May 5, 2017 – What started as a wave in M&A activity among executive search firms throughout Europe before Brexit has turned into a bit of a tsunami lately. The most recent deal: U.K.-headquartered executive search firm Walter James has acquired Euromedica Executive Search Limited. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Walter James operates in the life sciences sector with a specialist focus on global enabling units. The acquisition of Euromedica now positions the firm offer an end-to-end specialist service across the entire life sciences value chain.
“During its 30 year presence, Euromedica has always focused exclusively on the life sciences sector, with more than 3,500 senior placements across the globe,” said senior partner Frank Lippens. “Although Euromedica covers all disciplines it would be fair to say R&D, medical, regulatory affairs and commercial are the areas where it has been most recognized for its expertise.” He said he’s excited that his firm can now offer an even stronger value proposition to clients. “Importantly, Walter James and Euromedica share the same values.”
Mr. Lippens is trained as a medical biologist with 15 years of industry experience in clinical development and medical affairs in big pharma. He has served life sciences clients, ranging from a start-up biotech to blue-chip pharma and medtech for senior leadership positions across all functional disciplines in Europe and the U.S.
“With the ever-changing landscape and increased competition for top talent, our clients are continuously looking to implement a dynamic and agile search process,” said James Absalom, chief executive officer of Walter James. “By combining the functional verticals and combined sector focus of both brands, it puts us at the forefront of innovation through our people.” This, in turn, he said allows the firm to provide a more strategic and proactive talent management process for clients to inherit value from.
Walter James is an executive search firm operating exclusively across the pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology, generics & biosimilars, consumer health, health & nutrition, animal health, and diagnostics sectors. The firm has a specialist team for each vertical function and industry in which it serves.
Growing U.K. M&A Activity
As the fallout deepens in the post-Brexit world, there also has been quite a bit of M&A activity among executive search firms in the U.K. and among those outside of Europe.
In April, legal executive search firm Piper Pritchard acquired executive recruiters Helix Associates. The combined business will offer a seamless fee earner recruitment service to law firm clients across the U.K. It will provide non-legal professionals across all functions, and interim legal and non-legal professionals to support its clients’ evolving demands.
In February, U.K.-headquartered executive search firm Argyll Scott acquired REED’s business entities in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. “By bringing these companies into the Argyll Scott fold, our enlarged business will immediately attain a market leading position in our hub offices in Hong Kong and Singapore,” said CEO John Hunter. “This will not only facilitate further growth in these offices but will also enable the enlarged group to accelerate plans to open new offices in other key commercial centers across the region.
At the end of 2016, London-based Hanover Search Group (HSG) acquired Opus Executive Search of Los Angeles, which will operate under Antony Pitt as U.S. managing director. Opus has experience in the U.S. wealth management sector and will operate from both the East and West coasts. The newly merged operation will benefit from Mr. Pitt’s knowledge within the wealth management market but also the additional scale, infrastructure and global reach that HSG will provide.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media