Recruitment company founder launches investment venture

The founder of Leeds recruiter, GatenbySanderson, has launched an investment venture aimed at helping recruitment firms grow.

Jigsaw Equity will work with start-up and scale-up recruitment businesses to support growth, as well as helping founders achieve successful exits.

Operated by father-son team Graham and Michael Goodwin, Jigsaw Equity aims to support recruitment firms through all stages of the business lifecycle from launch to exit.

Graham Goodwin founded GatenbySanderson in 2002, growing it to a £40m business before achieving an eight-figure exit in 2014.

He said: “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.

“Jigsaw aims to fill this gap, providing ambitious and promising recruitment businesses with experienced advisors who can help them grow.

“Having founded GatenbySanderson and grown it from a start-up to a profitable £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 Goodwin is a former M&A advisor with RSM who 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 firm will be headquartered out of Leeds, with a second office in London.

Graham has already made a first investment, in Starfish Search – a national search firm with a base in Leeds.

Starfish Search founder, Juliet Taylor, said: “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.”