Baird Invests In Specialist Recruitment Firm

Leading player in Recruitment Sector to complement the firm’s Business Services portfolio and benefit from Baird’s international platform

1st November 2010

Baird Capital Partners Europe (“Baird”), the mid-market private equity firm investing in the UK, today announces that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Nigel Wright Group (“NWG” or the “Company”), a leading UK recruitment consultancy specialising in the placement of professionals into the North East of England and the consumer industries sector in the UK and internationally.

NWG is a long established and highly successful recruitment provider of integrated recruitment services to blue-chip global clients. Its customer list includes Coca Cola, P & G, Diageo, Walt Disney, Heineken and many others. Headquartered in Newcastle, the business operates through an international office network which includes London, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Paris. The Company services clients across a wide range of geographies throughout Western Europe but also in Asia, Africa and South America. Nigel Wright Group reported net fee income (NFI) of £9.6m in the year ended April 2010.

Established in 1988, the Company has developed an exceptionally successful delivery model based on proactive and highly-skilled search and selection methodologies. NWG’s key differentiating factors are its focus on the quality of client servicing, an in-depth understanding of its clients’ recruitment requirements and access to the best candidates. These have contributed to the significant growth of the business even over the recent economic downturn, adapting to the market in the provision of both permanent and temporary roles. These dynamics are further reinforced by an ongoing shortage of talent, as well as the increasing trend for companies to outsource their recruitment to specialist organisations.

The Company currently employs 100 people and expects to increase its headcount by at least 20% in 2011. Nigel Wright, CEO and founder of the Company, will continue to lead the management team following Baird’s investment.

Baird has significant experience in the Business Services sector and recruitment services in particular. Its current portfolio includes investments in Aston Carter, an international IT specialist and Synarbor, a public sector recruitment and services company. Previous investments have included Elan, SII and Capital Consulting. NWG will also benefit from Baird’s international network particularly in Asia where Baird has teams in Bangalore, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The funding and expertise provided by Baird will contribute towards the continued expansion of the Company’s European operations and the development of an Asian practice to capitalize on the opportunity created by the growing consumer industries market in this region.

Commenting on the transaction, Chris Harper, Director of Baird Capital Partners Europe, said:

“NWG is a highly successful recruitment business well placed to take advantage of the increasing battle for talent amongst Europe’s leading consumer businesses. We are very pleased that NWG has become part of our business services portfolio and we are delighted to work with the highly motivated and well regarded team in further developing the Company’s service offering. We have a shared vision for the continued growth and international expansion of the business.”

Nigel Wright, CEO and founder of NWG, added:

“The business has grown significantly over recent years and we have now reached a stage where we will benefit from the involvement of a knowledgeable investor with a sizeable quality network within the sector. With the support of Baird, we are looking to further accelerate our international growth both in Europe and further afield. We are looking forward to working together with the Baird team.”

Chris Harper and Andrew Ferguson managed the transaction for Baird. Eversheds (legal), CIL (commercial) and KPMG (financial) advised Baird on this transaction; Nigel Wright was advised by Paul Kaiser of UNW (financial) and Dickinson Dees (legal).

Baird Capital Partners Europe
Baird Capital Partners Europe, the U.K.-based buyout firm of Baird Private Equity, invests in U.K. middle market companies with an established annual turnover of £10m to £100m. Since 1971, it has completed over 150 private equity investments in the business services, manufactured products and healthcare sectors, where it has deep experience, knowledge and ability to add value. The group backs management teams with a strong track record and desire for further success. Baird Capital Partners Europe is supported by operating resources in the USA, China (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) and India (Bangalore), focused on facilitating and executing Asia sourcing, manufacturing and distribution strategies for its portfolio companies. For more information please visit

Issued by Baird Capital Partners Europe Limited, a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK (registered number 150154).

For additional information contact:
Baird Capital Partners Europe

Chris Harper, Director
Phone: 020 7667 8357

Andrew Ferguson, Managing Director
Phone: 020 7667 8138

Merlin (PR advisers to Baird)

Vanessa Maydon
020 7726 8400

Rachel Thomas
07787 504 447