Caribbean practice of Zolfo Cooper affiliates with AlixPartners

22 December 2016

AlixPartners has added a presence in the Caribbean with the affiliation of Zolfo Cooper Caribbean. The addition adds around 25 staff as well as a footprint on the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

AlixPartners, a management consulting firm with a footprint of 1,600 professionals operating from 25 offices on four continents, has further strengthened its position on the global stage with a presence in the Caribbean. 

The affiliation of Zolfo Cooper's Caribbean practice, which focuses mainly on turnaround, restructuring and other financial advisory offerings such as litigation and forensics, adds five managing partners and twenty staff to AlixPartners’ regional arm. The local firm has offices on both the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Eleanor Fisher, Managing Director and Head of the newly added Caribbean team, says that the firm is “delighted” to become part of AlixPartners' global footprint. The move follows 1,5 years after the European arm of Zolfo Cooper (around 200 advisors) left its international network to join the global consulting firm.

Caribbean practice of Zolfo Cooper affiliates with AlixPartners

The affiliation will enable the Caribbean practice to both broaden and deepen its portfolio, remarks Fisher. "Operating alongside our new colleagues with such a well-regarded and internationally recognised brand in the restructuring arena will provide a platform for growth as we combine our skills, relationships and experiences. Having access to AlixPartners’ broad range of services, deep industry sector expertise and global network will enhance our ability to help our clients both in the Caribbean and beyond.”

Alastair Beveridge, head of Turnaround and Restructuring for AlixPartners in the UK, points at the key role Caribbean jurisdictions play in the financial arena, highlighting the value added of the incoming expertise to its global propositions. "These particular Caribbean jurisdictions are key for any internationally-focused turnaround and restructuring practice."

The expansion is in line with AlixPartners' broader growth strategy – last month the firm's CEO, Simon Freakley (formerly CEO at Zolfo Cooper), unveiled an ambitious growth plan for the coming years as part of a new ownership structure.

Commenting on the integration, which has already kicked-off, Beveridge says: "Many of us at AlixPartners have worked with our new colleagues before and we have been impressed by their local market knowledge, technical ability, team ethic and pragmatic approach. Above all else, they are held in extremely high regard by their clients and we know they will be a terrific addition to our global team of professionals.”

Zolfo Cooper

At Zolfo Cooper's end, the move marks a considerable blow for its rebuild strategy. The US-based restructuring and financial advisory specialist was left behind with three arms after the AlixPartners deal last year (US, Caribbean and Hong Kong), and since has been in the process of rebuilding its network. The firm recently added UK-based Talbot Hughes McKillop (THM), Germany-based Andersch and Australian firm Ferrier Hodgson to its network, growing its base back to around 350 restructuring experts 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.”