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On September 19, 2024, Hunt Scanlon Ventures is convening hundreds of search firm founders, PE leaders, and investment bankers at The Harvard Club of New York to examine how executive search firms are unlocking value, funding expansion, raising capital, seeking PE growth partners, merging, and acquiring rivals to stay competitive during one of the industry’s most dynamic periods.



A Special Thanks To Our Premier Sponsor



Sponsored by:


Rob Adams

Opening Remarks

Rob Adams Moderator – Hunt Scanlon Media
Introduction by: Christian Franck IV
Jeff Rudnicki

Winning Through M&A: The Remarkable Habits of Successful Dealmakers

Introduction by: Christian Franck IV Associate – Hunt Scanlon Ventures Jeff Rudnicki Senior Partner – Global Leader M&A Strategy – McKinsey & Company

New research from McKinsey & Company confirms the high value that programmatic M&A brings to companies that pursue it. Regular and systematic M&A not only delivers better shareholder returns, but it often drives value creation. In fact, companies that practice programmatic M&A create a virtuous cycle and outperform competitors much more often than companies that don’t pursue it. In the following presentation, Jeff Rudnicki, senior partner and global leader M&A strategy at McKinsey, will identify four crucial strategic actions that programmatic acquirers take and the relationship that those actions have to outperformance.



Cody Crook

Key Value Drivers for Founders Heading to Exit

Cody Crook Managing Director – Hunt Scanlon Ventures

Dealmakers returned to the negotiating table this year and, as a result, the executive search sector reflected the strongest level of M&A activity experienced since before the pandemic. For search firm founders and their management teams, successful deal execution now more than ever requires skillful navigation of an often complex and evolving landscape. In the following presentation, Hunt Scanlon Ventures’ managing director, Cody Crook, reflects on the state of M&A across the human capital markets. He will also examine the key value drivers that search firm founders and CEOs should be focusing on as they prepare for the sale of their business and a potential exit.




Networking Break

Introduction by: Drew Seaman
Todd Safferstone
Todd Savage

Why We Sold; Why We Acquired

Introduction by: Drew Seaman Managing Director – Hunt Scanlon Ventures Todd Safferstone Global Co-Leader of Strategy and Excellence – Russell Reynolds Associates Todd Savage Managing Director, Global Technology Sector – Russell Reynolds Associates

Through thoughtful and considered acquisitions, Russell Reynolds Associates has been deliberately reinforcing and deepening its capabilities, differentiating the firm’s talent and expertise while strengthening the leadership insights it brings to clients worldwide. Last year marked an M&A inflection point for the organization. It acquired three firms across coaching, team development, and executive search. Its acquisition of Savage Partners was particularly noteworthy, as it deepened and enhanced Russell Reynolds Associates’ core leadership advisory work and capabilities in growth-oriented technology companies. In the following presentation, Todd Safferstone, global co-leader of strategy and excellence for Russell Reynolds Associates, and Todd Savage, who now serves as managing director for the firm’s global technology sector, will discuss the intricacies of their merger.



Introduction by: Christopher W. Hunt
Justin Pinchback

Opening Up the M&A Playbook at ZRG Partners

Introduction by: Christopher W. Hunt Co-CEO – Hunt Scanlon Ventures Justin Pinchback Chief Revenue Officer – ZRG Partners

According to Justin Pinchback, chief revenue officer at ZRG Partners, more and more growth investors now view human capital management – which includes executive search, interim solutions, leadership assessment, culture transformation, and talent coaching, among others – as an investment sector of choice. And for good reason: businesses in these verticals tend to be founder-led and enjoy strong margins, great tailwinds, and long runways to accommodate scale. In this keynote presentation, Mr. Pinchback takes us inside the M&A playbook of one the fastest-growing search firms in the U.S. – and reveals how it might be modified in an improving deal climate.



Rob Adams

Closing Remarks

Rob Adams Moderator – Hunt Scanlon Media

VIP Drinks Reception

Sponsored by:


On September 19, 2024, Hunt Scanlon Ventures is convening hundreds of search firm founders, PE leaders, and investment bankers at The Harvard Club of New York to examine how executive search firms are unlocking value, funding expansion, raising capital, seeking PE growth partners, merging, and acquiring rivals to stay competitive during one of the industry’s most dynamic periods.

We understand that navigating through a complex M&A process is a discrete and highly intensive exercise. Whether you are looking to sell, acquire, merge, take on minority capital partners or secure debt financing, we will cover it all 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.

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

(Cancellation notice: any passes canceled within 60 days of each conference will not be refunded. Sponsorships non-refundable.)


Cody Crook, Managing Director – Hunt Scanlon Ventures

Cody Crook is a managing director at Hunt Scanlon Ventures. Reporting directly to the firm’s co-CEOs, Cody is responsible for co-managing the firm’s investment portfolio, which includes executive search, talent acquisition, private equity, and investment firms. Leading the investment team, he spearheads all fund transactions and maintains portfolio developments. He is also responsible for sourcing, managing and monitoring investments and working with external portfolio managers, analysts and investors on active and prospective transactions.

Cody started his career in recruiting and later joined Accenture as a business strategy manager where he developed organizational and operating models and conducted M&A commercial due diligence for Fortune 500 companies. Following Accenture, Cody served as head of strategy & operations for Hirewell, where he built a modern recruiting tech ecosystem and led multiple acquisitions.

Christian Franck IV, Associate – Hunt Scanlon Ventures

Christian Franck IV is an Associate at Hunt Scanlon Ventures. Reporting directly to the firm’s Managing Director, Christian plays a pivotal role in tailoring the firm’s research and market intelligence platform to its deal pipeline.

In his professional capacity, Christian conducts expert analysis and provides financial insights on executive search firms and a host of other human capital providers. He works closely with private equity firms and investment banks actively seeking investments across the human capital space.

Christian draws on a robust body of proprietary research, unique to Hunt Scanlon Ventures. His analysis includes how market events impact forward relative returns while he conducts due diligence on industry and company related trends. Christian also provides company-specific research and assists in the preparation of financial models, field research and written reports, and the development of pitchbooks. He also provides competitive analysis valuation and other relevant information based on quantitative and fundamental factors.

Prior to joining Hunt Scanlon Ventures, Christian served as an analyst with the private equity firm Focus Acquisition Partners. He earned a B.A. in Government modified with Economics from Dartmouth College, where he competed as a member of the Men’s Varsity Heavyweight Crew.

Christopher W. Hunt, Co-CEO – Hunt Scanlon Ventures

Christopher W. Hunt is Co-CEO of Hunt Scanlon Ventures and is considered a leading authority on business trends across the executive search, talent acquisition and recruitment sectors. Chris leverages his relationships with executive search firm founders and management teams as well as those within the private equity and investment banking sectors to develop effective buy and sell side strategies for firms ranging from the largest human capital providers to specialist boutiques.

With an early background in financial services, Chris works side-by-side in partnership with the firm’s ventures clients to help them scale and grow their businesses. He brings strategic advice covering capital investment, venture capital, and a myriad of acquisition consulting services, all with a singular focus on the human capital markets.

In 1988, Chris co-founded Hunt Scanlon Media, a widely respected news, market intelligence, and public relations firm that has played a major role in establishing today’s global human capital industry. His highly sought-after insights and perspectives have appeared hundreds of times in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, The Economist and in countless other major business media publications.

Apart from his business accomplishments, Chris is an award-winning journalist, having authored eight books on careers and recruitment trends, including Navigating Your Career, a best-selling business compendium published by John Wiley & Sons. Previously, Chris held senior management level positions with Xerox Credit Corporation, MLC Financial, and Datalease Capital Corporation.

Justin Pinchback, Chief Revenue Officer – ZRG Partners

Justin Pinchback is chief revenue officer of ZRG Partners, one of the fastest-growing mid-sized global executive search firms in the industry. His thought leadership and expertise in human capital earned him recognition when he was named to Crain’s Magazine’s list of ‘2020 Notable Leaders in HR’. He has spoken at leading conferences including Linked In’s “Talent Connect” and MIT’s “Sloan Sports Analytics” conferences. His work has been featured in Harvard Business Review and he has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Business School and Princeton University.

Justin most recently served as chief administrative officer at Bluegrace Logistics, a $400M logistics brokerage and digital freight matching platform. While there he successfully led numerous large-scale initiatives including the organization’s COVID-19 response.

Prior to joining Bluegrace Justin focused on finance, technology and data science talent management and hiring. He designed and led Citadel’s global Datathon program, a hiring approach that focuses on ‘talent auditions’ as opposed to interviews. At Datathons professionals in the field of math, statistics, technology, and engineering compete by analyzing data to solve business and social problems.

Immediately following graduate school, Justin joined Bain & Co., where he was a strategy consultant focused on human capital, corporate restructuring, post-merger integration, and private equity. His career in talent started when he began recruiting MBAs to join the firm. Prior to Harvard and Bain, Justin worked in front line roles at top financial institutions including HSBC and Moody’s where he gained foundational training in finance, markets, and credit.

Jeff Rudnicki, Senior Partner – Global Leader M&A Strategy – McKinsey & Company

Jeff has helped clients with M&A work for more than 20 years. His engagements span the entire M&A process, from strategy and deal scan to due diligence and integration. Jeff also leads Synergy Lab, McKinsey’s synergy center of excellence, which helps clients apply best practices and data-driven insights to estimate synergies and capture value. He has a passion for working in the healthcare, technology, and consumer sectors, and for helping clients deepen their M&A capabilities to achieve lasting impact.

Examples of Jeff’s recent client work include the following:

  • building an M&A organization from scratch with a company that had grown inorganically, which allowed it to pursue a successful multibillion-dollar transaction
  • working closely with the CEO and board of a multibillion-dollar medical-device company to shape an M&A strategy and conduct due diligence for an industry-shaping acquisition
  • leading the project management, organizational-design, and talent teams during the integration of a global rare-disease transaction that included several strategic divestments and transformed the performance and focus of the company
  • assisting in driving the integration of two luxury brands, which more than quadrupled initial synergy estimates
  • designing a new investor-relations model that changed the way organizations prioritized investors, deployed executives, and allowed for a streamlining of the quarterly earnings process
  • advising the CEO and board of an academic medical center on its strategy for consolidating systems to build scale and strengthen capabilities as it became a leader in value-based care
  • building a new IPO strategy for a leading sports-equipment company

Prior to joining McKinsey, Jeff spent eight years as an antitrust economist, specializing in the regulatory implications of M&A. He previously served as Vice Chair for the board of the March of Dimes in Boston and Manchester.

Todd Safferstone, Global Co-Leader of Strategy and Excellence – Russell Reynolds Associates

Todd Safferstone serves as the Head of Strategy and Excellence for Russell Reynolds Associates. Based in New York, he is responsible for growth strategy, corporate development, and new product development.

Before his current role, Todd led the creation of the firm’s Knowledge Management function, oversaw the global research organization, and served as RRA’s Head of Innovation. Prior to joining RRA, he held a number of global leadership roles in CEB’s human resources practice. He also served in CEB’s London office, where he led the HR practice in EMEA and was a member of the firm’s European leadership team.

Todd is a frequent speaker at client events around the world and regularly contributes to client engagements focused on leadership succession. His research on leadership and talent has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and The Economist.

Todd holds a BA in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Todd Savage, Managing Director, Global Technology Sector – Russell Reynolds Associates

Todd Savage’s experience ranges from small cap growth equity backed companies to working private equity backed, middle-market companies.

Prior to joining RRA, Todd was co-founder and CEO of Savage Partners, a boutique executive search firm serving PE-backed software companies.

Previously, Todd worked for leading executive search firms Heidrick & Struggles and Ramsey Beirne Associates, as well as Time Warner, where he led the creation of the internal recruiting function.

In his career, Todd has successfully completed hundreds of searches for middle market, Private Equity backed technology firms in infrastructure software, SaaS, eCommerce, consumer internet and mobile space.

Todd received a BA from the University of Vermont.

Drew Seaman, Managing Director – Hunt Scanlon Ventures

Drew Seaman is a Managing Director at Hunt Scanlon Ventures. He is responsible for co-managing the firm’s investment portfolio of executive search, talent acquisition, private equity, and investment firms. In addition to sourcing new opportunities and managing the firm’s current investments, Drew leads the technical aspects of client engagements, including valuation and financial analysis and the preparation of investment marketing materials.

Drew began his career in wealth management before joining BMO Capital Markets as an Investment Banking Associate in the Financial Institutions Group. Drew assisted with transaction execution and prepared comprehensive valuation and financial analyses for clients in the specialty finance, asset and wealth management, and insurance sectors.

Drew earned a B.A. in Economics from DePauw University, where he was quarterback on the varsity football team. He earned his M.B.A. with concentrations in Finance and Accounting from NYU’s Stern School of Business.


Premier Sponsor

Since 1999, ZRG’s data-driven approach to executive and professional search has been changing the way clients think about how to find top talent.

Today, ZRG is one of the fastest growing firms in the executive search and integrated talent solutions space, providing a full suite of executive, middle management, project, and interim search solutions globally through its offices in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. For more information, visit www.zrgpartners.com.

M&A Consulting Sponsor

Hunt Scanlon Ventures is a trusted leader in helping human capital firms realize their full potential.

Our global M&A advisory team offers a full range of critical solutions to guide founders and management teams to successful exits. We work side-by-side in partnership with them to scale and grow their businesses through a combination of capital investment, acquisitions, and other strategic initiatives. We also invest in leading human capital platforms as a limited partner, seeking co-investment opportunities alongside the VC fund managers we invest with. Our clients count on us to successfully navigate them through a strategic process that is often challenging, complex and highly intensive.

Hunt Scanlon Ventures has a singular focus on the human capital markets. That specialization gives us unmatched penetration into key talent solutions verticals ready for investment, including: Executive Recruiting, Interim and On-Demand People Solutions, AI & Human Enablement Technologies, Culture Change Consulting, RPO, Leadership Consulting, and Online Assessment, Coaching and Testing.

Our consultants leverage over 35 years of strong relationships with recruitment founders and private equity leaders. We use a unique blend of proprietary market intelligence and knowledge-based services to offer the most comprehensive investment advice to organizations ranging from the largest human capital advisors to specialist boutiques.

We understand that navigating through a complex M&A process is a discrete and highly intensive exercise. Whether you are looking to sell, acquire, merge, take on minority capital partners or secure debt financing, Hunt Scanlon Ventures will serve as your trusted partner and advisor.

Let’s explore your true value. For more information, visit www.huntscanlonventures.com.

Lanyard Sponsor

Talento Human Capital Management provides talent and organizational solutions enabling businesses to evolve beyond tactical human resources management.

The Talento recruiting division provides customized talent acquisition solutions by aligning the right talent through an industry changing client experience model. The firm’s approach evolves organizations from traditional recruiting models into a strategic, value-added capability. For more information, visit www.talentohcm.com.

Media Sponsor

ExitUp is the premier investment blog published by Hunt Scanlon Ventures, designed for private equity deal makers, the VC community, and M&A professionals interested in tracking developments across the human capital and professional services landscape. In every issue, our industry leading editorial team uncovers a wealth of lucrative opportunities within this quickly evolving sector where they interview investment specialists, industry analysts, CEOs, founders and management teams offering crucial subject matter expertise. Insightful, comprehensive, and competitive market analysis underpins every article. Remain at the forefront of human capital M&A trends as we unlock the doors to investment success. For more information and to subscribe now, visit https://exitup.huntscanlonventures.com/

Cancellation Policy

(Cancellation notice: any passes canceled within 60 days of each conference will not be refunded. Sponsorships non-refundable.)


Thank you for your interest in attending our upcoming conference, ‘Navigating the Art & Sceince of Dealmaking,’ to be held on September 19, 2024 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.


Early Bird Rate: $850

Early Bird rate expires May 16th, 2024. The full rate is $1,250, the early bird rate represents a $400 discount.
(Cancellation notice: any passes canceled within 60 days of each conference will not be refunded. Sponsorships non-refundable.)