Infrastructure advisory firm Corview joins global player RPS

11 February 2019

Australian infrastructure advisory firm Corview has been acquired by RPS, a UK-headquartered professional services firm active in 100+ countries globally. The deal worth around $32 million sees Corview’s Brisbane based 50-strong team join RPS, creating a group of 150 professionals dedicated to infrastructure and mobility services.

Commenting on the deal, RPS’s CO John Douglas said: “Corview is known for its expertise in enabling clients to make informed investment decisions and manage complex infrastructure transactions across all phases of project development and delivery. This makes them a natural fit for our business.” 

Founded in 2009, Corview has grown to a mid-sized domestic consultancy providing services to government and industry clients on major commercial, infrastructure, building and services projects. The firm, which has offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, supports clients with among others strategy and planning, project development and economics, investment and finance, commercial management, programme delivery and data analytics and visualisation. 

Shane McDowall, Managing Director at Corview, said that the joining of forces will enable the firm to strengthen its capacity to deliver and generate value for Australian clients and communities. Globally, RPS has 5,600 consultants and staff, of which approximately 1,100 work in the infrastructure and mobility group. “The combined team will be able to offer one of the most holistic advisory propositions in the sector, with professionals specialising in project strategy, economics, transaction and investment advisory, communications, community engagement, creative services, data analytics and more.” Infrastructure advisory firm Corview joins global player RPS

For RPS, the move bolsters its foothold in Australia’s booming East Coast infrastructure market. Ross Thompson, RPS’s chief executive for Australia & Asia Pacific, explained: “Australian cities are facing major challenges when it comes to the development of transport, water, health, education and other types of infrastructure…. there is a need for innovative, region-shaping infrastructure. Corview is embedded in many of the East Coast's major infrastructure projects and joining forces with RPS will benefit the delivery of these assets.”

Infrastructure projects

Among the high-profile projects Corview has worked on are a 5.25 kilometre twin toll-road to Brisbane Airport, the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project in Queensland (connecting Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach), the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Program (a 1,710km rail line for freight transport) and the new metro line connecting Sydney’s Northwest (Chatswood) with South West (Bankstown). RPS teams have meanwhile advised on projects including Western Sydney Airport, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail and Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel.

Thompson. “Bringing people from RPS and Corview together will make it easier for clients to connect with the best minds in infrastructure at the earliest project phases. It will also provide a strong platform for us to innovate, collaborate, and ultimately deliver on our promise to address infrastructure complexity.”

Corview is RPS’s third acquisition in Australia in recent years. In 2015 the consulting firm purchased Everything Infrastructure Group, and three years previous Manidis Roberts was picked up. As part of the Corview integration, which is set to be fully completed by mid-2019, the company will rebrand as ‘Corview, an RPS Group company’. 

The deal was advised on by financial consultancy Eaton Square and law firm Baker McKenzie – both provided sell-side advisory to Corview. Mark Goodwin, an advisor at Eaton Square said that the transaction “demonstrates the attractiveness of the Australian market to overseas acquirers”, while Baker McKenzie’s M&A head for Australia Richard Lustig described the country’s infrastructure industry as “a booming market”.

Following a brand harmonification and modernisation earlier this year, RPS has set out the ambition to become “the best mid-sized professional services company” in the sector. 

In other deals in Australia’s professional services sector, EY last week bought Plaut IT as it continues its push into the technology consulting domain, while rival Accenture purchased Australian Oracle consultancy PrimeQ in a $31 million deal.

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Deloitte bolsters digital capabilities with The Terrace Initiative

19 April 2019

Global professional service firm Deloitte has bolstered its capabilities in the cloud computing domain through the acquisition of management consultancy The Terrace Initiative, which is based in Perth. The acquisition gives Deloitte access to Alchymy, which is a insight-driven digital portal. 

The Terrace Initiative was established in 2013 as a management consultancy, offering a wide range of services including organisational change management, project management, risk management and business analysis. The firm is based in Perth, with an additional office in Sydney.

The firm offers support with digital transformation and is adept at dealing with services in the Industry 4.0 domain, making it an enticing prospect for Big Four accounting and advisory firm Deloitte. Specifically, Deloitte is aiming to acquire capabilities in Alchymy, which is an insight-enabled change management platform.

Alchymy was devised to cope with the high-speed environment that is characteristic of the contemporary business environment. The firm is hosted in the digital domain, and delivers data-driven insights that are computed in real time on a singular dashboard for organisations.

Deloitte bolsters digital capabilities with The Terrace Initiative

Leaders have an overview of the progress being made in different areas of their organisation, with simultaneous identification of any barriers being faced in any domain. Alchymyst offers visual representation, which enables the quick deciphering of progress and issues, allowing for speedy action. 

The platform will significantly enhance Deloitte’s capabilities. Conditions of the transaction dictate that the joint CEOs at The Terrace Initiative – Melissa Bell and Corrie Scheepers – will join Deloitte at a Partner level, and will lead a new change management division. All roughly 50 The Terrace Initiative employees will also join the big four accounting and consulting giant.

The acquisition comes amid a period of expansion for Deloitte Australia. Since the start of this year, the firm has made a foray into the New Zealand market with its digital vertical, in addition to the acquisition of risk consultancy Converging Data Australia.

Managing Partner of Consulting at Deloitte, Kaylene O’Brien, said of the acquisition, “The digital age is driving organisational change at an unprecedented rate. Managing the human aspects of these changes is incredibly complex and generates large amounts of data that has traditionally been hard to capture and interpret.”

David Brown, Leader of Human Capital at Deloitte added, “The world of work is rapidly changing. The future of work, workers and the workplace are all being disrupted by technology, in a myriad of ways. Successful change initiatives and inspired cultures rely on agile, flexible and innovative leaders, and the effective use of data will become increasingly important.”