December 21, 2017 – An array of new recruiting firms have been started around the world this year. The latest: Bridgemark Strategies has opened its doors in Charlotte, NC, as a consultancy for independent financial advisors and financial advisory firms seeking strategic planning, execution and advice in business and human capital transitions.
Led by three veteran industry leaders with decades of expertise in advisor transitions and executive recruiting, the firm advises broker-dealers, registered investment adviser (RIA) firms and financial advisors across the retail financial advice industry.
Bridgemark provides a solution-set to its national client base based on long-term, strategic planning considerations, said the firm. Its services include everything from starting an RIA, to executive recruiting for the home office teams of independent firms, to building and executing succession plans. The company will also deliver end-to-end M&A solutions for independent financial advisory businesses as well as small- to mid-sized independent broker-dealers and RIA firms.
“We’re launching Bridgemark Strategies to help independent financial advisors and firms successfully address a unique set of challenges and opportunities driven by shifting regulatory, demographic, consumer and technology trends,” said Jeff Nash, co-founder and CEO. “Gone are the days when a so-called recruiter working under a simple transactional model could support the delivery of an effective solution set for advisor transitions, home office executive recruiting or M&A support.”
“Today’s industry environment demands that third-party consultancies adopt a more strategic and longer-term approach to how they support business and talent transitions of all kinds,” said Mr. Nash. “It’s understood that independent firms and advisors today must operate at a higher level of accountability and transparency than ever before, with a foremost priority on their clients’ best interests. We believe third-party solutions providers should be held to the same standards in the work we do for firms and advisors.”
James Sorey, previously head of recruiting for Lincoln Financial Network in Philadelphia, and Chris DeFrank, formerly senior vice president for business development at LPL Financial, are Bridgemark Strategies’ other two founders.
Mr. Sorey, who will lead the firm’s dedicated executive recruiting arm, said that aligning the right talent with the right position within broker-dealer and RIA home office teams has escalated in complexity. “At the same time, there’s also an increased convergence between strategies to support the competition to recruit top home office executive talent and the competition to recruit top advisors,” he said. “Each firm’s ability to grow by attracting advisors will be driven more than ever by the human capital that home office teams can deploy in seamlessly addressing the multiple demands being made on advisors in this new fiduciary era.”
As part of its launch, Bridgemark Strategies also hired two additional senior professionals: Victoria Printz and Sean McMaster, each of whom will serve as VP for advisor consulting. Ms. Printz and Mr. McMaster both join Bridgemark Strategies from LPL Financial, where they had been senior recruiters.
Open for Business
In recent months, new recruiting firms have opened around the world in not only the media and entertainment sector but a wide range of industries. Here’s a look at a recent sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Former Credit Suisse banker and personnel consultant Christian Haas has opened Haas Associates in Zurich to focus on the asset management industry. Mr. Haas has more than 10 years of practical experience in the field of asset management. Previously he was active as, amongst other things, the head of business development institutional clients at Credit Suisse.
Simon Pollock has launched Simon Pollock & Co in London, specializing in senior level executive search in global media and entertainment. Mr. Pollack most recently served as head of the media & entertainment practice at Heidrick & Struggles. Before that, he was a partner at the SevenArts, a boutique search firm.
Veteran executive recruiter Jennifer Muller has launched Academic Career and Executive Search (ACES), a higher education search firm focused on high precision, flexible executive search services, career planning and candidate coaching. Ms. Muller has 20 years of experience in research and development for higher education and Fortune 500 companies.
A new executive recruitment firm, Hanning Recruitment, has been launched in the U.K. It is headed by Toby Speke and backed by Rory Penn and Thomas van Straubenzee of the London agency VanHan. Mr. Speke previously worked for VanHan as well as global real estate firm Knight Frank.
Anuj Dhawan, former director and partner at Positive Moves Consulting, an angel investor in a Seattle-based healthcare IoT business, has founded executive search firm Cognitive Talent Partners LLP. Based in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, the firm provides executive search services to private equity funds, banks, consumer lending clients and global technology corporations.
Veteran Edward Batchelor has launched executive search firm Hardman Batchelor International, LLC. Based in Austin, TX, the firm specializes in recruiting and assessing leading board directors, CEOs and C-level executives with a particular focus on cultivating the Austin market.
The U.K. office of global search firm Boyden has launched a new executive search and interim management business called Savannah Group. Savannah’s team of 50 includes 20 partners that are specialists in their fields, including board and corporate functions, financial services, hospitality travel & leisure, industrial, digital and media, sport & entertainment industries.
Search industry veterans Ian Macleod and Paul Atkinson have joined forces to form Atkinson Macleod Executive Search. The firm focuses on board and senior executive level searches for the private and public sectors. Mr. Macleod spent 16 years running the Scottish arm of Odgers Berndtson after serving for 10 years with the Norman Broadbent.
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