Global executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles has acquired Co Company, a London-based advisory boutique that specialises in organisational performance services. As part of the integration, four senior Co Company advisors will join Heidrick & Struggles in the role of Partner, with Co Company Chairman Colin Price named the global lead of Heidrick & Struggles' Leadership Consulting practice.
With over 1,500 employees in 50+ locations globally, Heidrick & Struggles is one of the larger recruitment firms of the globe. The company, founded in 1953 by Gardner Heidrick and John Struggles, both alumni of Booz Allen Hamilton, supports clients with traditional recruitment services (headhunting, executive search), and to a lesser extent also with leadership consulting.
To boost its consultancy service portfolio in Europe, Heidrick & Struggles has purchased Co Company, a London-based firm that supports companies with leadership matters and human capital transformations. Co Company is led by Colin Price, a veteran in the consulting industry, and author of the book ‘Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage’. Prior to joining the firm in the summer of 2014, he served as a Director at McKinsey & Company (15 years) and had a 14-year stint with Big Four giant PwC, in his last role as a Partner. At both consultancies he spent the majority of his time advising clients on organisational performance including team dynamics, performance management, leadership assessment, development and transformation.
Co Company’s senior team also includes Cathy Powell, an experienced advisor with expertise in organisational behaviour and change management, TA Mitchell, who co-founded Co Company in 2007 and is an expert in programme- and change management, and Sharon Toye, a former Accenture consultant with expertise in the development of leaders.
According to Tracy Wolstencroft, President and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles, the acquisition marks an important step in the further development of the firm’s leadership advisory services. “The addition of Co Company provides a premium leadership and organisational development capability with tools that can scale globally. It will enhance our ability to work with senior executives around the world to accelerate individual, team and business performance."
As part of the deal, Co Company will be integrated into Heidrick & Struggles' Leadership Consulting practice, with Powell, Mitchell and Toye joining the business as Partners. Price has been given the task to lead the practice globally, and in his role as Executive Vice President he will also serve as a member of the firm's Management Committee. “With a brand that garners respect from transformational leaders, Heidrick & Struggles has a global platform that will position us to work with C-Suite executives at many of the world's top companies to help them accelerate leader, team and organizational performance,” notes Price.
Wolstencroft adds: “Colin has developed a strategic advisory firm combining data analytics with insightful, professional judgment to help teams succeed in unpredictable and rapidly changing operating environments," said. "The team will further develop and deploy this model at Heidrick & Struggles, leading the expansion of our Leadership Consulting services globally with a relentless client focus."
Recruitment meets consulting
The deal between Heidrick & Struggles and Co Company follows a growing trend towards convergence between traditional recruitment and human capital consulting. With clients increasingly demanding end-to-end human capital services, on the back of deep analytical rigour and forward-looking insights, the space between the two fields is merging. In recent years a number of large acquisitions have unfolded in the space, with the Korn Ferry and Hay Group merger agreed last month ($452 million deal) the latest example.