Venor Acquires Syntek Search Group

April 1, 2022 – Executive search firm Venor has expanded into the Greater Toronto area with the recent acquisition of Syntek Search Group. Syntek was founded by Junior Roberts in 2018 with a focus on recruitment in the technology sector with a talent emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Mr. Roberts is an entrepreneurial leader, advisor and mentor in Central Canada within IT and HR. He has worked within IT for companies such as Microsoft, BlackBerry, and RBC, and also worked as a HR consultant over the last decade.

“Over the past two years, we have had an opportunity to partner with Syntek on several searches for our clients,” said Craig Coady, co-founder of Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Venor. “Remote roles in tech are here to stay, and we want to continue expanding into other markets where we can continue to focus on talent relationships, but still have more global reach for our clients.”

“I have been continually impressed by all my interactions with the Venor team over the past two years – how resourceful they are, the type of trust they earn with their clients, their transparency, and integrity,” said Mr. Roberts. “I also had an opportunity to coach their team on diversity and inclusion and knew that was genuinely important to them. So, our values are aligned, and when I learned that they were going to come into Toronto with or without me, I decided the time was right to formalize the relationship.”

In addition to technical recruitment and D&I, Syntek offers HR as a service, start-up advisory, and eLearning and training, which all mesh well with Venor’s growing portfolio of services, said Ian Sullivan, co-founder of Venor. “The need for talent is reaching record numbers and expansion outside of Atlantic Canada is a natural next step for us,” he said. “We want to do more with the client relationships we have and find new ways to add value to them.”

Venor was founded by Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Coady in 2012 and celebrated its 10-year anniversary in March. Wayne Crawley, Shardeigh McGillivray, Erika Hildebrand, and Nick Misener are the firm’s other equity partners. The firm has other offices in Dartmouth, Moncton, and St. John’s.

Recent Acquisitions

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:

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.”

Related: Hunt Scanlon Media Launches M&A Advisory Service for Recruiters

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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