“With all this expansion, I think it’s worth noting that have no intention of losing our key focus on our Rhode Island: from clients to candidates to our community involvement, in five years and beyond we see ourselves, unquestionably, here in Rhode Island.”
James Wright is a partner at information technology staffing firm Bridge Technical Talent, which recently announced its first acquisition – BPS Becker Professional Search Inc.
Prior to founding Bridge, Wright spent 13 years in the IT staffing industry in Silicon Valley. He has a bachelors of arts from Vassar College and a Master’s degree from San Francisco State University. Wright, who lives in Jamestown with his wife, daughter and twin boys, serves on various boards including BankNewport, The Newport County Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation and the Jamestown Historical Society.
Wright talked to Providence Business News about his company’s recent acquisition of BPS and its plans for the future.
PBN: Why did you decide now was the time to expand with an acquisition?
WRIGHT: Over the past few years we’ve made a significant effort towards growth. Investments in areas like staff, infrastructure, training, internship programs and expanding our capabilities to support national accounts have helped us achieve exceptional growth. We’ve expanded our geographic reach as well, building relationships with clients and candidates in Connecticut and Massachusetts. As we grew our organizational structure and added more process to the organization we did so with an eye towards developing the capability to handle an acquisition, and we started the search for a company that would align with our strategic goals. We reached a point in our growth where we were ready to take on an acquisition and after a year of examining a few opportunities we were thrilled to find BPS fit the profile.
PBN: What does the acquisition of BPS bring to Bridge?
WRIGHT: BPS brings a long tradition of superior IT search and staffing services and a great reputation for building long-term relationships with both clients and candidates. They share our values and style of doing business. The acquisition also brings experienced industry professionals to Bridge, with new ideas and perspectives on the market. In addition, the BPS brings a large book of business in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and a vast network of strong relationships with great candidates. In the few weeks since we closed on the acquisition we’ve felt a wave of excitement, energy, and momentum – another great part of the acquisition. Not to mention some great press!
PBN: Do you see more acquisitions for Bridge in the near future?
WRIGHT: Absolutely. We’re going to digest this deal and see what we learn from the process, but we’re keeping an eye out for other opportunities that fit with our strategic goals.
PBN: Where do you see your company in another five years?
WRIGHT: If we maintain our growth and hit our goals we see Bridge continuing to expand our presence in New England while aggressively pursuing our national VMS accounts (VMS accounts are where our recruiting engine in Rhode Island serves clients around the country on primarily contract IT staffing). We’re currently looking at office space in Massachusetts to open a satellite office there, with plans for a CT office not far behind that. We’ve developed a great internal talent acquisition and training process and with these new members of our team we’ve built a strong and growing recruiting engine that is specifically trained for VMS accounts. We’ve been fortunate to get some excellent opportunities servicing large clients and hope that we can continue to expand that line of business while managing our regional growth. But with all this expansion I think it’s worth noting that have no intention of losing our key focus on our Rhode Island: from clients to candidates to our community involvement, in five years and beyond we see ourselves, unquestionably, here in Rhode Island. We’re a Rhode Island company and proud of it.
PBN: How do you feel the IT industry in Rhode Island, and the New England region, has grown in recent years?
WRIGHT: The IT staffing industry in RI and the NE region has been benefiting from the improving economy and is seeing action after years of holding off on projects. We’re seeing clients across-the-board making IT investments, in projects, upgrades, and personnel, which is translating into opportunities throughout the region. This is true of large and small companies. Secondly, we continue to see growth in the start-up space. From going tech companies like Andera, Shape Up, GreenBytes, and Swipely receiving funding and taking their companies to the next level, to BetaSpring alums beginning to grow, to the growth of co-working space, it’s encouraging to see this community building and the development of a strong pipeline of companies will hopefully be the next Hasbros, GTECHs, and APCs.