October 4, 2022 – QED Investors, an Alexandria, VA-based venture capital firm focused on investing in financial services companies, has acquired Lingua Franca Search, a boutique retained executive and professional search firm. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The search firm allows QED to support portfolio companies with senior-level hires.
Led by CEO Thomas King, Lingua Franca Search is a boutique search firm that places experienced candidates in strategic and analytic roles in fintech and financial services roles. Originally focused on credit, risk, analytics, and performance marketing roles, the firm has over the past two years expanded its services to include placements in other critical leadership roles, including multiple chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief revenue officer, and general counsel positions, in addition to critical mid-level and mid-senior positions reporting into these functions. Since 2017, LF Search has placed more than 100 critical executive, senior, and professional hires at some of the world’s most recognized fintech brands.
Additionally, Lingua Franca Search recently announced that recruiting veteran Jim Reo, who spent more than 24 years at Capital One in senior executive search positions and previously worked at Heidrick & Struggles, has joined the team as a senior advisor.
Thomas King is a seasoned executive with a demonstrated ability to drive measurable results. Over the past decade, he has held key roles at the U.S. Senate, QED Investors, and AQN Strategies. Mr. King builds teams for leading fintechs, emerging businesses, and established financial services institutions alike.
Founded by Nigel Morris and Frank Rotman in 2007, QED Investors is a venture capital firm focused on investing in disruptive financial services companies worldwide. Notable investments include Credit Karma, ClearScore, Nubank, SoFi, Avant, Remitly, GreenSky, Klarna, QuintoAndar, Konfio, Creditas, and Mission Lane.
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