July 18, 2024

Starfish Partners announces acquisition of DRI


Starfish Partners, an international investment and ownership platform for niched professional and mid-to-upper management search specialists, is proud to announce the acquisition of Direct Recruiters Inc. (DRI). Current Starfish Partners organizations include search firms Kaye/Bassman International Corporation (KBIC), Full Spectrum Search Group, the Sanford Rose Associates International (SRAI) network, and the recruiting industry’s largest consulting and training firm Next Level Exchange (NLE). This all-stock transaction is one of the largest ever in the mid-to-upper management recruiting space.

Dan Charney and Mike Silverstein from DRI and Jeff Kaye, Karen Schmidt, and Nick Turner from KBIC, SRAI, and NLE are the members of the new board. Dan Charney shared, “DRI has a long-standing relationship and has benefited from NLE’s leadership, as demonstrated by the fact that we have grown tenfold in less than a decade. We are committed to continuing this trajectory as we seek additional investment and acquisition partners. We are excited to continue to do great work for our clients and help our associates and partners reach their goals.”

Starfish Partners provides capital for recruiting firms looking to scale, as well as exit strategies for owners seeking to secure value for their firm in cash and/or stock. It also provides liquidity and the ability to monetize some value while simultaneously providing equity opportunities for key producers and leaders.

“With this expansion, the combined operational, finance, technology, marketing communications, hiring, training, coaching, and consulting divisions now represent the largest and most tenured team serving the third-party recruiting industry. We are thrilled to welcome new members to our corporate and executive team,” said Nick Turner.

“We have built deep and trusting relationships with DRI over the past decade, and our partnership represents a strong cultural alignment between our organizations and a shared view on the future direction of our industry. Every SRAI network member and every NLE client will have even more support, trusted partners, and overall opportunities as a result of the combination of forces,” added Karen Schmidt.

“Starfish Partners is securely positioned to provide access to capital, liquidity, and potential equity in our highly fragmented market. We are on a journey of doing what has never been done in our industry. We are committed to delivering value for our combined 50+ owners, 200+ associates, 170+ SRAI offices and 1,000+ NLE clients while doing challenging and meaningful work with people who inspire us to be the very best versions of ourselves,” commented Jeff Kaye.

The acquisition will allow all entities and future investments the ability to serve clients more efficiently, maximize full growth potential and secure continuity of what the founders have built. With an industry of over 25,000 independently owned and operated recruiting firms, Starfish Partners is actively pursuing aggressive growth that will be achieved through a variety of mergers, acquisitions, and capital infusion activities.




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