December 2, 2022 – Acquisitions and consolidations continue to make news in the recruiting industry, with a number of notable purchases in recent months. The latest: Global leadership advisory and executive search firm Sheffield Haworth has acquired Symbiosis Search, an executive search consultancy for leadership roles across fast-growth enterprise software and SaaS companies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal illustrates Sheffield Haworth’s intention to pursue acquisition opportunities to expedite its international expansion.
The acquisition brings together Sheffield Haworth’s existing expertise in the technology sector in EMEA, currently known as SH Gillamor Stephens, with Symbiosis’ experience enabling the international growth of innovative software and SaaS companies. Together the teams will form part of the global technology practice at Sheffield Haworth.
Founded in 2002, Symbiosis Search works for organizations across the software industry, specializing in disruptive growth companies supplying high-end enterprise-class solutions. The firm works with VC and other investor-backed start-up and scale-up vendors expanding across Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific regions.
The addition of Symbiosis’ expertise will further strengthen Sheffield Haworth’s capabilities in the enterprise software sector serving early-stage start-ups, mid-stage scale-ups through to large corporate accounts. With access to Sheffield Haworth’s broad network of consultants, the technology practice will assist clients with their international and expansion requirements – particularly across Europe and the U.S.
Andrew Parker and Nick Povey, Symbiosis co-founders, said: “We are very excited to join Sheffield Haworth and help to broaden and expand the technology practice. We are looking forward to being part of a larger international team of the highest quality and continuing to help our clients with their vitally important talent issues.”
“Enterprise software and SaaS is a rapidly evolving industry, which touches all aspects of business,” said Georgina Harley, group managing director – new services and sectors. “Leadership of these companies is only increasing in demand and complexity. We have been impressed with the knowledge and relationships Symbiosis Search has developed across the international software industry, and we are thrilled to welcome the Symbiosis team to Sheffield Haworth.”
Sheffield Haworth, founded in 1993, is a global executive search, talent advisory, and interim consulting firm. The organization partners with clients around the world to provide tailored solutions for their business and talent needs at the senior management level. The firm has 10 offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. It serves clients in the financial services, business and professional services, and technology industries.
Acquisitions and consolidations continue to make news in the recruiting industry, with a number of notable purchases in recent months. Here is a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
HireQuest Inc., a NASDAQ-traded national franchisor of on-demand, temporary and commercial staffing services, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of MRINetwork, a global executive recruiting network headquartered in Delray Beach, FL, for approximately $13.5 million before working capital adjustments. The assets include MRI’s 232 franchise offices in the U.S. and internationally, which generated approximately $283 million in systemwide sales and standalone adjusted EBITDA of $1.9 million for the trailing 12-month period ended Sept. 30. “MRI is recognized as one of the top permanent placement executive search and professional staffing networks in the U.S.,” said Rick Hermanns, president and CEO of HireQuest. “The addition of MRI as a franchise offering for executive search provides HireQuest with immediate scale in the segment and is highly complementary with our existing HireQuest direct and Snelling offerings. For more than 50 years, MRI’s franchisees have provided their clients with exemplary service, we are looking forward to providing them with additional tools and support they need to grow that success in the future.”
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., one of the world’s largest consulting and risk management companies, has acquired global HR search firm Frederickson Partners. Frederickson Partners has locations in a dozen cities across the U.S., including San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Nashville, and also serves global tech hubs in London, Berlin, Paris, Mexico City, Bogota, Seoul and São Paulo. Founder Valerie Frederickson and her team will continue to operate under the direction of Scott Hamilton, global managing director, human resources and compensation consulting for Gallagher’s employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations. “Frederickson Partners will expand Gallagher’s executive search capabilities across all industries and offers us significant opportunities for collaboration and growth,” said J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., chairman, president and CEO. “I am very excited to welcome Valerie and her team to our growing, global company.”
Diversified Search Group (DSG), a leading search firm backed by private equity firm ShoreView Industries, has acquired Alta Associates, a Flemington, NJ-based search firm founded by Joyce Brocaglia specializing in cybersecurity, IT risk management, and data privacy. Hunt Scanlon Ventures, based in Greenwich, Conn., facilitated the introduction and transaction between both organizations. “This is a strategic acquisition that will add significantly to our business offering in a key field that touches every client we serve,” said Aileen Alexander, CEO of Diversified Search Group. “Cybersecurity, data privacy, and resiliency are top priorities for boards and senior leadership across every sector of our economy.
Excel Sports Management, an industry-leading sports agency, has agreed to acquire sports and entertainment executive search firm Nolan Partners. London-based Nolan Partners will continue to be led by chief executive officer Paul Nolan and president Chad Biagini while operating as a new vertical within Excel’s properties division. Primarily focused on senior executive and board level roles, Nolan Partners works on a global basis with clients that range from sports teams, governing bodies, professional leagues, venues, agencies, broadcasters, and other corporate organizations in sports. The firm also has a performance practice that focuses on placing general managers/sporting directors, sports medicine, sports science, and recruitment specialists.
Haddonfield, NJ-based True, a global executive talent management platform, has acquired climate technology and sustainability executive search firm Hobbs & Towne, Inc. (HTI). Led by Andy Towne and Bob Hobbs, HTI will continue to serve its clients and provide a greater range of capabilities under True. True, one of the fastest growing search firms of the past decade, reported global revenues of $116.5 million last year. The firm placed No. 7 in the Hunt Scanlon Top 25 rankings. Hobbs & Towne ranked No. 24 and was crowned the fastest growing search firm of the year, reporting a 59 percent growth rate.
ZRG Partners, a leading search firm backed by private equity firm RFE Investment Partners, has acquired boutique strategy consulting firm Brimstone Consulting Group LLC. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The complementary nature of our businesses made Brimstone an obvious partner for ZRG, as we continue to expand our portfolio of talent advisory solutions,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “Further ensuring a new CEO is successful with the proven process of Brimstone will create a new paradigm for CEO transitions.”
Korn Ferry has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lucas Group. “This combination is the right move at the right time,” said Korn Ferry CEO Gary D. Burnison. “Today’s workscape is being transformed before our eyes – people working anywhere, everywhere and at any time. Professionals are on the move. Boomers are retiring, and career nomads are looking for change – early and often. We are seizing this opportunity to help clients find the right talent who are highly agile with specialized skills and expertise to help them drive superior performance.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media