ASG rebrands to NRI and kickstarts next expansion drive

02 March 2023 3 min. read
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Australian consultancy ASG has rebranded to NRI in line with its Tokyo-based parent. The move kickstarts the firm’s next expansion plan in Australia and New Zealand.

Having been acquired by the Nomura Research Institute (NRI) back in 2016, Australian ICT consulting and services firm ASG Group will now operate under its Japanese parent’s moniker as the company embarks on a significant expansion drive across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

The new NRI business unit will look to add a further 50 percent to its regional headcount of around 2,500, which has been boosted in recent times by a string of local acquisitions.

ASG rebrands to NRI and kickstarts next expansion drive

“We are delighted to launch the next exciting chapter in NRI’s growth story in ANZ,” said former ASG chief Dean Langenbach, who will now serve as NRI ANZ CEO. “We have invested significantly in our business, with the expectation that our workforce will grow in the coming years.”

“New Zealand is NRI’s next growth market, and the strategic changes we have made in the past year will allow us to aggressively pursue market share and focus on growing our core strengths.”

Those core strengths include SAP, Oracle, SalesForce, and Microsoft, while both NRI and ASG have been expanding the firm’s local service capabilities through a broad mix of targeted acquisitions, including NRI’s purchase of software testing firm Planit for a reported $300 million in 2021.

ASG, which was itself bought for $350 million, has since acquired Canberra-based UX and design consultancy Pragma Partners and most recently Perth Microsoft specialist Velrada.

In a press release announcing the ASG rebrand, NRI said that Pragma Partners and Veralda would remain independent, along with the previously acquired professional services firm Group 10 of Canberra, while earlier acquisitions including 1ICT and M&T Resources have or will be presumably rolled in.

Meanwhile, Planit has also been expanding, last year acquiring UK competitor Shift Left along with Kiwi IT assurance company Qual IT and its cyber offspring SEQA.

“From professional services to specialist technology, NRI’s acquisitions over the past few years are testament to our broad range of capabilities,” said ANZ regional president Hiroyuki Kawanami. “We are confident that our diverse slate of public and private sector clients will benefit from our growing reach. But while we have pursued an acquisitive growth strategy over the past few years, we are excited to be moving to a new phase of organic growth.”

Despite the push for greater organic growth, Langenbach in an interview with NZ’s National Business Review didn’t rule out further local acquisitions. The NRI chief further revealed that 500 of the slated 1,250 or so additional IT and consulting jobs would be filled in New Zealand over the next three years, with a business development professional already hired in Wellington and another to soon come on board in Auckland. Planit’s existing offices will serve as the initial base.

Langenbach also told National Business Review that ASG and NRI had been sizing up the New Zealand market for some time, but Covid-19 had led to delays “We’ve always felt that New Zealand would be a good market for our company, just because of how we approach business, which is probably a little more down to earth and genuine than some of the large multinationals. We wouldn’t have embarked on it had we not received the feedback that the market is looking for an alternative.”