London consultancies New Link Consulting and Eclipse join forces

13 February 2018 Consultancy.uk

Two London-based consultancies have confirmed their integration, following a sustained period of collaboration. Eclipse Business Consulting will now become part of the New Link Consulting group, as both firms look to expand their profile in the financial services market.

Founded in 2011, London-based New Link Consulting caters exclusively to clients in the financial services sector, including buy-side, sell–side and market intermediaries. The offering that the professional services firm supplies clients with sees it leverage a unique combination of deep industry knowledge and change management skills, in order to deliver Business Consulting, Industry Solutions and Managed Services. The consultancy, which hosts over 50 employees, has grown its headcount as well as its Partner team with the acquisition of Eclipse Business Consulting.

New Link Consulting and Eclipse Business Consulting have agreed to fully integrate their businesses within an enlarged New Link Consulting business. The merger will see the specific Traded Risk and Finance capabilities of Eclipse paired seamlessly with the Operational Risk and Control, Middle Office and Operations expertise of New Link Consulting. The expanded New Link Consulting business will deliver the same high quality, practitioner enabled brand of consulting, across the enlarged client group, following a long period of collaboration. According to a release from New Link, the firm has long been an advocate for a ‘collaborate and compete’ philosophy, which the close ties between it and Eclipse plays into.

London consultancies New Link Consulting and Eclipse join forces

The belief that a close cultural fit is essential to a successful acquisition is commonplace among M&A activity in the consulting industry. When OC&C and EY held merger talks back in 2014, prior to EY’s scoop of The Parthenon Group, one of the major advantages was reportedly the close cultural similarities between the two, which is well known to be an essential factor for the success of mergers between strategy consultancies. Similarly, the breakdown of a potential A.T. Kearney and Booz & Company merger, along with the failure of a potential Roland Berger and Deloitte Consulting deal were both by and large due to cultural differences.

Building on the prior synergies of the two firms, the integration of New Link and Eclipse is aimed at both enhancing the core Capital Markets infrastructure capabilities, providing a platform to expand New Link’s custody and asset servicing practice, along with the group’s payments infrastructure and lending capabilities. Eclipse’s experienced and senior executive team will also add their talents to New Link’s resources, including Richard Spencer, who co-founded Eclipse with Alan Holliman in 2009.

Spencer has spent over 20 years working in the Financial Services industry. After graduating from Bath and Cambridge universities (Mathematical Economics), he began his career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), where he operated in their Retail Banking, Corporate Banking and Investment Banking divisions. Spencer now becomes the seventh Partner of New Link.

During this period Richard gained significant experience in areas as diverse as Retail Distribution, Marketing & Analytics, Payments & Cash Management, Trade Finance, Card Processing and a large number of Financial Services products. In the last three years of his tenure at Accenture, Richard specialised in the Capital Markets division, where his exposure included Stock Exchange Trading and Client Connectivity challenges, numerous systems integration programmes, Asset Management distribution, Euro and Y2K preparations.

Commenting on what this means for the two firms, Richard Spencer said, “Bringing together two businesses with such complementary attributes provides a strong foundation for future growth.  The expanded capabilities of the combined organisations will enable New Link Consulting to offer a broader range of services to an enlarged client base and compete more effectively for important future client business.  It is an exciting and compelling proposition to the market”

Claire Lincoln-White, a co-founder of New Link Consulting, and Partner responsible for Client Relationship Management and Delivery Oversight, said, “The integration with Eclipse has the potential to transform our business. It expands our client inventory and enables us to combine traditional business consulting capabilities with experienced market practitioners, providing a refreshingly entrepreneurial approach to project delivery.”

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