THRUUE Acquired by TiER1 Performance

Complementary services are expected to help make the acquisition a win for both organizations. “The match-up of our client bases and services is well-suited to help the combined companies accelerate growth,” says Jame Cofran of THRUUE.

June 28, 2023 – TiER1 Performance recently acquired THRUUE, a Washington, D.C.-based culture, strategy, and leadership consulting firm serving commercial and not-for-profit clients. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We’ve been an established consultancy expert partnering with CEOs, C-suites, and boards to set their strategy and shift their culture to grow and achieve greater business and social impact for many years,” THRUUE said. “We saw an opportunity to grow that impact even more which led to this collaboration.”

“For the last 11 years we have been partnering with clients to align strategy, culture, and leadership to build healthy, high-performance organizations,” said Jame Cofran, CEO of THRUUE. “We were attracted to TiER1 because of our shared vision, values, and purpose. The complementary services both of our companies offer will enable us to deliver even more value to more leaders and organizations.”

“We will fully integrate with TiER1 Performance to provide broader services to our clients,” said Mr. Cofran. “TiER1 Performance specializes in strategy activation through people with custom solutions ranging from change and transformation to employee experience and learning and performance.”

“We know the power that aligning culture and strategy has on an organization’s business performance, which is why we have always valued it in bringing strategy to life,” said Greg Harmeyer, CEO of TiER1 Performance. “We were attracted to THRUUE’s history of accelerating business results for clients. THRUUE’s differentiator is their ability to measure an organization’s culture and shape solutions informed by data. We see significant potential by combining our organizations’ services for many of the clients we collectively serve.”

THRUUE serves clients across a variety of sectors including professional services firms, professional and trade associations, and healthcare organizations. They also have a track record of serving commercial and private equity firms by anticipating and then alleviating the culture clashes that often lower the realized value of M&A transactions. THRUUE’s client partnerships include Labcorp, AARP, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the American Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and many more. The company was founded by Daniel Patrick Forrester in 2012.

Next Phase of Growth

At the time we met TiER1 Performance, THRUUE had been considering what the next phase of growth would look like; and TiER1’s growth strategy included pursuing the acquisition of other professional services companies that supported building healthy, high-performing organizations,” said Mr. Cofran. “Once we started exploring what collaboration might look like, it really uncovered the value this would create for both organizations. TiER1 had a business model, client base, and foundation that scaled; and THRUUE brings a capability set that complements TiER1’s existing offerings which would provide increased value” for clients of both firms.

Related: M&A Activity for Recruiting and Talent Platforms Expected to Stay Hot

In a recent interview, Hunt Scanlon Media asked Mr. Cofran if joining the new platform gives THRUUE greater access to technology. “Definitely,” he said. “Historically, THRUUE has partnered with clients to clarify and define strategy, identify gaps between strategy and culture, and work together to align culture with strategy to create healthy, high-performance organizations. The acquisition gives THRUUE access to a broad set of capabilities from a creative design team, to technologists, to data researchers which allow us to not only design and measure, but also deliver a broader suite of solutions. We are particularly excited about leveraging TiER1’s technology capabilities to further enhance our culture performance platform which identifies correlations between culture performance indicators  (CPIs) and key performance indicators (KPIs), allowing management to quickly pinpoint cultural shifts to activate to achieve desired outcomes.”

The Hot M&A Market for Executive Search Expected to Continue
Significantly more U.S. chief executives plan to pursue deals compared with their global chief counterparts, according to the newly-released U.S. CEO Outlook survey from EY. A full 63 percent reported they will pursue an M&A deal in the next 12 months, much higher than the 46 percent of CEOs globally who plan to pursue M&A. This fairly robust U.S. number may in part reflect a recent easing in asset valuations as well as pent-up demand.

Private equity firms, which have slowed their deal pace in recent months, are even more likely to pursue an acquisition, with 69 percent of private equity portfolio company CEOs saying they would pursue M&A. Across U.S. sectors, a majority of CEOs in financial services, consumer products and retail, advanced manufacturing and mobility (AM&M), and technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) plan to pursue M&A. Interestingly, joint ventures are very high on the U.S. CEO agenda: 73 percent plan to pursue JVs or strategic alliances, arguably the more recession-proof options.

Mr. Cofran says that the next phase of growth would have required building internal infrastructure that can be difficult to grow into considering the ebbs and flows of professional services companies. “TiER1’s operational infrastructure which includes business operations, marketing, organizational development, IT, etc. provides us with the opportunity to scale by investing in new and expanded service offerings that meets client needs versus developing internal infrastructure,” he said.

“The match-up of our client bases and services is well-suited to help the combined companies accelerate growth,” Mr. Cofran said. “TiER1 has extensive relationships with a wide range of organizations that THRUUE has never worked with, and vice versa. And our existing services are largely complementary, not overlapping. That creates a great opportunity to provide additional value to existing clients in both companies. Now, not only can we clarify and/or define a culture-aligned strategy, we’ll also have significantly more resources to deliver the needed interventions to bring that strategy to life from org redesigns, transformation and adoption of new systems, values, and/processes, and enterprise learning.”

A History of Acquisitions

Mr. Cofran also notes that TiER1 has a history of more than a dozen acquisitions. “What this has allowed them to do is find some of the best consultants in a wide range of industries and areas of expertise,” he said. “This breadth of expertise provides clients with an efficiency and cohesiveness in the solutions that are available to them. You don’t have to hire THRUUE to develop a strategy, and then either internally source or identify and hire a communication firm, a leadership development team, and maybe a tech or eLearning firm to build out all the pieces. TiER1 provides all of that in one place, but we’re also not so big that you’re forced into a one-size-fits-all framework or solution.”

“This relationship allows clients to have what they need at their fingertips in a nimble, flexible way that’s right-sized for their needs and culture,” Mr. Cofran said. “TiER1 is a Certified B corporation and employee-owned organization which both align with our values and the opportunity of shared value that we want to provide for our employees.”

“THRUUE values client relationships as much as we do so all client engagements will continue without disruption as consultants continue to deliver value, results, and people-focused solutions that clients have come to expect,” said Mr. Harmeyer. “This acquisition strengthens our D.C. presence with the addition of THRUUE’s D.C.-based team of 10 employees. We believe in healthy growth and believe this means great things for the future of both TiER1’s and THRUUE’s clients. We look forward to what the future holds.”

Related: Will Hot M&A Recruiting Market Cool and Reset Valuations

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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