Oliver Wyman completes acquisition of design thinking consultancy 8works

09 March 2018 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
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Leading design thinking consultancy 8works has been purchased by Oliver Wyman, for an undisclosed fee. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm Equiteq advised the sell-side of the sale.

Founded in 2003, and presently operating with offices in the UK and Silicon Valley, 8works is exclusively focused on helping organisations achieve transformation projects, and typically engages on vision and strategy activation, business model design and mission critical problem solving.

The design thinking consultancy does this by leveraging collaboration techniques in order to apply the principles of design to the way people work. Over the course of nearly 15 years in business, 8works has helped companies across a range of industries including financial services, healthcare, energy and technology. Well-known clients of the firm include Vodafone, BP, Google, Microsoft and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.

Oliver Wyman completes acquisition of design thinking consultancy

Global management consultancy Oliver Wyman, meanwhile, combines deep industry knowledge with specialised expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organisation transformation –something that it has been expanding its capacity for amid heightened demand, via acquisitions for its digital and design offering in recent months. The firm recently added to its global headcount of 4,700 professionals with the purchase of UK-based digital transformation agency, Draw, and now the addition of 8works will see Oliver Wyman further strengthen its capacities to aid both UK and US clients with their transformations. 

The firms have worked together on a number of projects over the past 12 months, and now the 21-strong headcount of 8works based in the UK and Silicon Valley have become part of Oliver Wyman’s Organisational Effectiveness practice. According to 8works co-founders Angrez Saran and Mike Moylan-Jones, a formal integration was the logical next step for both parties.

In a statement, the duo said, “We have found we complement Oliver Wyman’s industrial insights] by engaging the emotional side of change. We’re excited to help enhance their collaboration and design thinking platform and look forward to moving forward together into a new space of creating the future of consulting.”

John-Paul Pape, Partner and Global Head, Oliver Wyman’s Organisational Effectiveness Practice agreed, “Having worked with 8works recently on several successful projects, we know they share our passion for finding breakthrough answers for clients and a real drive to deliver results. They will help strengthen the firm’s capabilities across design thinking, experiential engagement and co-creation and allow clients to become more agile and efficient in a rapidly changing business landscape.” 

Equiteq advises

M&A specialist consultancy Equiteq advised on the sell-side on the transaction, which closed on 1st March 2018. The firm, which works to help owners boost their chances of achieving their value and exit objectives, recently advised consulting and research group Ducker Worldwide on its purchase by Frontier Strategy Group, alongside technology services provider Axentel Technologies’ sale to Park Place Technologies.

Gabriela Silvestris, Managing Director of M&A in Equiteq’s London office, commented, “It was a great pleasure working with 8works’ shareholders and we are delighted with the outcome of the transaction. Angrez, Mike and the 8works team have built a very impressive business leading the way in business transformation and design thinking consultancy. The combination of 8works with Oliver Wyman’s complementary platform will unlock and accelerate further strategic growth. We wish the newly combined team the very best of luck as they embark on a new phase of growth.”

Regarding Equiteq’s role in the transaction, Mike Moylan-Jones, added, “We simply could not have done this without the help, support and professional advice of Equiteq. They were with us every step of the way, through what at times was quite a daunting process, and we are very pleased with the outcome.”