Venture arm of Accenture invests in financial crime specialist Quantexa

20 November 2018

Global consulting firm Accenture has invested in a new partnership with data analytics firm Quantexa. The alliance will see the pair work to offer solutions tackling money laundering in the financial sector.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, less than 1% of global illicit financial flows are currently being seized by authorities. This scarcely scrapes the surface of global money laundering transactions then, which are estimated to be as high as 5% of global GDP, or roughly $1-2 trillion annually. In the UK, the economy is suffering to the tune of £37 billion a year because of serious and organised crime funded by this – including drug dealing, people trafficking and child abuse – according to the National Crime Agency.

Amid this backdrop, global IT advisory firm Accenture’s Ventures wing has entered into an agreement with professional services Quantexa to help work on changing that. Headquartered in London, Quantexa provides data analytics solutions to companies and institutions based on the latest developments in big data software. The firm’s software uses real-time entity resolution with network analytics and AI to knit together vast and disparate data sets and derive actionable intelligence. The international team of experts also has offices in New York, Brussels and Sydney.

Venture arm of Accenture invests in financial crime specialist Quantexa

The deal with Accenture will help Quantexa accelerate the development of its AI-powered entity resolution and network analytics technology working with Accenture Applied Intelligence. The new collaboration will help clients uncover new actionable insights across multiple industry use cases including fighting financial crime. As part of the alliance agreement, Accenture plans to build new capabilities that combine its technology and risk expertise with Quantexa’s network analytics platform. The collaboration aims to develop multiple AI-enabled solutions addressing business challenges in areas including anti-money laundering, credit risk and customer insight.

The minority investment made by Accenture Ventures will meanwhile extend Accenture’s artificial intelligence and network analytics capabilities, helping banks fight financial crime. Quantexa constitutes the latest addition to the investment portfolio of Accenture Ventures, which focuses on teaming with and investing in companies that create or apply innovative enterprise technologies. 

Commenting on the deal, Adam Markson, a Managing Director at Accenture Finance & Risk Services, said, “Accenture is committed to employing innovative techniques to help our clients tackle complex issues such as money laundering. By investing in Quantexa and combining our expertise, we are equipping our clients with new technologies and approaches to solving the most pressing data issues. Furthermore, the strategic alliance further enhances our Financial Crime Analytics Utility, which will help prevent the movement of illicit funds that enable real world issues, including human trafficking and drug crime.”

Vishal Marria, CEO of Quantexa, added, “We are delighted to be working with Accenture to deliver and scale our technology to help solve our clients’ biggest data challenges. Creating context is critical in investigations to help clients connect the dots in their data, allowing them to see the complete picture and make better decisions.”


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.”