ZRG Partners Acquires London-Based Holker Watkin

July 9, 2019 – ZRG Partners, a fast growing executive search firm, has continued its expansion with the acquisition of London-headquartered search firm Holker Watkin. The deal’s financial terms were undisclosed.

The firm will operate as a ZRG company, focused on supporting client needs for senior-level strategy professionals on a retained and interim project basis. The transaction is expected to add $11 million in annual revenues to ZRG and bolster ZRG’s direct presence in Europe. Holker Watkin president and founder Justin Holker will continue in his role leading the business as a ZRG company.

“Holker Watkin has built a sector-leading brand and a stellar track record working with top tier consulting professionals with strategy and transformation experience,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “The business has been successfully partnering with private equity firms and global multinationals in the search of high-level strategy and transformation talent for senior-level roles and interim assignments.”

“Combining their expertise with the extensive work ZRG is currently performing with private equity-backed portfolio companies recruiting CEOs, CFOs and senior leaders creating synergies as it complements our current strategy recruiting function,” he said. “We are looking forward to continued growth as one integrated firm in the coming years.”

Related: Acquisitions Continue Among Search Firms

“This is the ideal next chapter for our firm,” said Mr. Holker. “The ability to now expand our offerings globally and broaden our talent solutions working side by side with the ZRG team will allow us to partner at a deeper level with our clients. A big attraction to the Holker Watkin team is ZRG’s data-driven, tech-enabled search process which is right out of the Big Three strategy firms’ playbook, enhancing our services in a way that will resonate with our clients.”

Continued Expansion

ZRG has experienced a wave of expansion recently. Here is an abridged overview of the firm’s growth from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

In June, the firm acquired certain assets of executive search firm Fiore Global Search. As part of the asset acquisition agreement, Adam Fiore, formerly the managing partner and CEO of Fiore Global Search, will be joining ZRG as a managing director within the life sciences practice area. Fiore Global Search was founded by Mr. Fiore in 2011 and has completed hundreds of C-suite, VP, and medical director roles for Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and mid-sized, global biotechnology companies.

Related: Diversified Search Closes Funding Round, Acquires Koya Leadership Partners

In May, ZRG acquired certain assets of Dowd Associates, an executive search firm focused on the financial officer’s space. As part of the asset purchase agreement, Dowd Associates’ president and CEO Rich Dowd joined ZRG as a managing director. Mr. Dowd has over 20 years of experience in executive search. In addition to being a known subject-matter expert in treasury search, he also has deep experience in VPs of finance, controller and CFO search work. He becomes a member of ZRG’s financial officer’s practice.


ZRG Partners Taps New Funding, Eyes Further Growth
Backed by a new investment partner, ZRG Partners has recapitalized. The search firm, already undergoing rapid expansion, looks to build on its core strategy as well as broaden its services through strategic acquisitions. Here’s the backstory.


The firm began the year by adding Frederick Lamster as a managing director and a retail sector specialist within its growing consumer practice. ZRG described the move as part of a strategy and commitment to accelerate its ability to serve a wider range of clients within the global consumer landscape. Prior to joining ZRG, Mr. Lamster was a partner with Battalia Winston, where he provided retained search and organizational consulting to clients in the retail sector.

In addition, ZRG named Rahul Kapur as managing director and leader of its newly launched blockchain unit and Bruce J. Robertson as managing director and head of the financial officer practice. The new blockchain practice will help the firm’s financial services, fintech and healthcare clients as well as those in emerging blockchain-centric industries meet the emerging talent needs required to capitalize on opportunities in the distributed ledger/blockchain space, said ZRG Partners. With deep expertise in payments and financial technology, Mr. Kapur previously held senior positions at PwC, Deloitte, Capgemini and MasterCard Advisors.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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