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Successful completion of management buy-out for executive recruiter GatenbySanderson

The buyout was funded by Primary Capital, a leading provider of private equity in the UK, management and Yorkshire Bank. Joint Managing Partners, Mark Turner and Martin Tucker, will continue to lead the business, supported by the existing board members, David Kemsley, Senior Partner for Interim Leadership, Helen Oates, Chief Operating Officer and Sam Ellis, Marketing Director.

GatenbySanderson is a market leader provider of permanent and interim executives across public services and the not for profit sector. The business has a particular expertise in headhunting chief executives, senior management teams and non-executive board members within complex, highly visible and regulated markets that frequently undergo change. It has a national reputation for its work in Local and Central Government, Health and Social Care and is rapidly expanding within Education and Not for Profit. Executive search, interim leadership, assessment and digital solutions form the core of the company’s product offer.

Martin Tucker commented, “As a market leading business that has grown significantly in the last few years, we are delighted to complete this deal and have the opportunity to realise further expansion, be that greater sector depth, broader public services or rolling out new products as part of our technical innovation. We are incredibly fortunate, across the business, in having a very talented team with a heartfelt desire to grow faster and further. This deal puts that ambition directly into our own hands and we intend to make the most of it. Finding new talent is our first priority.”

Commenting on the transaction, Graham Goodwin stated, “It has been a fantastic journey establishing GatenbySanderson as a leader in its field, and one that emerged stronger from recession, but when a successful business achieves a certain size, then it’s good to recognise the time for someone else to pick up the reins and lead the business to its bigger potential. I’m very proud of the business we have built together and even prouder of the team I leave behind”

Alistair Armstrong and Oliver Melliss led the deal for Primary Capital.  Alistair Armstrong continued, “GatenbySanderson is an excellent example of a truly differentiated executive resourcing firm.  The business’s relentless focus on quality, its strong team-driven culture and impressive proprietary technology produce consistently outstanding results for its clients.  Management have identified some compelling areas for further investment and innovation and we very much look forward to working with them to help the business achieve its ambitious growth plans”.

A team from Deloitte corporate finance advisory, led by Katie Folwell-Davies, advised Primary Capital on the acquisition. Katie commented: “GatenbySanderson represents an excellent platform for Primary in the professional recruitment sector. GatenbySanderson has a leading brand and a dominant position in a growing market with the right combination of scale, quality and a dynamic management team. The Primary team have a unique blend of skills and are ideally placed to support the management team to deliver the future plans for the business.”

Marcus Archer, partner at Clearwater International, who advised the shareholders of GatenbySanderson said: “Primary Capital’s investment in GatenbySanderson will allow the experienced management team the opportunity to explore new growth channels. With Primary’s expertise, the company will provide the perfect home for GatenbySanderson and we expect them to have continued success.

“Recruitment in the UK is undergoing a boom. With 69 per cent of firms in 2014 reporting an increase in net fee income, recruitment has never been more attractive for private equity investment.”

Mark Turner, joint managing partner for GatenbySanderson, concluded, “We have a very clear plan of our future direction and we will remain committed to public services. Above all, we will stay focused on what we do best, which is identifying and delivering top talent where it’s needed most.”

Mid-market advisory firm Clearwater International has advised recruitment agency GatenbySanderson on its management buyout, backed by private equity house Primary Capital.

GatenbySanderson provides permanent and interim executives across public services and the not for profit sector. The business has a particular expertise in headhunting chief executives, senior management teams and non-executive board members within markets that frequently undergo change.

Primary Capital has previous experience in the support services sector, acquiring security recruitment business Pegasus Security and achieving a 5xreturn on its investment in 2006. Primary Capital’s latest acquisition will help GatenbySanderson achieve the next stage in development by adding an experienced board member and providing long-term shareholder value.

A team at Clearwater International, comprising of Partner Marcus Archer, Associate Natasha Price and Mark Maunsell, advised the shareholders of GatenbySanderson.

This is the fourth recruitment sector transaction Clearwater International has advised on in 2014, having led in the sale of Sugarman Group to Cordant in February and been involved the sale of Vision for Education to TES Global in June. Most recently, the firm advised on the sale of Denmark-based Q-Star Energy to private equity house Venture Partners in November.

Marcus Archer, partner at Clearwater International, said: “Primary Capital’s investment in GatenbySanderson will allow the experienced management team the opportunity to explore new growth channels. With Primary’s expertise in this market, the company will provide the perfect home for GatenbySanderson and we expect them to have continued success.

“Recruitment in the UK is undergoing a boom. With 69 per cent of firms in 2014 reporting an increase in net fee income, recruitment has never beenmore attractive for private equity investment.”

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