April 8, 2021 – Mill Rock Capital, a growth and operations oriented private investment firm, has taken an investment stake in The Execu|Search Group (TESG) in partnership with Intermediate Capital Group plc (ICG). Execu|Search Group founder Ed Fleischman will maintain a minority investment in the business and remain on the board of directors. Mill Rock’s investment will support the continued growth and expansion of the search firm. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“This is an exciting development for TESG’s clients and dedicated team members. We are eager to build upon our strong momentum and continue to grow as a leading specialty staffing firm,” said CEO Larry Dolinko. “This transaction will facilitate the achievement of our growth objectives, continued geographic expansion, and enhancement of our service capabilities with new and existing clients,” said firm president Kyle Mattice. “We are delighted to partner with Larry, Kyle and the entire TESG team as they continue to build upon the company’s strong and technologically advanced platform,” said Charles Heskett, incoming executive chairman and senior partner of Mill Rock. “We have been impressed by TESG’s long term performance, most recently amidst the pandemic, during which the company rapidly scaled to meet critical healthcare requirements in more than a dozen states.”
“TESG is a client-centric firm with a differentiated business model, and we are thrilled to partner with Mill Rock and management to support the next stage of growth and national expansion,” said Justin McDougall, ICG principal on the strategic equity team and incoming member of TESG’s board of directors.
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Thomas Staudt, ICG operating partner, will also join the board of directors and focus on helping the search firm drive growth and commercial excellence. In addition, Blair Johnson, Jeffrey Long, Adi Pekmezovic and Christopher Whalen have joined TESG’s newly formed board of directors.
Hunt Scanlon Media Launches M&A Advisory Service for Recruiters
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 this past year. As a result, the nation’s top search consultants have been resetting expectations and, in the process, setting a new course for 2021.
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 period for executive recruitment firms. To meet their advisory needs, Hunt Scanlon Media last 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 Hunt Scanlon Ventures and the state of the executive search industry.
William Blair & Company, Houlihan Lokey, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Covington & Burling LLP advised Mill Rock Capital on the transaction. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advised ICG. Houlihan Lokey, Latham & Watkins, Citrin Cooperman, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, LLP advised the company.
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Founded in 1985 and headquartered in New York City, The Execu|Search Group is an executive search firm that provides direct hire recruitment, contract and staff augmentation, and workforce solutions. It provides high-demand, short-supply professional skill sets across a diverse range of market segments, including healthcare, technology, pharmaceutical, and professional services. The firm has filled more than 100,000 open positions on behalf of over 35,000 clients and has a nationwide presence.
Last year, Execu|Search Group named Mr. Dolinko, current president of the professional services temporary division, to succeed Mr. Fleischman as CEO. With over 20 years at Execu|Search, Mr. Dolinko has extensive experience in client management, relationship building, negotiation and sales. Believing that employee development is critical to stronger teams and continued business success, he has also spearheaded many career advancement initiatives at Execu|Search. Mr. Fleischman has remained with the firm in an advisory capacity as executive chairman.
Mill Rock Capital is a growth and operations oriented private investment firm that invests in well-positioned middle market industrial businesses in North America. Founded by Mr. Whalen and Mr. Pekmezovic, Mill Rock Capital is purpose-built to invest in family-owned businesses, owner-operators and founder-led companies across six industry verticals. Focus sectors include chemicals, materials and packaging; industrial distribution; services; metals and engineered materials; transportation and logistics; and industrial technology and specialty manufacturing.
For its part, ICG provides capital to help companies grow. The company is a global alternative asset manager with over 30 years’ history, managing $58 billion of assets in private debt, credit and equity – principally in closed-end funds – as of year-end 2020. ICG seeks to develop long-term relationships with its business partners to deliver value for shareholders, clients, and employees, and use ICG’s position of influence to benefit the environment and society. The firm operates across four strategic asset classes: corporate, capital market, real asset, and secondary investments.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media