Virtrium Consulting joins Chaucer to create £35 million turnover firm

17 January 2019 3 min. read
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Farnborough-based IT consultancy Virtrium Consulting has joined Chaucer, a digital transformation consulting firm based in London. The deal creates a combined group of more than 300 consultants in the UK and US, generating a turnover of over £35 million.

Founded more than 30 years ago by Bob and Chris Laslett, consulting firm Chaucer initially based its operations in providing advisory services to the oil, nuclear and construction industries. After three decades of rapid change, however, the firm now also provides digital transformation services to many of the world’s largest companies across energy, life sciences, financial services, government and technology, media and telecommunications.

Following a 2014 management buyout (MBO) led by co-founder and CEO Chris Laslett, the firm brought external investment into the company to help accelerate growth. Following five years of solid organic growth, Chaucer has now in the latest chapter of its expansion agenda turned to M&A. The acquisition of IT consultancy Virtrium Consulting adds around 50 consultants (employees and associates) to its footprint in the UK.

Founded in 2006 – and still owned and managed by its three founding directors Tim Cray, Ed Dennehy, John Duffin – the Farnborough headquartered company largely focuses on helping businesses maximise the effectiveness of IT operations. The management and digital consultancy firm has over the last decade helped some 250 organisations define IT strategies and optimise their technology service models.Virtrium Consulting joins Chaucer to create £35 million turnover firm

Commenting on the deal, Chaucer CEO Chris Laslett said, “I am delighted to welcome Virtrium to the Chaucer family. Together we are ideally suited to help transform how our clients think, work and change to truly deliver value from digital technologies and data.”

The joining of forces between the two players builds on a period of close collaboration between the two firms, explained Martin Wassell, a partner at Chaucer. "We’ve been partnering for over a year and have got to know each other pretty well. It’s our shared vision of how consulting should be done and aligned culture more than our complementary sectors, clients and services that led us to the conclusion that together, we’d be a great proposition for clients and our employees."

A £35 million consultancy

The merger between Chaucer and Virtrium will create an independent "end-to-end digital transformation consultancy" with a turnover of more than £35 million. The group has around 250 consultants in the UK, and a further 50 consultants in New York and Houston in the US.

Chaucer's management believes the firm now presents a genuine alternative to Big Four consultancies across the energy, pharmaceutical, financial services, consumer products and public sectors, with Chaucer having recently been recognised by the Financial Times as one of the UK’s leading digital consulting companies.

The integration sees Virtrium partners Tim Cray, Ed Dennehy and John Duffin join Chaucer as a partner*. Duffin has been tasked with leading the integration of the businesses, and after completion, he will step back from day to day management and focus on delivery at selected clients.

Wassell: "In the short term, nothing changes and Virtrium will continue to go to market under its own brand. Medium term, we’re looking to consolidate under a single Chaucer brand advising on and delivering end to end digital transformation services to clients around innovation, digital strategy, technology and data, and transformation delivery."

“We are very excited to join Chaucer, allowing us to offer clients an enhanced range of transformation capabilities," concluded Dennehy.

* Chaucer's partner team consists of Chris Laslett, Martin Wassell, Deborah Young, Paul Burke, Richard Thwaite, Natalia Sokolova, Thomas Fletcher, Charlie Sutton and Julie Freeman.