About us


Advising and Empowering Buyers, Investors and Sellers in the Recruitment and Staffing Industry.

Recruitment Transactions International is a global matching platform for buyers, investors, and sellers in the recruitment and staffing industry. Our mission is to create greater value for acquisitive clients and Private Equity (PE) businesses by helping them understand available market and sector options, and connecting them with valuable recruitment businesses preparing for exit or exploring the best possible growth capital options.

As partners with Recruitment Entrepreneur International and Oconic, our team of investment consultants leverage off the huge amounts of information that flow through our global networks, while maintaining a high-touch, boutique approach that puts our clients at the heart of everything we do.   This enables our clients to benefit from on-the-ground, first-hand sector knowledge, as well as a higher level of commitment compared to large advisory firms. 

Our senior management and advisory team has worked on numerous buy- and sell-side transactions in the industry.

Our Advisory Services

Meet our Team

Simon Childs

Managing Partner – Tokyo/Hong Kong

Simon sold a leading executive search business in Japan, which he co-founded, to Recruit Holdings, Asia’s largest HR services group. This was Recruit’s first domestic recruitment acquisition in its 50-year history, giving them a platform to further develop executive search in Japan’s domestic markets and expand their recruiting services into Asia. Simon initiated several transactions across Asia for Recruit Holdings’ International Recruitment Business division under the RGF brand.

Since leaving Recruit Holdings in 2020, Simon has worked closely with the senior management team of a UK publicly listed recruitment business, and with the founders of several boutique recruitment firms in Asia looking to scale and exit. He has advised on several sell-side transactions. Simon is a Regional Advisor to James Caan’s Recruitment Entrepreneur, responsible for developing the platform in Asia.

Originally from England, Simon holds a BA in History from the University of East Anglia and has post-grad qualifications from Imperial College London in M&A, Oxford University in Leadership, and Cornell University/AESC in Executive Search.

Meet our Team

Karen de-Merist

Investment Advisor – UK & Europe

With 25 years of experience driving operational execution, Karen has developed, implemented, and optimized operational strategies for a wide and diverse range of customers across different industries around the world. 

Throughout her career, she has held international leadership roles up to the board level at ManpowerGroup, working with colleagues globally to deliver client success. In her Talent Governance role, Karen has been instrumental in driving Group L&D initiatives, with a specific focus on leadership capability, leadership development, accelerated learning, and driving high performance. Her primary objective has been enabling leaders to grow and develop a strong sense of self and business acumen.

Meet our Team

Tremayne Elson

Investment Director – Germany

Tremayne studied German, Russian, and Economics at Newcastle. He joined Antal International during its start-up phase and remained there for over 18 years, progressing from a rookie to Group CEO. In 1995, he established their Russian operations and later moved to Germany, where he set up offices in Hamburg and Frankfurt.

Upon his promotion to Regional MD, he also oversaw operations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Kazakhstan. After returning to Russia in 2002, he took direct control of the business and led it to a sale with a value of $28 million.

In 2013, Tremayne moved back to Germany and now resides in Frankfurt. Between 2015 and 2021, he established APSCo Germany and expanded its membership to over 100 members.

Having experienced two M&A events in his career, Tremayne’s expertise in both buying and selling, combined with his local recruitment knowledge and cultural understanding of the German market, makes him a uniquely skilled professional.

Paul Daley B&W 2

Meet our Team

Paul Daley

RPO/HR Tech Investment Advisor – UK

With over 20 years’ experience in RPO, HR Technology, and the Human Capital Management Industry, Paul has gathered a wealth of experience growing businesses across the globe at HP, Korn/Ferry, and Cielo. As a member of the founding team and SVP at Cielo, he was instrumental in scaling the business from 30 employees to over 4000, serving customers in over 100 countries. His roles have spanned commercial leadership, revenue growth, and most recently corporate development and M&A.

In addition, Paul has been an active Angel Investor, Advisor, and Board member to HR Tech businesses for over 13 years.

Shingo Toyama B&W photo

Meet our Team

Shingo Toyama

Investment Advisor – Japan

With 28 years of experience in recruitment and other industries, including 17 years in Asia, the UK, and the U.S., Shingo has developed a deep expertise in strategic planning, M&A, P&L responsibility, and various corporate functions.

He executed multiple cross-border M&A deals in the recruitment sector between Japan and overseas while holding a regional corporate business development role in Recruit Holdings and Open Up Group. He also led the PMI projects in all deals and completed them successfully.

Shingo started his career at Deloitte in Osaka and Los Angeles as a qualified Certified Public Accountant.

Currently, he is the COO at ONGAESHI Holdings, an ESG-focused P/E funds, and interim COO at Phil Company (TSE:3267), a real estate solutions provider.


Meet our Team

John Tucker

Investment Advisor – Singapore

John led the successful turnaround of a US publicly listed permanent recruitment firm in Tokyo before taking over as CEO of the executive search firm that Simon sold to Recruit. After growing that business from USD 7M to USD 40M over 8 years via organizational and operational change as well as business line expansion, he transferred to Singapore in 2018 to manage the post-merger rebranding and operational overhaul of RGF’s executive search offices across 6 countries in Southeast Asia. 


A native of the United States, John earned a BA in Economics from Harvard University before winning a post-graduate scholarship from the Rotary Foundation to study Indian Philosophy for a year at the University of Madras in India. John has lived in Asia for nearly 30 years, including 25 years in Tokyo, and speaks Japanese as a second language. He is a fitness enthusiast and an avid scuba diver.

Meet our Team

Jacqueline Qin

Investment Advisor – Greater China

As the resident China expert on our team, Jacqueline brings 20 years of invaluable experience in navigating the intricate Chinese market. Based in Shanghai, she has held leadership positions at renowned recruitment firms, demonstrating her exceptional expertise and ability to consistently deliver outstanding results.

Jacqueline’s foundation in executive search was established early in her career at Bo Le Associates. There, she specialized in senior-level recruitment for Sales & Marketing roles across various sectors. These sectors include Bio-Tech, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare, Diagnostics, Luxury & Retail, and FMCG, spanning the Asian market. During her tenure at Michael Page, she served as the Director of the Marketing, eCommerce & Digital Operations business. Subsequently, she was promoted to Michael Page’s China Talent Acquisition Director, covering five brands across six offices.

Jacqueline’s influence extends beyond traditional recruitment, positioning her as the go-to person for companies and aspiring professionals seeking to establish staffing businesses in the China market. Recently, Jacqueline has gained valuable investment experience by supporting a specialist UK Private Equity fund (HBPE) that invests in the recruitment sector.


Meet our Team

Martin Nicholls

Investment Advisor – Australia and Southeast Asia

With over 30 years of recruitment experience and having lived in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand since starting his recruitment and executive search career in Europe, Martin brings a unique knowledge of the Asia Pacific region to Recruitment Transactions International and has worked in over 20 countries globally.

Following a successful decade based out of the UK and working across Europe, Martin moved to Australia in 1997 where he became responsible for growing ANZ’s leading technology recruitment business – Morgan & Banks Technology.

When this business was acquired by Hudson, Martin took leadership of Hudson’s professional recruitment businesses across Australia and New Zealand. At the same time, he was the driving force behind a number of significant of acquisitions and their subsequent integration into the organisation.

Following a few years as CEO of Beilby Corporation in Australia, Martin moved to Hong Kong as CEO to play his part in building out Talent 2’s Asian capability. Since then he has remained in the region, frequently traveling between Asia and Australia, and occupying key roles with Kelly, Randstad, and Recruitment Entrepreneur (Non-Executive Director) in addition to establishing Martin Nicholls Consulting – a successful advisory & consulting firm dedicated to the Asia Pacific Recruitment Industry.

Martin is originally from England and holds a BSc in Economics from City University, London/New York and an MBA from the University of Bath.

Wan Pang B&W

Meet our Team

Wan Pang

Senior Talent Acquisition Director – Hong Kong

Wan Pang has worked in the executive search industry for two decades. He began his recruitment career with FusionPeople in the UK and then moved to Hong Kong in 2006, working for Gemini, RGF Executive, and Bo Le Associates.

Pang is a founding member of Reccelerate, an Asia-based Rec2reC focused on attracting mid- to senior-level talent across Asia. Over the past decade, Pang has successfully completed numerous MD searches and team lift-outs across the Asia Pacific region. These searches have typically been retained. Pang is a specialist at market entry. In his most recent retained project, Pang served as the Investment Director and Advisor for James Caan’s Recruitment Entrepreneur where he was responsible for identifying and originating investment opportunities for the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore PE Fund.

Pang is responsible for carrying out MD searches and team-lift-outs or acquihires for Recruitment Transaction International’s clients, who prefer this strategy over outright M&A for market entry.