September 15, 2016 – Global financial recruiting specialist Options Group has acquired Broadstreet Global, a financial services search and strategic consulting firm based in Sydney, Australia. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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.
The firm’s founder, Adam Gillibrand, will join Options Group Australia as a partner. He brings 20 years of experience in international executive recruiting working with several global search firms before co-founding Broadstreet Global. He has been based predominately out of Australia, however he has performed various management responsibilities, including overseeing offices in Singapore and Hong Kong. He continues to work closely with the firm’s Asia Pacific clients.
Mr. Gillibrand has completed numerous senior level search assignments for a wide range of clients at the managing director, vice president, director, chief executive and chief financial officer level and across all financial disciplines. His core focus in the last decade has been on investment banking and advisory, including M&A, sector coverage, capital markets, and leveraged finance/high yield.
Australia: Recession Proof and Critical
Ranked fifth in the Index of Economic Freedom, Australia is the world’s 12th largest economy and has the fifth highest per capita GDP. It was the only advanced economy not to experience a recession due to the global financial downturn in 2008–2009.
“Asia Pacific is a critical region of importance for Options Group and Australia remains part of that growth strategy,” said Richard Stein, chief growth officer. “The acquisition of Broadstreet Global reinforces our commitment to the region and our unwavering undertaking to increase market share.”
As the center of gravity of the global economy shifts, “Options Group’s presence in Australia will help the company serve all of the region’s talent markets and will open significant opportunities over the next few years for our clients and ourselves,” said Mr. Gillibrand.
Bob Reed, Options Group co-founder and president, said: “Stuart Halfen, who oversees our Australia practice, was instrumental in this transaction. Stuart, Adam and their teams’ areas of expertise are complementary. We look forward to their continued success with our Asia Pacific teams in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Mumbai as well as with our significant global research platform.”
Continued Growth In Asia Pacific
“This transaction, combined with our acquisition of Whitney Correlate in Hong Kong last year, highlights our commitment to the Asia Pacific region,” said Mike Karp, co-founder and CEO. “We’ve increased our investments in our global platform and, with our larger presence in the region, we expect to continue to win market share.”
At the end of last year, Options Group acquired Whitney Correlate, a capital markets search firm with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Whitney co-founders, Russell Kopp and Niall MacDonald, along with four other employees joined OG’s existing Asia team.
Options Group currently operates from more than a dozen locations outside of its New York headquarters, including London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Frankfurt, Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney and Zurich.
The firm is a top 50 search firm as ranked by Hunt Scanlon Media. The firm reported Americas revenues of $27 million this past year, a 15 percent increase over the prior year, from three office locations consisting of 72 consultants. Globally, the firm employs over 175 consultants and market intelligence professionals who provide key competencies focused on the financial industry.
Search Firms Look to Acquisitions for Growth
For executive recruiting firms with an eye on expansion, two routes are now being taken: acquisitions and new service offerings tangentially related to their core executive search platforms. Both have been viable options for several top five major search firms: Korn Ferry, Russell Reynolds Associates and Heidrick & Struggles. 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 board recruiting space as well as in culture shaping and people strategy.
In August, Heidrick acquired Philosophy IB, a leadership consultant based in Florham Park, NJ. The firm 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 acquired JCA Group this summer, 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.
“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.
The deal for Philosophy IB was Heidrick’s fourth strategic acquisition in less than a year and the third for the firm’s global leadership consulting business. “Heidrick’s chief will undoubtedly continue to use M&A as a means to propel growth,” said Scott A. Scanlon, Hunt Scanlon founding chairman and CEO. “These might be small acquisitions, but in their entirety they add up.”
Not to be undone, boutique search firms are also getting in on the action. A number of them have expanded through the acquisitions of small, specialized rivals, seemingly taking a page out of Mr. Wolstencroft’s playbook. Here is a look at a few recent ones taken from the Hunt Scanlon archives:
- SRi (Sports Recruitment International) acquired Munich-based sporting goods and fashion executive search firm, “heads for brands.” Andreas Huber, who served as chief executive officer of the firm, becomes head of sporting goods and fashion for SRi. The firm sees Germany as a sophisticated and growing sporting goods and fashion market.
- Industrial Search Partners (ISP) acquired Ference Partners, a Virginia / metro Washington, D.C.-based recruiting firm founded by Patrick Ference. Mr. Ference brings over 25 years of corporate leadership and senior executive search expertise focusing on assignments largely in the industrial sector to Industrial Search Partners, where he becomes a managing partner.
- Focus Search Partners acquired San Francisco-based firm Charlson Partners, which conducts senior executive search assignments for enterprise technology and service companies. Its client base includes some of the largest enterprise technology platforms, as well as some of Silicon Valley’s better known equity-owned and venture capital-backed organizations. Founder Adam Charlson has recruited leaders for a wide variety of companies in the space, including Adobe Systems, Cisco, Cornerstone OnDemand, Convergys, Experian, Google, HP, Informatica, JDA Software, Microsoft, PayPal, Progress Software, Salesforce.com, SAP, and Verint, among others.
- Odgers Berndtson acquired Charleston Partners, an executive search and talent advisory firm that exclusively recruits HR professionals and advises on human capital management issues. Francis Luisi, founding principal of Charleston Partners, will lead the Odgers Berndtson U.S. HR practice and will work from the firm’s New York and Houston offices.
- London-based specialist recruiter The SR Group acquired Maximum Management Corporation (MMC), a boutique HR recruitment firm based in New York. The acquisition gave SR Group its first office in the U.S. and complements global offices in the U.K., Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media