PwC’s government advisory business re-emerges as Scyne Advisory

03 July 2023 3 min. read
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PwC’s former $500 million government consulting business has re-emerged as Scyne Advisory, with a twelve-strong interim leadership team of ex-partners and $100 million to get rolling.

Australia’s consulting market is set for a shake-up with the introduction of Scyne Advisory, the resurrected PwC government consulting business which last year brought in revenues upwards of $500 million and was sold for just $1.

In a press statement, buyer Allegro said it will splash more than $100 million on transitioning the practice, with the scramble now on to secure PwC’s existing public sector contracts and around 1,800 partners and staff.

PwC’s government advisory business re-emerges as Scyne Advisory

Of the 132 PwC partners reportedly planning to cross to Scyne Advisory, twelve have been tapped to be part of the new consultancy’s interim leadership team, including former global government advisory head Tim Jackson and local practice leader David Sacks. Brisbane and South Australia managing partners Chris Rogan and Jamie Briggs are also among the senior leadership team, as are national defence practice and infrastructure lead partners Ben Neal and Adrian Box.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead the change required in government advisory in Australia,” stated Jackson. We are pleased to have secured roles for around 1,750 people to continue making a contribution to governments across the country. Our people have deep sector knowledge and they will set our new culture, with the needs of our clients’ remaining paramount. Restoring those clients’ trust is our number one priority.”

Jackson added that governance and culture would be at the core of the new business, with the consulting firm to establish an independent board to oversee what it described as a rigorous, ASX-standard of governance. To get the ball rolling, retired federal court judge Andrew Greenwood has been appointed as Scyne’s first non-executive director, tasked with chairing a probity and ethics sub-committee to vet those seeking to join the firm.

“We are backing the leaders of Scyne Advisory and their vision to drive real change in the public service advisory sector,” stated Allegro Funds co-founder Adrian Loader, who will also sit on the Scyne board. “It’s clear there is a need for a strong and independent government advisory firm of scale in the Australian market. Scyne will have an industry-leading governance model able to meet the requirements of the Australian government and its agencies.”

It’s expected Allegro will hand over the $1 by the end of August, and once Scyne Advisory establishes some offices and is fully operational the new consulting firm will focus solely on public sector advisory in areas including health, defence, infrastructure and risk at both the state and federal levels. Scyne will have no further association with PwC, with former partners agreeing to forgo their rights to the Big Four firm’s fabled annual retirement payments.

Acting PwC chief executive Kristin Stubbins, who will shortly hand over to partnership outsider Kevin Burrowes, said the sale would provide greater clarity for those inadvertently caught up in the firm’s government tax policy scandal. “We’re confident that Allegro, the PwC partners moving to the new business, and the staff joining them, will create an excellent business, committed exclusively to the public sector, with a strong governance framework in place.”