Market Gravity acquisition boosts Deloitte's creative consulting capacity

02 June 2017

Major consulting force Deloitte has announced the acquisition of proposition design consultancy Market Gravity, for an undisclosed sum.

Professional services firm Deloitte has acquired Market Gravity, along with subsidiaries of the business based in the US (New York), Canada (Toronto) and Hong Kong. The company, founded in 2009, is based in London and Deloitte hope their unique blend of innovation and customer-led design skills, will enable clients across the world to reinvent their businesses in the future, as the company combines with Deloitte’s capacity for large scale digital transformation.

The companies have a track-record of collaboration, having worked on a number of shared projects in the past. Market Gravity’s team of consultants, designers, marketers, insight specialists and entrepreneurs will become part of Deloitte’s consulting business. While retaining its independent branding meanwhile, the agency’s two founding partners, Gideon Hyde and Peter Sayburn, will continue to lead the team as well as becoming Deloitte partners.

Praising Market Gravity’s entrepreneurial spirit, Rich Hurley, a Technology Partner at Deloitte, said their team have, “a unique combination of insight, commercial and design skills that give clients confidence to take a big idea and launch it to market – much quicker than previously possible.”

Blast-off: Market Gravity deal boosts Deloittes creative consulting capacity

Growing Trend Ads Up

Rival consulting firm Accenture acquired creative agency Karmarama in late 2016, along with award-winning Australian agencies The Monkeys and Maud earlier this year, provoking continued speculation surrounding Deloitte’s response to its competitors’ activity in the advertising and design industry, which has also seen major competitors PwC and IBM grow their capacity.

In March 2016, Deloitte purchased award-winning creative agency Heat, but since the capture of the San Francisco-based digital outfit, the consultancy has not been as active as some expected on the mergers and acquisition scene.

The deal with Market Gravity looks to have bolstered the Big Four firm's own creative aspirations, as the consulting industry arms-race in the opening ad-market continues, while beyond this activity, rumblings within the M&A sector suggest Deloitte is looking to further grow its footprint in the sector. Reports have alleged the firm is also interested in acquiring London based marketing firm the Engine Group. The professional services giant is yet to confirm the validity of these reports.

“We’re gonna need new suits”

Demonstrating the creative flair that made Market Gravity a target for the consultancy giants meanwhile, the UK-headquartered agency publicised news of the deal with Deloitte via a promotional video on their YouTube channel. The short clip features CEO and Founding Partner Peter Sayburn getting kitted out in a space-suit to prepare for the deal with Deloitte, before concluding with the words “Now we’re really gonna go places.”

Gideon Hyde, Rich Hurley and Peter Sayburn

In a release following the acquisition’s announcement, Sayburn said, “We are really excited to be joining forces with Deloitte. Excited about the growth opportunities it brings us as a business and the opportunities this creates for our clients around the world. Ultimately we’re extending our leadership in delivering big company innovation. Market Gravity’s impact, and the impact on our clients and their customers, will be bigger than ever before.”

Richard Houston, a managing partner for Deloitte’s consulting services in the UK and North West Europe, concluded, “This acquisition is an exciting announcement for the continued growth of Deloitte’s consulting business. The Market Gravity team will help boost our creative consulting services and position us as a true market leader in helping clients create and launch innovative products and services.  In an age of rapid technological change and disruption, together we can help clients innovate and succeed in the digital era.”

Last month featured Market Gravity's support to Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank aimed at establishing a new innovation lab.


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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.”