Heidrick & Struggles Closes Atreus Acquisition

February 2, 2023 – Chicago-headquartered executive search, leadership consulting, and culture shaping services provider Heidrick & Struggles has closed the acquisition of Atreus, one of the leading players for executive interim management in Germany. Together, Atreus and Heidrick & Struggles’ wholly owned, U.S.-based Business Talent Group (BTG), which was acquired in 2021, constitute the company’s on-demand talent segment and build on its strong market position in this space. The brand name Atreus, well-known in the German market, will be retained, and the Atreus management team, led by Dr. Harald Linné and Rainer Nagel, will remain in place.

“Heidrick & Struggles is on an exciting transformation journey to broaden and diversify our suite of executive talent and leadership advisory services,” said Krishnan Rajagopalan, president and CEO, Heidrick & Struggles. “Our on-demand talent business is core to our overall growth strategy and a key client imperative that will only accelerate as companies continue to seek alternative ways to approach talent management with speed, agility and flexibility – whether it’s through on-demand access to executive leaders for interim roles or strategic project work.”

“The acquisition of Atreus is a highly complementary investment for Heidrick & Struggles,” said Mr. Rajagopalan. “The addition of Germany, a strategically important market for the firm, along with our existing on-demand talent businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom, gives us a strong springboard to scale this powerful platform across Europe and globally. We look forward to working closely with Atreus’ founders, Dr. Harald Linné and Rainer Nagel, as we pursue our strategic objectives together.”

Demand trends demonstrate that executives are beginning to understand the benefits that on-demand talent can offer given the attractive economics for project-based work. According to recent Heidrick & Struggles market research, more than 60 percent of executives surveyed in Europe have used some form of on-demand talent in the past, and 85 percent believe they will start to use on-demand talent services more in the future.

“Atreus has built a strong business in Germany over the last 14 years,” said Dr. Linné, managing director and co-founder of Atreus. “By joining forces with Heidrick & Struggles, we are able to expand and enhance our offerings to address our clients’ most critical talent needs.”

Related: Heidrick & Struggles Enters Agreement to Acquire RosExpert in Russia and WE Partners in Ukraine and Kazakhstan 

“As we look to strategically expand our talent offerings, being able to tap into Heidrick & Struggles’ global reach and network of clients is a pivotal step for Atreus in our continued expansion and development,” said Mr. Nagel, managing director and co-founder of Atreus.

“We are seeing a transformation in how organizations are acquiring executive level talent and the expertise they need,” said Dan Ryan, managing partner, on-demand talent, for Heidrick & Struggles. “Having access to top talent to fill roles on an interim basis, or to drive major projects forward, is becoming an increasingly important solution for our clients. The acquisition of Atreus will strengthen our already market leading on-demand talent platform and extend Heidrick & Struggles’ reach in this growing talent market segment, further underscoring our commitment to be at the forefront of delivering an integrated suite of executive talent and leadership advisory solutions.”

A Growing Role

Atreus GmbH helps clients solve particularly challenging transformational situations by placing experienced executives for line, project, and program management tasks. Providing tailor-made and premium quality services, Atreus offers C-suite level and C-suite level relevant interim management solutions. Relying on a network of more than 15,000 interim executives, Atreus has carried out more than 400 projects for 250 clients, both in Germany and internationally, in the past year alone.

Heidrick & Struggles Acquires Business Talent Group
Heidrick & Struggles has closed the acquisition of Business Talent Group (BTG), a marketplace for high-end independent talent on demand. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The addition of BTG complements Heidrick & Struggles’ strategic growth initiative to expand its suite of executive talent solutions to address new and ongoing client demands and builds on a two-year exclusive collaboration with BTG that began in 2019. BTG will continue to be led by co-founders and co-CEOs, Jody Greenstone Miller and Amelia Tyagi, and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Heidrick.

Heidrick & Struggles was a forerunner of the executive search industry when the firm was founded more than 65 years ago,” said CEO Krishnan Rajagopalan. “The seismic changes over the past year have accelerated the future of work and underscored the importance of agile leaders and workforces. We are excited to be the first global leadership advisory firm to enter the on-demand, independent talent space and partner with BTG, a leader and pioneer of the high-end independent talent marketplace.”

The demand for interim leaders is only growing. Last year, Korn Ferry expanded its offerings in the interim market with the acquisition of Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS). “Infinity Consulting Solutions will be a great fit, with interim professional placement offerings and expertise that are highly relevant for the new world of work,” said Gary D. Burnison, CEO of Korn Ferry. “Today, Boomers are retiring and career nomads are looking for change – early and often. Our clients have entered a new reality where shortages of skilled labor are projected to persist, particularly in high-demand areas such as IT. Korn Ferry’s acquisition of ICS echoes our commitment to scale our solutions and further increase our focus at the intersection of talent and strategy – wherever and however the needs of organizations evolve.”

An Expanding Portfolio

Headquartered in New York, with nine offices throughout the U.S., ICS offers interim professional solutions expertise which will further enhance Korn Ferry’s portfolio. ICS is a provider of senior-level IT interim professional solutions with additional expertise in the areas of compliance and legal, accounting and finance, and human resources.

The firm brings to Korn Ferry a vast network of senior IT professionals, a data-driven recruitment process, and deep relationships with a diverse mix of clients across multiple industries. ICS has also been recognized with the Best of Staffing Diamond award for 10 consecutive years.

Earlier in the year, Korn Ferry acquired interim executive solutions provider Patina Solutions Group. Patina brings to Korn Ferry interim executive solutions expertise across multiple industry verticals. Patina’s network of C-suite, and professional interim talent spans functional areas of expertise such as finance, operations, legal, human resources, IT and more.

Related: Hunt Scanlon Ventures Facilitates True Acquisition of Hobbs & Towne

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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