OakNorth completes £4.2m transaction for the acquisition of award-winning recruitment firm

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OakNorth Office

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a £4.2m transaction for Dartmouth Partners Ltd, the award-winning recruitment consultancy, with Literacy Capital plc taking a significant minority position.

Founded in 2012 by Logan Naidu, Dartmouth has built itself a reputation in the financial and legal sectors by adopting a unique ‘classroom to boardroom’ approach which has seen it place thousands of candidates from graduate level, all the way up to the C-suite. With a presence in both the UK (London) and Germany (Frankfurt), Dartmouth is the chosen advisor to over 300 firms and has more than 200,000 candidates on its database. Its key clients include: UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Manchester United Football Club, Liverpool Football Club, Bird&Bird, Reed Smith and many others.

With demand for its services continuing to grow significantly, Dartmouth is planning to further broaden its sector coverage, as well as expand its international footprint within Europe and further afield. In addition to growing its origination team, the acquisition will also see the strengthening of its senior team with the appointment of Jess Watts (former CEO of R4S) as non-executive Chairman and Neil Cartwright (formerly CFO of PurpleBricks) as CFO. Logan Naidu will remain as Chief Executive Officer and Gavin Sharpe will continue in his role as Non-Executive Director.

Literacy Capital, which recently raised £54m, is a close-ended investment company, focused on investing and supporting early stage UK businesses where a clear route to creating additional value can be seen. Literacy Capital was founded in September 2017 by Paul Pindar, former CEO of Capita (1987-2014) – a FTSE 100 company with a market cap of £7.5bn, and Richard Pindar. It has a diversified portfolio with investments in Antler Homes, Rosemary Water, and Hometree amongst others. In addition, Literacy has a charitable objective, having committed to giving away 0.9% of net assets annually to the Literacy Capital Foundation, which will support a newly formed charity, Bookmark Reading (www.bookmarkreading.org).

Dartmouth’s CEO and founder, Logan Naidu, commented:

“I am incredibly proud and humbled by the tremendous growth that we have experienced since our founding six years ago. We have a fantastic team and a client base which includes some of the world’s most well-known institutions and brands. We have been fortunate to work with some of the best candidates in the market and in Literacy Capital, have found a partner who shares our ambition and passion. The team at OakNorth completed the transaction in just two weeks which is quite frankly not a time frame we’re used to getting from banks. Their speed and efficiency meant we were able to take advantage of this exciting opportunity and focus on continuing to grow our business with the help of Literacy Capital.”

Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Debt Finance Director at OakNorth, said:

“Despite the Brexit vote, the recruitment sector is one that has seen continued growth in the last few years, with Companies House recording almost 6,000 new recruitment agency registrations in the last year alone.

“Whilst it’s clearly an incredibly competitive sector, Logan and his team have been able to carve themselves a niche and establish themselves as a leading player in both the financial and legal sectors. Dartmouth’s unique approach of placing candidates from top-tier universities into intern and graduate roles, all the way up to executive management positions, has earned them trust and respect in the industry, as well as catching the eye of renowned investors such as Literacy Capital. We’re very excited to have been part of this transaction and look forward to working with both businesses in the future.”