The Hunter Group, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based healthcare management and consulting firm, was sold to 16 of its senior executives. The group did not release the sale price.
David Hunter and Merrilee Gerew, the company's co-founders, will remain with the Hunter Group under long-term contracts. Hunter and Gerew are no longer shareholders, but they financed "a significant amount" of the sale, says Hunter, who will retain his position as chief executive officer.
"We wanted to broaden out the ownership base because we felt it would make the company stronger," he says. "There's nothing that means more to people than an equity position."
Larry Scanlan, an executive and one of the buyers, became president and chief operating officer on June 12. Gerew, formerly COO, will develop client relations and opportunities for new business.
A new board of trustees will be formed with five members elected by the 16 owners. Formerly, Hunter and Gerew governed the company themselves.
"We wanted to make sure that this group could make their own decisions no matter what Merrilee and I wanted to do," Hunter says. "We wanted it to be their company, we wanted them to have the value, but we wanted to continue to work with them."
The company name will remain the same. While the executives may shift positions and rethink the company business plan, the firm will continue to concentrate on healthcare management and consulting, Hunter says.
Hunter and Gerew started the company in 1988 when Hunter left his position as president and COO of Voluntary Hospitals of America. The Hunter Group specializes in helping hospitals and health systems with turnarounds.