Diversified Search Acquires Grant Cooper

A St. Louis-based healthcare search firm is the latest addition to an expanding portfolio at Diversified Search as one of the nation’s top recruitment providers looks for growth. Here’s the latest M&A news.

July 24, 2019 – M&A activity, with the support of private equity firms, continues unabated in the executive search industry.

In the latest deal, Diversified Search has acquired Grant Cooper, a St. Louis-based healthcare-focused executive search firm. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Judith M. von Seldeneck, founder and chair of Diversified, said: “The acquisition of Grant Cooper is another step toward our goal to create a new model in our industry, which is to help clients worldwide better meet the accelerated demand for talent at the C-suite level as they seek to meet the business challenges brought on by a robust and expanding global economy, spurred on by rapidly changing innovative and cutting-edge technologies.”

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Established in 1957, Grant Cooper has been a pioneer in the recruiting field, and today is considered one of the more distinguished firms in the healthcare leadership space. Its roster of clients include some of the leading healthcare organizations in the country, including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inova Health System and Intermountain Healthcare, in addition to college and university health systems such as Duke University Health System, University of Texas Southwestern and the University of Alabama, among others.

“My partners and I are thrilled to be joining Diversified Search, especially at this time of rapid growth,” said Ed Stout, one of Grant Cooper’s three managing partners. “We have great respect for the Diversified team and the quality of work they do. This partnership will give us even greater access to talent and broaden our geographic reach which will ultimately benefit our clients.”

Veteran Healthcare Recruiters

Mr. Stout’s healthcare client service spans more than a decade. As a counselor to senior executives, he has advised on issues of strategy, revenue growth, operational efficiency and physician alignment. He has also helped architect and implement large scale operational transformations at some of the largest hospital systems in the U.S., and has provided subject matter expertise to hospital leaders in the U.K., Canada and Germany. Mr. Stout’s searches at Grant Cooper are national in scope, and include clinical and non-clinical leaders for providers and other healthcare entities, with an emphasis on C-level leaders.


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Mr. Stout is joined by managing partners Carrie Hackett and Ron Chod. Ms. Hackett brings more than 25 years of experience. Her clients include organizations as geographically and organizationally diverse as Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI, to Vanderbilt Health in Nashville, TN, and Ochsner Health System in New Orleans. For these organizations and a host of others, Ms. Hackett has placed scores of CMOs, CEOs, CFOs and service line leaders.

Dr. Chod has more than 25 years of experience in clinical practice, academic leadership and integrated delivery system administration. His executive search practice is national in scope and highly focused on academic physician leaders, including deans, department chairs and division heads, as well as academic hospital and integrated delivery system leaders, including CMOs, CMIOs, CEOs, and group practice leaders.

“There is no sector undergoing more transformational change right now then healthcare,” said Dale E. Jones, CEO of Diversified Search. “Grant Cooper is a dynamic, strategic and innovative firm with a sterling track record of placing top talent in this field. We are delighted to welcome this amazing team into the Diversified Search family and to bring even more expertise and knowledge to the marketplace.”

Recent Acquisition

In June, Diversified acquired Koya Leadership Partners, one of the nation’s top search firms in non-profit and higher education. This followed the firm receiving backing investment dollars from private equity firm ShoreView Industries.


Diversified Search Closes Funding Round, Acquires Koya Leadership Partners
Diversified Search, backed by investment dollars from private equity firm ShoreView Industries, has acquired Koya Leadership Partners, one of the nation’s top search firms in non-profit and higher education. Katie Bouton, Koya’s founder and CEO, will assume the role of president of Diversified Search.

Koya’s specialization in mission-driven search, primarily with non-profit and higher education clients, complements Diversified’s own major education, non-profit, and arts & culture practices, as well as the firm’s healthcare services, board of directors, life sciences, industrial and digital, media, entertainment and sports practices. Diversified said that Koya’s strong track record of placing transformational leaders, leveraging cutting-edge capabilities in social media strategy and technology, and its unique understanding of the growing Millennial workforce also complement its levels of expertise.


With the combination of revenues and resources, Diversified Search and Koya now represent one of the largest non-profit and higher education practices in the executive search industry. The merger will helped create one of the largest executive search firms in the U.S. marketplace, with combined projected annual revenue in excess of $80 million. According to Hunt Scanlon MediaDiversified checked in as the 11th largest search firm in the Americas, posting revenues of $60.1 million, a 16.2 percent increase from the year before. Meanwhile, Koya ranked 28th with revenues of $14.2 million, up 35 percent.

More Growth on the Horizon

Ms. von Seldeneck said that the firm will continue to embark on a plan to add additional firms into the Diversified Search family of companies, which in addition to Grant Cooper and Koya also includes BioQuest, a search firm in the biotechnology and medical device sectors, which was acquired by Diversified in 2016.

Related: Acquisitions Continue Among Search Firms

“We are currently talking to several other boutique firms across the nation,” said Ms. von Seldeneck. “Some of those talks are pretty far along, others just beginning. It is highly likely that within the next several years we will be a firm that is twice or triple the size of what we are now. That means more talent, more resources, more depth to the bench and an even more competitive firm.

“The strategy is simple: smart growth with key players to bolster existing practices within the firm that are already hale and growing organically,” Ms. von Seldeneck said. “Obviously, we do not plan to, or want to, grow just for growth’s sake. It is vitally important to us that whoever we approach for possible additions fits into our culture and shares our values. That is first and foremost, even above the numbers.”


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“We have spent 45 years building a firm around tent-pole values of trust, respect, integrity, goodwill and excellence,” she said. “They have been critical in our success and helped build our reputation as one of the most respected firms in the industry. I would never risk that. Ever.”

Largest U.S. Female Owned Firm

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Diversified Search is the largest U.S. female owned and founded firm in the executive recruitment industry. It has offices in Atlanta, Boston. Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Southern California, and Washington, D.C. Diversified is the U.S. partner of AltoPartners, an international alliance of 58 independent executive search firms that spans 35 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Ms. von Seldeneck is a noted pioneer in the search industry, and she has been identifying and placing senior-level executive talent around the country for more than four decades. During the course of her career, she has been recognized by the executive search industry as setting the standard for retained executive search and has been active on numerous public, private and not-for-profit boards of directors.

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

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