Buffkin / Baker Acquires MusicRowSearch

March 8, 2017 – Executive search firm Buffkin / Baker has acquired Nashville, TN-based MusicRowSearch, an executive recruiting operation specializing in the entertainment industry, to expand its service lines and leverage future growth. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. MusicRowSearch will retain its name under the Buffkin / Baker brand.

As part of the agreement, WHO KNEW — the popular “Inside Music Row” networking and speaker series that showcases some of the biggest luminaries and thought leaders in the music business — will be expanded into other industries Buffkin / Baker serves.

“We have been in growth mode this year, and I am thrilled to have my longtime colleague, Tom Truitt and MusicRowSearch join our firm,” said managing partner Craig Buffkin. “This partnership allows us to leverage two of the top industries in the Nashville landscape — healthcare and the entertainment business. This will open the door to exciting new horizons for our companies.”

“I am excited to be part of one of the top search firms in Nashville and across the nation, and to bring our thriving music business search onto the Buffkin / Baker platform,” said Mr. Truitt, who will serve as a partner and head up the firm’s entertainment group. “I was looking for another dynamic search partner to grow our business, and I have a long history with Craig Buffkin and Roland Lundy. Joining Buffkin / Baker leverages our synergies and takes MusicRowSearch to the next level.”


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Buffkin / Baker focuses on finding leaders for a number of high growth sectors, including healthcare, higher education, digital media, digital marketing, technology, private club, financial services and non-profit. It serves public, private, venture and private equity backed companies. Office locations include Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Winston-Salem, N.C., Charleston, S.C. and Washington, D.C., with affiliate offices in San Francisco and London.

Buffkin / Baker just recently formed with the merger of The Buffkin Group and Baker and Associates, LLC. “Craig and I have known each other for many years and have worked well together both professionally and personally,” said managing partner Martin Baker. “Our common values of delivering a higher level of customer service will help differentiate us in the marketplace, and position us for a bright future.”

“We are excited about harnessing the synergies and vision of both of our firms that have established a proud tradition of excellent service and results for companies and organizations across the world,” added Mr. Buffkin. “Our partnership positions both firms for incredible future growth, and gives us a much larger platform for client service.”


Growing M&A Activity Among Recruiters

M&A activity among executive search firms has picked up in recent months, from the Far East to Canada, the Americas and across the U.K. & Europe. Whether this points to mass consolidation throughout the sector remains to be seen. But one thing is certain: search firms, big and small, ate focused on growth and expansion ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

Search Firms Focused On Growth & Expansion Acquire Rivals
Executive search firm McDermott & Bull has launched McDermott & Bull Europe B.V. via its recent acquisition of Amsterdam-based Interconsultants Executive Search. McDermott & Bull Europe will bolster the firm’s access to international markets and position it as a global player.


Here’s a look at some additional activity from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

  • RSR Partners acquired executive search firm Higdon Partners. Founded in 1986 by Hank Higdon, Higdon Partners focuses exclusively on providing executive search services to asset and wealth management clients, including institutional, mutual fund, and high-net-worth organizations, as well as hedge funds, fund of funds, plan sponsors, endowments and foundations, private equity firms, family offices, consulting firms, and government agencies.
  • DHR International acquired Calgary-based executive search firm BluEra. The deal brings more than a dozen new employees to DHR and its Chicago-based partner company Jobplex. Founded in 2008, BluEra focuses on executive search, team transformation and executive coaching. It serves a wide array of industries with a particular concentration on the renewables, power, oil & gas, retail, telecommunications, and information technology sectors.
  • Diversified Search acquired San Francisco-based BioQuest, a recruiting boutique specialist serving healthcare innovators in the life sciences market. Under the terms of the agreement, BioQuest will operate as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary within Diversified Search. With $37.5 million in annual fees prior to this acquisition, the deal with BioQuest will boost revenues at Diversified Search by about 10 percent and bring the firm’s consultant headcount to nearly 60.
  • Options Group acquired Broadstreet Global, a financial services search and strategic consulting firm based in Sydney, Australia. Broadstreet Global specializes in search and consulting for a number of interrelated sectors, including investment banking, capital markets, structured products, alternative asset classes and insurance. Its client base includes some of the world’s largest financial institutions, regional banks, asset managers, insurers and selective boutiques.
  • Heidrick & Struggles acquired Philosophy IB, a leadership consultant based in Florham Park, NJ. Philosophy IB was established in 2000 by founding partners Christine Lotze and Kaveh Naficy and today serves Fortune 100 companies focused on assisting clients execute their strategies by changing how people work. Heidrick also recently acquired JCA Group, a well-known London-based executive search advisory boutique. JCA Group is led by founding partners Jan Hall and Emma Fallon, and has 40 employees, including eight partners. The firm has been a leader in addressing gender disparity among boards, as a policy advocate and in placing women on boards in both non-executive and executive roles.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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