“As a part of our ambitious global growth plans, we are committed to significantly increasing our marketshare within the APAC region,” said CEO John Hunter. “Given our success in the region to date, we believe we are uniquely positioned to further develop REED’s businesses in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and, moreover, that there is clear operational and cultural fit between the Argyll Scott and REED businesses in these locations.”
The Three Markets
As one of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade. It is an important center for international finance and trade, with one of the greatest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the Asia Pacific region.
Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding urban areas form the most industrialized and, economically, the fastest growing region in Malaysia. It is a center for finance, insurance, real estate, media and the arts.
Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport hub ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing. Globally, it is the third largest foreign exchange center with a diversified economy based on financial services, manufacturing and oil refining.
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“By bringing these companies into the Argyll Scott fold, our enlarged business will immediately attain a market leading position in our hub offices in Hong Kong and Singapore,” Mr. Hunter noted. “This will not only facilitate further growth in these offices but will also enable the enlarged group to accelerate plans to open new offices in other key commercial centers across the region. We particularly welcome the addition of Kuala Lumpur to our office network as this has long been a key strategic market for some time.” Mr. Hunter will work closely with the company’s APAC management team to integrate the REED businesses.
Richard Post, CEO of REED, said: “I am delighted that our business in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong will continue under the capable leadership of Argyll Scott, who I know live by and work to the same values as REED. For our part, we look forward to focusing further on our Asia business in Korea, where we have over a number of years built up a substantial presence in what is an exciting market.”
With offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, Argyll Scott clients range from FTSE 100 multinationals to local SMEs. Established in 2010, the firm is part of Redgrave Group.
Search Industry Mergers & Acquisitions
M&A activity among executive search firms has picked up in recent months, from the Far East to Canada, the Americas and across the U.K. & Europe. Whether this points to mass consolidation throughout the sector remains to be seen. But it is happening and with increased frequency.
RSR Partners recently 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.
Talent solutions firm Vaco acquired Pivot Point Consulting based in Seattle and boutique executive search firm Greythorn in Bellevue, WA. The new acquisitions bring together more than 50 employees and 250 consultants across the nation.
Hanover Search Group recently acquired Opus Executive Search of Los Angeles, which will operate under Antony Pitt as U.S. managing director. Opus has experience in the U.S. wealth management sector and will operate from both the East and West Coasts.
DHR International acquired Calgary-based executive search firm BluEra. The deal brings more than a dozen new employees to DHR and its Chicago-based partner company Jobplex. Founded in 2008, BluEra focuses on executive search, team transformation and executive coaching. It serves a wide array of industries with a particular concentration on the renewables, power, oil & gas, retail, telecommunications, and information technology sectors.
Lastly, Diversified Search acquired San Francisco-based BioQuest, a recruiting boutique specialist serving healthcare innovators in the life sciences market. 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.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media