Diversified Search Acquires Storbeck Search & Associates

February 12, 2020 – Acquisitions continue to make news in the recruiting industry, with a number of notable purchases in recent months. Recently, Diversified Search acquired education-focused Storbeck Search & Associates. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Founded by Shelly Storbeck in 2007, Storbeck is based in Media, PA, with 50 employees across six other states and Washington, D.C.  Focused on higher education, the firm has conducted searches for some of the country’s top colleges and universities, private schools and non-profit institutions. Its roster of university clients includes Brown, Columbia, Haverford, Johns Hopkins, Lawrenceville, Michigan State, Northwestern, Pomona, Princeton, Swarthmore and the University of Wisconsin, among others.

Ms. Storbeck will join Diversified Search and its previously combined firms of BioQuest, Koya Leadership Partners and Grant Cooper as a member of the Diversified Search Group, a newly formed entity that, in the words of founder and chair Judith M. von Seldeneck, “is building a new model for the executive search industry.”

“We are happy to welcome Storbeck into the Diversified Search Group, where along with Diversified’s strong higher education practice and the team from Koya, we now bring a combined deep and proven track record of success in the higher education search sector in the industry today,” Ms. von Seldeneck said.

“We are proud to join a firm as dynamic as Diversified for many reasons, but above all because we share a fundamental commitment to doing our very best to identify the ideal leader for each client,” said Ms. Storbeck. “Leadership in education and the non-profit sector is more important than ever, and the competition for exceptional leaders is intense. It is going to be exciting to work together across this extraordinary Diversified network that shares our focus on delivering leaders who excel for every institution.”

“When you think about the five core values that define the Diversified Search Group—respect, impact, integrity, commitment, and diversity and belonging—you can understand why Storbeck is such a natural fit in the Diversified family,” said Dale E. Jones, CEO of Diversified Search. “We couldn’t be happier to be having Shelly and her outstanding team helping us find the country’s most outstanding leaders.”

“We have always shared our clients’ belief that finding new leaders from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented is crucial to advancing society’s educational needs,” Ms. Storbeck said. “Diversified Search shares that core value with us, and so we are proud to be a member of the Diversified Search Group. In every search we lead, we commit to working proactively and energetically to recruit an excellent and diverse pool of candidates.”

Growing Via Acquisition

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, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco 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.

Diversified recently 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.

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.

Judith M. von Seldeneck, founder and chair of Diversified, said that the firm will continue to embark on a plan to add additional firms into the Diversified Search family of companies. “We are currently talking to several other boutique firms across the nation,” she said. “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.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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