Charting a Path of Expanded Service, TMP Declares its Independence

February 15

President and Chief Executive Officer Michelle Abbey

On August 31, 2006, TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications announced new ownership. While the occasion has marked a big change for us, it has been business as usual for our customers. After all, the set of faces at the top seem very familiar. A senior management team, led by President and Chief Executive Officer Michelle Abbey and backed by a major equity firm, has acquired the business from Monster Worldwide. Consequently, our headquarters and regional executives have remained in place, guiding the company. Most important, without missing a beat, our more than 500 employees have steadfastly continued to serve their clients. In fact, you might be wondering about the real significance of our separation from Monster. To understand its value for you, a little background is necessary.

Where We've Been: A Leader with an Edge

TMP Worldwide has always taken fresh approaches to recruitment advertising. We entered the recruitment business in 1993 when print advertising pretty much had a lock on how people found jobs. Back then we realized that electronic communications could quickly and inexpensively match job seekers and employers. So we invested in a little-known online career website at a time when there were less than 500 sites registered. This site, the Monster Board, soon became known globally as and eventually gave its name to the parent company.

Meanwhile, TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications grew rapidly. Through acquisitions, innovations and organic growth, we became one of the largest agencies specializing in attracting job candidates for companies. Along the way, we actually became more than a typical advertising agency. In 1999, Michelle Abbey, who began her career at TMP in 1985, became TMP Worldwide's Senior Vice President and Global Digital Product Manager. Michelle quickly saw possibilities for our clients beyond newspaper ads and job fairs. She expanded digital services for North America and Europe and creative services for recruitment by integrating seven acquisitions into a single digital, marketing and creative group.

When Michelle became Group President, TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, Americas in 2002, she further defined an innovative direction for the division that embraces both online and traditional recruitment communications offerings. Under Ms. Abbey's guidance, TMP Worldwide has emphasized "SOLUTIONS WITH AN INTERACTIVE EDGE." Interactivity is defined as "an all-encompassing approach that leverages measurable activities between people, places and things, whether those activities are online or offline."

As a result of this emphasis, TMP Worldwide has become the only agency that combines leadership in human resources communications with a top-20 rank among digital agencies.

Where We Are Now: The Largest Independent

More than a year ago, Michelle, along with a few other executives, looked at potential futures for the organization. Chief in their minds was how to serve our many clients in diverse industries. While the synergy with Monster was clearly beneficial in many respects, the two organizations had very different missions: Monster to be the world's online career destination, TMP Worldwide to offer the best mix of communications tools possible for specific clients.

Shortly thereafter, TMP Worldwide and Monster began looking for a backer for a management buy out, an equity firm that would understand and support the company's vision and goals. It was not a transaction to be considered lightly by either Monster or TMP Worldwide. TMP Worldwide contributed strongly to Monster Worldwide's bottom line. And it was the original parent company from which Monster emerged.

Enter Veronis Suhler Stevenson

In the summer of 2006, TMP Worldwide found the right partner in Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a forward-thinking private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company dedicated to investing in the media, communications, information, and education industries in North America and Europe. Founded in 1981, Veronis Suhler Stevenson's equity funds invest in portfolio or "platform" companies in different business areas. For example, in the HR field, Veronis Suhler Stevenson recently acquired PreVisor, a leader in pre-employment selection and assessment. PreVisor, which helps employers screen job candidates for productivity, is representative of the 42 platform companies that partner with Veronis Suhler Stevenson. In May, enhancing its leadership, PreVisor acquired the leading testing firm Brainbench.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson was similarly interested in TMP Worldwide as a partner. With this solid backing, TMP Worldwide could have the opportunity to grow both organically and through key acquisitions. Most importantly we would have the support to explore innovative ways to serve our customers with the most cost-effective and measurable solutions to attract, hire and retain employees.

After meeting with them over the course of many months, Michelle felt that the investment firm had an in-depth understanding of how TMP Worldwide serves its customers.

In making the announcement, she said, "Veronis Suhler Stevenson understands our goal of providing programs and products that blend online and offline services for an expanding client base across North America."

Backed by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, the management buy out (MBO) has established TMP Worldwide as North America's largest independent recruitment advertising agency. In terms of 2005 sales and gross income, TMP Worldwide ranks first among recruitment agencies not affiliated with a marketing services conglomerate.

Meanwhile TMP Worldwide will maintain its present organizational structure and staffing throughout its regional operations in the United States, Canada and most recently India. The Company will also remain part of the TMP Global Alliance of Companies, serving international relationships in the Americas, Europe, and Asia/Pacific.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson has heartily endorsed the value of our organization within their investment objectives. Trent Hickman, a Managing Director, said, "We believe that TMP Worldwide is an attractive platform company in the recruitment advertising agency sector because of the company's demonstrated commitment to its customers, many of whom have partnered with TMP for over 10 years. Michelle and her team deliver a total media solution to their clients that incorporate print and online media and provide a measurable return on investment."

Where We Are Going: The Best Solutions for You

What does "independence" mean for the TMP Worldwide client? After all, we have always emphasized impartial media selection for our clients.

"Our independence from Monster Worldwide further clarifies our strategy to provide the optimal, unbiased integrated mix of online and offline solutions for each customer," says Michelle. "In addition, as a privately held, independent company, we have the opportunity to better serve our customers through our local and regional presences while also further leveraging our scale on a national and international level."

As North America's largest independent recruitment advertising agency, TMP Worldwide is a single source for companies to communicate their employment offerings in order to recruit and retain the best talent. When we approach a recruiting challenge, we have the resources to step back and ask, "What do you really need to get the job done? What integrated mix of online and traditional communication will work best? What kind of employer branding and creative can make you stand apart? What best practices are applicable? What diversity and inclusion services can enrich your employee population and make it truly representative of your constituency? What media planning can put you in front of your targeted candidates with a minimum of waste? Finally what ROI campaign management services will provide the metrics to improve your program?"

Under our new ownership, we will further strengthen this repertoire of offerings to match your needs. We'll continue to monitor trends and develop tools for SOLUTIONS WITH AN INTERACTIVE EDGE. We invite you to share your needs and thoughts with us as we embark on this exciting adventure.

A Word about Monster

Now you may be wondering where this change leaves our relationship with Monster. The short answer is that our relationship with Monster is unique for both of us. Online career job search, which Monster pioneered, has forever transformed the career landscape. By being a part of that change from its inception, we have the expertise and relationships to take it to the next stage.

On August 31, Andrew J. McKelvey, Chairman and CEO of Monster Worldwide and founder of TMP Worldwide, underscored the value of the transaction to all parties: "Although was originally a service offering of our advertising business, it has since become the core of a global media company. We now believe that TMP Worldwide's customers can best benefit from advertising counsel, planning, and services that are not directly affiliated with any other media or advertising ownerships. Having worked with Michelle Abbey for the past two decades, I am pleased that TMP Worldwide will continue to grow in her capable hands."

The value of independence to you is that you will be better able to get the right people into the right job when you need them.

Back to top