☰ Menu eFinancialCareers

45 recruiters made redundant as Kinsey Allen goes into administration

Kinsey Allen, the financial services-focused search firm which merged with GRS in 2009 and opted for a pre-pack in June 2010, has gone into administration again.

KPMG confirmed this afternoon that they’ve been appointed as administrators after the company experienced “trading difficulties.”

45 of 50 employees have been made redundant. The remainder are helping the administrators collect debts and sell assets. Neither the Brighton nor the London offices were answering the phone when we called this afternoon.

Ex-Kinsey Allen consultants say they’ve been dismissed without receiving their salary for May, redundancy pay, or a quarterly bonus which was due to be paid at the end of this month.

“Some people were owed an 80k bonus at the end of this week,” says one former employee. “Now they’re going to have to join the queue with the rest of the creditors.”

The company was understood to be in discussions with other financial services headhunters to sell all or part of the business, but the discussions appear to have come to nothing.

Ken Brotherston, CEO of Kinsey Allen, declined to comment.

Comments (51)

  1. What an absolute disgrace!

    Disgusted of EC2 Reply
  2. well, like with Salomon Brothers, they grew too quickly, hired monkeys, didnt understand relationships/business models and then, blew up.

    argentinian_president Reply
  3. 45? It’s a start! There are tons upon tons of recruiter jobs out there.

  4. Thats terrible, particularly those looking forward to their bonuses.

  5. Sounds to me like the decent consultants werent looked after and all left.

  6. A shame… a lot of very talented people within that business who don’t deserve to lose out. the infrastructure team is clearly the most credible and dynamic of it’s field. I hope they find a platform to work together again.

    risk, compliance, audit, legal, Interim Reply
  7. I founded GRS along with Dan Chester and we sold a business with an EBIT in excess of 2m, a strong international network and an excellent management team. It’s a real shame that somehow this has gone so wrong when after the last pre pack the company had very little debt and was in a rising market. I know I was among a number of people who expressed concern about the direction of the company but in my opinion a fatal combination of inexperience running a business, arrogance and incompetence has finished them off.

  8. Sorry to hear, I do feel for these guys. I always found them quite professional. In a business populated by so many unethical, unprofessional time wasters who often would make candidates feel that they were not good enough and wasting their precious (sic!) time when reality is that they had no mandates and no access – KA had actual mandates, had real access to organisations and treated candidates with respect and were generally very helpful.

  9. What the hell is happening???? this is worse than what we went through during the credit crunch!

  10. I agree totally with Richard…

  11. ” KA had actual mandates, had real access to organisations ” Clearly they didn’t otherwise they would not have gone bust!!!!!!!!

  12. The people at the top have a lot to answer for, total incompetence in my opinion.

  13. Unfortunately more will also fail,in the Search and the Recruitment Markets there are too many companies chasing too few roles.A number of Organisations are now attempting to do their own recruiting, which exacerbates the problem ..whilst at the same time showing why they really do need intermediaries to work on their behalf..a sort of “Lose,Lose” situation

  14. Good news.

    Equities Trader Reply
  15. As a former GRS employee I am sad to see a good brand (one of the few in the market!) disappear. Good luck to the people still waiting for their money and to the candidates who were in process.
    To the clients who paid for a service they are now not going to get: if you like a recruiter or consultant, better make sure you give them enough business to survive on…or get them in-house. And always take their mobile number!

  16. for my money it comes down to the merger in mid 2010. Fusing 2 disparate entities together with no cultural similarities because of a misguided sense of ‘searchy’ snobbery was a big mistake and meant that the legacy teams of GRS dissolved and those of KAI were diluted. Rebranding the business in the Kinsey Allen name meant that the GRS Risk and GRS Legal brand equities were lost. Lots of businesses were committed to those brands. Recruitment firms tend to have a habit of stamping one name on brands they buy (Randstad etc), through ego in the main. It’s ludicrous, you tarnish or remove the very thing that you bought. A house of brands is the only way to acquire recruitment businesses, maintaining the sovereignty. The talent lost in this is incredible.

  17. Do I hear the senior management humming that Britney Spears classic ” I’ve done it again” !!

  18. Bonza, I totally agree. The talent will be rehomed and valued elsewhere and, with any luck at all, allowed to create business in a style suitable to the market they operate within.

    Equity Trader…good news? That sounds like bitterness! Were you one of the dead weights let go early doors?!

  19. @ a – It is strange to mention recruiters and talent in the same sentence.

    Equities Trader Reply
  20. It is strange to see a good Equities Trader visiting the Efinancial Careers website, oh no wait, thats because they dont.

  21. @ equities trader … what makes you think that you are any more or less a whorthwhile member of society? For amusement purposes only I am very curious to get a further glimpse into your tiny litlle mind. If you could tear yourself away from your spreadbetting account for 2 minutes I am sure we would all be delighted to hear more of your thoughts.

  22. Am hearing horrible rumours that they are going to appear once again in another guise sometime soon. This Prepack type of thing should be banned. Everyone from suppliers to employees loses out and those runniing it start again..disgracefull !!

    FreddietheFrog Reply
  23. @ Recruiter – If my mind is “tiny little” yours is nonexistent.

    Equities Trader Reply
  24. I totally agree with Equities Trader – These recruitment firms have become a law unto themselves, instead of doing their job in a fair and professional manner, they have become like the banks, greedy and incompetent, and I for one do not like them. They are more of an hindrance than a help, no bitterness on my behalf, it is just my opinion, and the right one.

  25. I also fully agree with Equities Trader. This week an idiot recruiter told me that a certain position paid X amount of money and when his client called me it turned out that comp was less than 50% of what the stupid recruiter said. I shed no tears for these brainless idiots, the world would be a much better place without these monkeys. I hope all recruitment firms will go bankrupt and their stupid employees retrain as bus drivers or ticket inspectors.

  26. Nothing makes me happier than to read about the demise of another bunch of useless herberts.

  27. I am neither a recruiter or trader, however Equities Trader and M&A banker how unplesant and unoriginal you both are. You obviously both have very high opinions of yourselves which is lucky because despite what you think I find it highly unlikely that anyone else does. What stereotypes you are

  28. @ M&A Banker – interesting that the recruiter told you a salary 50% above what it actually was. Given where salaries are in the market that is quite a large discrepancy. It would seem that rather than being a stupid recruiter, you are rather stupid for not doing your due diligence when choosing someone to represent you in the market. Also, wishing everyone in the industry to lose their jobs seems quite over the top, irrelevant of whether you deem their chosen career to be one of any value. Would you rather they were all sat at home on the dole or couldn’t afford their mortgages etc? Given how angry you seem to be, the phrase used in reference to Equities Trader earlier on of “tiny little” springs to mind… although, in this context, may be more applicable to a different part of your anatomy.

  29. @ T – You must be a recruiter because you know nothing about grammar. Check your comment and come back with a grammatically correct comment.

    Grammar Police Reply
  30. while my sympathies are with all those whose future seems a lot bleaker in these very uncertain times, the recruitment industry as a whole seems to be bloated and full of unethical time wasters. It’s in need of a shake out so that we only have those that have real mandates and know how to deal professionally…

  31. M&A Recruiter – You have just proved that you are the one who is rather dumb. If the job pays around 50% of what the recruiter said, that means the recruiter gave a figure which is 100% higher than the actual salary. You can’t do even basic math. Our profession has a bad reputation exactly because of recruiters like you.

    Banker-friendly recruiter Reply
  32. Recruiters are so sensitive and defensive. Perhaps they too know their own rather low value.

  33. HH have bad names and reputations in the market; but for what reason…their job is to help individuals in the market realize opportunities, which a) pay better and b) further the individuals career. No-one forces candidates to go to interviews and if you feel like you’re being pressured into going for an interview – you obviously aren’t very convincing! In my experience it is actually candidates who managed to mess it up for themselves by lying about salaries to HH and then get burnt towards the end of the process.
    I feel for you chaps at KA, I knew and always had respect for the front office side of that business…there were some good guys there.
    For the record, I am a HH who bills $1m + and have done so for the past 4 years…if you are a banker and you have time to be on efinancialcareers during your lunch…stop being lazy and dishing out abuse, get on with your job.

  34. Has anyone heard any comments from Bruce Lock or Ken Brotherston yet on why this happened? Does anyone actually know what really happened?

  35. well as a survivor i can only say that i have never seen such badly managed chaos in my life… the worst 2 weeks i have seen professionally. looking forward to bigger and better things.

    foxingtonsmythe Reply
  36. hahhaha you are all funny,is this a battle between recruiters and bankers? I taught this is a space to comment on KA!!….
    There are good people and bad people everywere and surely people that offend other people (no matter the job) are not very clever to start with. Arrogance is a lack of emotional intelligence.
    I don’t understand why a busy banker should be loosing time on this game…maybe not a busy banker?…careful one day you could have no option in the market and decide to become a “stupid” recruiter!! And, just for your information I am a banker as well, but …as proved by you there are lots of stupid people in our industry as well.

  37. I cannot understand how the senior management of a company can get away with doing a pre-pack in 2010 and then less than a year later putting the company into administration leaving creditors high and dry, salaries and bonuses unpaid and people out of a job! Surely there must be some kind of recourse here – won’t the authorities want to investigate what went on?

  38. Not all recruiters are “useless”.. some are just poorly guided. It’s a stereotype unfortunately and one day you may find that you are unable to secure a new job without one.

  39. Good Head hunters add value, poor ones dont. Gone are the days when anyone can lob a CV around the market and get paid for it. Any person who lets their CV be lobbed around the market is both unwise and not very good.
    Get back to work you lot and make sure you either dont end up like KAI or are desperate for their type of service.

    boredofthesamechat Reply
  40. HH, I agree with you and I am a banker. Head Hunters are very helpful, surely like everywere, there are some less skilled, but the are some that really can change your career.

  41. It saddens me that people don’t wish us well. Yes KA was mismanaged and clearly things have gone very badly wrong but most of us had absolutely no idea of the extent of the trouble that the firm was in. We’re now out this month’s salary and any commission we’d accrued or are due to accrue.

    I acknowledge that there are some recruiters in the market who don’t provide a great service to either clients or candidates, but equally there are some incredible ones who consistently go the extra mile. It’s disappointing that some people seem happy to laugh at others’ misfortune when I’m sitting here today wondering how the company I work for, in which my team was very profitable, has gone under.

    I’m very proud of the work I do for people and genuinely enjoy working with, and meeting, all the people I’m fortunate enough to speak to daily. I will stay in the industry and continue doing what I truly enjoy.

    Please think twice before you slate the whole industry or even the whole of KA. Very few people know the full story, even those of us who worked at KA up until Tuesday so unless you’re one of the few who can shed light, please hold your negative thoughts in as it doesn’t help any

  42. @recruiter 2011 – this website seems to be a forum for unsatisfied bankers to have a go at recruiters and vice versa. The world is full of people like this and you are right, it’s a sad state of affairs. I went through a similar situation a number of years ago and the most important thing now is to keep your integrity in tact and be careful about who you move to next. Good luck with everything and hopefully after a strong final quarter in 2011 you will be able to look back at this episode as something that made you stronger!!

  43. Agree wholeheartedly with foxington smythe. I too am an unfortunate piece of the KA debris, and the lack of managerial control or information was indeed quite breathtaking. One would hope that those responsible would or will be held accountable, but it’s doubtful that they will be. If they had paid as much attention to managing the business as ensuring that they had an escape route, this sorry state of affairs may have been avoided

  44. McDonald’s in Surbiton is looking.

  45. why were KA still hiring recruiters in May only to close the company down a few weeks later? anyone???

  46. As Richard, and others, have pointed out – at the time they were sold GRS was a profitable business with a very stong presence in their core markets.

    To somehow contrive to remove all of that value in a relatively short space of time – (there will be no pre-pack this time around) really is incredible – particularly bearing in mind the buoynacy of the markets they operate in…

    Would be interested to get your thoughts Sarah

  47. I was a supplier for GRS and later for KA for over 8 years and I had an unforgettable expirience and a great journey with the company. The name and the market might have changed but the culture have never changed and there was a great focus on it. If only could more companies adopt the same culture as KA. It is indeed disapointing realizing that the brand is disapearing and the people involved will no longer be part of the game as such but lets be honest sometimes non of us can manage to keep science or theory, practice and reality in the same dimension and I deeply believe that in this case it is exactly what has happend. Good luck to everyone from KA.

  48. I was one of the people who escaped early enough to avoid that crash. I wish i had jumped from the GRS/KA sinking boat even earlier, like some did just months after new management came in (2008). For my part, that guy on top (who might we be talking about?…) has a total like of charisma and leadership. Decisions were taken opaquely and problems spotted months after it was too late. Not to mention the arrogance and disregard for what made the initial success of GRS: drive, team spirit, dedication for the job.

  49. great effort one and all

  50. Leanrnig a ton from these neat articles.

  51. This explains why the doors have been locked every time I’ve tried to get into the office over the last 6 weeks. I thought they’d moved and not told me.

    Turnitoffandonagain Reply

The comment is under moderation. It will appear shortly.


Screen Name


Consult our community guidelines here