Accenture buys 2nd Road, an Australia-based design consultancy firm

29 November 2016 4 min. read
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Accenture has acquired Australian-based design consultancy firm 2nd Road. The acquisition boosts the firm’s presence in the design space and allows it to, according to its leaders, better serve the holistic needs of clients in a rapidly changing business environment.

2nd Road is an Australian-based strategy, innovation, and organisational systems consultancy firm. The firm, which is situated in Sydney, mixes design and innovation with wider business consultancy to meet the rapidly transforming needs of clients. The firm employs 22 people, including strategists, designers and educators.

“I founded 2nd Road because I saw rising demand for something fresh and different to conventional management practices, and I knew that by bringing together the power of analytics and creative thinking, I could fill a gap in the market", reflects Tony Golsby-Smith, owner and Chief Executive Officer of 2nd Road.

Accenture buys 2nd Road

After thirteen years of operating independently, 2nd Road has decided to join Accenture Australia, with about $1.5 billion in annual revenue one of Accenture's larger country organisations. Accenture says that the addition will provide it with additional capacity in the design space – a move that reflects a wider trend within the consulting landscape – through which it can provide its clients from Australia and New Zealand with a more well-rounded solution to meet the needs of a sometimes disruptive business environment.

“Business leaders in all industries are facing unprecedented levels of disruption and technology transformation, which is driving a sense of urgency to do things differently. The acquisition of 2nd Road boosts our ability to use innovation to co-create the future state for our clients and design the strategies that will drive real change for them", explains Mark Knickrehm, Group Chief Executive at Accenture Strategy.

2nd Road will be integrated into Accenture's Strategy practice, and for the time being, continue to operate from its base in Sydney.

Luca Martini, a Managing Director at Accenture Strategy in Australia, adds, “Combining Accenture Strategy’s global capabilities and deep expertise at the intersection of business and technology, with 2nd Road’s innovation and design thinking powered approach to strategy, will help our clients get ahead of the transformation journey and gain competitive edge.” 

Deals in the design space

In a bid to ramp up offerings, merger & acquisition activity in the design space has been heating up in recent years. Examples of deals concluded in the past year include, among others, Deloitte Digital’s acquisition of Digital One (Poland); Accenture’s purchase of Chaotic Moon (US) and PacificLink (Hong Kong); Synechron’s purchase of Usable (US); Deloitte’s purchase of Heat (US); the deal between Capgemini Consulting and Fahrenheit 212 (US) and IBM’s acquisition of Resource/Ammirati (US).

Accenture Strategy too has been active of late, recently picking up Kurt Salmon's retail arm and Javelin Group in May last year.