October 11, 2017 – ZRG Partners, the fastest growing search firm in the U.S., has continued its aggressive expansion with the opening of a new office in Milan and the appointment of a new global practice leader for its non-profit and education sector.
Dr. Gabriele Ghini will open the Milan office. He will be a member of the firm’s industrial and life sciences practice, where he will continue to support key clients in the region and partner with projects globally. Prior to ZRG Partners, Dr. Ghini worked at Spencer Stuart and Heidrick and Struggles, where he partnered with some of the same colleagues he will work with at ZRG.
“Dr. Ghini brings great local market relationships and knowledge to our team,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “Having previously worked with several of our team members, the ability to partner globally with key accounts will be seamless and powerful. We are pleased to bring in Dr. Ghini to support our growth in Italy.”
Dr. Ghini said he was excited to join ZRG to better support his accounts around the world. “The firm’s global footprint and strength in the industrial and life sciences sector is the perfect fit for my client base,” he said. “Also, ZRG’s use of data and technology in the search process will bring significant value to the hiring process for my clients. I am thrilled to reunite with some past colleagues and continue to do great global work finding the best talent for leading companies without the restrictions of past, broad hands-off issues that restrict great work with clients.”
Diane Charness, meanwhile, has joined ZRG as the global practice leader and managing director of the non-profit and education sector. She is based in Washington, D.C. and Southern California. She comes to the firm with more than 30 years of experience working with non-profits, universities, healthcare organizations and corporations throughout the U.S. and globally.
Ms. Charness has served hundreds of non-profits by identifying leaders and senior staff in fundraising and development, foundation leadership, management and senior administration, marketing and communications, finance and operations, human resources, career services, academic programs and support, and more. Previously, she was president of Higher Talent Inc.
“Diane’s professional experience and reputation makes her a great addition to our team as we expand our service offerings in the non-profit and education sector,” said Mr. Hartmann. “This is an important sector for ZRG as we continue our global growth plans. Diane will be chartered with leadership and accelerated buildout of the direct team in this sector leveraging our global footprint and data driven tools.”
Ms. Charness said she was looking forward to the challenges of her new job. “It’s great to bring the firm’s national expertise and global platform to my non-profit clients,” she said. “This is a unique sector, seeking to merge traditional and contemporary best-practices in terms of talent acquisition and selection. With mission-based organizations focused on enhancing revenue generation and organizational effectiveness, the recruitment of the right leaders has become critical to their ability to advance their important work.”
ZRG has experienced a wave of growth since the start of the year. Here is an abridged overview of the firm’s growth from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
During the summer, the firm acquired life sciences specialist HM Long Global Partners. As part of the asset acquisition agreement, Helga Long, formerly the chair and CEO of HM Long/RSVP Group, joined ZRG Partners. Ms. Long is considered one of the world’s top executive search professionals in life sciences.
In June, ZRG Partners opened an office in Hong Kong, adding David Greenfield as head of the global insurance practice. The firm, which is continuing its recent expansion, also named Kevin Jones as leader of its global commercial real estate search platform as well as the Pittsburgh regional office.
In May, ZRG opened an office in London, continuing on its massive expansion trajectory. By the end of the year, the firm expects to have a team of five managing directors in key market verticals in London to further support its expansion plans. ZRG’s foray into the U.K. supports an expansion strategy that started several years ago but has more recently gained traction.
In March, the firm named Mark Cusick to head a new division called Orca Talent. As president, he leads this sales optimization business, which is addressing the global challenges of sales force hiring and productivity. He has over 25 years of sector experience working with thousands of leading business executives with over 150 global companies.
In February, ZRG named Allen Brady and Peter Gremillion as managing directors to its industrial practice group as well as Jill Schofield as managing director and head of its global mining practice. Mr. Brady gained executive search and talent acquisition functional experience at Korn Ferry, Bombardier Learjet, Waggener Edstrom, and Sierra Nevada Corporation.
In January, the firm added David Sheahan as a managing director in its Dallas office. He focuses on supporting clients in the life sciences, technology and energy sectors, where he has extensive experience. Mr. Sheahan has had a long career in human resource services, having served with Korn Ferry since 2008.
ZRG also named Sharon Stein as a managing director in its financial services, private equity and consumer recruiting practices. She works from the firm’s New York office. Ms. Stein has served clients across a broad range of sectors, including private equity, financial services, technology, consumer packaged goods, hospitality and retail.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media