14th December 2023

Specialist IT recruitment consultancy onboards significant equity investment

Dow Schofield Watts’ Yorkshire & North East Corporate Finance team has advised specialist IT recruitment consultancy Ellis Recruitment Group and its shareholders on a £10m investment by Mobeus.

Ellis Recruitment Group (“Ellis”) is a specialist IT recruitment consultancy serving the Global Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) resourcing market.

Founded in 2010 by Jason Howlett and Rory Dwyer after successful careers leading large-scale ERP implementation projects, subsequently joined by Sean Flynn and Mark Thomas, who brought extensive recruitment expertise to the organisation, Ellis has grown to become a specialist leader in Oracle and SAP consultant placements. Operating under distinct brands, Ellis has established a strong presence in Europe and North America, utilising its proprietary database of enterprise software consultants to cater to clients across various industries and geographies.

The market for ERP software consultants is resilient and growing, driven by regular upgrade cycles and migration for both on-premise and cloud solutions. With the support of Mobeus and incoming industry veteran Andy McRae as Chairman, Ellis aims to continue to expand its geographic and platform reach, delivering high-quality consultants in a persistently underserved and complex market.

Mobeus has committed £10m to support the future growth of Ellis and becomes a significant minority shareholder in the company, providing strategic guidance and further funding to the business as it accelerates its growth in Europe and the US. Funding comes from Mobeus‘ latest UK-focused small-cap buyout fund, Mobeus V, and represents its sixth investment since its first close in 2022.

Mobeus has deep sector expertise backing and growing human capital businesses. Mobeus’ track record includes recent exits for technology public policy adviser Access Partnership and product design specialist Kinneir Dufortin and its recent investment in international innovation consultancy Intralink. The Mobeus team comprised Richard Babington, Dominic Draysey, Jordan Kay, and Issy Jackson.

Richard Babington, Mobeus Partner, commented: “We are delighted to be invited to play a key role in the next stage of Ellis’s development. Since its establishment in 2010, Ellis has rapidly grown to become the market leader in Oracle interim resourcing in the UK and is well on the way to achieving the same position in the US. We have formulated an aggressive hiring plan in both geographies to achieve this, with a view to more than trebling our recruitment consultant base over the next five years”.

Jason Howlett, CEO of Ellis, commented: “We are excited to welcome the strategic investment from Mobeus. This marks a pivotal moment in our journey as we join forces with a partner renowned for strategic excellence. With the backing of Mobeus, we are poised to unlock new opportunities and accelerate our growth through the attraction of top recruitment talent in the US and throughout Europe whilst continuing to deliver value to our clients and stakeholders”.

Ellis and its shareholders were advised on the investment by Mobeus by the Yorkshire & North East Corporate Finance team, which comprised Paul Herriott, Roger Esler, Matt Spence and Mike Barker. Legal advice was provided by Shoosmiths, and taxation advice was provided by Tax Advisory Partnership.

Paul Herriott, Corporate Finance Partner at Dow Schofield Watts, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Jason and the wider team at Ellis on this private equity transaction. Mobeus is investing in an outstanding business in this specialist, complex and international market, led by an exceptional management team, and will support the company in its next phase of growth. We wish them every success in the future”.