Accenture and CGI acquire tech consulting firms in North America

11 September 2017 Authored by Consulting.ca

Accenture and CGI have each completed acquisitions in North America. Global management consultancy Accenture has purchased VERAX Solutions, a Toronto-based technology and systems-integration consulting firm that supports financial services sector clients. Meanwhile, Canadian IT consultancy CGI has added Summa Technologies to its global operations, absorbing around 200 IT consultants from the US firm.

Founded in 2003, IT and system-integration consultancy VERAX employs 180 people at its offices in Toronto and Halifax, where it supports clients in the financial services sector. VERAX delivers IT consulting initiatives across the full range of financial-services lines of business – including wealth management, brokerage and mutual funds, mobile and online banking, retail and commercial banking, and insurance and capital markets.

Global consultancy behemoth Accenture announced that it has acquired the boutique Canadian firm for an undisclosed sum. VERAX’s proven technology and systems-integration expertise in the financial services sector will complement Accenture's broad consulting and technology capabilities in Canada. The deal is the latest in a string of Accenture acquisitions in 2017, a year in which the firm plans to expand their operations through $1.8 billion in mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Accenture and CGI acquire tech consulting firms in North America

According to Robert Vokes, Managing Director of Accenture's Financial Services practice in Canada, the deep technical knowledge of VERAX and its results-focused collaborative culture were key factors behind the deal. "We believe [VERAX] will greatly complement and enhance the breadth and depth of our financial services capabilities in Canada,” remarked Vokes. “The combination of Accenture and VERAX will help enable our clients to react even more quickly and with even more confidence, as banks face increased pressure to adjust to new digital capabilities, new regulatory requests, and increased competition."

VERAX CEO and founder Sid Thomas, reflecting on the deal, commented, "We are excited to join Accenture, whose scale, scope and reputation for excellence will benefit our clients and will provide an opportunity for our employees to escalate their careers and enhance the benefits they deliver to our clients."

CGI buys Summa Technologies

In related Canadian consultancy news, Montreal-based IT consulting giant CGI has acquired Summa Technologies for an undisclosed amount. The 200-person IT consultancy – which has been featured seven times in the annual Inc. 5000 ranking of fastest growing privately-listed companies in the US – has particular expertise in the area of software development. Summa principally serves clients in banking and financial services, retail, manufacturing and healthcare. Summa, headquartered in Pittsburgh, saw revenues of $35 million last year; the dynamic firm posted 44% growth over the previous three year period.

CGI-acquires-Summa

“Merging with Summa is another step toward fulfilling our strategic objective to double the size of our company through a balanced blend of organic and acquisition growth,” said CGI President and CEO George D. Schindler in a prepared statement. “Summa adds capabilities, strength, and size to our U.S. business, allowing us to create additional focus in one of our target growth metros.”

Like Accenture, CGI has enacted an aggressive M&A-based expansion strategy in 2017: Summa is CGI’s fourth strategic US consulting acquisition in the 2017 fiscal year. Meanwhile, subsidiary CGI Nordic Investments is currently acquiring Affecto, a business intelligence and enterprise information management solutions provider.

CGI has been inorganically expanding their operations to address growing demand for their consulting services. The firm has a reported order backlog exceeding $20 billion, a figure that is clearly spurring CGI to expand their footprint and capabilities as rapidly as is feasible. The firm has also recently won a number of high-profile contracts, including a US$100 million identity management solutions contract from the US government. The firm currently employs 73,000 people across 80 cities, and reported revenues of $10 billion last year.

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