The Ariel Group Expands Sales Training Capabilities with Acquisition of The Baron Group

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As part of its strategic business growth plans, The Ariel Group LLC, a leadership and communication skills training company based in Lexington, Massachusetts, has acquired The Baron Group, a Westport, Connecticut-based provider of sales training solutions.

The combination of The Baron Group’s proven consultative sales methodology and Ariel’s theater-based approach to developing Leadership Presence will provide a unique, much-needed service to the market.

“Our training participants are successful businesspeople who need to develop their leadership skills in order to move up, and many of them need coaching for client-facing, business development and sales situations,” says Sean Kavanagh, Ariel’s CEO. “At the same time, companies are increasingly relying on key professionals with strong relationship-building skills to stay ahead. The combination of The Baron Group’s proven consultative sales methodology and Ariel’s theater-based approach to developing Leadership Presence will provide a unique, much-needed service to the market.”

Founded in 1992 by Eric Baron, a consultant, speaker and author whose most recent book, Innovative Team Selling, was released earlier this year, The Baron Group delivers sales and sales management training programs to sales professionals across a broad range of industries. Clients include BNY Mellon, Prudential Insurance, Citi, UBS, Gartner, Ogilvy and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

“We believe the highest level of selling is when sales professionals transform client meetings into problem-solving opportunities,” explains Eric Baron. “Because The Ariel Group operates by a similar philosophy when it comes to leadership and relationship-building skills, we knew this would be a great fit. Our common approach to the market, compatible corporate cultures and strong commitment to client service make us ideal partners.”

The Ariel Group is a portfolio company of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania-based Renovus Capital Partners, an education- and training-focused private equity firm that provided the funding for the transaction.

“Sales training has long been an area of strategic focus for us and The Ariel Group,” says Atif Gilani, co-founder of Renovus Capital Partners. “Eric Baron is the perfect partner to lead our expansion into this area.”

About The Ariel Group

Drawing on the best practices from business and actor training, The Ariel Group provides training programs to mid- and senior-level executives to develop their leadership, communication and relationship-building skills. Ariel uses techniques from the theater to help participants, who are often transitioning to more senior-level roles, increase their confidence and presence so they can connect with their audience in an authentic way and lead and inspire people to action. Clients include American Express, Capital One, Coca-Cola, Harvard Business School, Procter & Gamble, Thyssen-Krupp, and a diverse mix of Fortune 1000 corporations and major MBA programs. More information:

About The Baron Group

The Baron Group provides customized sales training, sales management and sales improvement solutions covering topics such as consultative selling, problem solving, team selling, sales negotiations and presentation skills. Over the past 20 years it has developed strong client relationships in a variety of industries including banking, professional services, insurance, consumer products, manufacturing, technology, pharmaceuticals and advertising. CEO and founder Eric Baron also teaches Entrepreneurial Selling at Columbia University Graduate School of Business and is the author of several books, including Innovative Team Selling, recently published by John Wiley & Sons. More information:

About Renovus Capital Partners

Founded in January 2010, Renovus Capital Partners is a private equity firm that is currently investing its first fund, a $185 million SBIC fund focusing on small- and mid-sized businesses within the education and training sector. To date, the fund has invested $70 million in six portfolio companies in verticals such as corporate training, career colleges and technology-enabled content. The fund is particularly interested in growth-oriented businesses, and the Renovus team actively partners with management to build its portfolio companies through acquisitions, new strategic initiatives and operational improvements. More information:

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Alyssa Keefe
Ariel Group
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