January 2, 2019 – Leading-edge professionals are in high demand within the fashion market, according to recruiters.
To help fill that need, global executive search firm Kilpatrick Group SA recently acquired Lugano, Switzerland-based BFK HR Consulting, a consulting company specializing in human resources with a focus on ICT applied to fashion.
In 2019, the firm further plans to launch BFK Digital, which will make major investments in the world of ICT and fashion technology on a global scale.
“We decided to invest in this company because we estimate they have the potentials we need to innovate and to set a fruitful dialogue with the fashion industry into motion,” said Jacob Hoekstra, general manager of BFK digital and CEO of Kilpatrick Group. “To this aim, Roberto Lipari, the current general manager of BFK, will ensure continuity by giving his support as board advisor.”
“Roberto has garnered 10 years of experience in the world of ICT applied to fashion and knows the market inside out,” Mr. Hoekstra said. “Thanks to his support and the innovative drive which has always set Kilpatrick apart, we are confident we will responsively meet the market needs and requirements.”
The takeover of BFK was coordinated by Loomish, an investment management company based in Switzerland specializing in lifestyle tech with a special focus on fashion and design.
“Over the past few years, the impact digitalization and ICT have had on the fashion industry has been viewed as strategically relevant, in addition to outlining future guidelines,” said Jelena Tasic Pizzolato, of Loomish. “In order to grow in the global market, leading fashion brands need digital talent, namely hybrid professionals knowledgeable about fashion as well as ICT and digital. In what is manifestly an increasingly competitive set, tapping into the services of strategic recruiting agencies, as BFK Digital could become, can make the difference.”
Mr. Hoekstra said that the strength of his company resides in its global network. “We have 17 branch offices scattered all over the world and the ability to identify the best resources anywhere,” he said. “And based on our international vision, I feel I can confidently claim that Ticino has turned out being an extremely interesting hub as it is gradually shaping into a competitive, global-scale scenario.”
“Today we can no longer address and examine the fashion market strictly from the point of view of logistic and production,” Mr. Hoekstra said. “It requires a global perspective, complemented by digital headways and innovation. And that is where a solid strategic structure can be established. We are thrilled about this new challenge as well as about the experienced partners we are sharing this adventure with.”
With more than 70 consultants in 16 offices and serving 42 countries around the globe, Kilpatrick works closely with both public and private corporations. The firm has a special focus on family-owned enterprises, providing board advisory services, CEO and leadership succession planning, executive search and assessment, and leadership development. The search firm, founded in 1997, is based in Milan, Italy.
Recent M&A activity
Acquisitions have kept the executive search industry in a state of flux. Here’s a sampling of recent acquisitions taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
StevenDouglas Acquires Technology-Focused Boutique
StevenDouglas has acquired Tallience, a full-service technology search, staffing and consulting firm located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. As part of the acquisition, founding partner Tim Baron is joining Sunrise, FL-based StevenDouglas as managing director of its Washington, D.C. metro office.
London-based Sheffield Haworth acquired Gillamor Stephens, a digital and technology sector recruiting specialist. The firm’s work focuses on hiring board-level executives for both publicly listed and venture capital/private equity backed technology businesses in the U.K. and across Europe.
ZRG Partners Acquires Epsen Fuller Group
ZRG Partners acquired certain assets of the Epsen Fuller Group. As part of the agreement, Thomas Fuller, formerly the managing partner and CEO of Epsen Fuller Group, is joining ZRG as managing director & global practice leader for the firm’s consumer sector.
McDermott & Bull Acquires Prime-Core Executive Search
McDermott & Bull has acquired Denver-based Prime-Core Executive Search. Ken Dropiewski, as a result, joins the firm as a principal consultant in the sciences group, specializing in the med-tech space.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media