Heidrick & Struggles to Acquire London-based businessfourzero

March 22, 2023 – Chicago-headquartered executive search, leadership consulting, and culture shaping services provider Heidrick & Struggles has entered into an agreement to acquire businessfourzero, a London-headquartered consultancy specializing in developing and implementing purpose-driven change. “This acquisition will not only deepen Heidrick & Struggles’ existing set of leadership advisory and industry-leading culture and organization solutions, but also accelerate the company’s ability to help clients drive successful business transformations by linking purpose and strategy to leadership and culture,” said the firm. The acquisition is expected to be completed in April. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Powerful, purpose-driven cultures and inspired and engaged workforces are critical drivers of successful business transformations and long-term, sustainable performance,” said Krishnan Rajagopalan, president and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles. “businessfourzero will form an integral part of Heidrick Consulting’s offering, strengthening our ability to work with clients who are focused on developing future-ready cultures and organizations with pragmatic, actionable strategies. We look forward to welcoming Atif Sheikh and the entire team.”

Mr. Sheikh, CEO of businessfourzero, said: “businessfourzero has moved well beyond purpose statements to help our clients become businesses driven by purpose, joining the dots between purpose, commercial strategy, culture and leadership. Becoming part of Heidrick & Struggles allows us to accelerate and expand our international footprint and further accomplish our own company purpose: to get every team on a mission to actually do business better.”

Purpose and Culture

The businessfourzero management team, led by Mr. Sheikh, along with the brand name and its roster of employees and clients, will all remain in place, ensuring business and client service continuity as the integration takes place upon deal closing.

Demand trends demonstrate that executives are focused on purpose and culture now more than ever. Based on recent Heidrick & Struggles research, over 80 percent of CEOs that the firm surveyed globally cited culture as a key priority with two top reasons for this prioritization: to improve financial performance and to increase employee engagement. This high level of demand and focus has been accelerated by the pandemic’s lasting impact on hybrid work, retention of top talent and the importance of linking purpose, culture and strategy for shareholders, employees and customers. Additionally, proprietary company data shows, when organizations get purpose right, every driver of organizational performance is more powerful within the organization.

Related: Heidrick & Struggles Names Leader of Mexico City Office

Founded in 2015, businessfourzero is a next generation consultancy specializing in purpose-driven change. From executives to the frontline, the firm helps set strategic direction and equip teams to execute at pace. Leveraging its areas of expertise across purpose, strategy, leadership, engagement, and culture, businessfourzero says its purpose id “to get every team on a mission to actually do business better.”

A Previous Acquisition

Last month, Heidrick & Struggles 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 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 Mr. Rajagopalan. “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.”

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.

Related: Heidrick & Struggles Opens New Office in Colombia

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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