Search Firms Step Up Effort to Land Change Agents for PE Clients

May 4, 2017 – There is no other sector that demands such top end service from its search partners than private equity. Portfolio companies represent some of the most innovative, well-funded and high-growth concerns in all of business. As a result, much of the talent that private equity firms seek are highly-charged change agents — a professional breed getting more difficult to recruit.

This has led to executive search firms adding recruiters to specialize in the private equity sector. The latest, U.K.-headquartered executive search firm Bentley Lewis has appointed Aldo Binmadhi as the new leader of its private equity search practice.

Mr. Binmadhi has experience across many sectors, including technology, aerospace & defense, automotive & transportation, FMCG and healthcare. He has international experience in countries including the U.S., Sweden, Japan, Germany, Italy, UAE and Switzerland. He is fluent in Italian and Spanish.

He previously worked for a European executive search firm specializing in searches for private equity firms. He began his career as a European markets’ analyst for a Palo Alto-based management consultancy before becoming a cross-industry consultant for the same firm.

Private Equity and Executive Search

Private equity concerns have also been taking notice of executive search firms in recent months – not as external partners but as investment vehicles. Tim McHugh, a partner and global services analyst for Chicago-based William Blair & Co., said executive search firms are “capital efficient businesses” which makes them attractive to investors. He said the search sector also happens to be at a cross-roads where expansion into ancillary sectors, like leadership consulting, is opening up room for growth “and an opportunity to develop more consistent, deeper relationships with clients.”

“We see solid growth opportunities for mid-sized search firms that are big enough to service global clients and expand their solutions, but are not yet meaningfully held back by off-limits issues,” he added. Tim McHugh will be a keynote presenter at Hunt Scanlon’s ‘Funding Growth and Expansion‘ conference a week from next Tuesday at the Harvard Club in New York. He’ll discuss valuation and risk metrics and focus on what recruiters can do to attract capital investment. To join in, sign up today.

Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

The Execu | Search Group Forms Alliance With New Heritage Capital
New Heritage Capital made a significant investment in The Execu | Search Group. The firm says the goal of the partnership is to continue to provide its clients with leading services on a broader scale with a more diverse and innovative mix of service offerings.

Norman Broadbent Receives Funding and Plans Expansion
Norman Broadbent raised more than $3 million from new and existing equity investors to fuel future growth plans. The investment comes from a range of high profile investors, including Miton and City Financial Investment. The firm’s investment plans include strengthening the core Norman Broadbent executive search business.

SmartRecruiters Receives $30 Million In Funding
SmartRecruiters recently raised $30 million in series C financing, led by New York-based firm Insight Venture Partners. The company plans to leverage the additional capital to sustain its rapid growth, accelerate its global market presence, and continue to invest in its product footprint to serve the needs of enterprise companies.

Elliot Group Forms Equity Investment Agreement With Lockton Companies
Elliot Group just entered into a strategic investment agreement with Steve Lockton, owner at the Lockton Companies, a privately held insurance broker and risk management consulting firm. Under terms of the agreement, Mr. Lockton has made an undisclosed equity investment in Elliot.

The Up Group Receives Private Equity Funding
U.K.-based executive search firm The Up Group secured investment from mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge as the recruiting firm targets further domestic and international growth. With demand for its services growing, Up Group is planning to use the funding to strengthen its delivery capacity, as well as expand its international footprint.

ZRG Partners Posts 18 Percent Revenue Gain
ZRG Partners completed a private equity fund raise nearly two years ago. According to the firm’s CEO, Larry Hartmann, the funding “provided fuel and capital to now safely execute our long term growth strategy.” ZRG continues to expand its consultant ranks and sector specializations.

“The appointment of Aldo Binmadhi demonstrates Bentley Lewis’ continued commitment to the sector and increases the team’s bandwidth and international capability,” said Lewis Maleh, founder of Bentley Lewis. “The global private equity market is set to reach £5 trillion by 2020 and we are now well positioned to advise our clients on the best available talent to hire for their businesses.”

Bentley Lewis specializes in the financial services, healthcare and technology sectors. Its clients include large listed organizations, high growth companies, PE-backed firms, partnerships and regulatory bodies.

Private Equity Sector Soaring

The private equity sector is now considered one of the fastest growing practice segments in the executive recruiting industry, with an expanding number of recruiting firms now servicing it coast to coast. Private equity firms have been involved in some of the most notable business deals of the last two decades, but where the action seems to be centered is around smaller, less well-known portfolio companies that make up a widening universe of investment vehicles for private equity firms like TPG, Bain Capital, Silver Lake Partners, Carlyle Group, Kleiner Perkins, Huntsman Gay, Blackstone Group, General Atlantic, Khosla Ventures, and a slew of others.

Aside from the big-branded executive recruiters, all of whom devote significant time and manpower to talent acquisition initiatives throughout the PE space, boutique search firms working alongside these investment brands provide talent up and down the functional scale. They include: Benchmark Executive Search, ZRG Partners, JM Search, Howard Fischer Associates, 680 Partners, Bespoke Partners, CarterPierce, F.S. von Stade & Associates, Jamesbeck Global Partners, Braddock Matthews, The Flatiron Group, The Corrigan Group, SPMB, SG Partners, Oxbridge Group, Weatherly Group, True, Hobbs & Towne, Waverly Partners, Westwood Partners, Park Square Executive Search, Henkel Search Partners, Whitney Partners Executive Search, Juno Search Group, Long Ridge Partners, Pinnacle Group International, and countless more.

Search Firms Stepping Up

In response to the growing activity in the space, a number of executive search firms have strengthened their private equity practices. Here’s a look at several from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor and Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief —
Hunt Scanlon Media

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