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

29 November 2016

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.


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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.”