July 13, 2017 – The wave of M&A activity among executive search firms continues. The latest deal: Jordan Search Consultants, a recruiting firm focused on the healthcare, executive and higher education sectors, has acquired Health Search New England (HSNE), a search firm specializing in the recruitment of healthcare providers throughout the Northeast. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.
HSNE has been serving clients in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island for more than two decades. The acquisition allows Jordan Search Consultants to expand its geographic reach into a key area, heavily populated with hospital systems and healthcare organizations.
Northeast Executive Search Provider
HSNE has facilitated healthcare recruitment in New England since 1984 and has completed over 1,000 placements in hospitals, healthcare systems, private practices, and community clinics. The firm will be publicly presented as a division of Jordan Search Consultants, and will maintain its office in Bangor, ME. All New England searches will continue to be staffed by current HSNE professionals.
“Jordan Search Consultants has been successful in gaining market share throughout the west coast and southeast, but knew we needed a strong partner to penetrate New England,” said Kathy Jordan, founder and CEO of Jordan Search Consultants. “Celena Knapp, president of HSNE, and I have known each other for almost a decade and I have great respect for her and HSNE; it felt like the right match at the right time.”
Prosperity Found Among Recruiting Boutiques That Merge
One look at this year’s recruiting industry statistics reveals one clear trend line: double digit growth and expansion is taking place among the sector’s boutique specialists. Many of the firms have taken the more bold and audacious M&A route to achieve this.
Ms. Knapp worked at HSNE as a recruiter and then in marketing for many years before taking over as president in January 2017. She said the expanded administrative and operational infrastructure that the acquisition provides will allow HSNE to offer additional services and recruitment models to clients.
“We will now be able to recruit for executive and academic positions, and can offer high-volume and retained search models that may be more cost-effective for organizations throughout our region,” said Ms. Knapp.
In addition to helping JSC penetrate a new region, the acquisition will increase both staff and revenue numbers. According to Ms. Jordan, the acquisition will boost revenue by about 15 percent by the end of this year. By the end of 2018, she said, she expects a 25 percent increase in revenue and three to five new staff members.
Recent M&A activity
Executive search firms have seen a rise in M&A activity in other sectors as well. In fact, activity seems heightened across the board. Whether this points to mass consolidation or just smart joint venturing still remains to be seen.
- Acertitude acquired Los Angeles-based Olive Avenue Search Partners. Olive Avenue’s founders, Gwen Sabo and Joann Maciejewski, bring deep expertise in the development of research capabilities, training and development, and identifying and engaging top talent.
- OH-headquartered Torch Group acquired Selker Leadership, a search firm that places candidates in the technology and software fields. Selker Leadership’s president, Gregory L. Selker, will join Torch Group as senior vice president and search operations leader, overseeing the firm’s search practice, including research and candidate development.
- Buffkin / Baker recently merged New York-based WTW Associates into its expanding executive recruiting platform. WTW, a talent provider focused on the media, entertainment, technology and law industries, will integrate its operations into the Buffkin / Baker New York office. Mr. Wasp becomes a partner in the firm, and will head its entertainment/media practice. He has extensive contacts within the entertainment and media industry in New York, Los Angeles and London. Buffkin / Baker also acquired Nashville, TN-based MusicRowSearch, an executive recruiter specializing in the entertainment industry, to expand its service lines and leverage future growth. MusicRowSearch retains its name under the Buffkin / Baker brand.
- U.K.-based Hydrogen Group acquired Argyll Scott for £3.3 million. Together, the combined firms will deliver recruitment services across multiple functions, industries and countries. The acquisition allows Hydrogen to accelerate international growth plans and benefit from greater strength and depth in the London market. It also enables Hydrogen to further grow and expand its APAC footprint. Argyll Scott also recently acquired the Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur based operations of Reed Specialist Recruitment Group, further broadening its footprint in the APAC market and increasing its headcount to 129.
- Walter James recently acquired Euromedica Executive Search Limited.Walter James operates in the life sciences sector with a focus on global enabling units. The acquisition positions the firm to offer end-to-end specialist service across the entire life sciences value chain.
- Legal executive search firm Piper Pritchard acquired executive recruiters Helix Associates. The combined business will offer a seamless fee-earner recruitment service to law firm clients across the U.K. It will provide non-legal professionals across all functions, and interim legal and non-legal professionals to support its clients’ evolving demands.
- 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.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media