Silver Oak Invests in Keystone Partners

Silver Oak Invests in Keystone Partners

Silver Oak Services Partners has acquired Keystone Partners, a provider of outplacement, career management, executive coaching, and leadership development services.

Keystone’s services are provided to a range of employees from entry-level to senior executives. The company operates through three divisions: Keystone Associates, a provider of career management services through the executive level; Camden Consulting Group, a provider of consulting, organizational development, and management education and training; and Essex Partners, a provider of consulting support and services for senior executives. Keystone was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Boston (

The senior management team of Keystone, including President Ralph Roberto, invested in this transaction alongside Silver Oak and will continue in their current roles and retain a significant ownership stake in the business. “For over 35 years Keystone has served as a trusted resource to leading organizations providing best in class outplacement, career and leadership development services. Silver Oak provides the additional capital resources and expertise we need to scale our platform while continuing to provide high-quality service to our diverse customer base,” said Mr. Roberto.

“We believe Keystone is a great platform from which to grow due to its excellent reputation for providing premium services, strong customer relationships, experienced management team and talented employee base,” said Greg Barr, managing partner at Silver Oak.

Silver Oak has made several investments in the human resources industry and was attracted to the outplacement and talent management services subsector due to its strong fundamentals, countercyclical business model, and high degree of fragmentation. The firm’s past investments in the human resources industry include the March 2018 buy of Chicago-based Brilliant, a provider of temporary and permanent finance, accounting and IT professionals; and the June 2014 acquisition of Construction Labor Contractors (CLC), a provider of temporary skilled tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and HVAC technicians to the commercial construction market. Silver Oak sold CLC to Tradesmen International, a portfolio company of Blackstone, in January of last year.

Silver Oak Services Partners makes control investments of $10 million to $30 million in companies with revenues from $15 million to $150 million and EBITDAs from $4 million to $20 million. As the firm name implies, sectors of interest include business, healthcare, and consumer services. The firm is currently investing out of its third fund which closed in March 2016 at its $335 million hard cap. Silver Oak was founded in 2005 and is based in the Chicago suburb of Evanston (

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | January 31, 2019

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