Synergy Group, ThinkPlace in home-grown merger to tackle consulting multinationals head on

Synergy Group, ThinkPlace in home-grown merger to tackle consulting multinationals head on

(L_R) ThinkPlace partner Dr Nina Terrey, Synergy Group CEO Robert Kennedy, ThinkPlace partner Darren Menachemson, Synergy chair Lucille Halloran and ThinkPlace founder John Body.

 

 

Canberra-based firms Synergy Group and ThinkPlace have joined forces in a major consolidation of the national government consulting market as the home-grown outfit prepares to take on major multinationals in the space.

ThinkPlace, a provider of strategy, innovation, and design solutions, and Synergy Group, the country’s largest Australian-owned professional services firm, have announced a merger that brings together 600 specialist staff operating from Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

The merger will see ThinkPlace retain its brand as it comes under the Synergy Group umbrella. 

Synergy says the move will provide its clients with ‘a full end-to-end service from strategy, innovation and design to transformation delivery services to managed services in support of their largest and most complex projects’.

“In embracing ThinkPlace, Synergy Group forms a stronger business in all our offices, driving further growth and innovation, and creating even more value for our employees, customers and stakeholders,” says Robert Kennedy, the CEO of Synergy Group Australia.

“A great deal of thought and planning has gone in to bringing these two companies together.

“It’s our public declaration that we are leaning in, looking at opportunities to contribute to Australia’s biggest government programs, and backing ourselves to adapt to current market conditions.”

Synergy Group was founded in Canberra in 1999 and has grown to include offices in Melbourne and Brisbane.

The firm provides services to federal, central and local governments and public agencies, including strategic planning, program delivery, change management, creative, digital transformation, financial management, and resourcing and staffing solutions.

“With the current disruption in the Australian consulting market, the Synergy Group-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,” says Synergy Group chair Lucille Halloran. 

“We are one year into our three-year strategic intent to strengthen our service offering, expand our capabilities, and grow our presence across Australia. ThinkPlace joining the Synergy Group is a significant step in this journey.”

ThinkPlace was founded in 2005 and since then has expanded to 15 studios in nine countries supporting 160 staff.

The company describes itself as a change specialist for companies looking to implement a new strategy, policy initiative, digital transformation, service delivery or research to guide decision-making. The group says it ‘helps leaders from the public, private and NGO sectors change things for the better’.

“For over 18 years, ThinkPlace has partnered with government, not-for-profits, and private sector businesses to design solutions with significant social impact,” says ThinkPlace founder John Body. ?

“Joining Synergy Group is a significant step, yet it feels like a natural one. Our teams share aligned values, ethics, and a commitment to positive change. 

“The partnership will enhance each teams' capabilities and ultimately lead to greater impact for our clients."?

Body, a former senior executive at the Australian Taxation Office, is said to have pioneered the application of design to large complex systems starting with enhancements made to the Australian tax system during his time at the ATO.

He established ThinkPlace after identifying the opportunity to apply design across more systems nationally.

Kennedy says the new partners will work over the next few weeks to integrate the businesses for a ‘seamless transition of staff, clients and organisational arrangements’. 

“We’re looking forward to a strong and exciting 2024,” Kennedy says.

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