November 23, 2020 – Troy, Michigan-based Kelly, a publicly-held, global leader in workforce management solutions offering staffing services to top companies, has acquired Greenwood/Asher & Associates, an executive search firm specializing in finding leaders across the academic and higher education sector. The search firm, based in Miramar Beach, Florida, will continue to operate under its own brand.
“Across the education landscape, the need for talent has never been greater, and Kelly has been diligently identifying adjacencies and growth opportunities to meet the increased demand for experienced education professionals,” said Peter Quigley, Kelly president and CEO. “With the acquisition of Greenwood/Asher, we are formally expanding our solutions beyond K-12 and into the higher education space.”
“Partners Jan Greenwood and Betty Asher have deep roots in higher education, having both served as tenured professors and presidents of universities,” said Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Greenwich, Conn-based market intelligence and advisory firm Hunt Scanlon Media. “The academic recruiting space has been on fire, and the timing of this deal could not have been better for both the buyer and the seller.”
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on many executive search firms over the past eight to 10 months, according to industry market intelligence reports from Hunt Scanlon. “But one bright spot has been the higher education recruiting space,” said the firm in a statement. According to Hunt Scanlon, Greenwood/Asher & Associates has been a perennial go-to firm for colleges and universities seeking leaders for decades. The firm recently ranked as a Hunt Scanlon Top 40 Higher Education Recruiter on a ranking published earlier this year.
Diversified Search Acquires Storbeck Search & Associates
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.
“This deal gives these two founders an important continuity plan for their business and it gives Kelly a leg up into senior level recruiting for deans, chancellors, presidents, heads of advancement, and much of the important C-suite of educational institutions around the country,” said Mr. Scanlon.
There are a number of rivals active in the space, according to Hunt Scanlon. Among them: Academic Search, Lindauer, R. William Funk & Associates, R.H. Perry & Associates, WittKieffer, Higher Education Leadership Search, and Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates – acquired nine months ago by Diversified Search.
Three of these firms – WittKieffer, Academic Search, and Storbeck/Pimentel – along with Greenwood/Asher earlier this month went head-to-head vying for the contract to lead the effort to identify and recruit the next president for Florida State University. The four search firms were selected out of 10 submitting applications. William Buzzett, the school’s search committee chair, said choosing the right search firm was critical. “I think it’s going to be fundamentally important that we get a search firm that understands our university, where we are and where we need to be,’” he said. Of the finalist search firms, Storbeck/Pimentel handled the search in 2014 that led to the hiring of current university president John Thrasher, and Academic Search – which identified Eric Barron who was brought in as the school’s president in 2010.
New State Capital Partners Takes Equity Stake in Klein Hersh
New State Capital Partners, based in Larchmont, NY, has taken an equity investment stake in Horsham, PA-based Klein Hersh International, an executive search firm focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries. New State was advised on the transaction by Morgan Lewis (legal), Duff & Phelps (financial), L.E.K. Consulting (industry), and Citizens Bank (M&A advisory).
Fee bids ranged extensively for this latest search: WittKieffer submitted a bid of $145,000; Academic submitted their bid of $115,000; Greenwood/Asher sent in a $100,000 fee bid; and Storbeck/Pimentel offered to conduct the search for $90,000. Ms. Greenwood is an FSU alumna.
Last week, the Florida State University presidential search advisory committee voted unanimously to negotiate a contract with Storbeck/Pimentel to identify candidates.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media