Baringa integrates Progenit leadership into Digital business

29 April 2016

Management consultancy Baringa Partners has integrated Progenit, a boutique digital consultancy, into its business. The bolt-on sees Baringa expand its Customer and Digital Practice practice, with Progenit founder Matthew Treagus tasked with leading and further growing the service line.

Founded in 2004, by Matthew Treagus, Progenit is a consulting firm that focuses on digital design and transformation. The boutique firm has since its inception supported dozens of clients across sectors, including the likes of chemicals giant AkzoNobel, retailer Arcadia, vacuum manufacturer Dyson, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and health insurance company Vitality. Prior to founding Progenit, Treagus co-founded AKQA, today one of UK’s larger digital media agencies, in 1995. Roughly a decade later, in 2004, he left the agency to launch his own business.

After leading Progenit for eleven years, Treagus has decided to tie a strategic collaboration with Baringa Partners, a London based management consultancy with around 350 consultants. Treagus has joined Baringa as a Partner, and will leverage his digital and agency experience to head the firm’s Customer and Digital Practice. In the move, Treagus has taken along Progenit’s leadership team: Graham Morrell, Michelle Robins and Craig Walmsley. Morrell worked with Treagus at AKQA (in his last role as Account Director) and subsequently Progenit, where he worked in-house with Orange and Arcadia, and has consulted widely across Retail and Consumer Goods sectors. Morrell joins Baringa as a Director.

Walmsley also has a background at AKQA. In 1998, when he joined the firm, he stood at the basis of AKQA London's Strategy Department, and later on he fulfilled leadership roles in AKQA’s San Francisco and New York offices. After a two year spell as Managing Director of EHS 4D (now Havas Helia), between 2009 and 2011, Walmsley joined Progenit in 2012, where he led the firm’s consulting offering. Walmsley has affiliated with Baringa as an associate, and besides his consulting work, serves as CEO of rtobjects, a startup he co-founded that provides organisations a cloud environment to develop short interactive movies.

Michelle Robins joined Progenit in 2007, following the sale of eibDigital (sold to Welcom Software), an e-commerce specialist she founded in 1999. At Baringa, Robins has been named a Manager, and will focus on customer-centred design activity with a particular interest in complex B2B and process-rich challenges.

The addition of Progenit’s leadership adds, according to Adrian Bettridge, Managing Partner at Baringa, vast experience to the consultancy’s digital portfolio, as it seeks to ramp up its operations to meet growing demand and deliver to the increasingly complex challenges sparked by disruptive, digital models. “The digital sector represents a fantastic opportunity for our business. Through combining Progenit’s digital thinking and creativity with Baringa’s management consultancy services, the firm can help businesses address the increasingly demanding digital landscape.” The joining of forces and expertise will enable clients to “understand how their business would work if it was created today”, Bettridge says, and subsequently help them with developing and deploying a “customer experience that matches those modern demands.”

Commenting on his motivation to join Baringa, Treagus says it provides him and his team the ability to add new depth of customer, process, programme and technical delivery to the work they have always done. “Our clients want an original customer experience, rooted in commercial reality and enabled by process, technology and attitudinal change. Digital rightly demands attention due to its ability to drive innovation. But digital isn’t a silo, it can’t be considered in isolation. Baringa was the only firm I met that really understood this ‘together but apart’ paradox. That was important to me and I believe it’s critical for clients too.”

Progenit as a brand and business has been retired, says Treagus, concluding: “We are now one business and one team with Baringa.”

* Matthew Treagus founded AKQA in a London basement with Ajaz Ahmed, James Hilton and university friend Dan Norris-Jones. AKQA, which was acquired by WPP in 2012 for a sum reported to be around $540 million, today employs 2,000 professionals in 16 offices around the world.


SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”