Behold the executive search survivors

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The great waning in financial services firms' urge to hire has taken its toll on headhunters. But with recruitment finally starting to pick up again, some firms are emerging stronger and more diversified than before.

They include the search firms below, all of whom have added headcount since the crisis began. Let us know if you think we've omitted anyone from the list.

1.) Sheffield Haworth

The UK-based international financial services boutique has survived the ultimate test: opening an office in the US and living to tell the tale. Its New York office opened in 2004 and, combined with offices in Dubai, Delhi, Hong Kong and Mumbai, now generates 40% of the firm's revenues. Headcount is up 10% since the start of the crisis.

2). Omerta Group

Originally a London boutique focused on structured credit, Omerta now has offices in Hong Kong and Moscow too and has expanded its reach to include commodities, cash equities and risk. Managing director Jason Mort says they've added headcount in research across Europe and Asia and have taken advantage of rivals' weakness to strengthen their position.

"The hiring market has improved but we take nothing for granted. We have accepted reduced revenues in the lean times in expectation of increased business in the upturn," says Mort.

3). Hammond Partners

Traditionally known for its strength in equities, Hammond has expanded to cover all areas of the market. Chief executive Paul Hammond says they've added seven people since the crisis began and have come through thanks to being "well capitalized."

4). Execuzen

Founded in London 2000, Execuzen now has offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Moscow. Founder and managing director Adrian Ezra says London headcount has increased during the downturn. Last month, the company hired Andrew Fox former senior consultant at Carrington Fox. 'I am cautiously optimistic about things going forward," Ezra says.