December 15, 2020 – Chicago-based 20/20 Foresight has acquired Saenger Associates, a retained search firm focused on serving clients in the manufacturing, distribution and supply chain of the industrial products, aerospace and defense, and consumer products verticals. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Saenger Associates will operate under its new name, ‘Saenger Associates, a 20/20 Foresight Company,’ and will continue serving its client relationships, now with the addition of 20/20’s back-office database of more than two million contacts, research expertise and expanded search delivery efficiencies. 20/20 Foresight and Saenger Associates have previously served as industry colleagues, collaborating on searches conducted through IRC Global Executive Search Partners.
“The acquisition of Saenger Associates represents exactly what 20/20 has been doing for years: leveraging our investments in technology, marketing and process by combining them with accomplished search consultants,” said Rob Peck, managing principal of 20/20 Foresight. “The deal enables 20/20 to make a foray into the manufacturing, distribution and supply chain areas of industrial and consumer products. This will be an immediate boost as it relates to our expansion into these key industries.”
“Working with Gary showed us how our teams could create unlimited opportunities for each other,” said Bob Cavoto, founder and managing principal of 20/20 Foresight. “By combining our powerful internal infrastructure, including proprietary technology, the industry’s deepest database and extensive marketing resources, with Saenger Associates’ recruitment leadership in the manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain areas, the benefits for both companies are immeasurable as are the benefits for our clients and candidates.”
“Both search firms are very process-oriented,” said Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media based in Greenwich, Conn. “20/20 Foresight will give Gary and his team more reach and expansion possibilities as we enter a turnaround year in 2021.”
“We immediately are expanding our practice by recruiting and hiring several new experienced search consultants who can attract and deliver top-quality retained searches,” said Gary Saenger. “I founded our firm more than two decades ago on the principles of personalized attention and a commitment to meaningful, long-lasting results. I insisted that each and every search we performed has two winners – the corporate client and the executive candidate,” he said. “We treat both with equal professional respect. By partnering with a well-respected firm such as 20/20 Foresight, I now have the technological and marketing horsepower to catapult our initiatives to the next level.
“I wanted to keep the Saenger Associates’ team together for the long term,” Mr. Saenger said. “By merging with 20/20, I am able to continue to lead our Saenger team of top-level performers going forward. I am also able to lead the charge of growing this vertical by several fold while increasing our delivery efficiencies through the support of 20/20’s technology. The executive leadership team of Mitch Ornstein, Rob Peck and Bob Cavoto is a great cultural fit. They avoid politics, red tape and bureaucracy and love getting the job done above and beyond customer expectations – that sums up my feelings, as well.”
20/20 Foresight managing director Mitch Ornstein will serve as the liaison between the two merging companies. Mr. Ornstein joined 20/20 Foresight earlier this year, deepening 20/20 Foresight’s functional expertise in finance and delivering specialization in the manufacturing (with a CPG focus), healthcare, private equity and financial services industries.
Make no mistake, these have been sobering days for executive recruiting firms around the globe. Most of them, regardless of size, location, or specialization were caught flat-footed by one of the most sweeping economic crises to ever hit the sector. As a result, the nation’s top search consultants have been resetting expectations throughout 2020 – and, in the process, setting a new course as 2021 looms.
Professional services firms – and executive recruiting outfits in particular – have a long history of finding their way through tough times. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Many search firms have used this time to dust off their own continuity and succession plans, or to reconsider that merger or acquisition which was something of a nuisance when times were flush. Others have taken a hard look at their capitalization strategies. This crisis, like no other, has driven many of the most well-known and respected brands in the recruiting business to reassess everything about their businesses, top to bottom.
Behind the scenes, this has been an active year for executive recruitment firms. To meet their advisory needs, Hunt Scanlon Media earlier this year launched a new set of solutions to assist search firms and talent solutions providers seeking mergers, acquisitions, or funding connections. Founders Scott A. Scanlon and Christopher W. Hunt sit down to discuss the new venture and the state of the industry.
“The merger of 20/20 Foresight Executive Search and Saenger Associates capitalizes on the strengths of both companies, including dynamic plans for growth and deeply dedicated teams,” said Mr. Ornstein. “The future of executive search lies in this type of exceedingly specialized approach and highly personalized attention to meeting our clients’ hiring needs.”
Saenger Associates, founded in 1999, is led by Mr. Saenger. The firm’s major practice areas are industrial products (including aerospace and defense) and consumer products. Its clients include private, public, Fortune 500 companies and non-profits that are both established and emerging.
Mr. Saenger’s combined business vision of quality and commitment is the driving force of the firm, said colleagues. Before founding Saenger Associates, he was president and executive vice president of RJ Watkins Executive Search. Prior to that, he held senior management positions with Security Pacific Corp., Citibank and American Hospital Supply Corp. Before joining Saenger Associates in 2002, Ms. Hayes had an 11-year career with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the premiere business advocacy association in the region. As director of human resources and administration, she was responsible for all human resources functions, strategic planning and the recruitment and retention of 75 executive-level volunteer board directors.
Established Search Firm
20/20 Foresight primarily serves companies involved in the real estate, financial services and service industries. It was established by Bob Cavoto in 1994 and now has more than 50 consultants serving a broad range of clients and recruit from mid-level management through to senior C-level executives. The firm has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City.
Over 20 years, Mr. Cavoto has completed over 400 searches for his clients in the U.S. and worldwide. He has also established a worldwide reputation for career coaching and job finding for a discreet and select clientele of executives who need help in coaching and finding the “right” next job. Over the last 10 years, Mr. Cavoto has completed more than 200 coaching and job finding assignments for renowned executives in the real estate, financial and service industries.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media