David Smith

Toronto’s Top Executive Recruiter

Executive Search Experience You Can Trust

David came by the recruiting business naturally – both for Advertising & Marketing as well as Executive searches. That’s because early in his career, he himself was the subject of many a recruiting effort. It all began on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus where he was completing his HBA. The recruiter was Procter and Gamble, and their pitch proved successful: David started working for them the day after he graduated. It was a fortuitous beginning. P&G was committed to training and development and David readily absorbed his schooling in the art of marketing. Not a day goes by when David does not apply that learning and disciplined approach to his Executive Search business.

Although “recruited” on campus, it was at P&G that David had his first real exposure to headhunters, or search consultants, as they’re referred to in polite society. An Executive Recruiter placed David at a WPP advertising agency, where he worked on blue-chip brands such as Foster’s Beer, Foster’s Light, Mars Bar, M&M’s, Miller Lite, Snickers Bar and Uncle Ben’s Rice. David had the good fortune of being part of the team that created the original M&M characters, developed in Toronto but now loved around the world. Another  one of his early successes happened with the Foster’s Light launch in Canada. A key part of the launch was writing and recording of “Common Man’s Anthem”, Conceived as a commercial jingle, the tune turned out so well and proved so popular that is was released as a single and became a top 50 song.

The popularity and success of “Common Man’s Anthem” brought attention to David, and led to him being “poached” by yet another WPP agency. Over the next six years, David worked on Blue Light, Dristan, Ford, Keith’s, Labatt’s Lite, Lincoln, Schooner and Xerox.

One day, another headhunter came along and brought David onto what was Canada’s largest retail agency at the time, David thrived and quickly became an equity partner. He gained valuable experience going through the process of selling the agency to an IPG company.  After completing his management contract, David joined a leading marketing services company as President.  David’s experience base expanded greatly when the company broadened its offering by building a direct marketing company, buying 18 companies on three continents and going public on the TSX. During this time, David fulfilled a personal goal of being asked to join The Young President’s Organization, to deepen his general management expertise and grow his network.

Having benefited from the opportunities granted to him by so many recruiters over the years, it is perhaps not surprising that David developed such a keen interest in recruiting himself. He eventually joined what was then Canada’s leading recruitment firm as a consultant. Discovering he had natural gift for executive searches, he set what remains, to this day, the sales record for a first year recruiter. This success led to David’s rapid promotion and a partnership stake. For the next 12 years, David led the Creative, PR, Digital, HR and Media practices, and acted as both Managing Partner of the firm’s contingency recruiting arm – and Managing Director of the company’s outplacement firm.



Over the years David has contributed to the industry in ways that fall outside of the duties of his “day job”. For instance, in partnership with Marketing Magazine, David conceptualized and executed the first “30 to Watch.” Again with Marketing Magazine, David put together a panel of headhunters to provide real salary information, a feature that continues today.  In late 2015, The Miami Ad School in Toronto asked David to put together an advisory board of 50 of the top communications leaders. As he does so often in the pursuit of just the right candidates, David turned to his unparalleled network to put together the inaugural Miami Ad School Advisory Board: A “who’s, who” in the Canadian industry.

David is a celebrated small business expert. He served on the Toronto Business Development Centre, Toronto’s small business incubator, for more than 10 years, first as a board memeber, then as President, and finally as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Under David’s leadership, the centre became a shining light in the North American Incubator Industry, winning the 2006 Best Incubator award.  David was also nominated for the Order of Ontario. The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario presented David with the award on behalf of the people of Ontario.


Contact David Smith today.

Call 416-500-4380 or fill out the form at the top right of the page.

Contact David