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Hunt Scanlon Media presents

Funding Growth & Expansion

How Search Firms Can Raise Capital – and Leverage Liquidity

Join us on May 16 at the Harvard Club of New York City for a captivating half-day conference exploring how search firms can fund their growth, raise capital and prepare to leverage that liquidity for an expansion or exit strategy.

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About the Event

Hunt Scanlon Media and Catapult Growth Partners are convening private equity leaders and executive recruiters at the Harvard Club in New York on May 16. Our purpose is to explore how search firms can fund their growth and expansion plans, raise capital and prepare for an expansion or exit strategy. Executive search firms are today highly attractive to investors: they’re expanding rapidly, diversifying into new business and going global. Investors see a multi-billion industry at a crossroads, and in need of capital funding to drive growth.

The current business climate, of course, favors boutique recruitment providers. Korn Ferry and Heidrick & Struggles tapped the public markets for funding nearly two decades ago. But today, private equity dollars are starting to flow to their mid-sized rivals. Come find out why in this captivating half-day event where we explore investment options, discuss how search firms can accelerate growth, and offer up some surprising recommendations to all recruiters considering an investment path.

Funding Growth and Expansion: How Search Firms Can Raise Capital – and Leverage Liquidity’ will include presentations by Tim McHugh, equity research analyst for William Blair & Co., who will discuss valuation and risk metrics and focus on what recruiters can do to attract capital investment. Doug Johnson, founding CEO, and Chris Pierce-Cooke, managing director for Catapult Growth Partners, will explore investment options, discuss how recruiters can accelerate growth and prepare their businesses for a liquidity event. And Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG Partners, will take us through his ‘liquidity event’ and offer up some surprising recommendations for other recruitment sector leaders considering this investment path.

So come join our exclusive network of executive search professionals on May 16 at the prestigious Harvard Club of New York. Our thought-provoking presentations and Q&A sessions exploring how search firms can fund their growth and expansion plans is a must-attend event. Our formal sessions will include a continental breakfast followed by a networking break which will include mid-morning snacks.

Harvard Club of New York City
35 West 44th Street, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 840-6600

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Michael Wasulko


Michael Wasulko Brand Development Leader – Hunt Scanlon Media
Timothy McHugh

What Makes Search Firms a Good Investment

Timothy McHugh Equity Research Analyst – William Blair & Co.

In our opening presentation, this leading analyst will provide an up-close look at how investors assess an investment in this sector. His presentation will cover some of the valuation metrics that investors look at, but more importantly, he will discuss the key topics and risks that investors focus on when evaluating investments in this sector. Finally, with those factors in mind, Tim will provide his view on what executive search firms can do to attract capital investment.



Doug Johnson
Chris Pierce-Cooke
9:45 am to 10:10 am

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: What’s Your Search Firm Worth?

Doug Johnson Managing Director and CEO – Catapult Growth Partners Chris Pierce-Cooke Managing Director – Catapult Growth Partners

Over the past decade, Catapult Growth Partners has helped clients accelerate profitable growth through effective strategy development, practical execution support, and talent acquisition. Catapult has an outstanding track record enabling firms to grow, and position for exit. In this highly insightful presentation, two of the firm’s top partners will explore investment options and discuss how recruiters can prepare their businesses for a liquidity event.




Networking Break

Larry Hartmann

Case Study: One Recruiter Who’s Secured Funding

Larry Hartmann Chief Executive Officer – ZRG Partners

Two years ago, ZRG Partners secured funding from Northcreek Mezzanine, a middle-market private equity firm in Cincinnati, to help fuel its continued strategic growth. The first mission was to add extra liquidity to ZRG’s balance sheet. Next, the firm wanted to use its funding to tackle needs and opportunities in the markets. In this phenomenal case study presentation, ZRG’s chief executive takes us through his ‘liquidity event’ and offers up some surprising recommendations for other recruitment sector leaders considering this investment path.



Christopher W. Hunt

Closing Remarks

Christopher W. Hunt President – Hunt Scanlon Media
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Tim McHugh

Tim McHugh is an equity research analyst with Chicago-based William Blair & Co., a global investment banking and asset management firm. His research coverage focuses on the executive search, consulting, HR technology, information services, and staffing sectors. Tim joined Blair in 2002 and is a partner in the firm. Tim’s role generates frequent dialogue with investors that focus on both publicly-traded and privately-held companies, as well as leaders of executive search firms that are trying to stand out to these investors.

Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson is managing director and CEO of Catapult Growth Partners. He has 25 years of experience developing and executing strategic growth plans within a wide range of professional service firms. His career highlights includes strategy and business development leadership at Arthur Andersen and several other top-tier regional consulting firms. At Andersen, he led numerous marketing and business development initiatives for practices, industry groups, offices and key client teams.

He was also responsible for developing and growing specialty tax and corporate finance practices. He has a strong record of success helping firms achieve and exceed their revenue and profitability goals. Both in terms of organic growth as well as growth through mergers and acquisitions.

Doug has held executive leadership positions and has been involved in all aspects of the revenue generation process including strategy development, tactical execution, as well as building and managing marketing and business development teams. Aligning and supporting go-to-market strategy with tactical execution has been a specific focus of his. He has also helped support the execution of mergers, recruiting and talent retention efforts by linking strategy, marketing, business development and integration efforts.

Chris Pierce-Cooke

Chris Pierce-Cooke is managing director – corporate development for Catapult Growth Partners. He brings over 20 years of multinational experience as a business leader, entrepreneur and trusted adviser in publicly traded, private partnership and family-owned businesses with revenues between $1m and $16b. He has built and led diverse teams to turnaround, scale and accelerate the profitability and equity value of organizations in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

He has particular expertise in evaluating, advising, acquiring and selling professional services firms focused on management consulting, strategic change, talent acquisition and human capital consulting. Chris uses his ‘walked in those shoes’ experience to work on growth strategies with firm owners and leaders, focused on building near and long-term value in their business. At Heidrick & Struggles, he took the lead in the acquisition of multiple professional services firms across the globe, giving him a depth of insight into the factors that are critical to strategic and financial buyers in assessing value and risk.

Years spent identifying top talent, as a business leader and search executive, have honed his ability to assist firm owners and leaders assess their own leadership and talent needs, and directly support the identification and attraction of key talent required to grow the business. In his work for Catapult Growth Partners, Chris draws on the insights and intelligence of an extensive global business network developed over three decades through relationships built on trust and mutual respect. His value lies in bringing together thought leaders, exploring innovation and sharing best practices, and arranging suitable investment and exit strategies for small business owners.

Larry Hartmann

Larry Hartmann is chief executive officer of ZRG Partners, one of the fastest growing mid-sized global executive search firms with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and in Asia-Pacific. As CEO, Larry is a results-driven leader responsible for driving overall growth, client engagement and profitability of the firm, with a broad business background in executive search as well as in industry. ZRG Partners completed searches in 34 countries in the past 12 months and has a strong global footprint in commercial lending and specialty finance, equipment leasing & finance, as well as in the life sciences, private equity-backed recruiting, industrial, business services and technology sectors.

A key focus for Larry is engaging and recruiting top talent to join the firm as well as selectively pursuing additional acquisitions that fit the ZRG culture. He also leads the charge in continuing to innovate and enhance the firm’s data driven value proposition. In addition to his responsibilities in leading the firm, Larry supports senior level executive search engagements and consulting projects in the lending markets where ZRG has established a strong presence in several niche-lending areas. He also works with private equity-backed and family office-backed clients with various human capital needs.

Prior to joining the firm in 2002, Larry was an executive vice president with American Express Business Finance. From 1984 to 1998, he was the founder of Rockford Industries, a Nasdaq traded specialty finance company focused on providing specialized financing programs and sales support for the healthcare and information technology markets. While at Rockford, the company was recognized as an INC. 500 growth company. Later, the company received a major equity investment from Sun America Life Insurance, which led to a successful IPO and Nasdaq listing (NASDAQ: ROCF). This experience provided a unique view of growing a business, raising capital and hiring talent, through virtually all business stages.

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Premier Sponsor

Catapult Growth Partners helps professional services firms accelerate growth and increase equity value. It is a simple proposition, but one that comes with a unique set of challenges. Over the past decade, Catapult Growth Partners has helped clients accelerate profitable growth through effective strategy development, practical execution support, and talent acquisition. The firm has an outstanding track record enabling firms to grow, and to help founders position themselves for exit.


Thank you for your interest in attending our upcoming conference, ‘Funding Growth & Expansion: How Search Firms Can Raise Capital – and Leverage Liquidity,’ to be held on May 16, 2017 at the renowned Harvard Club of New York City. The four-hour event will begin at 8am with continental breakfast, followed by three speakers and a 30-minute networking break. We anticipate well over 100 attendees, but we only have room for 130. To purchase your pass and confirm your registration, please click the button below.

$695 per pass

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