Diversified Search Group

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On September 29, 2021 Hunt Scanlon Ventures is convening hundreds of executive recruiters, PE leaders, and investment bankers at The Harvard Club of New York to examine how executive search firms are funding expansion, raising growth capital, seeking PE growth partners, and acquiring rivals to stay competitive in one of the hottest markets in years.

If your search firm is preparing an expansion and in need of funding, seeking a private equity growth partner, considering a sale, developing an M&A strategy, setting up a continuity plan, or mapping an exit, we take a deep dive with the best experts across the field. We take you inside the latest deals to examine how investors themselves are assessing search firms – and evaluating risk.

We invite you to come meet key players in the PE community, shake hands with top executive search leaders, and discover your next move. Our formal sessions will include a continental breakfast followed by a networking break which will include mid-morning snacks. We end with a ‘champagne & nibbles’ gathering upstairs in the club where you will meet everyone one-on-one and exchange business cards!



A Special Thanks To Our Premier Sponsors



Rob Adams

Opening Remarks

Rob Adams Moderator – Hunt Scanlon Media
Larry Hartmann


Larry Hartmann Chief Executive Officer – ZRG

In our opening presentation, Larry Hartmann – CEO of one of the fastest growing executive search firms – will discuss how he achieved sustained double digit growth through selected investments and key acquisitions. Mr. Hartmann will outline how two early rounds of private equity investment set the stage for an expansion strategy that has now been underway for more than five years with great success. He will then examine two top acquisitions he’s made and how they fit into his plan to create value and diversify. Mr. Hartmann will share his views on why search firms might consider an acquisition strategy as we enter a post-COVID-19 era of growth and expansion.



Tobey Sommer


Tobey Sommer Managing Director – Truist Securities

In this special presentation, Tobey Sommer – one of the most respected analysts covering the business services market today – will examine how investors, and Wall Street, assess and evaluate executive search firms. He will outline key valuation metrics that investors consider and, as importantly, Mr. Sommer will discuss key risks that investors focus on when evaluating investments across the sector. Mr. Sommer will also provide his views on the measures that executive search firms can take to attract capital investments.




Networking Break

Moderator: Jeff Becker


Moderator: Jeff Becker Managing Director, Head of M&A (North America) – Equiteq

In just the last few years, private equity firms have taken investment positions in more than a dozen executive search firms. These PE sponsors see growth and expansion in key verticals, including life sciences, green tech and sustainability, healthcare, higher education, interim leadership, technology, and across the private equity space itself. In this panel discussion, three leading PE investment professionals discuss why they have taken equity stakes in selected search firms. They will also share their views on why executive search is likely to be a human capital solutions investment leader, and how small and mid-sized recruiters can best position themselves as possible acquisition targets, seek acquisitions of their own, and when mezzanine capital makes most sense.

Harry Somerdyk
Chief Talent Officer
RFE Investment Partners

Tom D’Ovidio

Matt Konkle
Senior Managing Director & Head of Industry Teams
G2 Capital Advisors



Ryan Cleland-Bogle


Ryan Cleland-Bogle Chief Executive Officer – Tempting Ventures

Savvy investors want to invest in businesses with long runways ahead. Executive search firms fit that bill – but not all are created equal. In this provocative session, Ryan Cleland-Bogle – CEO of Tempting Ventures – outlines his evaluation techniques and the metrics he applies when evaluating investments in small cap search firms, start-ups, and in the entrepreneurs themselves. Mr. Cleland-Bogle will discuss how Tempting Ventures strategically positions the executive recruiting brands it acquires by exploiting niches to scale quickly. You will not want to miss this closing session.



Rob Adams

Closing Remarks

Rob Adams Moderator – Hunt Scanlon Media

VIP Champagne Reception

A steady wave of M&A activity is sweeping across the top-end executive recruiting solutions sector. In hot pursuit: Private equity firms, investment banks, super boutiques, and multi-billion dollar consultancies seeking new platforms – and investment opportunities – to drive growth.

On September 29, 2021 Hunt Scanlon Ventures is convening hundreds of executive recruiters, PE leaders, and investment bankers at The Harvard Club of New York to examine how executive search firms are funding expansion, raising growth capital, seeking PE growth partners, and acquiring rivals to stay competitive in one of the hottest markets in years.

If your search firm is preparing an expansion and in need of funding, seeking a private equity growth partner, considering a sale, developing an M&A strategy, setting up a continuity plan, or mapping an exit, we take a deep dive with the best experts across the field. We take you inside the latest deals to examine how investors themselves are assessing search firms – and evaluating risk.

Executive search firms are today highly attractive to investors. They are expanding rapidly, diversifying into new business, and going global. Investors see a multi-billion industry at a crossroads, and in need of capital funding to accelerate growth. Human capital leaders, search firm founders, and M&A investment professionals come together to offer up surprising recommendations for anyone considering this path.

Come join our exclusive network of human capital professionals and investment experts for a captivating half-day event on September 29, 2021 at the prestigious Harvard Club of New York. Our thought-provoking presentations and Q&A sessions exploring growth, expansion, and M&A risk evaluation is a must-attend event.

Meet key players in the PE community, shake hands with top executive search leaders, and discover your next move. Our formal sessions will include a continental breakfast followed by a networking break which will include mid-morning snacks. We end with a ‘champagne & nibbles’ gathering upstairs in the club where you will meet everyone one-on-one and exchange business cards!

Executive Recruiting M&A Forum: Strategies for Accelerating Growth in a Hot Market‘ will include presentations by Larry Hartmann, chief executive officer at ZRG; Tobey Sommer, managing director at Truist Securities; Jeff Becker, managing director, head of M&A (North America) at Equiteq; Harry Somerdyk, chief talent officer at RFE Investment Partners; Tom D’Ovidio, partner at ShoreView; Matt Konkle, senior managing director at G2 Capital Advisors; and Ryan Cleland-Bogle, chief executive officer at Tempting Ventures.

Harvard Club of New York City
35 West 44th Street, NY 10036

(Cancellation notice: any passes canceled after August 16, 2021 will not be refunded. Sponsorships non-refundable.)


Jeff Becker, Managing Director, Head of M&A (North America) – Equiteq

Jeff Becker is the head of M&A in North America for Equiteq and has 26 years of investment banking experience, advising a variety of growth and middle-market companies on well over 100 strategic advisory or capital raising transactions. Jeff has long focused on the human capital management sector (especially the recruiting and talent development segments) in addition to working with broader technology and tech-enabled services companies. Jeff has been deeply involved in developing Equiteq’s strategic vision to become a trusted advisor to companies and their shareholders leading the Knowledge Economy.

Prior to joining Equiteq, Jeff has advised companies in his role heading or co-heading services and technology banking groups. He spent nearly a decade focused on M&A advisory at JEGI and AGC Partners, and earlier in his career also acted as a valued underwriter on dozens of IPOs, other public financing and M&A transactions at firms such as Robertson Stephens, RBC Capital Markets and JMP Securities. Jeff earned his MBA with Distinction from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and his BS in Finance from Lehigh University.

Ryan Cleland-Bogle, Chief Executive Officer – Tempting Ventures

In 2002, Ryan Cleland-Bogle co-founded Carrington Fox, a financial markets recruiter. The firm refined the operating model enabling them to grow to 100 fee earners across London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore across four brands by the time Ryan was 27. He sold four of the brands in 2012. Ryan then founded the business with Nicholas Clarkin and their first hire, Nicholas Wells, became a partner.

In 2009, Ryan founded Lucas Love Healthcare, a nursing agency. He scaled and the business sold to Bettercare Capital in 2016. In 2014, he became CEO of Recruitment Entrepreneur where he scaled the business to 130 people in just 2.5 years and originated, structured and transacted on all of their most successful investments. Ryan then left to set up Tempting Ventures.

Tom D’Ovidio, Partner – ShoreView

Tom D’Ovidio joined ShoreView as a partner in 2007. He has over 20 years of experience in private equity investing and has served on many boards, working with companies across a diverse group of industries, including packaging, plastics, commercial and industrial product distribution, logistics, consumer products, niche manufacturing, building products, and business services.

Prior to joining ShoreView, Tom served on the investment team at several private equity firms —Thompson Street Capital Partners, Berwind Private Equity, and Summit Private Capital. In addition to his roles on ShoreView boards, Tom also serves on the board of Garden Academy, a non-profit school for children with autism.

Larry Hartmann, Chief Executive Officer – ZRG

Larry Hartmann is the CEO of ZRG, one of the fastest growing mid-sized global executive search firms in the industry. He is a results-driven leader with a broad business background in executive search as well as in industry. As CEO, Larry is responsible for driving overall growth, client engagement and profitability of the firm. A key focus for Larry is engaging and recruiting top talent to join the firm as well as selectively pursuing additional acquisitions that fit the ZRG culture. Larry also leads the charge in continuing to innovate and enhance the firm’s data driven value proposition.

Prior to joining ZRG in 2002, Larry was a founder of Rockford Industries, a NASDAQ traded commercial lending business that supported the medical device market. While at Rockford, the firm went from a pure start up, to an Inc. 500 recognized growth firm through IPO and ultimate sale to American Express. This experience provided a unique view of growing a business, raising capital and hiring talent, through virtually all business stages. After the sale, Larry was an EVP with American Express for three years.

Additionally, Larry also has broad board of director experience. In addition to public company experience as a board member, he has also served on boards in both Private Equity and Venture backed businesses. Larry has also served on the Equipment Finance Industry Foundation board for six years. Currently, Larry is a member of the Kean University Business School Board and leads a non-profit board, Crossroads Job Network, which creates jobs for the community of Paterson, NJ.

Matt Konkle, Senior Managing Director and Head of Industry Teams – G2 Capital Advisors

Matt Konkle is senior managing director and head of industry teams for G2. He is also practice leader of the technology and business services group with a focus on tech-enabled services, business process outsourcing, and managed services across the middle market. His specialties include executing complex M&A transactions, strategic planning & execution, and restructurings. Matt has led or participated in over 20 transactions across several industries, to date.

An accomplished C-level executive with 25 years of experience in technology, supply chain and logistics and business services, he has led organizations in all phases of the growth cycle from business formation through multiple strategic exits and reorganizations in both public and private companies. Matt is a recognized leader in the ecommerce services industry with deep operational experience in outsourced business models.

Prior to G2, he was president of Fifth Gear, a tech-enabled services company and provider of end-to-end ecommerce solutions including order management, fulfillment, customer care, and freight management. Matt led Fifth Gear from inception including the development of the company’s product and service offerings and go-to-market strategy. As part of Fifth Gear’s growth strategy, Matt partnered with G2 on buy-side, financial advisory and sell-side mandates. In 2014, Matt and G2 completed a strategic sale of the business to Speed Commerce (NASDAQ: SPDC). As the Chief Operating Officer of Speed Commerce, Matt was responsible for a team of over 1,500 employees serving over 30 retail and consumer brands.

Prior to Fifth Gear, Matt was president of Sigma Micro, an enterprise software company specializing in order management technology for ecommerce retailers. Matt led the commercialization of the company’s order management platforms and all corporate development activities to include multiple acquisitions, capital strategies and strategic partnerships. He also formed the company’s wholly-owned operations in India to establish offshore research and development capabilities as a core component of the company’s strategy. Matt has also held operational and financial leadership roles at Reverse911, an emergency management software company sold to Golden Gate Capital and Aprimo, an enterprise marketing management software company sold to Teradata (NYSE: TDC).

Tobey Sommer, Managing Director – Truist Securities

Tobey Sommer is managing director of Truist Securities where he has spent 20 years covering the services sector as an equity research analyst. His current coverage focus includes human capital management, consulting, government services contractors, and business services.

Before joining the firm in 2001, Tobey held the position of director at E.J. Krause & Associates, where he organized international technology and industrial trade shows for six years, including establishing Brazilian operations. He served as a forestry volunteer in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.

Harry Somerdyk, Chief Talent Officer – RFE Investment Partners

Harry Somerdyk is the chief talent officer of RFE. Harry joined the firm in 2015 as director of talent management & executive recruitment. He also serves as a board director at ZRG.

Prior to joining RFE, he was executive vice president, chief human resources & communications officer of Information Services Group (NASDAQ: III). Before joining Information Services Group, Harry was senior director and partner at Spencer Stuart for 11 years. Prior to Spencer Stuart, he served as senior vice president, global marketing and brand development at Business Week.

His professional experience includes leadership roles in the media & business-to-business sectors, including publisher of Digital News & review, sales & marketing director of AirMiles, advertising sales director at Prodigy and division manager at fortune magazine. Harry began his career as a research analyst at Readers Digest and Promotion Copywriter at Fortune.


Keynote Sponsor

ZRG is a global executive search and human capital management firm that is changing the way companies hire and manage talent. The firm was founded on the principle that good information and process excellence are the cornerstones of any successful human capital decision.

ZRG has served clients for over 17 years across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia. The firm’s fact-based approach helps clients make better decisions about their most valuable resource, their people. For more information, visit www.zrgpartners.com.

Premier Sponsor

Tempting Ventures partners with, and invests in, the best high caliber recruitment teams, startups and entrepreneurs to build world beating brands.

By strategically positioning these brands in high growth markets supported by best in class talent acquisition and marketing functions, the firm can exploit these niches to scale quicker than the competition.

Tempting Ventures has built a reputation as being the go-to recruitment investor and strategy house supporting businesses to enter markets that will make you look smart in five years time. The firm’s track record speaks for itself. In just 3 years the firm has grown to over 70 recruitment specialists across six recruitment brands with £22 million in sales and 70% of its NFI from international clients. For more information, visit www.temptingventures.com.

Tempting Talent was founded in 2017 as the talent arm of Tempting Ventures, a recruitment focused venture capital firm.

It was founded to support Tempting Ventures’ mission to help build specialist recruitment entrepreneurs in new and exciting markets.

Since then, Tempting Talent has grown to become a leading recruitment-to-recruitment business in the USA, working with recruitment companies from the UK and US companies to expand in America.

The firm’s mission is to empower people to reach their potential through careers in recruitment. They aim to do this through access to the right information, opportunities, and people that maximize the chances of professional success, and by helping people find purpose and meaning in work to lead as fulfilled and happy lives as possible. For more information, visit www.temptingtalent.com.

Reception Sponsor

Equiteq remains the leading specialist in the Knowledge Economy through first-hand insight and research.

Equiteq is a fast-growing global M&A specialist. The firm advises on the acquisition and sale of the world’s smartest knowledge-based software and services firms. Being close to active buyers and investors helps the firm to understand their acquisition needs and this informs how they can add value to founders who want to sell their businesses.

The firm is a recognized specialist advisor in the Knowledge Economy where intellectual property has historically been delivered through people in consulting firms, but more and more is delivered in combination with software and technology. Equiteq’s benchmarking studies – produced for the last 15 years – have become the industry standard and are supported with detailed insight reports on a range of disciplines within the sector. For more information, visit www.equiteq.com.

Lanyard Sponsor

Diversified Search is one of the top 10 retained executive search firms in North America. It has nine offices across the U.S. – in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Southern California, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. and global capabilities in 37 countries as the exclusive U.S. partner of Alto Partners. Diversified Search delivers leadership talent to its clients using a highly collaborative approach to each search assignment, viewing each one through a broad lens. This allows its consultants to consider all issues – including generational, cultural, ethnic, industry, gender and functional – to bring organizations fresh, high-potential candidates. For more information, visit www.diversifiedsearch.com.

Networking Sponsors

Caldwell Partners is a technology-powered talent acquisition firm specializing in recruitment at all levels. Through two distinct brands – Caldwell and IQTalent Partners – the firm leverages the latest innovations in AI to offer an integrated spectrum of services delivered by teams with deep knowledge in their respective areas.

Services include candidate research and sourcing through to full recruitment at the professional, executive and board levels, as well as a suite of talent strategy and assessment tools that can help clients hire the right people, then manage and inspire them to achieve maximum business results. For more information, visit www.caldwellpartners.com.

Lindauer is proud to be one of the world’s leading retained executive search firms focused on nonprofits, ranked in Hunt Scanlon’s 2020 list of the top 50 executive search firms in the United States and additionally placed on their 2021 HR/Recruiting Diversity Power 65, Top 60 Nonprofit Recruiters, and Top 40 Higher Education Firms lists. Since its founding more than 20 years ago, Lindauer has grown into a global firm serving education, health, arts, policy, foundation, and charity organizations across the United States and on four continents.

Lindauer is a respected leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The team today continues its engagement, advocacy, and investment in equity and anti-racism work with Boards, leaders, hiring managers, search peers, a trusted network of industry advisors and consultants, and an extraordinary roster of talented professionals. For more information, visit www.lindauerglobal.com.

StevenDouglas, one of the nation’s leading search and interim resource firms, is a recognized leader in identifying and providing access to top talent and executives for companies since 1984. The firm has been connecting premier candidates to their client base that spans an array of high-demand disciplines, and a broad range of industries.

StevenDouglas is nationally known for search expertise in finance & accounting, human resource, information technology, financial services, operations, sales & marketing, legal, risk & compliance, supply chain & logistics; as well as providing interim resources and staffing for information technology, finance & accounting, and human resources.

StevenDouglas supports companies at any phase, including start-ups, emerging middle-market, and Fortune 500 companies. The firm also has established relationships and a successful track-record with private equity and venture capital firms, as well as family offices. It’s one of the fastest growing recruiting firms in the U.S. with locations across the country, including a presence in Latin America & Canada. For more information, visit www.stevendouglas.com.

The Tolan Group is a Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Healthcare and Life Sciences  executive search firm recognized for their industry experience and performance driven placement services. Our talented team delivers exceptional candidates in healthcare services, healthcare tech and behavioral health. Our clients are private equity and venture capital partners and their portfolio companies as well as privately help companies and we place talent across all three sectors. We have broad experience placing talent for PE platforms, start-ups, early stage companies as well as working with publicly traded companies. We are headquartered in St Augustine FL, with satellite offices in Atlanta, Tampa, Philadelphia and Appleton, WI. For more information, visit www.thetolangroup.com.

Canadian-based Waterford Global Inc. is a top-tier retained executive search firm. As the only search firm in Canada to have ever received the Canadian Business Excellence Award for Private Businesses, Waterford Global is now a two-time recipient of the Award (2020 and 2021). This distinction recognizes the firm’s strengths in three key performance areas: delighted clients; engaged employees; and innovation. As one of Hunt Scanlon’s Top 60 Canadian Recruiters and Top 25 Cleantech/ESG Search Firms, Waterford Global works with a select client portfolio of privately-held and publicly-traded organizations operating in the firm’s key industry verticals – agriculture, cleantech, healthcare & medtech, manufacturing, and financial services.

As the exclusive provider-of-choice to many of its clients, Waterford Global is the recruitment partner to organizations ranging from start-ups and PE-funded growth stage companies to global market leaders.  Clients engage Waterford Global in the search for leadership, technical, scientific, and physician talent for their domestic and international operations.  With its emphasis on an exceptional client and candidate experience, Waterford Global is in its 15th year of delivering on its approach to “Search – done differently.” For more information, visit www.waterfordglobal.com.

Cancellation Policy

(Cancellation notice: any passes canceled after August 16, 2021 will not be refunded. Sponsorships non-refundable.)


Thank you for your interest in attending our upcoming conference, Executive Recruiting M&A Forum: Strategies for Accelerating Growth in a Hot Market,’ to be held on September 29, 2021 at the Harvard Club of New York. The half-day event will begin at 8:00am with continental breakfast, a mid-day Networking break along with very exciting presentations by top professionals in the sector.

We invite you to come learn how the executive search community is reimagining how they can fund their growth and expansion plans, raise capital and prepare for an expansion or exit strategy.