First Consulting launches new website in collaboration with NGRANE

07 December 2018

No-nonsense and innovative thinking, that’s what the consultants at First Consulting stand for; however, until recently, their website did not fully reflect this. Online agency NGRANE changed that by developing a completely new and modernised website. “During the development process we came to realise that NGRANE and First Consulting are actually rather similar,” says Maarten Icking, Partner at First Consulting.

First Consulting was founded in 2006 and has now grown to be an established consultancy with 210 employees, 40 leading clients, operations in 2 countries (the UK and the Netherlands) and a strong organisational culture. According to Icking, the organisation is known by clients for delivering well thought out solutions and high-quality execution. Icking: “Our old website did not do us justice. It didn’t reflect our unique identity well enough. That’s why we decided to collaborate with NGRANE [an Amsterdam-based agency] to establish First Consulting’s identity online: professional, young, fresh, and with a strong organisational culture.”

A complete online solution

Choosing an online agency that could develop the new website was an easy decision, reflects the firm’s partner. “We were looking for a partner which wouldn’t simply help us with a conceptual sketch, but would also help us with our design and our content. David van Delden and Stephen Garcia [Directors at NGRANE] really understood that: they managed to unburden us during the entire engagement.” Throughout the project, the Dutch agency was responsible for end-to-end services – strategy, design, text, photography, and video.

First Consulting launches new website in collaboration with NGRANE

Hybrid collective model

According to NGRANE, their company is able to deliver full service solutions on the back of a unique concept they work with: a ‘hybrid collective model’. The agency works with a core expert team, supported by a community of over 50 freelancers. The reliable core holds the responsibility of developing strong relations with both clients and freelancers within their network. Icking: “NGRANE clearly views all projects as unique and realises that each project demands its own unique solution. Listening to their clients is one of their strongest skills.” Other leading organisations that the agency has worked with in recent years includes Pepsi and Nike.

Cut from the same cloth

No-nonsense. Sharp. Daring. Trust. Fun. Together. Those are the six core values of First Consulting, and for visitors of the new website the core values are easily found. Icking: “I thought it was remarkable to observe that NGRANE is so similar to us. Similar to the DNA of our consultants, NGRANE’s professionals prioritise quality: they’re sharp, have smart ideas, and are straight to the point. No-nonsense. They’re also brave: if they don’t feel confident about a decision, they will definitely challenge it. That results in trust.”


Maintaining a good relationship and collaboration requires responsibility and involvement from both parties. On the matter, David van Delden from NGRANE remarks: “We are extremely enthusiastic about the collaboration with First Consulting during the project, where co-creation was essential. Our expertise in building digital products was supported by First Consulting’s knowledge of their own industry. That’s why it was important for us to communicate frequently and be easily accessible.” Icking from First Consulting concludes: “We found our collaboration with NGRANE really enjoyable and we are extremely proud of the result.”

Follow this hyperlink to have a look at First Consulting’s brand new website. 

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Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

08 April 2019

Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team has completed its first TMT deal of 2019. The professional services firm advised the shareholders of Hosted Desktop UK on their investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Technological disruption and changing consumer behaviour have continued to affect top Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) players in recent years. The industry has seen revenues border on stagnation over the past decade, at 0.4% annual growth since 2008. While the industry is keen to develop new digital services and models to meet market challenges, they face a range of barriers – meaning the recruiting of talent specialising in innovative software and technology has become a key goal for the industry.

Amid this, Hosted Desktop UK (HDUK) provides cloud computing services to small and medium sized businesses across the UK. The firm’s cloud solutions provide businesses with IT reliability, flexibility, value for money and business continuity. As the firm bids to grow in the UK, with demand for its disruptive technologies high, HDUK has secured a key investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

The transaction was Beechbrook Capital’s maiden deal from its latest UK SME credit fund, which supports small and medium-sized businesses in the UK with EBITDA of £1 million and above. Manchester law firms Pannone Corporate (sell-side advice, led by Mark Winthorpe) and DWF LLP (buy-side advice, led by Jonathan Robinson) also advised on the deal, while Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team advised HDUK’s shareholders.

The deal represents the Grant Thornton branch’s first TMT deal of 2019, with a team comprised of Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Peter Terry, Manager Daniel Brecker and Assistant Manager Cariad Mudford advising HDUK shareholders on the investment. It is the third key deal in the TMT sector that the GT North team has advised on in the last 18 months, following the £16.5 million sale of Salford-based Sonassi to Iomart in December 2017 and NorthEdge Capital’s investment in Yorkshire company iPortalis in August 2018.

Grant Thornton’s Peter Terry said of the news, “As our domestic and working lives become ever-more technology dependent, it’s no surprise that there continues to be strong investor interest in any asset in the cloud computing, data infrastructure and connectivity space… We were pleased to work with Beechbrook Capital on the first deal in its new fund. It shows that despite the well-documented uncertainties in the economy there are still good funding options for dynamic SMEs and their management teams.”