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Phaidon Capital One Team One Dream Ri


and the role that each employee plays that has got the business where it is today - No one person is bigger than Phaidon. As he explains, “That is the reason every employee has their picture on the front cover of this issue and not just management; this is not my company or the management’s company. Phaidon Capital is our company and everyone has an equally important role to play in its success, whether working in accounts or running a global team as a Director.”


Selby Jennings, the seed:

Phaidon Capital’s current surroundings of Mayfair are a far where it all began back in mid 2004. That said Adam Buck, founder and CEO is quick to point out that he believes the current surroundings of the group will seem an even further cry from where the group

“I know people always say they have big plans and the phrase is far too used, but as a group we do have a very 3 year growth plan and I believe we have the people and model to realize these goals”. Indeed a short walk around any of the offices of the group will demonstrate that this belief doesn’t just sit with Buck. There is a real buzz throughout the different offices, generated by the growth that the group is experiencing and the this creates for everyone. In fact Buck believes it’s due to this buzz

The seed of Phaidon Capital started with Selby Jennings as the first brand. Selby Jennings was established to deliver into the world of banking and hedge funds, offering a service, based on search standards. Steve Yendell, Director at Selby Jennings, explains, “There is no great mystery to our success, we saw an opportunity to offer clients a service at lower costs, while many of our were tying clients in to search mandates that they could not properly deliver on and charging exorbitant rates for the privilege”.

“Phaidon Capital is our company and everyone has an equally important role to play in its success, whether working in accounts or running a global team as a Director.” financial year. Following this success Buck started to look for other technical markets as well as geographical areas where he felt this search model could flourish. markets that Buck tried to were either dominated by the search model or where clients were inundated with less focused, generic businesses and desired the more focused that Selby Jennings could provide. Credit Crunch and Group Emergence:

Selby Jennings itself to offer an to this search banking model and clients were quick to respond.

As a business Selby Jennings had already started to diversify their offering to deliver into Global markets. This focus simply grew as the world went into meltdown with the emergence of the credit crunch.

In fact, over the first 4 years the company enjoyed 76% growth year on year with just under £5 million Net Fee Income (NFI) achieved in the 2008/09

During this period of growth at Selby Jennings, Buck started of the planned into other sectors where

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Phaidon Capital - One Team he believed the model could add value. DSJ Partners was subsequently established in late 2008 by Jon Durrant, one of the original members of Selby Jennings, offering a recruitment for HR, Procurement and Supply Chain.

About Phaidon: Phaidon Capital is an staffing group focused on the provision of professional services recruitment globally. Phaidon Capital currently operates under 5 brands in 39 countries in the following industries: • Procurement • Supply Chain • • HR • Oil & Gas • Renewable Energy • Search • Finance and Banking • Front Office Finance • IT in Finance • Power and Nuclear • Corporate Finance • Accountancy/ Audit • Tax Phaidon Capital seeks to expand this through both encouraging high achievers inhouse to launch their own brands, as well as enabling consultants external to the group to approach with their ideas and At Phaidon Capital we believe the world of talent management is failing to deliver for the very individuals who create for others. We strive to offer such and enable such people the career paths and financial rewards they deserve.


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This expansion also enabled Buck to realize one of the other principals he believes to be to the success of a group structure, the principal of organic growth. As Buck explains, “I firmly believe in giving the individuals who have helped deliver success the chance to create and drive new business

to deliver into our ever growing market place. This is a great offering for our clients, but also great for the teams who have played a huge part in building DSJ”. Post Crunch and Group Development: Following DSJ Partners, the group established three other brands to fit in with its global These were: Carlton Senior Appointments, focused on senior appointments across Europe; Laking Aran Moorhouse, an energy brand delivering into oil & gas, nuclear and power; and Viridium Associates, a renewable energy specialist.

The group today is focused around organic growth and always will be, but is also open to others whose and are aligned with those of Phaidon. Alice Carter, Head of Internal Recruitment, described the importance of organic growth to the company, “The company growth and development plans are really not only as an opportunity for new people coming into the business, but also those internally to grow and be part of shaping the future of the company.”

Richard Collis

As Phaidon Capital grows, DSJ plans to expand its offering, in turn more for those within the company.

This growth has needed to be underpinned by solid and tailored professional advice and planning. As such, Richard Collis from Recruitment Specialist Accountants and tax advisers Saffery Champness has been advising Adam and the group for many years. This has seen Richard with areas such as designing and structuring the share plan, reviewing group structure, planning for expansion and ensuring company tax are managed

As Durrant says, “Being part of a group structure, which is planning to open 6 new offices over the next 18 months, will really enable us

Richard explains, “One of the key success factors of Phaidon has been the of the of the business with those of its employees

Indeed, a tough period post credit crunch, DSJ Partners has diversified into accountancy as well, enabling another opportunity to be created internally through organic growth.

One Dream “One of the key success factors of Phaidon has been business with those of its employee.” through appropriate and the development of the tangible ‘one team’ culture. Also, importantly, Adam and his team have the entrepreneurial vision and ability to spot and move quickly when needed”. Phaidon Alongside this Capital established an office in Singapore. This APAC office is currently delivering into both Selby Jennings and Laking Aran Moorhouse clients and candidates, with the plan to deliver into all five brands by Q1 2013. James Brown, who was chosen to head this part of the business, is another example of the organic growth model in Brown started as a trainee and then headed up the IT team within Selby Jennings. His plan is to grow the APAC business into a offering over the coming years.

seen NFI grow by 71% (CAGR) year on year from 2008/09 to 2010/11, to just under £15 million, with profit in the group standing at over £3.5million for 2010/11.

from a network of global offices? I am not sure anyone can truly guarantee that, but would I say that we are best placed in the market to achieve this? Then yes, I would”.

An example of the success achievable within the group is demonstrated by Carlton Senior Appointments who within their first full year delivered a NFI figure of over £2.5 million. Ben Deschampsneufs, the director of the brand, who has also been with the group for 7 years, believes the high standards expected across the group make Carlton’s results good, but not and hopes for a lot more from his brand over the coming years. Phaidon Capital today and the future: Phaidon Capital currently operates within 39 countries across 5 brands and as a group internally employs over 150 people across 3 office This month, Phaidon Capital is moving to a new London city HQ that seats circa 220, and will be on the ground in New York by November. These offices, as well as the Singapore office, will act as the groups US, APAC and European HQ, enabling further expansion into these regions, with other countries already for the next stage of growth.

Brown describes his plan, “We are literally just touching the of the ice berg out here. The reality is that there are for all our current in the region, as well as new divisions such as telcos and pharma as we spread further into Asia. I am confident in saying Phaidon APAC will have at least 8 brands in the foreseeable future, from Singapore and three other offices across Asia, with the for double this.”

An example of this is the fact Phaidon has recently obtained a license for Switzerland, which will enable the group to grow aggressively there from Q1 2013.

All this investment has led to some strong financial results. The group has

in the stars that “Do I think it is we will be three our current size within the next few years,

Buck seems confident of Phaidon’s expansion.

Kevin Barrow Kevin Barrow, a Partner at law firm Osborne Clarke, comments that “Phaidon’s are what we are seeing from many successful recruitment companies. Our recruitment sector clients are making us get proficient at advising in some odd places! Investors are certainly interested in any company with a wide footprint and Phaidon’s is more than many others! I just hope they don’t ask us to help them open an office on the moon because we have not yet found a staffing specialist lawyer there.” As Buck points out, Phaidon Capital is in a unique to capitalize on the current market with its strong cash a home grown management team, as well as already having an footprint with less than 35% of revenue group wide coming from the UK. When whether he would consider others externally to join Phaidon Capital and its vision, Buck is certainly open to the idea. Although organic growth will always be the main driver, he is also open to bringing in new talent and experience where necessary to group expansion, so long as

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Phaidon Capital One Team One Dream those internally are not denied of their own

to ensure its growth model and strategy would be from an M&A

In fact Buck currently has three key senior hires that he is in the process of to drive the business to the next level. One of these senior hires is a HR Director, who will implement a new market leading training as well key individuals as future leaders, to ensure the group maximizes growth. These individuals will not detract from the organic growth model, but will add focus to the parts of the business and the strategic growth plan of the group. He believes these people are integral to taking the company from where it is today to being a true global player in the world of recruitment. From a recruitment Phaidon is also looking externally with plans to source German speaking recruiters, with Germany as a big growth area, as well as to develop its contracts/ interim services to achieve the group’s aggressive growth targets. In

to this, Buck is keen to successful and entrepreneurial recruiters seeking the opportunity to establish their own brands and leverage off the network that the group is rolling out. In high end professional services brands for industries such as IT, Telecoms, Management Consultancy and would suit the group’s development plans and In fact he believes that the equity stakes that the group can offer senior candidates would be a major draw for successful individuals. Buck says, “This is where the Phaidon Group certainly becomes very He goes on to explain that, when looking


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Evans comments that “The Phaidon equity model ensures that the right individuals are whilst importantly preserving the M&A of the business both as a group or as individual brands”. Tim Evans

“The Phaidon equity model ensures that the right individuals importantly preserving of the business both as a group or as individual brands”. to establish their own brand, most senior professionals have historically been offered fairly terms by the market place. “There has tended to be a focus on heavy loans from the backer and skin in the game needed. I don’t see that as if you operate the right model. Yes there needs to be performance targets to realize equity, but we see ourselves as a partner, not simply a backer and hence don’t need to enforce such caveats”. The plan is that together as a group, Phaidon Capital can push itself beyond the simple recruitment offering, to a where the offered by the group far exceed what could be achieved alone. Tim Evans, Managing Director of M&A sell-side advisory house Boxington Corporate Finance worked with Adam Buck on the of Phaidon Capital

Evans adds, that “With some further growth under its belt, we fully expect that Phaidon Capital will the of buyers in the recruitment market in due Buck aims to fill a niche as he did when it all started with Selby Jennings. This however it is not to clients or candidates, but to the recruitment market. What he intends to offer the market over the next few years is a debt free, high end professional services recruitment group with an established footprint and a bright future. He believes that if his team to leave their egos at the door and roll up their sleeves, then through their organic growth model and a few choice senior hires they will be as well placed as any to achieve this. But, before we get too serious, he is also keen to point out that Phaidon Capital is as much about the journey as it is about the arrival and there is no point there and not enjoying the ride. So as long as the people that work at Phaidon Capital to have fun, the rest will follow. For press enquiries please contact or call 020 3002 6460. To join the team please contact or call 020 3002 6460

No One Person is Bigger Than Phaidon  

As featured in Recruitment International - August 2012

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