About Author

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Kathy Graham is a human capital and finance specialist who owns four companies that revolve around retained executive search and career development for professionals.  The word “revolve” is important because these four firms, The HQ Companies, Inc., create a virtuous circle.

HQ Search, Inc., the oldest firm and active since 1997, is a retained search firm for finance professionals that’s known for fast thorough searches that deliver successful perfect fit professionals.  In fact, give Kathy 100 days and she’ll have candidates with all the desired qualifications usually within the first few weeks.  Kathy’s most recent searches include:

  • A CFO for a U.S. publicly held company that’s an industry leader:  In a global search, Kathy identified the best prospects, then successfully recruited 12 candidates with all the desired attributes—with the first two candidates delivered within the first week of the search.  Base compensation for this position ranged from $200k to $600k.
  •  A growth portfolio manager for a top tier money management firm:  In a national search, Kathy identified first quartile ranking managers in that strategy, then successfully recruited 10 candidates with all the desired attributes.  In fact, the professional who accepted the position was presented within the first week that she started the search.  Base compensation for this position ranged from $400k to $800k.

In 2006, Kathy founded the other three HQ companies to provide the additional services that organizations and individual professionals need to grow their endeavors.

HQ Seminars, Inc. offers workshops and keynote speeches that educate while entertaining professionals regarding the various phases of career development.  Some programs of note are:

  • “Creating a Social Story:” an interactive multi-media workshop where the impact of a professional’s fiduciary, regulatory, seniority, and target audience profile on his/her blog, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube is analyzed, which results in attendees creating their best social stories using the most relevant online media in the least amount of time and with the most positive career outcomes.
  • “Career Strategies for You:” a highly-rated career development workshop given at numerous top-tier universities and business associations across the U.S. to audiences ranging from 50 to 200 attendees.

HQ Scripts, Inc. is a micro-publishing house for books and articles that advance the career potential of current and future professionals.  Kathy created this firm to ensure that what she published would be profitable, durable, and well-crafted.  HQ Scripts also prints her free e-zine, HQ Financial Views, which, in addition to interesting articles, publishes Kathy’s annual economic and job forecast that for the last 10 years has been completely accurate.

HQ Services, Inc. provides compensation studies, research, and career enhancement services to institutional and retail clients.  For example, Kathy:

  • Recently researched, then recommended to a prestigious family office an effective compensation package for their asset manager when changes caused by the Dodd-Frank legislation necessitated a modification in their payment process.
  • Constructed the career development program called Your Career Campaign™.  Since its launch in January 2009, this group of services has achieved over an 80% success rate in Kathy’s clients securing their next ideal career position, with individuals receiving raises since May 2011.
  • One person even doubled her previous compensation after three years of unemployment and another person whose last position was in residential real estate accepted a multi-million dollar offer.

Academically, Kathy earned a BBA in Marketing from North Central College and an MBA in Analytical Finance, Econometrics, Finance, and Statistics from The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

She is a Director and Career Chair on The University of Chicago’s Alumni Club of Chicago Board of Directors, the Chair and Partner for the At the Workplace Initiative for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Money Smart Week, and is active in numerous other notable organizations.  Truly, Kathy’s tag line describes her well, as a person who:

Connects companies with successful professionals who stay and grow
Connects professionals with career enhancing strategies
And crafts smart financial choices for both.


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