January 14, 2019 – Executive search firms College Sports Solutions (CSS) and Buffkin / Baker have formed a new partnership. Under the strategic alliance, the two firms will combine their executive search services to better serve universities and colleges, intercollegiate conferences and collegiate athletic organizations. The two organizations will collaborate in all areas of the executive search business at many of the nation’s leading institutions.
“The newly formed partnership with College Sports Solutions will further enhance our higher education practice,” said Martin Baker, managing partner and head of the higher education practice at Buffkin / Baker. “Exemplary search relies on the ability to adapt to the changing collegiate landscape and we are thrilled to be collaborating with CSS to ensure continued success in this area.”
“We have developed a great relationship with (CSS founder and president) Jeff Schemmel and we will combine the search portion of CSS into our higher education practice,” said Roland Lundy, operating partner at Buffkin / Baker. “Our goal is to bring our search expertise to colleges and universities in the athletic world similar to our very successful higher education practice. We will not limit our athletic search to just intercollegiate sports but will also pursue other entities involved in sports.”
Buffkin / Baker has completed more than 550 searches for universities and colleges across the country. The firm recently conducted searches for a number of institutions in the Power Five conferences, as well as leading liberal arts colleges, AAU institutions and regional universities. The firm’s office locations include Nashville, New York, Washington, D.C., and Winston-Salem, NC, with affiliate offices in London. Buffkin/ Baker is a member of Panorama Search, an international federation of retained firms with 18 firms and over 30 offices globally.
Strengthening Services to Clients
“Our partnership with Buffkin/ Baker comes at a crucial time as we look to enhance the athletic search portion of our business, especially as it pertains to Division I athletics,” said Mr. Schemmel. “The unique tools, insights and search expertise at Buffkin / Baker is a perfect match for this collaboration with our firm, and we believe that this partnership will better serve our clients and theirs. This will strengthen the already comprehensive array of services we provided to our clients.”
CSS is a leading full-service and integrated provider of collegiate athletic consulting, strategies and solutions to universities, intercollegiate conferences and collegiate organizations. The firm provides executive search services for coach and administrator searches. CSS clients run the gamut of collegiate sports institutions, including Auburn University, Alabama State University, Alabama A & M University, Boise State University, Brigham Young University, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Grand Canyon University, Montana State University, New Mexico State University, Oregon State University, Presbyterian College, Tulane University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Central Missouri, University of Houston, University of Minnesota, University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), University of North Carolina (Charlotte), University of Northern Iowa, University of South Dakota, University of South Florida and University of Utah.
Partnerships and Mergers
Executive search firms have seen a rise in partnerships and mergers in recent months. Here’s a look at a few from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
The Hennessy Group partnered with Shanghai-based executive search firm Norland Associates to extend life sciences executive search services to East Asia markets. “Our clients in the life sciences industry have seen incredible growth over the past few years,” said Bob Hennessy, founder and CEO.
San Francisco-headquartered Riviera Partners has merged with Alpha Advisors, a boutique search firm specializing in senior information technology and quantitative talent for financial services and technology clients. Its founder and executive search veteran Jeff Campbell has joined Riviera to drive continued expansion. He will lead Riviera Partners’ new Atlanta location.
FaithSearch Partners, an executive search firm for faith-based organizations, has merged with Halftime Talent Solutions, a recruitment firm that serves mission-motivated non-profit and for-profit clients. The union creates a wider resource base through their combined networks. Based in Dallas, the new search firm will operate under the FaithSearch Partners brand.
Executive recruitment firm RM Nephew and Associates has formed a partnership with Cronin Partners International Search, an executive search firm headquartered in Dublin. “Having a trusted partner based in Ireland will enable us to significantly improve our offerings to clients with needs in the European and international markets.”
Consultants from three executive search firms have joined forces to launch a new search platform, HealthSearch Partners, specializing in identifying and placing transformational, mission-minded CEOs and senior leaders in healthcare systems. HealthSearch Partners combines the leadership of CES Executive Search, FaithSearch Partners and Southerland Partners.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media