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Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Feb 22, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Korn Ferry Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] We have also made available in the Investor Relations section of our website at kornferry.com a copy of the financial presentation that we will be reviewing with you today.

Before I turn the call over to Mr. Gary Burnison, let me first read a cautionary statement to investors. Certain statements made in the call today, such as those relating to the future performance, plans and goals constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although the company believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. Actual results in future periods may differ materially from those currently expected or desired because of a number of risks and uncertainties, which are beyond the company's control. Additional information concerning such risks and uncertainties can be found in the release relating to this presentation and in the periodic and other reports filed by the company with the SEC, including the company's Annual Report for fiscal year 2020 in the company's soon to be filed quarterly report for the quarter ended January 31, 2021.

Also some of the comments today may reference non-GAAP financial measures such as constant currency amounts, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA. Additional information concerning these measures, including reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure is contained in the financial presentation and earnings release relating to this call, both of which are posted in the Investor Relations section of the company's website at www.kornferry.com.

With that I will turn the call over to Mr. Burnison. Sir, the floor is yours.

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you, Steve, and hello everybody. Welcome to our third quarter earnings call. This is the first call of the calendar year and before we talk about where we're going, I want to step back for a moment and discuss just how far we've come. It was almost a year ago, the great uncertainty filled the world, and I predicted that we would see more change in sealing two years than in the past 10. And as a leading global organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry is now right at the center of that stage.

During this time, our colleagues have shown incredible resilience. Resiliency in purpose, resiliency in hope and resiliency in serving our clients. And the success is deeply rooted in our vision, our values, how we see the world, how the world sees us and how we've been translating all of this into executing our strategy. To fulfill our vision and position our company for accelerated growth in long-term success, we focused on a few key strategic pillars. We're driving an integrated solutions based go-to-market approach that facilitates growth and enduring partnerships with our marquee and regional accounts that are central to more scalable and durable revenues. We continue to advance Korn Ferry as the premier career destination to attract and retain top talent. In the last two quarters, we've brought on about 70 senior commercial colleagues to strengthen our bench of talent across the globe. And as we look forward, we're focused on opportunities that will strengthen our solutions and create shareholder value. The focused execution of our strategy has transformed our business into a more efficient profitable, growth-oriented organization. We are far less economically cyclical today than in any point in our history. The time to recovery much shorter. The trajectory of the recovery much stable. Our revenues more visible and scalable. Our client solutions more impactful. Our people is the absolute best in the industry and our data and IT, it's deep, rich and absolutely best-in-class.

An important part of what differentiates us is we're the only consulting firm to combine Org strategy, leadership and professional development, assessment and succession, rewards and talent acquisition, and we're taking integrated approach across these categories to help clients execute on their strategy in a increasingly digitally enabled world. Underpinning all of our offerings and solutions is our world-class IT, putting us in an unparallel position of strength. As I think about it, we've got more than seven decades of experience data and innovation. At the end of the third quarter we hold rewards data for over 20 million people, over 70 million assessments have been taken. We've got organizational benchmark data on 12,000 entities. We have 3,900 individual success profiles covering almost 30,000 job titles. Our proprietary recruiting AI tool has compiled more than 550 million profiles of potential candidates across the globe. Every year we train and develop nearly 1 million professionals.

And certainly last but not least each business hour we place a candidate in a new job every three minutes. The best way to demonstrate all this goes through our performance. During this last quarter our third fiscal quarter, we delivered results that were substantially higher than in prior cycles. Our business rebounded dramatically. Revenue was up 9% sequentially to $475 million and our earnings and profitability reached record highs with about $97 million of adjusted EBITDA and a little over a 20% adjusted EBITDA margin. And the sharp improvement that we saw in fee revenue in our fiscal second quarter continued in the third. And it just -- it doesn't just reflect improved global market conditions, these results are directly attributable to our strategy, and I'd like to share a few proof points from the quarter that highlights how far our long-term strategy is taking hold.

Our diversified business exhibited more resilience now than in the great recession. Back then, our fee revenue in the quarter immediately following the peak quarter was down approximately 43%, two quarters out it was still down 32%. Now if we fast forward a few years and look at the COVID-19 recession, the decline in fee revenue from the peak quarter was only 16%, in two quarters out, we're only down 8%, that's a substantial improvement from the great recession. When looking more closely at our go-to-market strategy, we are seeing measurable progress in selling subscription-based solutions in our digital business. Year-to-date subscription base fee revenue grew 27% while our third quarter new business that was subscription based was up a 123% year-over-year and almost 48% sequentially. And we're also, as we've talked about, we're continuing to see success in capturing larger consulting engagements, we would classify those that have a value of $500,000 or more and these engagements are absolutely driven by our integrated solution strategy that provide us with more enduring client relationships of scale. Year-to-date large new business consulting engagements were up 23%. And these large engagements are also driving a growing backlog of 24% year-over-year which obviously enhances revenue visibility and durability.

As I mentioned earlier, our marquee and regional account programs continue to deliver less cyclical, more resilient new business in revenue than the rest of the portfolio. In the third quarter, our marquee and regional account fee revenue declined only 2% year-over-year, while the rest of the portfolio was down about 11% and on a year-to-date basis, our marquee and regional accounts, they've have been relatively aggressive. It's up 1% year-over-year, while the rest of the portfolio declined 13%. And our cross line of business referrals again validates our strategy. it is about three years ago, our cross referrals were about 15% of our portfolio. Today that number stands at 26%. We're proud of what we've accomplished and how we've continued to extend, elevate and recast the Korn Ferry brand, both externally and for our colleagues. Our brand absolutely embodies the way the world sees us, understands us and wants to be a part of what we're doing. We've never been more committed to helping people exceed their potential with an abundance of opportunity. We're changing people's lives. The work of our D&I practice is absolutely breaking barriers, which is one of the top areas of focus for our clients and we're the leader in that area.

I'm also very proud of the launch of Leadership U for humanity, a non-profit venture of the Korn Ferry charitable foundation, focused on developing the total mosaic inside communities and within corporations. Our long-term goal is to take our expertise in IP and develop 1 million new leaders from diverse backgrounds using our Korn Ferry Advance and Leadership U platforms. I've always said that it's our people first, clients next and everything else will follow. That's why we're also offering Leadership U for Korn Ferry to develop our own colleagues from all backgrounds, providing them with opportunities to grow in advance. It's this commitment and focus that made Korn Ferry a career destination, accelerating the development colleagues across the firm. No doubt the pandemic has caused seismic changes in society and in business. Different work is absolutely getting done and that work is getting done differently and Korn Ferry is at the center of that transformation. We know that problems are never solved in the absence of people. Solutions will only emerge by cultivating a workforce that is diverse, collaborative and motivated.

Looking ahead, it's about leveraging our data and IP, delivering larger more impactful consulting engagements, addressing the mega-trends that are reshaping the corporate landscape and driving accelerated revenue growth for the firm. I truly feel we have the right focus, with the right people, at the right time to accelerate through the turn. In calendar 2021, we will continue our commitment to build the pre-eminent global organizational consultancy.

I look forward to what the year brings us and I'm going to turn the call over to Bob Rozek who is joining us, as well as Gregg Kvochak. Bob?

Robert Rozek -- Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer

Great. Thanks, Gary, and good afternoon and good morning everybody. As Gary said, we're very proud of our third quarter results. We view them as a testament to the efforts of our Korn Ferry colleagues. They also represent validation that we have successfully transformed into a less cyclical firm with more resilient and durable based fee revenue that will generate more sustainable, scalable earnings.

Gary made reference to mega-trends that are changing the corporate landscape items like accelerating digital transformation driven by the pandemic, calls for long overdue social change and increased corporate emphasis on ESG issues. Our comprehensive set of solutions informed by a deep rich collection of data in intellectual property are highly relevant and aligned to help our clients needs in each of these areas. And importantly, they serve as a real point of differentiation for Korn Ferry.

Now let me turn to some of our third quarter results. As Gary mentioned, fee revenue in the third quarter was $475 million. Now, that growth was broad based with fee revenue improving sequentially for the second consecutive quarter in each of our business units. Additionally, fee revenue growth in the third quarter, this is measured year-over-year, was up 7% for RPO. It was flat for North American executive search, which is actually seeing business activity back at pre-pandemic levels. We also saw a substantial improvement in Consulting and that was only down 3% year-over-year, and in Professional Search, that was only down 2% year-over-year.

More importantly, earnings and profitability surged to record highs in the quarter. Our adjusted EBITDA grew $31 million or 46% sequentially to $97 million and our adjusted EBITDA margin improved 510 basis points to 20.3%. Adjusted fully diluted earnings per share also reached a record level in the third quarter, improving to $0.95, now that was up $0.41 or 76% sequentially and up $0.20 or 27% year-over-year. Now, it's important to note that full employee salaries have been reinstated effective January 1, 2021. In addition, we booked accruals for November and December to pay all employees their full salaries for both of these months. So similar to the second quarter, our cost structure in the third quarter reflects 100% of all employees compensation costs.

Now let me turn to new business, that also continue to improve in the third quarter. On a consolidated basis, our new business awards excluding RPO were down only 1% year-over-year. On a sequential basis, the new business growth in the third quarter also showed broad-based improvement. Consulting was up 8%, digital was up 14%, executive search was up 8% and professional search was up 31%. Our balance sheet and liquidity remained very strong. At the end of the third quarter, our cash and marketable securities totaled $897 million. Now, if you exclude amounts reserved for deferred comp and accrued bonuses, our investable cash balance at the end of the third quarter was approximately $534 million, which is up $73 million sequentially and up $112 million year-over-year. Our balance sheet strength is due in large part to the steps we took in late 2019 to refinance our debt with long tenured public debt securities and we also restructured our credit facility in anticipation of a potential downturn. And we did that because we wanted to position ourselves to be able to weather the storm and invest into the recovery. Now to date, obviously, we have successfully managed in the depth at our business to the changing environment and we are now investing back into the recovery, as Gary mentioned by hiring 70 senior commercial colleagues over the past two quarters.

So with that, I'm going to turn the call over to Gregg, who will review our operating segments in more detail.

Gregg Kvochak -- Senior Vice President, Finance, Treasury, Tax and Investor Relations

Thanks, Bob. Starting with our digital segment. Global fee revenue for KF Digital was $76 million in the third quarter. Consistent with the second quarter, the subscription and licensing component of KF Digital fee revenue in the third quarter was $23 million. Global new business in the third quarter for the Digital segment grew 14% sequentially to $100 million, the best quarter of new business since the beginning of the COVID recession. Additionally, 43% of new business in the third quarter was subscriptions and licenses, which is the highest portion of any quarter to date. Adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter for KF Digital was up $4 million sequentially to $27.1 million with a 35.8% adjusted EBITDA margin.

Now turning to Consulting. In the third quarter, Consulting generated $136.3 million of fee revenue, which is up approximately $9.5 million or 8% sequentially and down only 3% measured year-over-year. Growth in each of our solution areas improved in the third quarter, enhanced by our virtual delivery capabilities. Consulting new business also improved in the third quarter. Sequentially global new business was up 8% with growth in every region. Adjusted EBITDA for Consulting in the third quarter was up $7.3 million sequentially to $27.5 million with adjusted EBITDA margin of 20.2%.

RPO and Professional Search global fee revenue improved to $95.2 million in the third quarter, which is up 11% sequentially and up 4% year-over-year. RPO fee revenue was up approximately 4% sequentially and professional search fee revenue was up approximately 24% sequentially. As previously mentioned, measured year-over-year, RPO fee revenue was up 7% in the third quarter. With regards to new business, in the third quarter, professional search was up 31% sequentially and RPO was awarded another $44 million of new contracts, consisting of $12 million of renewals and extensions and $32 million of new logo work. Adjusted EBITDA for RPO and Professional Search in the third quarter was up approximately $5.8 million sequentially to $19.6 million with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 20.6%.

Finally for executive search, global fee revenue in the third quarter was $168 million, up $20 million or 14% sequentially with growth in every region. Sequentially, North America was up approximately 16%, while EMEA and APAC were up approximately 14% and 4% respectively. The total number of dedicated executive search consultants worldwide at the end of the third quarter was 522 which was up 10 sequentially. Annualized fee revenue production per consultant in the third quarter improved to $1.3 million and the number of new search assignments opened worldwide in the third quarter was 1,300. In the third quarter adjusted EBITDA grew approximately $13.4 million sequentially to $41.7 million with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 24.8%.

Now I'm going to turn the call back over to Bob to discuss our outlook for the fiscal fourth quarter.

Robert Rozek -- Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer

Great. Thanks, Gregg. Over the past two quarters, the volatility challenged our visibility into monthly new business activity has subsided. In addition, the global business environment appears to be becoming more stable. We're now in a position to identify trends and how it will impact our business and as a result of that we've decided to reinstate guidance. Historically, the fourth quarter has been our strongest quarter in any fiscal year. If current new business activity continues in the normal seasonal patterns hold, we expect that new business in our fourth quarter will remain pretty strong. Considering this and assuming no new major pandemic related lockdowns, changes in worldwide economic conditions financial markets and foreign exchange rates, we expect our consolidated fee revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal '21 to range from $475 million to $500 million, and our consolidated diluted earnings per share to range from $0.95 to $1.05.

Our third quarter reported and our fourth quarter expected adjusted EBITDA margin -- margins are benefiting from elevated levels of profitability flow through due to our top line recovering faster with a trajectory that is much steeper. However, our current execution capacity is pretty stretched. Our current levels of utilization are not sustainable to support new business growth. To that end, we are in the process of adding additional resources. Further, we want to take advantage of the opportunity in front of us and as previously discussed, we've recently begun to aggressively invest back into our business, making a number of key consultant hires. And we plan to continue such hires going forward.

With that as you think about our near-term operating boundary for our adjusted EBITDA margin, think about it along the following line. If you go back prior to the pandemic, we were essentially a $2 billion business within adjusted EBITDA margin of around 15% to 16%. As we return to the pre-pandemic levels of fee revenue, our business will benefit from previously mentioned structural changes and we're going to add around 200 basis points to our adjusted EBITDA margin, and as a result, we expect near-term consolidated margins beyond the fourth quarter to range from 17% to 18%.

Now, before we open up the call to your questions, I just want to reiterate how proud Gary, the entire management team and I are of the strong third quarter performance we announced today. We've taken significant steps in recent years to strengthen our business model, enhance our financial profile and really position Korn Ferry for success. The sharp acceleration in our financial performance in the second and third quarters, gives us tremendous confidence that our strategy is working, that we have the right initiatives in place to continue to increase our market share and deliver sustainable value to all of our stakeholders.

With that I'll conclude remarks and we'd be glad to answer any questions you may have.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen we'll now begin the question-and-answer session of today's conference. [Operator Instructions] Our first question will come from the line of George Tong of Goldman Sachs. Please go ahead.

George Tong -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Hi, thanks, good afternoon. You indicated that new business ex-RPO was down 1% year-over-year in fiscal 3Q. Can you elaborate on the trends by month in the quarter and also talk about how the trends have evolved through the month of February? And perhaps also touch on Digital? I noticed it was down 12% year-over-year in the quarter? Just what was happening there?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Bob, why don't you handle that?

Robert Rozek -- Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer

Sure. Okay. Hey, George. If you look at the -- hey, how are you doing? If you look at the new business trends in the third quarter, there was no real discernible pattern and each month from a year-over-year perspective was essentially flat with where we were last year. We saw -- this is from an overall perspective. In exec search the patterns were the same. In pro search, we actually saw a large spike in new business in December, November and January we're down a little bit year-over-year, but the new business growth in pro search we had a big spike in the month of December. On the Consulting side, really strong new business every month in the quarter, particularly in North America. North America consulting businesses is just on a fantastic job.

On the Digital side, what we're seeing is, we actually had the highest new business since the pandemic started, although it was down 12% year-over-year and I would say the decline that we saw in the Digital new business was primarily focused in two areas. One was pay, coming through the pandemic, the desire for pay data for pay raises was dampened on a year-over-year basis, but the larger impact comes from the training, the in-classroom training and what we've seen there is, the in-classroom training when the pandemic first hit virtually stopped and then there was a shift from in-classroom to virtual training. In fact, if you go back to the sort of January, February timeframe, our in-classroom training was about 97% or 98% of what we delivered. Today, it's about 3% of what we deliver 97% is virtual, what we haven't seen yet George is the volume and the number of trainings delivered bounced back quite yet. That's on the horizon for us and should stimulate good growth once that comes back to pre-pandemic levels.

George Tong -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Got it. That's helpful and how have those new business trends evolved through the month of February and what's contemplated currently in your quarterly guidance?

Robert Rozek -- Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer

Yeah. So I would say, George, if you look at the month of February and it's a little bit challenging, because we do get a lot of new business at the end of the month, but through -- right now, we're about 75% of the way through the business days in the month, and I'll do it from two perspectives. One is geography and then I look at it from a line of business perspective. So from a geography perspective, North America is just firing on all cylinders, year-over-year and sequentially. The rest of the geographies still have not quite up to where they were last year. But from a sequential perspective, they continue to make very good progress. From a line of business perspective exec search and pro search are starting to gain momentum, Consulting is performing very well sequentially and year-over-year. And then RPO continues to have a strong backlog of pipeline I should say of opportunities. So we expect that new business to continue very strong. And then I already touched on Digital.

George Tong -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Yes. Very helpful. And just as a quick follow-up, you mentioned that longer term EBITDA margins beyond 4Q should range in the 17% to 18% area. When do you expect to fall within that range? Is it going to be of fiscal 2022 event or some other time frame beyond that?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

No, it will be fiscal 2022.

George Tong -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question will come from the line of Tim Mulrooney of William Blair. Please go ahead.

Tim Mulrooney -- William Blair -- Analyst

Good afternoon.

Gregg Kvochak -- Senior Vice President, Finance, Treasury, Tax and Investor Relations

Hey Tim.

Tim Mulrooney -- William Blair -- Analyst

Hey. So a couple of questions. First, just on your verticals, you guys give a breakout for fee revenue by industry. I'm wondering if you could discuss which of these verticals stood out as pockets of strength in the quarter or those that are currently strongly recovering versus those that have either decelerated or have yet to recover?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, we've seen a sequential increase across the board in all of the and markets that we operate in. And when you look sequentially, technology was clearly a big driver of that. That was up about 16% sequential. Life sciences and healthcare, which is a bellwether practice of ours, I think we've got the best practice in the business that was up 11% and even industrial, which is the largest piece of Korn Ferry today, it's about 28% of the overall portfolio. And it was as high as 30%, 31% that was up too. Now it is really good to see and even energy as counter intuitive as it may sound now is -- that was up about 8% as well.

Tim Mulrooney -- William Blair -- Analyst

Okay, thank you. Yes. Surprising to hear about the energy, that's good news. Moving to your Digital business, just on the profitability, revenue was down 25%, but I think -- but EBITDA margins expanded nearly 10 percentage points year-over-year. I know there's been some cost take-out, but were there other contributing factors as well like maybe a sales mix issue or were there any. I guess one-time or seasonal factors you'd point to here or is 35% profitability a good run rate to think about for this business?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes, it's probably not. I mean, as Bob talked about there is a major transformation that's happening within that business and many quarters ago, we went to take our IP and try to change thousands of peoples lives and to alter the destination of our clients, giving them IP that they could license and use to improve their performance. And so what you're seeing there is, there is a massive shift that we're making, not only in the Consulting services that we deliver where we're purposely over the past two years, 2.5 years we've been jurdasing smaller consulting engagements and pursuing bigger more impactful engagements. And on the digital side, we've shifted toward a subscription-based model. And with that model, we're finding that that revenue will be more durable, visible, but will also be recognized over a longer period of time. So that's a pretty big change from, say, two, three years ago. And so we're very pleased and happy to see that and to see the integration between the Consulting and the Digital businesses.

And so the margin of 35%, I forget Bob can tell you what a year and a half ago when we first broke-out the Digital segment, what we were targeting as sustainable margins. That's clearly I think was 35%. I think was definitely at the upper end of that target that we laid out. And so I would tend to look at something more like 30% or so, could be a little less, could be a little bit more. I think that's more realistic, given the investments that we want to make to capture the market opportunity there.

Robert Rozek -- Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer

Yes, the only thing and Gary was spot on. The only thing I would add to that is, you mentioned the Digital revenue being down 25% and just in terms of what the drivers are for that, there's probably about 20% to 25% of that relates to the shift from point sale solutions to longer term subscriptions. Now the 20% relates to the temporary decline in demand for pay data and then the rest of it would relate to the issues that I talked about on the training delivery of the training days.

Tim Mulrooney -- William Blair -- Analyst

Yes. Okay, that's helpful. I appreciate that color. Thank you and congrats on a nice quarter.

Robert Rozek -- Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question will come from the line of Mark Marcon of Baird. Please go ahead.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Hey, good morning or good afternoon depending on where you are. Congrats on a great quarter. And more importantly just the overall trajectory of the business and the long-term progress. Gary, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about where you're making the investments? You mentioned that you brought on 70 tenured highly qualified professionals. Just wondering what areas are they in? It also sounds like you're making more additions. So where should we think about the internal investments going? Where are you seeing the highest level of incremental demand relative to your current capacity?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you Mark for the kind words. Well, the place that I'm very excited about and we're not going to necessarily see that in a quarter or few months, but the Professional Search market is a massive market and it's probably $25 billion could be as high as $50 billion, and our business today is probably about $160 million annually, something like that. And so, it represents a real opportunity. It's obviously we're in the business today, and that's something that I think we can seize over time. And so you will see us making more investments for sure into that segment. We've been -- we have been investing heavily into not only the digital platform, but our consulting capabilities across the board. So whether that's the Consulting business or the Executive Search business, we've definitely been bringing in people to add talent to the bench. So those would be the areas. The RPO business is doing very well. We continue to add talent and add logos there. So it's been split pretty evenly between our businesses, but the one you really haven't seen yet is pro search.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

And within pro search, can you talk about like the areas where you're seeing the highest level of incremental demand. It sounds like December was a blow out month. Are there any common characteristics in terms of where that search came from?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

It's digital and technology for sure and even finance and accounting. So it's probably what you would expect, we're seeing an incredible appetite in the world to get people that are digitally savvy, that are technology enabled and so we've seen very, very good drivers there. But the business quite candidly is just woefully undersized to the market opportunity and that's a pretty, so that's kind of a blanket statement. I mean, whether it's in the Americas or Asia or Europe, I think we've got a substantial runway ahead of us and that runway again, it's not in a few months, it's not a quarter out, but here in the very near term. I think you'll see us seizing on that market.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Are you sourcing those clients through existing Executive Search or RPO relationships? What's -- obviously there are other competitors within that space, none with kind of the type of reputation that Korn Ferry has. But there are other competitors out there. Just wondering who you're gaining the business from?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes. When you look at the -- one thing that I'm very proud of is the cross-referrals and so it's been going up every quarter. This last quarter was 26% and when you look at pro search this last quarter, is actually 53%. RPO was 49%. So, yes, that's really coming from the Executive Search channel. So even though the market size of Executive Search is a fraction of the market opportunity, for us, it's incredibly strategically important, people return our calls. And so I think we've demonstrated that we can take that access, that brand permission and do other things with it. So yes, Mark, it's coming from the Executive Search channel in a big way.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Great. And then can you talk on the Consulting side, which areas are you seeing the strongest growth in within your Consulting at this point?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, it's again I'm going to -- it's been pretty broad based. I mean it ranges from our executive pay business where we've won a number of Fortune 100 mandates to do compensation, advisory services to organizational transformation, I can think of two Fortune 100 companies that are trying to get into a new business and they're turning to us around the Org structure, around the people they need, assessment, development and then the D&I business continues to flourish, and that has for a few months, but it's pretty broad based. When you look at the things that we're doing in our training business, our learning and professional development business is also doing well, where we've won some pretty substantial mandates for companies basically using our Korn Ferry Advance platforms or Leadership U platforms and outsourcing their development to Korn Ferry.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

It's great. Can you just -- one last one. On the D&I, can you give us an update in terms of the size. And then just to be clear to what extent does D&I also include potential engagements, either on the Executive Search or the Professional Search side in terms of broadening out the candidates or the talent that your clients have?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes, when we talk about D&I. In this context, we've just been talking about pure advisory or digital services. Now there is a much broader theme that's happening in the world in the C-suite and whether that is executives that have decided, it's time to move on. This whole pandemic I think has given a lot of people reason to kind of reset and to look at life and so what's important, so we're seeing and I think you're going to continue to see a lot of C-Suite change there as well as companies that are having to reposition their business. And then another mega-trend within would be the focus around diversity and inclusion. And so that is also, we're benefiting from that in our search businesses. And so we've made some pretty significant investments and we're going to make more around our Executive Search and Professional Search recruiting platforms to capture that change. So yes, the D&I consulting business, is almost nine digits. I mean it's a substantial part of today's Korn Ferry.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Congrats. Thanks.

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question will come from the line of Marc Riddick of Sidoti. Please go ahead.

Marc Riddick -- Sidoti -- Analyst

Hey, good afternoon. First of all, I just wanted to address. So much of the planning and the work that's been done over the years sort of put yourself in the position we would certainly -- just exceed here was certainly evident in a lot of the numbers that were reported in your commentary and that we really do appreciate the color and the detail of that. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about, I think you've mentioned -- as you've mentioned D&I quite a bit in prior quarters, I think you mention of ESG a little bit. And I was wondering if could touch a little bit of maybe what you're seeing there and how that might relate to some of the commentary that we're getting from your customers?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, we -- purpose is not a slogan. Purpose is the why a company is in business? And every CEO, a business has started for a reason, that's the why and that's the purpose. And over the last several years that purpose has expanded and it's expanded to take on different lenses. And so, we clearly have been positioning the company as you alluded to, to take that on. And when it comes to ESG, we'll see, we are today marketing capability is there and we'll just have to see where the world goes in terms of what the environment is really going to look like. But we clearly are positioned to help companies there. There is no question about it. And the starting point for us was the diversity equity and inclusion business that was an investment that we made about eight years ago and I can't say we were necessarily predicting what the future was going to hold, but the theme on what you hear was that these are consistent decisions that have been made over many days many months and in fact many years and Bob alluded to it in his comments. I mean it was back in 2019, where we got concerned about maybe a possible recession and we took a number of actions to position the company to accelerate through the term. So, and that's exactly what we've done.

Marc Riddick -- Sidoti -- Analyst

And then I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about maybe with the benefits and progress that you've made with marquee accounts and some of these cases these are global players that they can maybe provide I would imagine some greater visibility and insight as to what plans may be outside of North America. I was wondering you touch a little bit on maybe how -- maybe some of the initial things that you're seeing outside of North America or maybe some of the learnings that you're getting from North America that could then be translated to Asia Pac and Europe going forward?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think the biggest for sure is culture, which is the way an organization gets things done. So clearly that's been a mega-trend across the world. How they engage with customers? What the customer experience looks like? That's been pretty consistent. North America has clearly been more agile and for a whole host of reasons in terms of responding to the environment and there is no reason to believe that that will not happen in Europe and in Asia. As we're now into the [Indecipherable] or definitely, I think more than halfway there and with the vaccines, with the UK schools opening up March 8th, there is a lot of positives out there. So I would expect the same kind of agility, adaptability change that's going to happen with our clients in South America and Europe and Asia, as we've seen in North America.

Marc Riddick -- Sidoti -- Analyst

Okay. That's very helpful, thank you very much.

Operator

Our next question will come from the line of Tobey Sommer of Truist Securities. Please go ahead.

Tobey Sommer -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Thanks. Could you elaborate on the transformational opportunities referenced in the slides that accompany the call? Thanks.

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, as we look at -- we really think the market opportunity is about $250 billion. And there's a couple of very big pieces of that beyond the Digital business that we have been and taking our IP and trying to change a lot of people lives. The biggest is around learning and professional development that's a massive market. And I really do believe that we can create a business like we did with RPO around LD, learning and development outsourcing. And so part of that may require an investment, may require acquisition, but that that's in front of us. There is no doubt about it.

The other one is around the Professional Search market around professionals whether that's finance and accounting professionals technologists, healthcare. It is a big market and we're clearly into a mobile world, digital everything, career nomads, work that works for everybody. And I think that Korn Ferry can capture a much larger share of that mega-trend it's happening. So those would be too, that would come right to mind, and I'm certainly not minimizing anything around Org strategy or anything around compensation, but clearly those are sizable markets and our revenue today is a drop in the bucket compared to that market opportunity.

Tobey Sommer -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

I appreciate that. I had a follow-up question about the profitability. If next year is sort of 200 basis points higher than the 17% to 18% EBITDA margin range, is it fair to assume that that's not sort of a terminal end state point, but the business if revenue continues to grow from there would generate some operating leverage? How should we think about that?

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes. We tried to, the way we thought about it was basically to say we're continuing to make investments. Obviously, we've been doing it now since the pandemic -- year, it's been a year now, we had a playbook. And so the way we thought about was OK, the company is $2 billion or so, what would we want to target as an ongoing EBITDA margin and that's where we're kind of guiding to 17% to 18%. We feel pretty comfortable with that now. Yes, there absolutely could be upside to that and that upside could come from a few different pathways. One could come from the Digital business, but that may not be in this next fiscal year, that may be the year after actually. The other place that could come from is the Executive Search and Professional Search businesses. For example, outside the United States. That's a very clear pathway as well. So yes it's possible, but we're obviously trying to balance between our clients, our colleagues and shareholders. And so that's what we're targeting for the EBITDA margin for the next few quarters.

Tobey Sommer -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Thank you very much.

Operator

There are no further questions in queue. I'd like to turn the call back over to Mr. Burnison for any closing remarks.

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, I just -- thank you for listening. As paradoxical as it may sound, when nothing seems to be progressing, one can actually make the most progress and when everything appears unchanged externally, we experienced tremendous growth internally and when things seem so far away, they're much closer than they appear. And when we clearly see how far we've come, we appreciate more fully just how capable we've become. And I'm very, very proud of Korn Ferry and for what the future holds. And thank you very much for listening and we look forward to speaking to you next time. Thanks everybody.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, today's conference call will be available for replay for one week starting today at 3:00 PM Eastern Time running through March 1 ending at midnight of that day. You may access the AT&T Executive Playback Service by dialing 866-207-1041 and entering the access code 8533730. That access code once again is 853730. For participants that may be dialing in from an international location please dial 402-970-0847 and the access code of 8533730. Additionally, there will be a playback available on the company's website at www.kornferry.com in the Investor Relations section.

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 57 minutes

Call participants:

Gary Burnison -- Chief Executive Officer

Robert Rozek -- Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer

Gregg Kvochak -- Senior Vice President, Finance, Treasury, Tax and Investor Relations

George Tong -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Tim Mulrooney -- William Blair -- Analyst

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Marc Riddick -- Sidoti -- Analyst

Tobey Sommer -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

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