July 2, 2021 – Haddonfield, NJ-based executive recruitment firm True Search has enhanced capability in the APAC region with its new office in Shanghai, China. “Expansion to China is a milestone for our global footprint,” said Joe Riggione, founder and co-CEO of True. “This is a natural progression for True and we are better positioned to serve our clients in the region and those doing business there.”
True has already expanded to 17 offices worldwide including Sydney, Dubai and Singapore, with the international business on track to double in size this year. “We recognize that industry knows no borders, and the best talent can come from anywhere,” said Siv Sivanesan, general manager, international at True. “At True, we are experts at facilitating the movement of top people to opportunities in new countries. Our office will answer client demand we already see for a digitally-native executive search partner in China.”
True partner Gavin Ng, a search professional with 20 years’ experience in the region, will lead the Shanghai office. Before joining True, Mr. Ng was an APAC partner and China lead for H.I. Executive Consulting where he established their Shanghai office. He has set up and scaled two businesses in the region. Mr. Ng brings experience across professional services, multinational corporations, and the private equity and venture capital spaces.
“I’m honored to join True and lead the expansion in China,” said Mr. Ng, True partner and Greater China lead. “Our clients, both international and local, will benefit from our global reach, authentic search approach and understanding of talent needs along their growth journeys.”
Investment in China
True’s investment in China also aligns with the firm’s core expertise of being a partner for growth to tech-enabled businesses backed by funds such as L Catterton, Sequoia and Lightspeed. China is recognized as a global technology leader. The abundance of innovation presents an incredible opportunity for True to meet the intense demand for high-growth talent in the world’s second-fastest growing economy and second-largest market for executive search.
China has the world’s second-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP. It is also a global hub for manufacturing, being both the largest manufacturing economy and largest exporter of goods in the world. China is the fastest growing consumer market and second largest importer of goods anywhere. According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s GDP will be 35.2 percent of the global growth (2017 to 2020) in real GDP. The Chinese economic structure and Chinese people lifestyle needs are undergoing dramatic reform and upgrading.
LLR Partners, a private equity firm based in Philadelphia, has made an investment in True. The new partnership is aimed at developing and expanding innovation within the talent space. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. True surpassed $100 million in revenues in 2019 and added 146 people during the pandemic. True has consistently been the fastest organic growth mid-sized search firm over the last decade.
David Reuter, a partner at LLR, joins True’s board of directors alongside Nick Caldwell, vice president of engineering at Twitter; Jennifer Ceran, CFO of Smartsheet; Alex Shootman, CEO of Adobe company platform Workfront; and Evan Wittenberg, EVP and chief people officer at Ancestry. Following the minority stake investment, True co-founders Brad Stadler and Joe Riggione will continue to lead the firm with support and guidance from its board. True’s valuation was said to have been an outlier, reflecting the private equity firm’s belief that True has the potential to become one of the most significant brands in the executive talent sector. Notably, the deal is structured to grant employee participation in value creation over time.
Working in both the private and public sectors, True Search has offices throughout the U.S. as well as the EMEA and APAC regions. Since the late 1990s, the firm’s founders have refined their search process with a blend of data-centric insights, relationship-building, and experience to produce a methodology that consistently improves hiring decisions and accelerates growth. Its clients include Jet, Work Front and Summit Partners. True Search is a subsidiary of True Platform, a global portfolio of human capital services and products for high-growth tech and tech-enabled organizations. Last month, True placed No. 7 on the Hunt Scanlon Media “Top 50 Recruiters” ranking.
True Search recently named new co-leaders to several specialized practices: the financial officers practice, the consumer practice and the financial services practice. Managing director Matt Goldstein has joined partner Rhoda Longhenry as co-practice lead of the financial officers practice. It’s a homecoming for Mr. Goldstein, who launched the practice with Ms. Longhenry in 2017 before turning his focus to helping launch True Search’s edtech and healthcare and life sciences practices.
Co-founder and partner Tim McDonald and partner Kristin Godfrey have joined partner Todd Zangrillo as co-leads of the consumer practice. The team has expertise in beauty, fashion and lifestyle, consumer digital, food tech, health and wellness, and new retail. In addition to appointing new practice leads, True has merged the investment professionals and fintech practices to create the firm’s newest commercial practice – financial services. Partners Dan Miller and Caroline Lo have joined partner Jonathan Pomeranz as financial services co-leads.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media