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Antal Ventures Ri


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Antal Ventures Ri

  1. 1. R i RECRUITMENT INTERNATIONAL February 2010 Antal Ventures A world of Opportunity... Investing In: • Multi-Brand • Multi-Sector • Acquisitions • Joint Ventures • Start Up's • MBO's
  2. 2. cover story Antal - The International Dimension With the recruitment industry in belief that the company is purely the UK beginning to climb out of a franchise play, nothing could be a long and painful recession the further from the truth. Certainly next phase of the economic cycle there is a highly successful and will ensure that many recruitment phenomenally fast growing franchise consultancies will be seriously network, yet for those prepared to considering their strategy for the look a little deeper there is a world next 3-5 years. This will inevitably of opportunity and that’s the message include organic expansion, new Antal directors, Graeme Read, Paul disciplines, more consultants, some Russell and Tony Goodwin want the will open more locations. industry to appreciate. However, others will decide that the The vastly experienced management time is right to take a quantum leap team spoke to Recruitment business. Currently opening offices and that is exactly what the Board of International magazine, about in India and Germany this activity Antal is looking for. their exciting plans and not least has witnessed Antal International to substantiate their claims that Networks expanding into a 50 Whilst many believe that there will International is the place to be. location business in just 8 years. be growth in the UK, the more astute India in particular has recently seen a recruiters have already recognised Antal has been trading since 1993 number of high profiles openings. that the domestic recruitment market and has specialised in professional is highly saturated and margins recruitment pre-dominantly in The third business sector is called continue to fall. So where do the the emerging and developing Antal Ventures and a holding really big opportunities exist? markets. Its secret is the strength company called 7A has been created of its relationships between its solely as an investment vehicle. “International” is the unequivocal offices who are located around the Under this Holding company there belief of the Antal Board, and who globe. Today, the company has a can argue? The company has a proven simplistic structure and is split into track record of overseas excellence, three principle segments: Antal its Russian business was sold to the International Limited which is the FiveTen Group in March 2008 for wholly owned recruitment businesses a significant cash amount, making and these are run by Tony, Paul and Antal Ventures A world of it the largest CEE recruitment Graeme, currently of which there Opportunity... transaction in recent years and it are 10 such businesses in operation has been this experience that has covering; China, Poland, Germany, positioned Antal to be able to offer an Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and the exciting acquisition and joint venture UAE. Investing In: proposition for the industries budding • Multi-Brand entrepreneurs. The second element is Antal International Networks which has • Multi-Sector History a fourth share holder in the form • Acquisitions of industry legend Doug Bugie • Joint Ventures Mention Antal in recruitment and is the franchise division of the • Start Up's circles and very often the biggest company for those who want to • MBO's misconception that surfaces is the avail themselves of an Antal branded RI - February 2010 21
  3. 3. cover story Antal - The Intern Graeme Read – Group Managing exists the potential for joint ventures, previous success in Russia. Director acquisitions and recruitment industry investments with their own brands Paul Russell, “We are really and a primary focus on International targeting the emerging markets markets. Underpinning each of where maximum value will be these business segments is Antal’s achieved. Asia, especially China, infrastructure, experience and know the Middle East, Africa, India and how. Central and Eastern European markets and in these regions we “When I look back at the recruitment will be looking to build multi-brand landscape for UK recruiters who recruitment businesses that focus have really built and established on all disciplines with a strength in from scratch an international network Professional Temporaries, Contractors which has subsequently been taken or even Interims.” He said. to market and sold, there really aren’t Graeme joined Antal International in too many examples I can think off,” The Proposition 1996 at a time when the group had says Tony. “We’ve been there, done 4 offices and has contributed in its growth to its current size and global it and have the invaluable expertise Antal would like to invest in position of strength. With direct learnt the hard way, through a companies or teams of individuals recruitment experience, a background combination of making decisions that have the drive and determination in finance and an in-depth knowledge some good and also some bad – it’s to build on Multi Brand, Multi Sector of the industry and best practice, called experience.” He adds. acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Start Graeme has played a fundamental Up’s or MBO’s. role in the growth of Antal’s offices With their abundance of knowledge, and the development of their funding and energy, Tony and his “It’s well recognised that clients management teams. In addition to being a main board director of Antal, Board is now embarking on an like to buy scale and that’s what we and now Group Managing Director, expansion programme aimed at will be offering our investments; Graeme was also a founding investor bringing in new entrepreneurs and an infrastructure to catapult their and Director of Antal International recruitment companies under the businesses. We are happy to keep an Networks, where he helped launch 7A wing so that it can replicate its existing brand or create a new start the Group’s franchise business unit. With experience in both large publicly-owned and smaller privately-held companies, Graeme is instrumental in driving the expansion of Antal’s businesses whilst ensuring that the brand, vision and operational methodologies are exacted on a global basis for client and stakeholder benefit. More recently Graeme took a key role in the deal team which achieved the successful sale of their Russian business, Antal Russia Ltd to a major private equity group in March 2008. 22 RI - February 2010
  4. 4. ational Dimension up. Both benefit in the same way by achieved outside the country and they Paul Russell – Group Finance leveraging our expertise, synergies, want to fund like minded recruiters. Director network and opportunities.” Graeme comments. “The main point to consider is, can P a u l I make my business international?” joined Antal is completely flexible in how questions Graeme. “And the answer is Antal in it will approach each investment invariably yes. Good recruiters in the 1997 as opportunity. Typically they believe UK can quite easily take their brand Group Finance these will fall into 3 main categories, overseas and we will give them the Manager a Franchise, a Joint Venture or an platform to do just that. Likewise the following outright Acquisition. same can still be applied to expanding 3 years their interests in the UK. We have a of working alongside the founders For its Joint Venture partners, clearly defined system that helps all of Hydrogen Group Plc, a listed Antal will consider taking a stake of our business to leverage off of one recruitment business. Paul assisted ranging from 25% to 75% and it will another.” He says. Graeme in putting in place the be looking for some form of co- systems, controls and financial and legal infrastructure that enabled Antal investment. This can take the shape of This network of sharing clients, to grow at the pace that it did between equity or reduced earnings and would working on assignments with other 1997 and 2000 and earning itself four be ideally suited to the entrepreneurs offices is proving to be a major factor consecutive entries in the ‘Virgin Fast who really want to grow their in Antal’s success as without fail Track’ 100. business. every year the company generates at least 25% of its revenues from In 2001, Paul left Antal to broaden his As Paul says, “where do you want inter-office referrals. That’s a major experience and took interim roles in to open your next branch, Burnley achievement and it really does mean two large Plc’s, a small software house and a publishing group and in doing or Beijing?” He’s not putting down that the offices liaise and work with so gained valuable experience which the UK market in any way, Antal is one another. In fact Antal Russia now ranged from being part of a deal team equally happy to talk to companies under the FiveTen Banner counts that transacted three acquisitions, that wish to remain focused on the Antal amongst it largest clients! “We leading a management reporting UK, however, they know that the can cite dozens of examples where and staffing integration team for a big impact is far more likely to be in one country we did not have a relocation and also being responsible for the introduction and management of Venture Capital funding. At the end of 2003, Tony and Graeme approached Paul to return to Antal and he helped the company restructure and attain the growth it has seen in previous years. In 2007 Paul was promoted to Group Finance Director and became a main board director for all Antal group companies. More recently Paul led the financial and commercial side of the deal team and along with Graeme achieved the sale of their Russian business to FiveTen Group. Antal Locations RI - February 2010 23
  5. 5. cover story Antal - The International Dimension Tony Goodwin – Founder and Chief working relationship with a top blue Executive Officer chip. However, in another country the relationship with that same Tony is a client is so strong that invariably the graduate of client gets referred to the rest of our Middlesex network meaning that everyone in the University organisation benefits.” and trained as a Chartered “The aim is to become a multi brand, Accountant before moving into financial multi sector player across many recruitment where he ran operations regions and then that region becomes for HW Group (now part of Hudson the next acquisition target with the company’s intranet literally has Global Resources Limited). In 1993, sum of the parts more attractive than thousands of training tips, mentoring spotting the potential of the new the sum of the whole to the potential advice and help from everyone in professional employment markets in acquirer.” Graeme continues. the company. It’s a major, major part the former Warsaw Pact countries, of what makes the business tick. If Tony set up his own business with you keep getting the same knock “Ideally we are looking for really an office in Budapest and named back from clients, you can search the company Antal – Hungarian for strong management teams and businesses where the directors and the intranet and invariably there will ‘Tony’. Since then Tony and his team owners are seeking a full or partial be ways to overcome this objection have developed substantial businesses in highly challenging environments exit, or want a partner to add value posted or simply call a peer in the across the globe, including both and internationalism for an eventual group. Its that kind of culture where Russia and China. exit. A key point given that margins the business mutually support one paid for overseas companies have another. In 2001, in conjunction with the historically been higher than those group’s managing director, Graeme “We have a compelling reason for Read, Tony developed a franchise in the UK. Companies that have the drive and ambition to possibly do recruiters to talk to us. As we will be brand to supplement the wholly owned it themselves over time but realise rolling brands into our business to do organisation, Antal International Network. with us they can get there that much a roll out not a roll up,” Paul says. quicker. We know the markets “We will invest in your knowledge Tony has been named ‘Entrepreneur of and we have the processes that are and expertise and we will be able the Year’ by international accounting required to set up and establish to offer far more than a Private and advisory firm, Deloitte, and Equity deal would bring to the table. businesses.” said Paul. in addition to winning a string of However, like them we are really other awards, Antal International focused on doing a deal now because has featured in the Sunday Times/ Sitting beneath each of Antal’s divisions and under pinning its the time is right. We are ready to Virgin ‘Fast Track 100’ listing no less than four times. The company processes are what Graeme describes make some quick decisions and look has recently entered into a new phase as its central infrastructure. “The forward to seeing the talent that is out of development with the sale of a global network of offices, IT there.” Paul concluded. substantial holding in its Russian and Finance back office support, business to fund international joint marketing, training, mentoring as ventures, non-recruitment activities To contact Antal Ventures call +44 well as the opportunity to benefit in Russia and to reward and motivate (0) 207 467 2520 or email Graeme key business builders across the from future transactions. Each facet has a part to play in cementing the or Paul at or group. business together, for example the visit 24 RI - February 2010