London based management consultancies Q5 and Maxxim Consulting are joining forces in the UK. As part of the merger the Maxxim label will be dropped in favour of the larger Q5 brand, while Maxxim founder Claire Arnold will take hold of the newly introduced role of Chair.
With about 100 advisors, Q5 is a mid-sized consulting firm specialised in among others strategy, business transformation and change management. The firm, founded in 2009, works for clients across several industries, including Media, Financial Services, Retail, Professional Services and Government.
In recent years, Q5 has grown strongly, both in the UK and internationally. The firm booked an impressive annualised rate of 57% across its ranks since its inception. In 2013, the firm opened its office in the US – the globe’s largest management consulting market – and last month, Q5 unveiled that it had entered the Australian market, valued at $4.2 billion by analysts, with the establishment of a hub in Sydney.
In line with its growth strategy, Q5’s leadership team have decided to expand its UK operations with the addition of Maxxim Consulting, a counterpart also based in the City. Maxxim Consulting, founded by Claire Arnold in 2001, specialises in organisational design and change. The advisory’s team consists of 12 consultants, including Arnold, supporting mainly blue-chip organisations with aligning their structure with their strategy.
As part of the integration, the ‘Maxxim Consulting’ brand will be dropped, building on Q5’s young yet already strong and growing reputation. In FY15 Q5 served 50 different client organisations, and testimony to its growing business and track record the firm was awarded the ‘Global Business Excellence Award’, while later this year in November Q5 will act as one of the 5 finalists striving for the 'Consultancy of the Year Award’ by Personnel Today*. According to Olly Purnell, Managing Partner of Q5, the bundling of expertise will add significant expertise to Q5’s portfolio, in particular in the Sport, Higher Education and Public sectors. “Maxxim has blazed a trail in the corporate development space for the last 15 years, and brings a flourishing Board level practice to Q5. This is a hugely exciting opportunity.”
Claire Arnold, Managing Partner of Maxxim, joins Q5 as the firm’s first Chair. “It’s been tremendous fun growing Maxxim. By combining with Q5, we can make an even greater mark, serving our clients with enhanced capability and a deeper service offering and with the same positive energy,” she comments.
Deals in consulting
Globally, deal activity in the consulting sector has been on the rise over the past months, reveals data from Equiteq, thrusted by among others strong performance in key consulting market such as the US (+9% to >$50 billion) and UK (+7% to £6 billion), in combination with trends such as scale, new fast-growing service offerings (e.g. analytics) and the need for a global presence, sparking a push for consolidation. Recent acquisitions in the UK include Carlyle’s majority stake purchase of PA and Crossbridge’s integration into Synechron. In particular the Big Four have been active, with Seren and Integrc picked up by EY, while KPMG acquired both Boxwood and Nunwood
* Q5 was also short-listed for a ‘People Management Awards’, an initiative by CIPD. The prize however was scooped by Achieve Breakthrough, a Bath based consultancy.