Exit Options

Business Exit Series: Exploring Trade Sales and Private Equity

Watch the first of our webinar series on Business Exit Options for Recruitment Businesses; exploring trade sales & private equity.


Watch the recording of the first of our much-anticipated webinar series on Business Exit Options for Recruitment Businesses. This webinar originally took place on the 4th October 2023.

In this session, Recruitment Accountants’ Marie Pegram was accompanied by an esteemed panel of highly regarded industry specialists who offer a unique blend of theory and practical experience on the intricacies of trade sales and private equity.

Key Topics:

  • Getting your business sale or investment ready: Why preparation is paramount and how to ensure you’re optimally positioned
  • Valuation of Your Recruitment Business: Understanding the nuances beyond the “EBITDA x Multiple” formula and the significance of normalisation adjustments.
  • Current Market Multiples: Learn the latest trends and average multiples to benchmark your business valuation.
  • Strategies to Increase Business Valuation: Tips and tricks to enhance the worth of your recruitment business prior to entering the sale/investment process.
  • Finding the Right Buyer/Investor: From engaging experts to networking, discover effective strategies to connect with the perfect buyer or investor for your business.
  • Unravelling Earn-Outs: Understand the dynamics of earn-out agreements, the benefits, potential pitfalls, and how they can be structured to protect your interests.
  • The Role of Your Management Team: Learn about the influence of a strong management team on a successful sale or PE Investment and strategies such as the Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme to align their goals with the exit process.
  • Other Key Considerations: Including the importance of internal due diligence, ensuring all financial and legal documentation is accurate and accessible, and more.

Whether you’re considering a trade sale, exploring private equity, or simply aiming to understand your exit options, this webinar will equip you with the insights to navigate your exit journey effectively.


Marie Pegram, Partner, Recruitment Accountants

Marie is Partner at Recruitment Accountants, as a recruitment sector expert, she knows the ins and outs of this industry and provides a fully encompassing service which includes everything from general accountancy and tax compliance, through to corporate finance and outsourced FD services. 

Marie actively supports the recruitment sector through their APSCo membership and other recruitment networks. She frequently speaks at industry events and is currently a judge for the prestigious APSCo awards, recognising excellence in the recruitment industry.  

James Price, Partner, UHY Hacker Young

James is an Audit and Corporate Finance Partner and has been working at UHY Hacker Young for over 20 years.
James heads up the firm’s audit function in the East of England and also delivers a range of advisory services to clients including transaction support, lead advisory and valuation services to clients. James has been awarded the ICAEW’s Advanced Diploma in Corporate Finance and its CF designation. A current area of interest for James is employee ownership, both through share & share option schemes, and the utilisation of Employee Ownership Trusts.

Logan Naidu, Founder & Group CEO, Kernel Global

Logan is the founder and Group CEO of Kernel Global, the parent company of award-winning international search firms Dartmouth Partners and Pure Search.

Dartmouth was founded by Logan in 2012 with a unique “Classroom to Boardroom” model aiming at uncovering future leaders early on in their career and partnering with forward-thinking companies to hire the best and brightest. Since inception, Dartmouth has consistently ranked as one of the UK’s fastest growing professional service companies. In 2018, he led it through private equity investment with Literacy Capital and in 2019, the leading Infrastructure and Governance recruiter, Pure Search, was acquired. This multi-brand, multi-niche approach has been formulated into what is now Kernel Global. The aspiration is to help people and businesses within the group achieve their full potential.

In 2023, Logan secured a second round of investment for the group from Three Hills Capital Partners. This will enable Kernel to grow further across the industry, expand its geographic reach into new territories with particular focus on the US and Asia, as well as future acquisitions to add to the brand portfolio.

Philip Ellis, Founder & Managing Director, Optima

Philip is the Founder & Managing Director of Optima and leads end-to-end sell-side and buy-side transaction advisory work, enjoying deeply embedded relationships with entrepreneurs, corporates and private equity investors in the human capital sector.

Value to clients:

  1. More than 25 years of investment banking experience in the human capital sector
  2. Excellent sell-side and buyside negotiation skills fine tuned over the decades
  3. Highly versed in structuring very complex transactions
  4. Extensive track record of achieving premium results for clients in the EMEA, USA and APAC regions 

Philip has completed deals for UK and overseas plcs and PE owners of human capital businesses. In 2001, he founded and floated Staffing Ventures on AIM, initially to back recruitment start-ups. He is a reputed judge of HR Tech and recruitment awards and regularly presents seminars on the subject of M&A.

Philip Duquenoy, Partner, Key Capital Partners LLP

Philip Duquenoy is a Partner at Key Capital Partners LLP (“Key”), an institutionally backed private equity fund manager backing fast growing profitable businesses across all sectors.

Philip has completed several staffing related deals at Key including: Nurse Plus (healthcare services, sold to Sovereign Capital in 2014), and Sparta Global (hire, train and deploy IT services, sold to Inflexion in 2020).

In addition to the investments made by Key, Philip has worked with and been an investor in three other international staffing businesses through to successful exit:

  1. James Harvard International, now Hays Pharma, sold to Hays plc in 2007;
  2. ProClinical, sold to Acacium Group in 2018; and
  3. Xcede, sold to Universal Partners in 2020.
Was this helpful?
share this
Sign up to receive our recruitment sector outlook
Includes hot topics, guest contributors & legislative updates
  • "*" indicates required fields

    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Contact us to get started

    Give us a call
    0845 606 9632
    Send us an email
    Stay Informed
    Sign up to receive the latest industry updates, events and publications.