January 7, 2021 – The ExeQfind Group, based in Atlanta and San Diego-based The Qualifind Group have merged Toronto-based executive search firm Madison MacArthur Incorporated into its search and recruitment platform.
The dual practices, according to Sylvia MacArthur, president of Madison MacArthur, are now better positioned to provide expanded sector expertise, consultant depth, cultural fluency, and geographic reach while retaining a boutique approach to client engagement.
At the core of the dual practice model, she said, is the ability to serve the talent needs for multinational and SME organizations at both the mid-management to senior executive level as well as at the functional specialist tier.
The ExeQfind Group, led by Warren Carter, has had an established footprint across the Americas for more than 21 years. The firm’s sister practice, The QualiFind Group and led by Carlos Acosta, shares a similar track record in technical and professional recruitment. Both firm’s core areas of expertise have been strong in the broader agribusiness, ag technology and industrial/manufacturing sectors across the U.S. and Mexico. Madison MacArthur adds expertise in consumer goods, retail, energy, healthcare, financial services, and real estate.
“This merger will enhance The ExeQfind Group’s ability to grow and expand into previously untapped markets,” said Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Greenwich-based Hunt Scanlon Media.
“The 2020 merger with a Sao Paulo firm owned and led by Hamilton Teixeira was integrated to add to the bench strength of our existing resources and expertise in Mexico,” said Mr. Carter. “Since then, we sought to further expand our ability to serve all of the Americas and the Madison MacArthur merger accomplishes this for us. As with our earlier merger with our Brazilian partner, we knew from prior collaborations with Madison MacArthur, that there were strong synergies between our firms.”
“With the USMCA (United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement) representing the largest trading bloc globally, we have increasingly found value in providing a truly integrated resource to our clients,” said Mr. Carter. Many of the firm’s clients are multinational organizations with subsidiaries throughout the Americas. “We can now offer a broader ability to more effectively serve key industry segments and do so with localized knowledge and expertise.”
The ability to integrate search consultants across borders with diverse backgrounds into a team-oriented, collaborative approach has been popular with clients, he added. “I think we have the best of both worlds through our membership within IRC Global Executive Search Partners. Our partners outside the Americas in IRC give us the reach of a large global firm while at the same retaining our boutique approach via partner-led search execution.”
IRC is one of the largest global alliances of executive search firms, with some 350 consultants in 46 countries on 6 continents. The ExeQfind Group and The QualiFind Group have been one of IRC’s six representative member firms in the U.S. and is the organization’s sole member firm for Mexico and Brazil.
Mr. Carter said that Ms. MacArthur’s expertise and reputation in executive search is beyond reproach. “She’s been a great source of inspiration, advice and mentorship to me during our dual tenures on the IRC board as well as when we have collaborated on assignments,” he said. “I’m very excited to have Sylvia’s influence and partnership integrated within ExeQfind as we continue to make our firm a go-to resource for clients.”
Added Bench Strength
“It has been said that change calls for innovation and innovation leads to progress,” said Mr. Teixeira. “I think the same can be said for the progress achieved through this merger. I have collaborated with the Madison MacArthur team to serve our clients in Brazil and their need for vetted leaders in the U.S. and Canada.” Despite the challenges represented in this ongoing pandemic, he said, the need for talent between these integral markets continues. “I’m delighted to have Sylvia as our partner in both the U.S. and Canada.”
Make no mistake, these have been sobering days for executive recruiting firms around the globe. Most of them, regardless of size, location, or specialization were caught flat-footed by one of the most sweeping economic crises to ever hit the sector. As a result, the nation’s top search consultants have been resetting expectations throughout 2020 – and, in the process, setting a new course as 2021 looms.
Professional services firms – and executive recruiting outfits in particular – have a long history of finding their way through tough times. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Many search firms have used this time to dust off their own continuity and succession plans, or to reconsider that merger or acquisition which was something of a nuisance when times were flush. Others have taken a hard look at their capitalization strategies. This crisis, like no other, has driven many of the most well-known and respected brands in the recruiting business to reassess everything about their businesses, top to bottom.
Behind the scenes, this has been an active year for executive recruitment firms. To meet their advisory needs, Hunt Scanlon Media earlier this year launched a new set of solutions to assist search firms and talent solutions providers seeking mergers, acquisitions, or funding connections. Founders Scott A. Scanlon and Christopher W. Hunt sit down to discuss the new venture and the state of the industry.
“The added bench strength to both our professional recruitment and executive search practices is exponential through our collective market knowledge, relationships, experience and talent acquisition expertise,” said Mr. Acosta. “Canada’s largest trading partner is the U.S., and Canada and Mexico are the largest trading partners of America. Having localized expertise in all three countries that can provide a comprehensive boutique recruitment and search service will be invaluable to our clients throughout the Americas. We have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Madison MacArthur and we’re delighted at the promise of this merger.”
“After more than 25 years in executive search our business had grown to cover both Canada and the USA,” said Ms. MacArthur. Partnering with a firm with a larger footprint and resources in the U.S., as a strategic decision, centered on providing a better and more comprehensive service for clients, she noted. “ExeQfind was a natural choice for us as we had grown a strong level of trust and mutual respect through prior cross border collaborations. We see tremendous benefits for ourselves and our clients in leveraging each other’s complementary expertise.”
Related: Caldwell Acquires IQTalent Partners
Earlier in 2020, The ExeQfind Group added Mr. Teixeira and his Sao Paulo-based recruiting firm DRH Talent Search. “Adding localized expertise in Brazil served to reinforce our capabilities to serve both Mexico and Brazil as well as other parts of Latin America,” said Mr. Carter. “Many multinationals have integrated operations in both of Latin America’s largest countries, Mexico and Brazil, and Warren and Hamilton had collaborated extensively for more than 10 years which contributed to the trust and relationship leading up to that merger.”
Virtually the same can be said for the relationship between ExeQfind and Madison MacArthur leading to Sylvia MacArthur becoming a third managing partner in The ExeQfind Group, Mr. Carter said. “Both Warren and Sylvia had collaborated extensively with each other since 2008. The Toronto and New York presence leading up to this ongoing merger gave us geographic reach, localized expertise, cultural fluency and relationships in key Canadian markets and those segments that are integrated in the U.S. and Latin America,” he added.
Teneo Acquires Ridgeway Partners
Global CEO advisory firm Teneo has acquired U.K.-based Ridgeway Partners, an advisory firm specializing in executive search, board appointments and succession planning for a wide range of companies. The acquisition follows a string of mergers that have taken place since the global pandemic began nearly one year ago.
“We are truly delighted to be welcoming the Ridgeway team,” said Declan Kelly, chairman and CEO of Teneo. “CEOs and leading companies today demand integrated services to help address their biggest challenges and opportunities. We believe talent advisory is a critical component of those services and are deeply committed to further building out our global capabilities in this area to best serve Teneo’s clients.”
ExeQfind, QualiFind and Madison MacArthur all serve the mid-management to executive-level talent market while QualiFind serves the specialist to professional-level segments.
“The global pandemic – as well as a global economy that has been in transition – have combined to create unparalleled disruption,” said Mr. Carter. “We see that disruption as presenting unparalleled opportunities. William Pollard once said, ‘Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.’ As a boutique firm we have to be nimble and adaptable to the constant change we see before us.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media