Harrier Human Capital Acquires Australian Executive Search Firm

December 8, 2016 – Talent management company Harrier Human Capital (Harrier) has extended its service offerings through the acquisition of Oceans Group, an executive search firm based in Sydney and Singapore. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Established in 2010, Oceans Group provides executive search solutions across Australia, Asia and Europe. The firm has a breadth of industry and functional capabilities and currently has over 30 search consultants.

Harrier delivers business improvement through human capital by providing recruitment, strategic HR consulting and recruitment process outsourcing across Australia and Asia Pacific. Its clients include some of Australia’s largest employers, operating across the country and throughout Asia Pacific.

Led by Sean Garvey and Andrew Wood, Oceans Group will become an independent subsidiary of Harrier. Both companies will support and leverage each other in their distinct but related areas of expertise. “We are absolutely delighted to be part of Harrier and excited about leveraging our combined strengths and successes to date,” said Mr. Wood. “This is a strategic move for Oceans Group and enables us to fulfill the vast amount of potential and opportunity we have created.”

“Our team here is outstanding and this partnership ensures we can continue sustainable growth and create long-term rewarding careers for our people,” Mr. Wood added. “Harrier and Oceans Group share similar ethics and values and this was an important consideration in our decision. Sean and I are committed to continuing to build and evolve the Oceans brand with added support from the Harrier business.”

“The highly anticipated acquisition of Oceans Group cements Harrier’s position as Australasia’s leading boutique talent management business, setting us up for future growth and the further achievement of our strategic objectives,” said Kelly Quirk, chief executive officer of Harrier. “The leadership groups of Harrier and Oceans are partnering on integrating the two businesses where appropriate, to achieve a seamless transition for our employees and clients. I am delighted to be working with Sean, Andrew and their team and I know we are all looking forward to our joint future successes.”

Growing M&A Activity Among Recruiters

There has been quite a bit of M&A activity among executive search firms in recent months, from the Far East to Canada, the Americas and the U.K. & Europe. Whether this points to mass consolidation throughout the sector remains to be seen. Here is a look at just a recent sampling from the Hunt Scanlon archives:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Options Group recently acquired Broadstreet Global, a financial services search and strategic consulting firm based in Sydney, Australia. Broadstreet Global specializes in search and consulting for a number of interrelated sectors, including investment banking, capital markets, structured products, alternative asset classes and insurance. Its client base includes some of the world’s largest financial institutions, regional banks, asset managers, insurers and selective boutiques.
  • Heidrick & Struggles acquired Philosophy IB, a leadership consultant based in Florham Park, NJ. Philosophy IB was established in 2000 by founding partners Christine Lotze and Kaveh Naficy and today serves Fortune 100 companies focused on assisting clients execute their strategies by changing how people work. Heidrick also recently acquired JCA Group, a well-known London-based executive search advisory boutique. JCA Group is led by founding partners Jan Hall and Emma Fallon, and has 40 employees, including eight partners. The firm has been a leader in addressing gender disparity among boards, as a policy advocate and in placing women on boards in both non-executive and executive roles.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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