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

18 January 2019 Consultancy.uk

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.


SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

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.”