Search Firms Focus on Innovative Ways to Manage Growth and Expansion
September 24, 2018 – Executive search firms continue to look for more ways to drive growth — and manage it. To that end, DRG Search and ZRG Partners recently added Amichaim Abramson as chief strategy officer and Alex Bennett as chief growth officer, respectively.
Mr. Abramson will collaborate with the DRG team to continue providing top-notch executive search services across the non-profit sector.
He will also work closely with CEO Dara Klarfeld and David Edell, the firm’s president, “to build upon DRG’s experience in talent recruitment in order to diversify the products and services we offer our clients,” DRG said.
Over the past 20 years, Mr. Abramson has built his career in finance, working on reorganizations, M&A, public and private equity raises, and investing in companies across multiple industries. He comes to DRG with extensive experience in operations, finance and business development. Most recently, he was at Ride Entertainment where he served as chief financial officer and as SVP of strategic initiatives for the last seven years.
“I am thrilled to welcome Ami to DRG,” said Ms. Klarfeld. “Ami’s newly created role of chief strategy officer will help to drive our growth plan, and to help our team to continue to deliver excellence in leadership transition services to all of our clients in the non-profit sector.”
Mr. Edell said he was proud of DRG’s leadership transition. “Ami’s joining us is great example of how we are broadening the talent and expertise on our team in order to better serve our clients,” he said. “I look forward to working with him and to seeing the results of his collaboration with Dara and our entire firm.”
Mr. Abramson said he was honored to join DRG. “It brings together my passion for business strategy while serving organizations and people who do truly amazing work,” he said.
Chief Growth Officer
Mr. Bennett joins ZRG Partners as a managing director and chief growth officer. He will work in the firm’s London office, where he will continue to support global medical devices, medical technology and diagnostic clients, leveraging his impressive track record of senior-level executive search. He will also help ZRG expand its team across Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, finding new opportunities for growth in key targeted markets.
Mr. Bennett has 16 years of global life science leadership experience. Previously, he was the CEO of RSA Group, a London based life science search boutique. Prior to that, he worked at CTPartners in its life sciences practice where he collaborated with several members of ZRG’s current team.
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Global financial recruiting specialist Options Group appointed Richard Stein to the newly created role of chief growth officer at the firm. As part of his expanded duties, Mr. Stein develops and implements programs and management processes designed to accelerate Option Group’s revenue and profitability growth globally.
“As we look to continue our global expansion specifically outside the U.S. Alex will play an important role in supporting our growth in new and existing markets and industry sectors,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “He will also be a significant contributor in our current life sciences team, where he adds strong expertise in the medical device, medical technology and diagnostics sector.”
Mr. Bennet said his role as a “player-coach” can support the executive leadership team to expedite the availability of its differentiated value proposition as the firm grows its market presence around the world. “In addition, this role will allow me to focus on my clients and their senior level talent needs as a top priority,” he said. “It also enables me to draw on the valuable experiences attained in recent years as CEO of a multinational specialist search boutique.”
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“As ZRG continues to grow and expand in sectors and geographies around the world, I hope my experiences will help contribute to this remarkable ZRG journey to date,” Mr. Bennett said. “I’m delighted to reunite with my past colleagues including Helga Long, David Fortier and Charles Rohaut, where I can continue the seamless collaboration in supporting global client mandates.”
An Inside Look
Messrs. Abramson and Bennett both recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss their new roles and how they plan to fuel expansion strategies at each firm. Here are excerpts from those interviews.
Gentlemen, discuss the recent growth and expansion at your respective firms and what’s driving it?
Bennett: I believe a couple of factors are at play with ZRG Partners. First off, clients are continuing to show preference for boutiques over the Big Five in many cases, due to off-limits issues and the fight for talent. As the quest to land top talent increases, having broader access is important. ZRG, as the only super-boutique that is global, can deliver the best of responsive, flexible services yet do it internationally with a great team. For me, being reunited with many of my past colleagues from CT Partners is exciting. We were doing some amazing work and look forward to continuing to support clients around the world under the ZRG platform.
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Abramson: In short, for us what’s driving growth and expansion is our team, our experience, and our vision. Our team is extremely collaborative and is always focused on two things: our clients’ needs and excellence. We have built our business on a reputation achieved over 30 years. David Edell, our founder and president, tapped Dara Klarfeld to become our CEO in January not only because of her success as a search consultant but because of her vision. Dara provides the leadership every firm needs to offer superior service and a continuous focus on improvement & growth – not for the sake of growth itself, but for the purpose of providing the best search services to our clients.
What do the next five years looks like?
Bennett: For ZRG, it is all about growth and expansion. Armed with private equity capital and a great team to execute our strategy, I think the market is just beginning to see what ZRG can accomplish.
Abramson: DRG will be entirely focused on improving and expanding upon our current service offerings. DRG’s expertise is people. We will be building out our suite of services to assure that organizations are best positioned to hire the right people and that executives are best positioned to optimize their efficacy and the impact of their organizations. As I said, with over 30 years of experience guiding our clients through transitions, we know that we can add value in supporting them with pre-search advisory work and with post-placement onboarding, coaching and transition services.
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Seventy-five percent of recruiting firms anticipated an increase in 2018 revenue versus 2017 revenue, according to Bullhorn’s “2018 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report: The Industry’s Outlook.”
What are the biggest challenges you see ahead managing new business?
Bennett: The biggest challenges are clearly around maintaining the amazing culture that has been built while the firm continues its double-digit growth. The firm operates under one P&L with a strong client focus. The leadership of ZRG is focused on this and maintaining the best elements as we grow will be our biggest focus.
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Abramson: It is a competitive landscape. There are wonderful firms in the search space and our challenge is to always remain focused on our clients and providing them with the absolute best service. We will accomplish this by being proud of the good work we do while having the humility to know we can always do even better. If we stay focused on these principals, we can overcome any challenge and will remain extremely competitive.
Explain your main goals in your respective new roles?
Bennett: I was brought in to help ZRG expand our life sciences practice but also to support the CEO in the global growth of the firm. ZRG has a mandate to grow the business to over $100 million a year in the coming three to five years, and my focus will be supporting that growth with key hiring and client-facing support in new regions and offices. While ZRG has a strong footprint currently in the Americas, I will be focusing on supporting new hiring and acquisitions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific for the firm. In many ways, my role is as a player-coach and I will help drive the firm’s growth and support expansion efforts. It is an exciting time to be with a firm that is dynamic and has capital to grow and I look forward to helping drive ZRG forward in our goals to become the largest “super boutique” in the world.
Abramson: My primary goals are to develop tools and strategies that help us serve our clients better and to collaborate with Dara and David in managing our growth, building upon our success and working diligently to achieve DRG’s mission to be a leader in executive search that is exclusively focused on the non-profit sector.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media