Diversified Search Acquires Life Sciences Specialist BioQuest

September 28, 2016 – Executive search firm Diversified Search, one of the top 10 executive search firms in the U.S., has acquired San Francisco-based BioQuest, a recruiting boutique specialist serving healthcare innovators in the life sciences market. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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.

With more than 30 years in the industry, BioQuest has built leadership teams for innovative companies in medicine, science, and technology. The acquisition will add 12 search professionals to Diversified’s national life sciences senior level recruitment platform. BioQuest is expected to open up a number of key constituents to its new parent, including emerging and established medical device, biotechnology, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, healthcare IT and consumer medical companies across all executive level management functions. This sector expertise will compliment Diversified’s existing healthcare and life sciences practice groups.

BioQuest’s clients include venture firms and industry leaders focused on healthcare, life sciences and technology, including many that are not household names: Accuray; AirXpanders; Altura Medical; BioForm Medical; Breathe Technologies; Ceterix Orthopaedics; Endologix; Hansen Medical; MRI Interventions; Nellix; OptiMedica; Shockwave Medical; Sonoma Orthopedics; and TriVascular, among others. The firm’s location will strengthen Diversified’s existing footprint in San Fransisco and Southern California.

BioQuest is led by firm co-founder and managing partner Roger Anderson, who has racked up more than 65 CEO searches over the past 15 years. He is known for his expertise in recruiting boards of directors, CEOs and C-suite executives, along with key functional vice presidents. Among his clients: venture capital emerging medical technology firms as well as commercial stage growth companies.

‘A Marquee Addition to Our Portfolio’

Prior to entering the executive search field in 1981, Mr. Anderson had 10 years of medical device sales experience with IVAC Corporation (now a division of CareFusion) and American Hospital Supply (McGaw Laboratories, now a division of B.Braun Medical). He is an active member of the Life Science Angels investing group and has been a panel member at several medical technology conferences.

“BioQuest, with its ongoing success recruiting leaders for life sciences companies in the venture capital and private equity markets, is a marquee addition to our healthcare portfolio,” said Dale E. Jones, president and chief executive officer of Diversified Search. “With BioQuest as part of our family, Diversified further cements its leadership position in medical device, biopharma, diagnostics, digital health, health IT, and consumer medicine search.”

“BioQuest’s nimble, innovative, and creative approach to leadership recruiting are a perfect cultural fit for us,” said Judith M. von Seldeneck Diversified’s chairman and founder. “We are thrilled to have found exactly the right partner to grow our network in the thriving California life sciences market.”

That market lies at the intersection of science, technology and patient care, said Mr. Jones. “These areas have converged to create predominant leadership needs for a broad array of life science companies and organizations.”

Search Firms Hammer Away at Acquisitions for Growth

Executive recruiting firms with an eye on expansion have been acquiring businesses in tangential businesses and scooping up rivals at a record pace. Top five search firms, including Korn FerryRussell Reynolds Associates and Heidrick & Struggles have all turned to acquisitions to fuel growth. Of the three, Heidrick’s pinpoint M&A activity might be the most interesting, and viable, as the firm absorbs small and relatively unknown leaders in the C-suite and recruiting space.

Heidrick acquired leadership provider JCA Group this summer, a well-known London-based executive search advisory boutiqueJCA 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.

“We continue to use M&A as a vehicle to accelerate our strategy of delivering premium leadership advisory solutions and data driven insights to the highest levels of leadership at top organizations globally,” said Heidrick president and CEO Tracy R. Wolstencroft.

In June, Russell Reynolds acquired Norway-based leadership consulting and executive search firm Amrop AS. Amrop AS adopts the Russell Reynolds Associates name. The Oslo office is being led by former Amrop managing partner, Harald Kringlebotn, who serves serve as country manager.

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

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