Our history

When Horst Will founded ifp in 1964, he was one of the pioneers of a young, emerging industry. A lot has happened since then and today we are one of the leading providers of consulting services in Germany. We would be pleased to give you an insight into our company history.

The Company's Founding

An executive manager is successful not only because of his professional expertise, but his personality often also plays a larger part. Horst Will founded ifp on this principle in December 1964, aiming to guide businesses professionally in their search for and selection of executives. He was a pioneer in an industry that was still in its infancy. Today, more than 50 years later, very few of his contemporaries are still active in the market.

From the beginning Horst Will knew clearly that he wanted to go beyond the pure service of searching for candidates and instead provide a special level of support in the assessment of executives. He was convinced that personality is a key factor in determining success. At ifp a high quality assessment process, combined with the implementation of valid aptitude diagnostic methods, was developed. This approach to consulting has been continuously refined and has become ifp's trademark.

New Challenges

Throughout the years, our consultants have been challenged by some very unusual tasks. In the 70s, when we were assisting in developing a recruitment strategy for the police, an ifp consultant accompanied officers on their nightly operations. Another example was in 1986 when we were commissioned to offer advice in the selection of the astronauts for the D2-Mission. Resulting expansion has led to the creation of a Partner Level and the number of partners has increased over the decades.

Focus on Executive Search

Initially, advertisements for executives were placed in the media. During the 1980s ifp developed a systematic approach, researching, then contacting executives directly and recommending them to clients. Today, Executive Search constitutes a main area of our consulting services. Simultaneously, our first sector teams for the insurance industry, also for banks, building and loan associations were established leading to our position in the market today.

IFP is going International

The advent of more international clients has made greater demands on our
consultancy services. Since 1990, to enable us to search for and locate highly qualified candidates in other countries, ifp began developing a network of comparable Executive Search companies. Today we have access to more than thirty markets within and beyond Europe. We support our clients in appointing key positions abroad, also in selecting international managers.

We have expanded to include additional business sectors which have subsequently been formed into teams. Clients and candidates value our sector experience, also our long standing contacts with key players and decision makers in the respective segments.

A New Generation

Jörg Will acquired his father's (Horst Will’s) share in the firm and assumed control of the consulting company.

Foundation of Management Diagnostics

Since the 70s, ifp has been supporting its clients in both assessment and development of managers. However, in 2001, the volume of work generated by our success motivated us to subdivide these services to create another autonomous business area – Management Diagnostics.

Its focus is on consulting processes regarding the identification, assessment and retention of top performers within a company. High achievement within this area led to its becoming a separate legally independent unit next to Executive Search. This enables the two units to consider the clients’ needs respectively, alongside each other.

Expansion of Executive Search

Executive Search continued to expand which led to the creation of additional specialised sectors. Today, our eight sector teams can assure clients that they possess an in depth understanding of the requirements in their respective areas and have a systematic network.

Anniversary Year

ifp celebrated its 50th anniversary.


ifp is considered to be one of the leading service providers in Germany, both in the business division Executive Search and in Management Diagnostics. We employ about one hundred people and advise clients in Germany and abroad.

In the Management Diagnostics business unit, there will be a re-alignment at the top of the management line. Rainer Bäcker withdraws from the operative business and we strengthen our team with two new partners, Christiane Diefenbach and Dr. Saskia-Maria Weh. Together with Kristina Jansen, they form the new top management of Management Diagnostics.