Having demerged from its secretarial recruitment division in the summer, ZMB was taken over by Hays for some £15m last month. With a turnover of around £6m, it placed approximately 30 partners last year.

The rising stars at the moment are Yvonne Smyth and Andy Russell, who have stepped smoothly into the gap made by Joe Macrae’s departure this summer. Smyth moved 10 partners last year, and both recruiters are thought to have each billed at least £500,000 in fees.