Synergy Group adds strategic design consultancy ThinkPlace

16 January 2024 3 min. read
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In a major move in the nation’s government consulting market, Synergy Group has added the Australian team of strategic design consultancy ThinkPlace to its ranks.

Founded 25 years ago, Synergy Group is the nation’s largest homegrown consulting firm to the public domain. The firm’s 600 staff across offices in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane help government institutions with an end-to-end service from strategy, innovation and design to transformation delivery services, as well as managed services.

Fellow Canberra-headquartered ThinkPlace advises leaders from the public, private and the non-profit sector on topics including (experience) design, innovation, and community engagement. The firm has over 100 staff in Australia.

Synergy Group adds strategic design consultancy ThinkPlace

In the front row, Robert Kennedy, CEO of Synergy Group; Lucille Halloran, Chair of Synergy Group. Standing behind, Nina Terrey, ThinkPlace Partner; Darren Menachemson, ThinkPlace Partner; John Body, ThinkPlace Founding Partner.

Commenting on the addition, Robert Kennedy, the CEO of Synergy Group, said the joining of forces will significantly enhance Synergy Group’s core business of driving multi-disciplinary government consulting and transformation programmes.

“It’s our public declaration that we are leaning in, looking at opportunities to contribute to Australia’s biggest government programs. ThinkPlace joining Synergy Group cements our position as the pre-eminent Australian-owned professional services firm to government, and creates even more value for customers and stakeholders.”

Synergy Group’s Chair, Lucille Halloran, added: “With the current disruption in the consulting market, the Synergy Group plus ThinkPlace combination provides a true sovereign alternative to our multinational competitors with the breadth and depth of capabilities to address our clients most complex and strategic challenges.”

Among those competitors are big brands such as the Big Four (including newly founded Scyne Advisory which has risen out of PwC), the strategy houses such as McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group, as well 200+ or so other reputable firms that serve the billion-dollar government consulting space.

Halloran further noted the alignment with Synergy Group’s strategic plan, which has laid out the bold ambition to become “a truly national firm” over the next two to five years, and become the country’s leading consultancy within five years to a decade. “ThinkPlace joining the Synergy Group is a significant step in this journey,” said Halloran.

Meanwhile, for ThinkPlace, the integration into Synergy Group will “enhance our capabilities, broaden our offerings, and ultimately lead to greater impact for our clients,” said company founder John Body.

Alongside the complementary portfolio of expertise and work, Body noted the strong cultural fit between the two firms. “Our teams share aligned values, ethics, and a commitment to positive change.”

An Australian match

The international team of ThinkPlace – which comprises around 50 staff based in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America – is not part of the deal with Synergy Group. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

In Australia, ThinkPlace will retain its brand under the Synergy Group.