PwC buys Scotland based cybersecurity expert Praxism

08 February 2016

Cybersecurity remains a key issue for businesses in the UK, with hundreds of thousands lost each year to cybercrime by UK businesses. In a bid to further expand its cybersecurity offerings and capabilities, PwC has acquired identity management firm Praxism, with the firm’s fifteen staff to be integrated into its IT Assurance practice. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

The cost to UK organisations from cybersecurity breaches remains high, as many as nine in ten large organisations and three quarters of small organisations are affected each year by cybercrime. The average cost for large organisations run between £1.5 million to £3.14 million, while for small organisations the range starts at £75,200 and goes up to around £310,800. Recent PwC research shows that companies are most often breached by or through staff – either from phishing attacks or internally. Finding ways to minimise the risks to business has become a priority for more and more companies as boardrooms start to take the risks seriously.

In response to the growing cybersecurity threat, organisations are bolstering their IT security frontier, and in doing so, are generating buoyant demand for related services. For advisory firms, the area represents one of the key growth areas in the marketplace, and in line with the monetisation potential they are actively bolstering their cybersecurity capabilities. In the latest deal in the domain, accounting and consulting giant PwC has picked up Praxism, a cyber-security, identity and access management firm founded in 2008 by Derek Gordon. The company helps client organisations meet a range of challenges in the domain of cyber security and identity management, across sectors, including the public sector, healthcare, education and financial services. Praxism’s service portfolio spans consulting, training, support and managed services.

PwC buys Praxism

The acquisition of Edinburgh based Praxism – the two firms have been working together for several years – significantly expands PwC’s cyber security team in Scotland. The deal will see Gordon and thirteen of his staff integrated into PwC’s Edinburgh offices, while one specialist will relocate to the firm’s Leeds office.

Derek Gordon, Praxism founder, says that he is “delighted” with the joining of forces, adding “The opportunity this affords our people and our business is outstanding and clearly recognises the shared culture and values between our organisations. I look forward to identify and develop new growth opportunities for this strand of PwC’s cyber practice, and to working with the Cyber security team here in the UK and across its global network.”

Looking ahead, James Chalmers, UK head of assurance at PwC, comments that with the number of high profile breaches increasing within the UK the demand for managing user identity is likely to remain on board room agenda in coming years. “Derek and the Praxism team really are at the top of the league in this specialist area and, as a result, I believe they are an exceptional addition to our rapidly growing and market leading Cyber security business.”


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SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

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.”