Manuel Zaera

Senior Partner - Madrid, Spain

Manuel Zaera

Senior Partner - Madrid, Spain


Manuel Zaera is Senior Partner at N2Growth Iberia and leads the practice for Financial, Business, and Professional Services. He has a background as a human capital executive with international experience in banking and insurance, including 9 years at the Management Board level. In his career at ING and NN Group, Manuel has held diverse positions both at the corporate level in The Netherlands and running the business in Spain. People and customer experience have always been at the core of his responsibilities; and in those, he always focused on sustainable long-term strategy, drive for innovation, and superb delivery.

As Chief People Officer at Nationale Nederlanden, he professionalized strategy, policy, and processes of talent acquisition and development, total reward and performance management; implemented a wellbeing strategy; designed and delivered a new and differentiated Employer Branding; defined the strategic workforce planning cycle; implemented new technologies; and brought the organization to the lists of top employers.

Not only did he hold positions in all HR areas, but he also did in several business and operations ones, which gives him a very solid understanding of organizational needs when deploying talent acquisition strategies. Manuel had the opportunity to build the innovation strategy and team of Nationale Nederlanden from scratch, which allowed him to work hand in hand with start-ups and tech companies so as to understand their specific needs in the current rapid-changing environment. In addition to that, he is well versed in managing in an international and complex environment, as he was Business Manager to the CEO of NN International, steering the business plans of 11 business units across Europe and Japan.

Manuel has managed direct teams of over 120 people (indirectly, a workforce of 2500 employees and sales agents) and led the service to a portfolio of over 800,000 customers. Among other achievements: best customer service in online banking, top employer, best workplaces, and LinkedIn award for employer branding. At present, he continues to help companies with their HR, talent acquisition, and employee experience strategies and their execution.

Manuel earned a BSc. and MSc. in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Zaragoza, a Senior Management Program by IE Business School, and an HR Transformation Certificate from Cornell University. He is bilingual in English and Spanish and is based in Madrid.

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Our executive search practice in Madrid, Spain focuses on senior executive, board and C-Suite searches. The world’s leading brands seek our counsel to build best-in-class leadership teams, to manage performance, and for succession planning. 

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