KPMG buys UK management consultancy Boxwood

19 June 2015 5 min. read
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KPMG has acquired Boxwood, a London-based management consultancy which specialises in the delivery of business and operational transformation to mid-market organisations. All staff, roughly 55 partners and advisors, will transfer to KPMG’s Advisory practice.

Boxwood was founded in 2000 and has since grown to a management consultancy with approximately 55 consultants specialised in business transformation. The London-based firm operates across several industries, with a focus on Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Infrastructure and TMT. In recent years Boxwood has received several recognitions for its work, including eight industry awards from the MCA in the past ten years. In this year’s edition Boxwood was highly commended for a change management engagement at Arco. 

KPMG Advisory is one of the globe’s largest management advisory firms. According to a recent analysis by Gartner KPMG ranks fourth globally, ahead of for instance Accenture and McKinsey & Company.

Boxwood has joined KPMG

With the acquisition of Boxwood, KPMG significantly boosts its management consultancy capabilities in the UK. “This is a truly significant deal for KPMG as we seek to expand and enhance the range of consultancy services we provide, particularly to middle-market companies up and down the UK. Boxwood’s straightforward and hands-on approach to projects ensures that it consistently drives growth, improves profitability and unlocks value for its clients”, comments Richard Fleming, Head of Advisory at KPMG.

The deal complements KPMG’s existing advisory portfolio across the full suite of management consultancy offerings, with in particular added value foreseen in the post-merger integration space, where Boxwood has built a strong track record, particularly in the private equity space. With the move KPMG taps into a growing market for M&A and PMI services – recent research from Bain & Company for example shows that PE-backed buyouts in healthcare have reached a three year high, while another study from Big Four rival EY reveals that across the full landscape M&A is picking up globally.

Richard Fleming - Chris Wakerley and Matt Clarke

The new arm, which will operate initially under the KPMG Boxwood brand, will be led by Chris Wakerley, one of the firm’s co-founders. Matt Clarke, who has been with Boxwood since 2000, also joins KPMG Advisory as a partner. According to Wakerley, the deal represents “tremendously exciting news for Boxwood”, further enhancing the value that it can deliver to its clients through deeper experience and a global reach. In addition, the joining of forces is set to provide Boxwood employees with “fantastic career opportunities”, says Wakerley.

The acquisition swiftly follows KPMG’s recent acquisition of Nunwood, “a very different organisation to Boxwood” says Fleming, yet in terms of scale relatively similar. The integration of Nunwood, a customer experience management specialist, saw roughly 80 consultants join KPMG Advisory. In recent months KPMG also acquired Trompenaars Hampden-Turner (the Netherlands), Crimsonwing and Beacon Partners (US). The total number of Advisory-related deals in the past financial year now stands at 15, Gartner data reveals.

Ambitious strategy
The deal is according to Fleming part of the firm's "ambitious strategy" to double its UK management consultancy business in the next 3-4 years. KPMG Advisory's current turnover stands at £850 million, up 8% on last financial year, by 2018 Fleming aims at breaking through the barrier of £1.5 billion.

KPMG global revenue

Globally KPMG Advisory has a revenue of more than $9 billion, a hefty $3 billion more compared to 2009, outpacing growth in Audit and Tax.