September 12, 2017 – The wave of M&A activity among executive search firms continues. The latest deal: Global financial recruiting specialist Options Group has acquired MCL Search Ltd, an executive search firm based in London specializing in electronic markets (trading and distribution), prime brokerage/clearing and financial trading technology with a focus on currencies and fixed income.
Since 2012, MCL Search has developed a track record and global reputation. Founding partners, Maria Aldous and Charlotte Battisti, bring a combined 25 years in executive search, and will be responsible for expanding Options Group’s FICC electronic markets, prime brokerage and financial trading technology coverage.
“The synergies between our companies were clear from the start,” said Ms. Aldous. “We always aspired to have a truly global offering for our clients and, by partnering with Options Group, we can now make this possible. With its cross asset coverage and offices worldwide, we complement existing practices in global markets and will expand electronic markets coverage.”
Ms. Battisti said that “Options Group will now be able to offer new search capabilities in the eCommerce and fintech space leveraging MCL’s industry expertise.”
David Korn, managing partner and head of EMEA, said: “This acquisition benefits our clients and candidates, many of whom want to have a 360 degree view of the market globally and across products. We are very excited to welcome Maria, Charlotte and their team as we continue to expand and strengthen our global product offerings.”
Options Group will celebrate its 25th anniversary this December. “As part of Vision2020, our strategic growth plan, we continue to expand organically and through acquisition to meet the changing needs of clients and candidates,” said Michael Karp, Options Group chief executive officer and co-founder.
Founded in 1992, Options Group is headquartered in New York with offices in London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Dubai, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney. It is global executive search, market intelligence, and strategic consulting firm with a focus on the financial services industry.
Recent M&A activity
Executive search firms have seen a rise in M&A activity in other sectors as well. In fact, activity seems heightened across the board. Whether this points to mass consolidation or just smart joint venturing still remains to be seen. Here’s some recent activity:
Focus Search Partners (FSP), the executive search division of talent solutions provider Vaco, has acquired the Dallas, TX-based recruiters Taylor Winfield. With the acquisition, FSP gains a team of professionals with enterprise operating experience across industries including Internet/digital media, technology/SaaS software, consumer/retail/food service and business services.
ZRG Partners acquired of life sciences specialist HM Long Global Partners. As part of the asset acquisition agreement, Helga Long, formerly the chair and CEO of HM Long/RSVP Group, has joined ZRG Partners. Ms. Long is considered one of the world’s top executive search professionals in life sciences.
Jordan Search Consultants, a recruiting firm focused on the healthcare, executive and higher education sectors, acquired Health Search New England (HSNE), a search firm specializing in the recruitment of healthcare providers throughout the Northeast. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Acertitude acquired Los Angeles-based Olive Avenue Search Partners. Olive Avenue’s founders, Gwen Sabo and Joann Maciejewski, bring deep expertise in the development of research capabilities, training and development, and identifying and engaging top talent.
OH-headquartered Torch Group acquired Selker Leadership, a search firm that places candidates in the technology and software fields. Selker Leadership’s president, Gregory L. Selker, will join Torch Group as senior vice president and search operations leader, overseeing the firm’s search practice, including research and candidate development.
Buffkin /Baker recently merged New York-based WTW Associates into its expanding executive recruiting platform. WTW, a talent provider focused on the media, entertainment, technology and law industries, will integrate its operations into the Buffkin /Baker New York office. Mr. Wasp becomes a partner in the firm, and will head its entertainment/media practice.
U.K.-based Hydrogen Group acquired Argyll Scott for £3.3 million. Together, the combined firms will deliver recruitment services across multiple functions, industries and countries. The acquisition allows Hydrogen to accelerate international growth plans and benefit from greater strength and depth in the London market.
Walter James recently acquired Euromedica Executive Search Limited. Walter James operates in the life sciences sector with a focus on global enabling units. The acquisition positions the firm to offer end-to-end specialist service across the entire life sciences value chain.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media