In what is expected to be a major Middle East deal, global consulting firm Oliver Wyman has announced its intention to acquire Booz Allen Hamilton’s strategy and management consulting business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
As part of the deal, expected to close later this year, Booz Allen consultants in Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Cairo, Doha, Dubai and Riyadh will transfer to Oliver Wyman’s India, Middle East, and Africa (IMEA) practice, including Booz Allen Executive VP and MENA Managing Director, Souheil Moukaddem, who will join Oliver Wyman’s Management Leadership Council.
The deal will bolster Oliver Wyman’s capabilities in both the Middle East, and globally. Oliver Wyman, owned by NYSE-listed Marsh McLennan, has more than 5,500 professionals worldwide focused on international management and strategy consulting, with dedicated investments in strategy, operations, risk management, and organisational transformation.
The deal is an obvious one given that the two consulting giants share a long history. Two former Booz Allen Hamilton partners founded Oliver Wyman, and four decades on from the founding, both firms continue to deliver a similar culture of entrepreneurship and DNA of deep-seated values.
“With Oliver Wyman’s unwavering commitment to breakthrough impact, we’ve long admired Booz Allen’s Hamilton’s shared ethos of client excellence and deep sector expertise of the highest standards,” says UAE-based Pedro Oliveira, Managing Partner of Oliver Wyman IMEA.
Why is Oliver Wyman buying Booz Allen’s business?
With this acquisition, Oliver Wyman gains a management consulting practice fully dedicated to the MENA region, expanding the firm’s strategic capabilities, and accelerating its growth position in the Middle East and beyond.
With a heritage in the Middle East that goes back more than six decades, leading strategic advisory firm Booz Allen is one of the region’s longest-serving management consultancies, and one of the best-known, supporting clients across the private and public sectors.
“The Middle East is one of the most aspirational, ambitious, and exciting markets we support,” says Nick Studer, CEO of Oliver Wyman. “To help service this trajectory, we are deeply pleased to be investing in and bringing aboard talent of this calibre that will enable us to have even greater impact and exceed client expectations. Booz Allen’s experience and expertise will help propel both our firm’s strategic direction but most importantly the path of the clients we serve in this rapidly evolving and dynamic market.”
Booz Allen’s MENA-based management consulting business has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors across energy, climate and sustainability, real estate, and financial services, and will enhance Oliver Wyman’s range of competencies and advisory credentials in ESG; climate and sustainability, and more. Booz Allen’s specialised cybersecurity offering is a further boost to Oliver Wyman’s rapidly growing digital capabilities in the Middle East.
However, Booz Allen will continue to serve US government clients requiring support within the MENA region, and will continue to provide proprietary cyber, defence, and security solutions to clients in the region.
MENA region in growth, as investments in technology and digital increase
The MENA region is in rapid growth and is expected to be a preferred investment destination which will generate the most growth and opportunities over the coming years, according to recent EY research.
Unprecedented changes in the landscape have driven new client demand for Covid-driven transformation projects, as firms seek to achieve cost efficiencies and prepare operating models for a ‘new normal’.
EY research reveals that almost all executives surveyed plan to focus on investing in customer-centric digital and technology capabilities, while mergers and acquisitions will be the preferred strategic option as companies look to accelerate growth in the post-pandemic world.
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