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Entrepreneurial Aberdeen pair invest six figures to create ‘major brand’ recruitment business

Recruitment Ventures has completed acquisition of Granite Recruitment. L to R: Craig Phillips and Doug Duguid.
Recruitment Ventures has completed acquisition of Granite Recruitment. L to R: Craig Phillips and Doug Duguid.

Serial entrepreneurs Doug Duguid and Michael Buchan have launched a new recruitment venture with the acquisition of a business based in Aberdeen and Norwich for a “high six figure sum”.

The duo’s investment company, I7V Renewables, bought Granite Recruitment from Clan Partners, a rival Aberdeen-based recruitment business, for an undisclosed sum.

L to R:  Doug Duguid and Michael Buchan

Granite, which specialises in placing skilled and engineering personnel for the drilling, maintenance, well services, and pipeline and process sectors, will join Recruitment Ventures, an “umbrella” company established by Duguid and Buchan, alongside another portfolio recruitment company, Ingenii.

Granite employs seven in Aberdeen, two in Norwich, bringing total number of Recruitment Ventures staff to 12.

Longer term plans include doubling the number of employees, adding a suite of agencies to Recruitment Ventures, each focusing on specific sectors and specialisations.

L to R: Doug Duguid, Craig and Laura Phillips, Michal Buchan.

Granite Recruitment staff, including the management team of Craig and Laura Phillips, will move over to Recruitment Ventures’ new HQ in Dyce. A married couple, Craig and Laura take on group roles of managing director and operations director, respectively.

I7V Renewables said the acquisition was an “excellent platform” to drive its strategy of supporting businesses in the transition from oil and gas to more sustainable forms of energy.

Creating a ‘major brand’

Mr Duguid said the Phillips’ team will “underpin the growth of Recruitment Ventures into a major brand”.

He said: “Our vision is to continue providing high quality personnel to the oil and gas sector and to assist our clients transitioning to net-zero.

“As part of that approach we will also support the just transition of many talented people into the fast-developing renewables space.

“In time, we will add to our portfolio with a blend of organic growth and where appropriate strategic acquisition, broadening out the Recruitment Ventures brand into niche areas which require highly skilled personnel.”

Oil and gas ‘resurgent’

Mr Phillips said the firm was looking forward to expanding its business due to a “resurgence” in activity, largely driven by oil and gas price rises but that it would also focus on supporting workers into renewable energy.

He said: “With a resurgence in oil activity, and a recognition that moving to sustainable energy forms will take time, many oil and gas rigs are being reactivated along with contracts awarded – it’s a great time to be part of the industry.

“Granite Recruitment have established a strong reputation as a result of their technical expertise and operational excellence, and we look forward to continuing our expansion, both domestically and internationally.

“At the same time, we recognise that many established players are transitioning from hydrocarbons and focusing on green energy projects to meet net-zero carbon and ESG targets, and our renewables specialist, Ingenii, will be in a prime position to service personnel and skills requirements in these sectors.”

John MacGregor, director of Clan Partners which had acquired the Granite business in 2019, said he wished the team “every success”.

He added: “This divestment marks a further stage of repositioning in our recruitment group’s diversification strategy, while helping to accelerate our growth plans during 2022 and beyond.”

Doug Duguid .

Duguid and Buchan have led two very successful international businesses including EnerMech, which the duo grew into a global engineering services firm that was acquired by Carlyle Group in a £450 million deal.

Previously, they led pipeline and well interventions specialist PSL which was acquired by Halliburton in 2007 in a £128m deal.

They launched 17V in 2020.

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