Swedish design consultancy acquired by McKinsey & Company

11 November 2016 Consultancy.uk

Professional services group McKinsey & Company have acquired award-winning design agency Veryday. The Swedish agency have researched and co-designed a number of high profile campaigns in recent years, for projects including flat-pack home design giants IKEA’s Home Smart furniture and male grooming magnates Gillette’s ProGlide razor range.

McKinsey & Company have completed the purchase of the design agency Veryday for an undisclosed fee. The consulting industry has seen continued M&A activity recently, with a number of firms including EY, Capita and Cognizant all vying for access to the increasingly lucrative design market. Veryday, which almost exclusively on international projects, has won more than 240 awards, and new products it designed have been granted more than 300 patents. In 2014, the firm was selected as Red Hot Design Team of the Year, an internationally recognised honour previously awarded to the likes of Apple, BMW, and Porsche.

The deal to bring them into McKinsey Design further strengthens the firm’s marketing offering, adding to the new talent already obtained in 2015, when McKinsey also obtained California-based LUNAR, one of Silicon Valley’s oldest design firms. The firm hopes its expanding design wing can help clients grow more quickly by creating innovative new products and services.

Swedish design consultancy acquired by McKinsey & Company

Veryday was founded in 1969 as Ergonomidesign, rebranding to its current form in 2012 to reflect the changing nature of the group’s work, while paying homage to Sweden’s history of affordable, universal design. Following the acquisition, Veriday will retain that new name, along with its management team. Its 90-plus designers, researchers, and other colleagues will meanwhile continue to serve long-standing clients from their offices in New York, London, Dubai, Singapore and their headquarters, a rescued and renovated church in Stockholm. While the agency will retain its independence however, the deal, which was advised on the sellers end by boutique financial advisory Stella, will also see Veryday join with McKinsey teams on joint opportunities.

According to Volker Grüntges, the Munich-based senior partner who led the acquisition from the McKinsey side, the firm were searching for a highly reputable design firm which hosts world-class designers. Grüntges contended that Veryday were the perfect match, saying, “Veryday is ahead of the curve because its work combines physical product design, service design, and an engaging experience. The convergence of physical and digital, of products and services, is a huge opportunity for a lot of our clients.”

Niclas Andersson, Chief Business Officer at Veryday meanwhile agreed the two companies seemed ideally suited to one another’s business philosophies. “We are convinced that joining forces with McKinsey & Company will be tremendously beneficial for the design community as well as for our clients. We share a passion for design thinking and innovation, as well as the ambition to unlock growth, creating better companies and new user-centred offerings,” he concluded.

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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.”