NEW YORK – May 1, 2019 – Lightyear Capital LLC (“Lightyear”), a New York-based private equity firm focused on financial services investing, announced today that investment funds affiliated with Lightyear have agreed to terms for the acquisition of Engage PEO (“Engage”), a professional employer organization providing HR outsourcing solutions to small and mid-sized businesses across the U.S. The company will continue to operate as Engage PEO, and the current management team will remain part of the ownership structure and in place with no operational changes impacting clients and brokers. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, and financial terms were not disclosed.
“The PEO industry represents an attractive growth sector for Lightyear, one that we have been tracking for years,” said Mark Vassallo, Managing Partner of Lightyear. “Engage focuses on delivering the highest levels of quality service to its growing client base. We look forward to working with Jay and his management team to add to an already successful effort to grow their portfolio of clients and services.”
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Engage PEO was founded in 2011 by CEO Jay Starkman. Built on its “expect more” philosophy, Engage’s human resource delivery team is unique in the PEO industry, combining the people skills of HR professionals with the technical and strategic savvy of legal professionals. Engage also embraces brokers and agents creating a partnership that translates to added value for their mutual clients. This innovative business model fueled the company’s expansion, resulting in Engage being named one of the fastest-growing private companies on Inc. Magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list for the past three years.
“Engage is driven to deliver the best PEO experience to clients while simultaneously growing our company, and Lightyear gives us the opportunity to do both better and faster,” said Jay Starkman, CEO of Engage PEO. “A key factor in our decision was Lightyear’s track record of working with management teams to create stronger companies and add value to all stakeholders.”
Piper Jaffray & Co. is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Jones Day is acting as legal counsel to Engage.
About Engage PEO
Engage PEO delivers comprehensive HR solutions to small and mid-sized businesses nationwide, sharpening their competitive advantage. Comprised of the industry’s most respected veteran professional employer organization executives, certified HR professionals and attorneys, Engage PEO provides hands-on, expert HR services and counsel to help clients minimize cost and maximize efficiency for stronger business performance. The company’s superior service offering includes a full range of health and workers’ compensation insurance products, payroll technology and tax administration, risk management services and advanced technology as part of an extensive suite of HR services. Engage PEO was recently awarded the designation of Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), ensuring greater benefits for small and mid-sized businesses such as tax advantages and financial protections. Engage PEO is also accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation. For more information on Engage PEO visit www.engagepeo.com.
About Lightyear Capital LLC
Founded in 2000, Lightyear is a financial services-focused private equity firm based in New York. Through its affiliated private equity funds, Lightyear makes primarily control investments in North America-based, middle-market companies across the financial services spectrum, including financial technology, asset and wealth management, healthcare financial services, insurance and insurance services, payments and processing, and specialty finance. Lightyear brings focus and discipline to its investment process, as well as operating, transaction and strategic management experience, along with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. For more information, please visit www.lycap.com.