Rennie teams up with Pemba for bold growth ambition

20 December 2023 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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Australian consulting firm Rennie has inked a deal with private equity powerhouse Pemba Capital Partners with the aim to accelerate its ambitious growth strategy.

The capital raising deal comes after two years of rapid growth for Rennie, which was founded in 2021 by spouses Matt Rennie and Simone Rennie to meet the demand for expert advice to companies, funds, governments, and stakeholders impacted by the net-zero transition, as climate change risks and net-zero targets begin to gain pace.

“Our mission has always been to create a firm with sufficient scale to be a credible alternative to the larger advisory firms by 2025, when we believe a decade of strong demand for expert advice will be required,” said Simone Rennie. 

“This partnership with Pemba will provide us with the expertise, capital and support we need to position the firm both nationally, and internationally, in preparation for this client demand amid rapidly changing market conditions,” Matt Rennie added.

Since its inception, Rennie has grown to 40 staff, opening offices and building teams in major capital cities across Australia. The consulting firm works with its clients across its service lines of strategy, capital advisory, policy & reform, ESG & sustainability, and business advisory.

Pemba Capital Partners, which boasts a deal history of over 200 transactions and with more than $2 billion of assets under management, is no stranger to the world of professional services. 

“Pemba identified Rennie as a unique investment and partnership opportunity on the basis of the firm’s strong client relationships, multi-disciplinary offering and sector expertise, along with the potential for the business to scale quickly through organic and inorganic growth,” said Tom Matthews, managing director at Pemba Capital Partners.

Pemba Capital Partners has taken a 40% stake in Rennie for an undisclosed amount. Matt Rennie and Simone Rennie will retain a 60% stake in the firm. As part of a governance rejig, Pemba managing director Tom Matthews will take a seat on the five-person board alongside the Rennies, and three other yet-to-be-determined directors.

The deal was advised on by Grant Thornton, and law firms McCullough Robertson and MillerPrince.

Ambitious growth plan

With the backing of Pemba Capital Partners, Rennie aims to grow into a 300-person advisory business in the next four years, said Simone Rennie. In 2024, the focus will be on organic expansion, with a buy-and-build campaign to kick off the following year.

According to Matthews, Rennie – which competes with the Big Four and global strategy consultancies like McKinsey & Company and Bain & Company, is well-positioned to grow its share in the high-growth climate change and energy transition consulting market. “It is a niche we’ve been tracking for over two years. Demand is only just getting started.”