Search firm founder launches boutique recruitment investment vehicle

The founder of search firm GatenbySanderson has launched a specialist private investment company aimed at helping recruitment businesses throughout their lifecycle. Jigsaw Equity will work with start-up and scale-up recruitment businesses to support growth, as well as helping founders achieve successful exits.

GatenbySanderson founder Graham Goodwin has teamed up with his son Michael Goodwin, an M&A advisor, to develop the new enterprise. Graham has already invested in national firm Starfish Search and are actively seeking recruitment firms that are looking for investment.


Graham founded GatenbySanderson in 2002, growing it to a £40m business before achieving an eight-figure exit in 2014. He commented: “The recruitment sector is highly competitive and many fledgling firms would benefit from external expertise to help them transition from start-up to the next level. Over half of new recruitment businesses fail before their second year in operation, but we believe that with the right partners, new firms can flourish.


“Having founded a recruitment business myself and grown it from a start-up to a £40m turnover enterprise against a backdrop of the 2008 global recession, I can offer my real-world experience and in-depth knowledge of the specific challenges recruitment firms face to help these businesses thrive.”


Son Michael has worked with businesses across a range of sectors to advise on exits, mergers and acquisitions. He added: “One of the most difficult elements of operating a business can be finding a way to exit when the time is right. I’ve seen first-hand how difficult this process can be and how much of a toll it can take on founders. Aiming to do things differently is a key part of our ethos and we hope that Jigsaw Equity can help founders to exit in a more stress-free and controlled way, as well as helping younger firms to grow.”

The business aims to help recruitment firms at every stage, from launch to exit, by providing hands-on advice and support on all areas of running a business, and by offering a long-term solution to those looking to sell.


Juliet Taylor, founder of Starfish Search, added: “The long-term partnership and the quality of the advice has been invaluable. We’ve benefited from the balance of support and stretch, and the depth of knowledge around strategic planning, budgeting and corporate finance. Any start-up is challenging, but it has been a really fun and rewarding experience, working with like minds.”