Interim Services buys A. J. Burton Executive recruiter becomes part of No. 1 staffing outfit

January 07, 1998|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

A. J. Burton Group, a Baltimore-based executive recruiter, announced yesterday that it was acquired by Interim Services Inc., one of the nation's largest staffing companies.

"The trend among recruiting firms is to have a good national presence," said Carl Wright, president of the A. J. Burton Group, which was founded in Baltimore in 1977. Its headquarters is in the Crestar Building at 12 E. Baltimore St.

"We were open to finding a national partner, and we had a good cultural fit with Interim," Wright said. "This should be a benefit to our larger clients such as Black & Decker and Baltimore Gas and Electric, who want the full array of staffing options."

Wright will become the regional vice president of Interim Accounting Professionals with the responsibility of operating and expanding business in the mid-Atlantic region.

Ray Marcy, Interim president and chief executive officer, said he was attracted to A. J. Burton because it makes a good fit geographically.

"We did not have a strong presence in the Baltimore-Washington area in finance, accounting and banking," he said.

"With this acquisition, we went from virtually no presence to a leadership position in providing those skills."

The privately held A. J. Burton is a recruitment and staffing company that specializes in the placement of accounting, finance and banking professionals. The company has offices in Columbia and Bethesda and had 1997 revenue of $15 million.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Interim places more than 400,000 employees each year, making it the nation's 10th largest employer.

It provides staffing in areas such as information technology, legal, accounting, human resources and sales and marketing.

The company operates nearly 700 offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia and had 1996 sales of $1.8 billion.

Locally, the company has a legal recruiting office in Washington, and a traditional commercial placement office in Towson.

All of A. J. Burton's 65 employees are expected to stay in place, Wright said.

The acquisition illustrates the consolidation trend in the staffing industry, said Meg Saegebarth, a securities analyst with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York.

"Overall, the staffing industry is fragmented with a lot of small companies," she said, adding that Interim has made 20 acquisitions since 1994.

"Interim is becoming a full soup-to-nuts staffing company that can provide both low- and high-level workers," Saegebarth said.

Pub Date: 1/07/98

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