BCG acquires London based design consultancy AllofUs

17 October 2019 3 min. read

Global management consulting giant Boston Consulting Group has announced a deal to acquire AllofUs. The acquisition of the London-based design consultancy is intended to broaden and deepen BCG’s overall digital offerings, while strengthening its design capabilities in particular.

Global spending on design services is at an all-time high, at $40.7 billion, with the market for offerings such as product design, model design, user interface and interaction design forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% between 2017 and 2023. As is the case with almost any professional service which provides a foot in the door of a lucrative market, then, the consulting industry has predictably been making moves to buy its way into the design space. McKinsey & Company, for example, recently created a design wing by combining its acquired properties of Lunar, Carbon12 and Veryday.

McKinsey’s MBB rival, Boston Consulting Group, has its own answer to this new opportunity, in the shape of BCG Platinion. The IT architecture and solutions unit of the strategy giant, BCG Platinion, sits alongside several other business units BCG has established to broaden its multidisciplinary offering globally. These including BCG Digital Ventures, its digital innovation, incubation and investment arm; and BCG Gamma, an advanced analytics and data science service. Now, as it looks to meet complex design demand from clients, BCG has bolstered its Platinion brand with the purchase of UK origin consultancy AllofUs.

BCG acquires London based design consultancy AllofUs

Commenting on the news, Sherif Choudhry, BCG Platinion’s Managing Director for digital products and services, said, “Our clients are demanding high-value design and engineering capability, which we are catalyzing in Europe with AllofUs.”

Founded in 2003, AllofUs is an independent design consulting and venturing firm with studios in London and San Francisco. Over the last 16 years, the firm has established a reputation across the world for helping blue-chip corporations and disruptive start-ups invent and scale breakthrough products and propositions. Having been one of a handful of pioneering consultancies to help introduce product and human-centred design methods to the digital world, its professionals have used this design methodology to help clients like Sky, Microsoft, Samsung and Ikea develop category-defining propositions.

The purchase follows the earlier acquisition of Pittsburgh-based digital design and innovation firm MAYA by BCG, in 2017, reflecting the rapid growth of BCG’s digital activities supporting design and innovation and complementing BCG’s Digital Ventures and Gamma teams. The AllofUs team will now become part of BCG Platinion – an integrated part of DigitalBCG offering technology capabilities around design, engineering, architecture, and data and analytics, among other areas – while AllofUs founders Phil Gerrard and Orlando Mathias will join Platinion’s leadership group.

On top of the ready-made client base that the purchase of AllofUs opens up for BCG, the firm also has a history of high-profile partnerships in the technology sector. Previous collaborations have seen AllofUs work with the likes of Google and Facebook to deliver design-led transformation initiatives with Doddle, Taylors of Harrogate and Yale University.

Phil Gerrard, an AllofUs Founding Partner and the company’s current CEO, said of the move, “Our capabilities in design thinking, coupled with BCG’s strength in business strategy, ensure that we are bringing to market an offering that can deliver value and impact for our clients at the highest level.”