Mercer bolsters digital benefits footprint with Thomsons Online Benefits

20 January 2017 Consultancy.uk

Mercer has acquired Thomsons Online Benefits for an undisclosed sum. The addition adds Thomsons award winning SaaS Darwin benefits solution to its global product mix, as well as access to new markets and clients across the globe.

Thomsons Online Benefits (Thomsons) was founded in 1999 by Michael Whitfield and Chris Bruce. The company quickly grew, on the back of innovative benefits solutions and its digital benefits platform Darwin, to become a global player in the benefits space – today its SaaS software benefits solution is used in 84 countries by more than 1 million users.

The addition of Thomsons and its Darwin technology to Mercer, allows the firm to provide a global – but locally aligned - employee benefits platform for its multinational clients. The addition further boosts the firm’s digital ambitions, while driving further growth in markets around the world in which the firm, and Thomsons, already have a presence.

Mercer buys Thomsons Online Benefits, boosts digital benefits presence

For Thomsons, the acquisition will mean that its Darwin solution can scale further, its clients benefit from Mercer’s consultation expertise, while its employees benefit from the career and personal development opportunities offered by Mercer’s global network.  

Julio Portalatin, President and CEO of Mercer says, “The combination of Thomsons’ Darwin technology with Mercer aligns to the growing demand from multinational employers to offer a common yet locally tailored employee benefits platform that delivers the latest in creative engagement, modern design, analytic insights and administrative efficiency and support. The acquisition also drives future growth in local markets across the world where Thomsons and Mercer are already well established by putting technology at the heart of addressing employer and employee needs.”

Michael Whitfield, Thomsons CEO said: “Over the last several years, as we have grown closer to Mercer it has become increasingly clear that we have a fantastic opportunity to continue the Thomsons’ success story of the last 16 years as part of Mercer, with our Darwin™ technology helping to power future growth and business transformation.”

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SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

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.”