include organizational strategy, talent acquisition, rewards & benefits, assessment & succession and leadership development. The company helps organizations select and hire the talent they need to execute their strategy. Korn Ferry was founded by Richard M. Ferry on November 14, 1969 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
Consolidation in the industries that we serve could harm our business.
If we fail to attract and retain qualified and experienced consultants, our revenue could decline and our business could be harmed.
We may be limited in our ability to recruit candidates from our clients, and we could lose search opportunities to our competition, which could harm our business.
We incur substantial costs to hire and retain our professionals, and we expect these costs to continue and to grow.
If we are unable to retain our executive officers and key personnel or integrate new members of our senior management who are critical to our business, we may not be able to successfully manage our business in the future.
If we are unable to maintain our professional reputation and brand name, our business will be harmed.
As we develop new services, clients and practices, enter new lines of business, and focus more of our business on providing a full range of client solutions, the demands on our business and our operating risks may increase.
Our rebranding plan may take a significant amount of time, involve substantial costs and may not be favorably received by our clients.
We may not be able to align our cost structure with our revenue level, which in turn may require additional financing in the future that may not be available at all or may be available only on unfavorable terms.
Our financial results could suffer if we are unable to achieve or maintain adequate utilization and suitable billing rates for our consultants.
The profitability of our fixed-fee engagements with clients may not meet our expectations if we underestimate the cost of these engagements when pricing them.
Changes in our accounting estimates and assumptions could negatively affect our financial position and results of operations.
Foreign currency exchange rate risks may adversely affect our results of operations.
We have deferred tax assets that we may not be able to use under certain circumstances.
Our indebtedness could impair our financial condition and reduce funds available to us for other purposes and our failure to comply with the covenants contained in our debt instruments could result in an event of default that could adversely affect our operations and financial condition.
The expansion of social media platforms presents new risks and challenges that can cause damage to our brand and reputation.
Technological advances may significantly disrupt the labor market and weaken demand for human capital at a rapid rate.
Limited protection of our intellectual property could harm our business, and we face the risk that our services or products may infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others.
We have invested in specialized technology and other intellectual property for which we may fail to fully recover our investment, or which may become obsolete.
We rely heavily on our information systems and if we lose that technology, or fail to further develop our technology, our business could be harmed.
We are subject to risk as it relates to software that we license from third parties.
We are increasingly dependent on third parties for the execution of critical functions.
Cyber security vulnerabilities and incidents could lead to the improper disclosure of information obtained from our clients, candidates and employees that could result in liability and harm to our reputation.
Data security, data privacy and data protection laws, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), and other evolving regulations and cross-border data transfer restrictions, may limit the use of our services, increase our costs and adversely affect our business.
Acquisitions, or our inability to effect acquisitions, may have an adverse effect on our business.
We have provisions that make an acquisition of us more difficult and expensive.
We may not be able to successfully integrate or realize the expected benefits from our acquisitions.
Businesses we acquire may have liabilities or adverse operating issues which could harm our operating results.
As a result of our acquisitions, we have substantial amounts of goodwill and intangible assets, and changes in business conditions could cause these assets to become impaired, requiring write-downs that would adversely affect our operating results.
An impairment in the carrying value of goodwill and other intangible assets could negatively impact our consolidated results of operations and net worth.
We are a cyclical Company whose performance is tied to local and global economic conditions.
We face risks associated with social and political instability, legal requirements and economic conditions in our international operations.
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the E.U. may adversely impact our operations in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The interest rates under our Credit Agreement and related interest rate swap may be impacted by the phase-out of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”).
You may not receive the level of dividends provided for in the dividend policy our Board of Directors has adopted or any dividends at all.
Our dividend policy may limit our ability to pursue growth opportunities.
We may be subject to the actions of activist shareholders.
Our business could be disrupted as a result of actions of certain stockholders.
Our inability to successfully recover should we experience a disaster or other business continuity problem could cause material financial loss, loss of human capital, regulatory actions, reputational harm or legal liability.
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
This Annual Report on Form 10-K may contain certain statements that we believe are, or may be considered to be, “forward-looking” statements, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by use of statements that include phrases such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “foresee,” “may,” “will,” “likely,” “estimates,” “potential,” “continue” or other similar words or phrases. Similarly, statements that describe our objectives, plans or goals also are forward-looking statements. All of these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the relevant forward-looking statement. The principal risk factors that could cause actual performance and future actions to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, changes in demand for our services as a result of automation, dependence on attracting and retaining qualified and experienced consultants, maintaining our relationships with customers and suppliers and retaining key employees, maintaining our brand name and professional reputation, the expected timing of the consummation of the Plan, the impact of the rebranding on the Company’s products and services, the costs of the Plan, potential legal liability and regulatory developments, portability of client relationships, global and local political or economic developments in or affecting countries where we have operations, currency fluctuations in our international operations, risks related to growth, restrictions imposed by off-limits agreements, competition, consolidation in industries, reliance on information processing systems, cyber security vulnerabilities, changes to data security, data privacy, and data protection laws, limited protection of our intellectual property (“IP”), our ability to enhance and develop new technology, our ability to successfully recover from a disaster or business continuity problems, employment liability risk, an impairment in the carrying value of goodwill and other intangible assets, the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) and other future changes in tax laws, treaties, or regulations on our business and our company, deferred tax assets that we may not be able to use, our ability to develop new products and services, the impact of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, changes in our accounting estimates and assumptions, alignment of our cost structure, the utilization and billing rates of our consultants, seasonality, the phase-out of LIBOR, and the matters disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Exchange Act reports, including Item 1A included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are made only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and we undertake no obligation to publicly update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
Korn Ferry (referred to herein as the “Company” or in the first person notations “we,” “our,” and “us”) is a global organizational consulting firm. We currently operate through three global segments: Executive Search, Korn Ferry Advisory (Advisory) and Korn Ferry RPO and Professional Search (“RPO & Professional Search”). Executive Search focuses on recruiting board level, chief executive and other senior executive and general management positions, in addition to research-based interviewing and assessment solutions, for clients predominantly in the consumer goods, financial services, industrial, life sciences/healthcare and technology industries. Our Advisory segment assists clients to synchronize strategy and talent by addressing four fundamental needs: Organizational Strategy, Assessment and Succession, Leadership Development, and Rewards and Benefits, all underpinned by a comprehensive array of world-leading intellectual property, products and tools. RPO & Professional Search uses data-backed insight and IP, matched with strategic collaboration and innovative technology, to meet people challenges head-on—and succeed. Solutions span all aspects of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (“RPO”), Professional Search and Project Recruitment. We also operate a Corporate segment to record global expenses of the Company.