Kaye/Bassman Expands Search Staff

December 8, 2023 – Plano, TX-based executive search firm Kaye/Bassman International has expanded with the addition of Michael Pietrack as a managing director within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology recruiting practice. He will lead the expansion of Kaye/Bassman’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology search practices.

“Michael is not only one of the most prolific search professionals in the history of our industry but also is someone who makes everyone around him a better person,” said Jeff Kaye, co-CEO of Kaye/Bassman International. “This feels more like a homecoming. Our entire Starfish family of companies welcomes our newest owner, and we all look forward to writing our next chapter together. Michael’s career has been marked by unparalleled success and adding someone of his caliber to Kaye/Bassman takes our stellar pharmaceutical and biotechnology team to a new level.”

Mr. Pietrack has been recruiting in the pharmaceutical industry since 2007. He and his teams have placed more than 1,000 pharmaceutical professionals during that time, leaving an immeasurable positive impact on the industry. Mr. Pietrack started his recruiting career with The Alpine Group, where he led the medical affairs search practice. In 2015, he co-founded a medical affairs search firm called TMAC Direct. His recruiting thought leadership led him to being inducted into The Pinnacle Society, a group of the top 80 recruiters in North America.

“Since meeting Jeff Kaye in 2014, I’ve wanted to find a way to work together,” said Mr. Pietrack. “I’m thrilled to work alongside Kaye/Bassman’s existing pharma and biotech team of high performers. This partnership will take our respective practices to new heights. I can’t wait to get started.”

Related: The Current State of Executive Recruiting

Kaye/Bassman, founded in 1981, is a global search and recruitment solutions firm. It offers expertise in a number of industries, including construction and real estate, banking, insurance, private wealth management, healthcare, energy, security, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and medical device. During the last two decades, Kaye/Bassman has conducted nearly 5,000 mid- to senior-level searches.

New Platform

Starfish Partners was launched last year as an ownership/investment platform for the executive search market. The platform was formed to allow owners to scale and monetize their business value; it will also allow independent search firm owners to participate and share in the equity of an entire family of companies, not just their own. “As the search and staffing industry has evolved, it has consolidated in most areas,” said Mr. Kaye. “We see small staffing firms acquired by regional players acquired by national ones. We see giant holding companies owning a variety of organizations operating under many unique brands. We see mergers on both small and large scales,” he said.

Starfish Partners Acquires Direct Recruiters Inc.
Starfish Partners has acquired Direct Recruiters Inc. (DRI). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Current Starfish Partners organizations include search firms Kaye/Bassman International Corp. (KBIC), Full Spectrum Search Group, the Sanford Rose Associates International (SRAI) network, and Next Level Exchange (NLE). Dan Charney and Mike Silverstein from DRI and Jeff Kaye, Karen Schmidt, and Nick Turner from KBIC, SRAI, and NLE are the members of the new board. Dan Charney said: “DRI has a long-standing relationship and has benefited from NLE’s leadership, as demonstrated by the fact that we have grown tenfold in less than a decade. We are committed to continuing this trajectory as we seek additional investment and acquisition partners. We are excited to continue to do great work for our clients and help our associates and partners reach their goals.”

“The executive search industry has had a flurry of merger and acquisition activities over the years, but there is one segment of this massive world that has remained relatively untouched: the world of niche professional and mid-upper-level management search specialists,” Mr. Kaye said. “The barriers to entry are low, but the obstacles to growth are significant. There are understandable issues and reasons why investors have avoided this robust section of the market,” he noted.

Related: Strategic Talent Acquisition Planning in 2024

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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