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LI's Alcott HR Group expanding to Europe

Alcott HR Group, a Farmingdale company that provides human resource services, Wednesday announced an expansion into Europe -- its first international office.

"It's something we've been missing," said Lou Basso, president and co-founder of Alcott. "We've been in business for 25 years. We've gotten calls from clients that think they want to dip their toes into . . . European countries, asking 'Can you help us overseas?' And we never had the ability to do that."

Currently, Alcott has clients that are international companies operating in the United States. Basso said he hopes with the European office, the company can start providing human resource services to American firms hoping to expand into Europe. Alcott, which provides administrative, benefits and payroll services, mainly caters to small and medium-sized business in the tri-state area.

Despite the financial uncertainty facing the European Union and the fact that several European nations have slipped into recession, Basso said he thinks there will still be American companies that will want to expand in Europe, and vice versa.

"It really gets down to those customers and clients that have a unique product to sell, rather than a commodity," he said, emphasizing that there is still demand for companies that offer a particular product, and for engineering and technology firms.

Alcott's new European office will be in Almelo, Netherlands -- a city about an hour and a half outside of Amsterdam. The company has hired three new employees for its Europe operation.

Alcott started out on Long Island as a recruitment company that supplied engineers to companies such as Northrop Grumman and has since grown to focus more on providing human resources services to businesses that outsource the function. It has 35 employees at its Farmingdale office and annual revenue of about $230 million.

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