ZRG Partners Names Chief Commercial Officer

June 26, 2023 – ZRG Partners has named James Absalom to the position of chief commercial officer – international. “James will be responsible for maximizing growth across all our business lines, including executive search, DEI, interim management, leadership and assessment consulting, and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and showcase our truly collaborative, end-to-end talent advisory firm,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “We are confident he will help us grow our business practices all across the globe.” In his new role, Mr. Absalom will oversee growth of ZRG’s international footprint in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Australia. In keeping with ZRG’s M&A focused growth strategy, he will also work closely with the board to identify, acquire, and integrate M&A targets internationally.

“I am excited to take on this newly created leadership role at ZRG Partners to grow our global client base,” said Mr. Absalom. “I am working with practice leaders, senior partners, and others throughout our worldwide network to provide best in class functional, geographical, and sector expertise to ensure we can offer clients both a global footprint but also local partnership. My plan is to ensure we build long lasting, impactful, and value-driven business results where we focus on matching the right executives to the unique culture of our clients.”

Mr. Absalom will also continue to fulfil his senior partner role by originating and leading large searches across the C-suite, managing his own clients, and bringing people in to grow the firm’s client base and business lines.

Mr. Absalom became part of ZRG when the previous firm that he founded, Walter James, was acquired in 2021. In that time, revenues with the Walter James division have increased 23 percent. He has worked across numerous client verticals, including consumer and retail, life science, industrial, financial services, sustainability, and technology. His client portfolio includes global entities like Colgate-Palmolive, Gruppo Campari, SC Johnson, Unilever, Haleon, and Imperial Brands as well as numerous private equity and privately owned high growth organizations.

ZRG, founded in 1999, is a progressive mid-sized global executive search firm. With the financial backing of private equity investor RFE Investment Partners, ZRG is among the fastest growing firms 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.

Related: ZRG Names Chief Revenue Officer

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 Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “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.”

ZRG Partners Names New Practice Group Leaders
ZRG has appointed three new practice group leaders in their executive search business. Samantha Foster, Davonne Helmer, and Richard Dowd have been tapped to step up to leadership roles in their major practice groups. Ms. Foster joins James Aslaksen in leading the firm’s industrial practice. Ms. Foster also leads the U.S. aerospace and defense practice. Ms. Helmer joins Wendy Murphy at the head of the human resources officers practice. Mr. Dowd joins Bruce Robertson in leading the financial officers practice.

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.

Future Growth

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 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 Appoints Global Head of Financial Services

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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