Australian Strategy Partners teams up with OC&C Strategy Consultants

25 May 2021 4 min. read

Within months of launching, Australian Strategy Partners has entered into a strategic partnership with OC&C Strategy Consultants – which bills itself as one of the largest pure-play strategic consultancies in the world. 

Australian Strategy Partners was founded earlier this year by Jeremy Barker, Maurice Violani and Mark Blackwell, who previously all worked at EY-Parthenon, EY’s strategy consulting division (and served Kearney earlier in their careers).

The Sydney-based consultancy sees a new pure-play strategy firm enter the market at a time when most niche firms have been absorbed by larger counterparts, and when large strategy consulting firms have branched out into other fields including digital, design thinking cost transformation, restructuring and more.

Australian Strategy Partners teams up with OC&C Strategy Consultants

“With the absorption last year of Port Jackson Partners into EY we saw a gap in the local market for high-quality independent strategic advice,” Barker said in discussion with AFR. “That really provided a window for us to strike out on our own and build something independent.” 

Australian Strategy Partners focuses on three offerings: strategy development, commercial due diligence and top-line growth, backed by a data-driven approach. The firm works for corporate clients and private equity firms. 

The firm’s founding team further consists of Julie Preston, Simon Qi and Amanda Gibbs, who also crossed over from EY-Parthenon. The boutique aims to add another four to five new partners and consultants by the end of this year.

A likeminded partner

To support its growth ambition and client service, Australian Strategy Partners has formalised a partnership with OC&C Strategy Consultants, having already worked with the UK-headquartered firm on close to a dozen joint projects over the past months.

“We looked for and found the best global strategy firm that did not have a permanent presence in Australia,” explained Barker, describing OC&C Strategy Consultants as the perfect fit to “disrupt” Australia’s strategy consulting scene. 

Founded in 1987, OC&C is a privately-held firm with 500 consultants in 11 offices around the world. The firm is dedicated exclusively to strategic services (“we’re one of the last major strategy specialists” said co-founder Chris Outram a while back) with a focus on clients in the retail, leisure and hospitality, consumer goods, media, communications, technology, industrial products, and private equity sectors. 

The team of Australian Strategy Partners

“OC&C gives us additional depth in our services and an international footprint” said Barker. “And enables us to bring a very differentiated service in providing an integrated technology and commercial diligence service to private equity, with our clients telling us there is a real shortage of quality providers in this space.”

“Culturally we see a very strong fit, with OC&C being collaborative and responsive in supporting our clients’ needs, with both senior industry expertise and project delivery capacity.”

Will Hayllar, OC&C’s Global Managing Partner added, “Having worked together since their launch, we really have felt like we met kindred spirits. We share the same ethos which enables us to work seamlessly together to deliver great outcomes for our clients.” 

Meanwhile, for OC&C Strategy Consultants the move means it can expand its geographic coverage to Australia and New Zealand – a $6+ billion consulting industry. “We can now offer a new capability in the Australasian market, allowing us to provide a more rounded service to our clients.”

Internationally, Australian Strategy Partners will operate as an affiliate firm of OC&C Strategy Consultants.

Around two years ago, a former affiliate firm of OC&C Strategy Consultants in Italy, Long Term Partners (founded by ex-Bainees), decided to merge into the network