Our client, an international scientific laboratory and consultancy business, was formed following the acquisition of five businesses and 600 people.

The organisation now covers a wide range of areas in the Testing, Inspection & Compliance (TIC) market - such as food, soil, water, and pharmaceutical.

As the business became a highly diversified group and was still in its early days, there was a need for both stability and strength at the top of the organisation.

6 Group was selected to identify and acquire every new board member for the business.

There was a total of six required hires at Board-level, including:


Managing Director 

The client was looking to appoint a Managing Director who could increase the growth to 30% year on year and someone who could play an intrinsic role in strategic decisions on how they grow the business, be it organically or through acquisitions.

HR Director 

Having been formed from individual businesses, the client felt they would benefit from a coordinated and seamless HR strategy including harmonised pay awards, employee engagement and retention, recruitment, and a structured learning & development programme.

The other four positions were all specialist and technical leadership roles and - although all positions were considered critical to the company’s continued growth - the client made clear that the above two were of the highest priority in the first instance. The predominant driver behind the client’s decision was the prospective Managing Director and HR Director should be involved in the appointment of the new Board to ensure a seamless cultural fit between all leaders and strong alignment of goals.

From the outset, 6 Group’s aims were to gain extensive insight into the client’s candidate market - e.g. their current role, location, demographic and availability.

Following the initial market mapping exercise, we would then utilise our executive search methodology to identify, engage and acquire the very best executive candidates for the roles.

The process

Week 1:

Following a full briefing with key stakeholders to fully understand the role requirements, the client's culture and agree on competencies, a candidate briefing document was prepared and approved - the search began.

Week 2-7:

The search continued with competency-based interviews taking place and reports compiled for each candidate. We also held regular review meetings with the client. Preparation of the shortlist began close of Week 7.

Week 7+:

Shortlist was presented to the client and assessments were scheduled. After a review meeting to discuss findings, we made offers to successful candidates and gave detailed feedback to those unsuccessful.

The successful candidates

Managing Director

With over 25 years’ experience in the delivery of technical and scientific solutions; 14 of which were held on board positions - 6 Group had identified, engaged and acquired a well-suited and sought-after leader for the client's business.

HR Director

Bringing 18 years' industry expertise and a wealth of knowledge to the client's business, the appointment was also MSc-qualified in Strategic HR and held significant experience in a HR leadership position with the client's largest competitor.

Phase 2

Once the Managing Director and HR lead were established the business continued to strengthen its position as an integrated business. 6 Group were engaged on 4 further searches that created bridges between the individual companies and presenting a coherent offering to its clients. These key searches included the Chief Scientific Officer, Sales Director, VP Operations and critically, a Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The COO formed a final piece of the leadership structure that would create succession for the CEO once the exit by Equistone was completed. Our selection process needed to identify a COO that had the experience across very different technical sectors and the ability to move up to the CEO role. Our search followed a broad brief where the limited pool of talent meant we were also directing the client on the strategic possibilities for the business based on the candidates we were shortlisting. The role was successfully placed completing the final part of the senior leadership team to take the business into its sale. Concept was ultimately sold to Spectris PLC for £163m representing a 2.7 multiple for Equistone Private Equity partners.