A.T. Kearney buys analytics firm with offices in US, UK and India

18 January 2019 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney has acquired business analytics and data management consultancy Cervello for an undisclosed fee. Cervello’s team of 120 data engineers, data scientists, and developers – some of whom are based in London – will work with A.T. Kearney’s consultants to bolster client performance and transformation programmes.

Founded in 2009, Cervello has since built a number of relationships with a range of blue-chip clients, servicing them from offices in Boston, New York, Dallas, Bengaluru and London. The firm works to blend enterprise performance management, data management, business intelligence, and CRM in order to help enterprises define their digital strategy and gain data-driven insights that facilitate operational and strategic decisions.

The market for digital analytics to drive business success is booming, and Cervello’s presence has made the firm into a target for acquisition in recent months. Now, US consultancy A.T. Kearney has confirmed the completion of a deal which will see Cervello bring new capabilities in data management consulting, custom applications development, cloud integration, and managed services to its international practices.Cervello is now an ATKearney company

That includes an office in London’s Clerkenwell Close, and as with Cervello’s other global teams, the staff there will now work with A.T. Kearney’s local client service team to power client performance improvement and transformation programmes with expert technology consulting, agile analytics, and data-driven insights. The firm will continue to operate as its own entity, under the banner of “Cervello, an A.T. Kearney company.”

Alex Liu, Managing Partner and Chairman of A.T. Kearney, said, “Winning with data, that is what it’s all about. Cervello’s deep, hands-on knowledge of big data, cloud, and data platforms will help us jointly develop more robust tools and customised solutions for our clients’ most difficult problems."

He added that the bolt-on provides A.T. Kearney with the opportunity to tap into a new segment for the firm – "leave-behind” solutions and managed services. Contrary to consulting work, which stops after an engagement has been completed, these two offerings allow for a more sustained value-delivery to clients, and equally important, a steady stream of income complementing the more volatile nature of consulting fees.

The move comes at a time when several consulting firms have ventured into the solutions and managed services space. McKinsey is most known for its endavours with McKinsey Solutions, but also firms such as Mercer (compensation & benefits), BearingPoint (regulatory compliance) and UK's Delta Capita (banking solutions) have managed to build such complementary business models.

Scot MacGillivray, CEO of Cervello, said that by joining A.T. Kearney the company will be able to "exponentially increase business impact" to clients. "We will dramatically increase our global reach. And, our technology expertise will embed seamlessly within A.T. Kearney’s deep industry expertise," he added.

According to US industry platform Consulting.us, while A.T. Kearney has closed team carve-outs globally, the deal is the firm's first announced transaction since it bought a local consultancy in the Netherlands. Before that, A.T. Kearney acquired consultancies in France and Latin America; in between, its own merger with Booz & Company fell through for political and cultural reasons.

Related: A.T. Kearney names new Managing Partner for UK & Ireland.