Brotherston leads MBO of tax recruiter, GRS group

 In GRS, Tax Recruitment

International executive search firm, GRS group, backed by private equity firm Penta Capital and supported by Investec, has today announced a management buy-out of the company.  Total funding for the transaction was £18m.

GRS, founded in 2002, has developed into a well-diversified business in terms of customers, geography, and sector.  With its headquarters in Brighton, GRS operates out of 7 offices in Hong Kong, London, Munich, New York, Paris, and Zurich.  GRS focuses within the risk, legal, tax and interim markets.

GRS CEO, Ken Brotherston, is leading the buy-out team.  The new board of GRS will include Mark Webster, Finance Director, and Mark Phillips, a partner at Penta.  The management team includes Lucinda Brown (Head of Legal); Bhupesh Darbar (Head of Asia); Greg McHugh (Head of Tax); and Dan Richards (Head of Risk).

Existing partners and founders of the company, Richard Paisley and Dan Chester, will continue to have a shareholding in the business.

Ken Brotherston, CEO of GRS, said, “This is great news for GRS.  The company already has a fantastic management team, a proven track record, and an outstanding client list. Penta recognises the huge strengths of the GRS business model and its resilience in the current economic climate.  We look forward to a very exciting future for the company and to providing an even better service to our clients.”

Mark Phillips, Partner of Penta Capital said, “We have invested in GRS because we believe in its strategy, its people, its leadership, its specialist focus and international reach, and its vision.  GRS has an excellent reputation with its customers and partners and provides an opportunity for us to back an experienced management team in niche markets with strong growth prospects.  The GRS business plan matches our appetite for supporting established businesses with deep industry knowledge in their markets.  GRS is as specialist as it gets in the recruitment space.”

James Cullen of Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance said “Ken Brotherston is a proven individual in the sector with a track record of success. We found the business with it’s positioning and in-depth, specialist knowledge of it’s chosen markets to be compelling. With the backing of Penta and our mix of asset based lending and acquisition finance it is extremely well stanced to take advantage of market opportunities. We are absolutely delighted to be backing Ken and the team at GRS.

Dan Chester, Founding Partner of GRS said, “I’m absolutely delighted with the outcome of this deal, I could not leave the business in better hands.”

Richard Paisley, Founding Partner of GRS said, “The future of recruitment is about being specialist. The management team has built their solid client relationships on this basis, so I fully expect to see GRS go from strength to strength as the most admired executive search business in its chosen markets.”

Corporate finance advice was provided by Katie Folwell-Davies and Tom Gallop at Deloitte & Touche. Legal advice was provided by Simon Fielder at Bird & Bird.

The GRS Group is an international recruitment consultancy whose services include retained search, contingency search, advertised selection and interim solutions.  The group focuses on senior manager and director levels within risk, legal, tax and interim and has operations across the UK, Europe, US, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
GRS’s consultants specialise in one particular function within a sole industry sector, making them real experts in their field.  This structure distinguishes GRS from other consultancies.  Most GRS consultants have had careers in the fields which they recruit for.
GRS is a ‘Real Business 50 to Watch’ company. The firm was also a finalist in Ernst & Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ awards in 2006. GRS’s training and development of its staff has also been recently commended by Recruiter magazine for providing best practice service delivery to its customers.

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