Tuesday 16 July 2019

US headhunter snaps up Irish firm Merc Partners

Merc will continue to be led by managing partner Ruth Curran
Merc will continue to be led by managing partner Ruth Curran
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Irish headhunting firm Merc Partners has been bought by executive search giant Spencer Stuart, which becomes the latest global player to enter the market here.

Dublin-based Merc will continue to be led by managing partner Ruth Curran. The Irish firm recently earned €70,000 for its role in finding new Central Bank Governor Gabriel Makhlouf.

US-headquartered Spencer Stuart has had a sizeable corporate operations team in Dublin for nearly a decade, in areas including technology, legal and intellectual property, but until now has not had a client-facing team in Ireland.

The sector is becoming increasingly competitive in Ireland as the economy recovery, growing foreign direct investment and moves by some firms from the UK as a result of Brexit drive demand for senior executives.

The partners at Merc are understood to have rejected a previous takeover approach from Spencer Stuart’s rival Korn Ferry, which has set up a branch in Dublin, and won the mandate to prepare a report on banking pay for Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe last year. London City recruiter Odgers Berndtson moved into the market here in 2017, and another rival, Amrop, re-entered last year.

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