June 29, 2022 – The Planet Group, a portfolio company of Odyssey Investment Partners and provider of outsourced human capital and consulting solutions, has entered into an agreement to acquire Launch Consulting Group, a digital transformation firm headquartered in the Greater Seattle area that helps large and scaling companies. The acquisition will further expand Planet’s current technology portfolio through specialized advisory and consulting services, which align with the company’s strategic human capital initiatives. As part of the acquisition, Launch will join forces with Strive Consulting, Planet’s technology consulting platform specializing in data and analytics, technology enablement, cybersecurity and compliance, and management consulting.
Over the last three years, The Planet Group has made significant investments (both organically and via acquisition) in building out its technology offerings with the launch of Planet Technology and the acquisitions of Strive Consulting, OmniPoint Staffing, I.T. Works Recruitment, Interactive Business Systems, and WinterWyman. Today, Planet’s technology offerings represent a majority of the overall business.
Founded in 2005, Launch is a digital consultancy helping organizations transform their business through intelligent operations, customer and employee engagement, and enhanced products and services. The firm provides consulting solutions and services across architecture, data and AI, software engineering, cloud and infrastructure. Launch has over 600 team members and has offices across the U.S. as well as in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Hyderabad, India.
“We are thrilled to welcome Launch Consulting and their employees to The Planet Group,” said Tim Simmerly, president of The Planet Group. “Both organizations have entrepreneurial cultures and are founded on the tenets of hard work, innovation, expertise, and passion. Launch’s focus on growth and excellence in delivery makes them the perfect fit for Planet. Together, we will be focused on offering end-to-end technology consulting and advisory solutions to our clients.”
“We are extremely excited to join The Planet Group family,” said Heinrich Montana, CEO of Launch Consulting. “Since the beginning of our journey together, Planet has exemplified our core value of People First at every step. Our common outlook and approach to business makes it clear this will be an extraordinary partnership. Launch has been helping customers make bold moves across industries and focus areas – now we’re making our own bold move to accelerate our projects and expand our reach. I’m thrilled for the upcoming opportunities for our team and clients!”
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:
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