June 15, 2023 – ZRG, a global talent advisory firm and portfolio company of RFE Investment Partners, has acquired Helbling & Associates, an executive search firm focused on real estate, facilities, and construction. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The addition of the Helbling team to the ZRG family will bolster our growing real estate practice,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “We’ll have more resources for our clients, including support in the construction sector of the real estate industry. We are very excited to bring even greater depth and breadth of expertise to the companies we serve.”
Helbling & Associates, based in Wexford, PA, was established in 1992 by Tom Helbling to meet the recruiting needs of construction contractors and real estate developers. As clients began referring the firm to their professional networks, Helbling’s client base expanded to entities with significant real estate assets and facilities management needs. Today, Helbling’s clients include institutions of education, healthcare, and research, as well as cultural and community organizations. The firm has completed search assignments in 43 states.
“Our focus is always on our clients,” said Nate Frank, president of executive search at ZRG. “What can a new acquisition add to our service offerings? In the case of Helbling, it’s deep experience across aligned verticals in the real estate industry and a coast-to-coast record of excellence. We’re very happy to have them on board.”
“Becoming a ZRG company is a monumental occasion in our firm’s 30-year history and an opportunity for our team to grow,” said Mr. Helbling. “We look forward to providing our esteemed clients with data-driven tools and expanded service offerings.”
“I’ve known Tom for many years,” said Kevin Jones, managing partner and co-leader of ZRG’s real estate practice. “His and his team’s focus on client service and the importance of relationship building will blend effortlessly with the way we help our clients at ZRG.”
A Fast Growing Firm
ZRG, founded in 1999, is a mid-sized global executive search firm and one of the fastest growing in the search industry. It provides a full suite of executive, middle management, and customized search solutions through its offices in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. The firm finds leaders across a broad spectrum of business markets, including aerospace, consumer, education, healthcare services, and solutions, industrial, life sciences, non-profit, private equity and venture capital, and technology. ZRG is based in Rochelle Park, NJ.
Last December, ZRG secured a new secondary equity investment from a consortium of new and existing institutional investors led by Timber Bay Partners. “We see tremendous opportunity to acquire great businesses in the recruiting and talent advisory areas that will augment our organic growth across all of our business lines,” said Mr. Hartmann. “The new equity capital and expanded credit facility provide ample dry powder for our organic and acquisition growth plans. Additionally, we will continue to invest in our disruptive Zi technology platform and grow our interim and consulting businesses in tandem with our core executive recruiting deliverables.”
This new capital will accelerate ZRG’s acquisition and hiring efforts as the company continues to build-out a full suite of offerings to help clients solve people problems.
The new equity round included increased support from existing investors as well as a number of new institutions. RFE will manage the new equity consortium and will maintain a control equity position.
Concurrent with the new equity investment in the company, ZRG also announced the closing of a new and expanded senior credit facility led by Truist Bank. Proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt and provide additional capital for future growth.
ZRG Partners Acquires SEBA International
ZRG Partners has acquired SEBA International, a retained executive search firm focused on finance, risk, marketing, and revenue roles. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We are excited to welcome SEBA to the ZRG family,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “Their client-focused method is a perfect fit with our own. We think that they will add incredible value for our clients worldwide.” SEBA has specialized in growth-oriented roles for over 20 years. Their focus on role rather than industry has helped that recruit diverse talent. The firm serves clients ranging from growing start-ups to top-tier global institutions. SEBA has offices in New York, London, and San Francisco.
“ZRG has an exceptional track record of supporting and growing acquired companies that have all thrived under ZRG’s resources and unique culture,” said Michael Rubel, managing director at RFE. “This new capital accelerates our strategy of partnering with great new human capital people and brands.”
Atlantic-Pacific Capital served as exclusive global financial advisor and placement agent. Truist Bank served as the sole lead arranger for the new credit facility. Specific financial terms were not disclosed.
Related: ZRG Partners Acquires Hub Recruiting
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media