Ankura goes global after buying Navigant divisions for $470 million

30 August 2018

Ankura recently closed the acquisition of Navigant’s Disputes, Forensics and Legal Technology (DFLT) segment and the Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) practice. The deal more than doubles its headcount, while giving the legal risk and compliance consultancy a global footprint.

Earlier this summer, Washington, DC-based management consultancy Ankura announced its intention to acquire the Disputes, Forensics and Legal Technology (DFLT) segment and the Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) practice of Navigant – a global management consultancy based in Chicago. Now, the deal valued at $470 million has closed.

Founded only in 2014, Ankura has rapidly spread across the US, providing clients with deep expertise in forensics, risk & compliance, data & technology, litigation & disputes, turnaround & restructuring, and strategy & operations. The addition of Navigant’s DLFT and TAS businesses have heavily strengthened Ankura’s legal, risk, compliance, and forensics offerings, while also reinforcing its data and technology capabilities. The deal also adds Navigant’s global Construction practice to Ankura.

Critically, the deal has reforged Ankura as a truly global consultancy. Whereas previously the firm had 14 US offices, the Navigant deal has now swollen that number to 37 global offices – including locations in Austria, the UK, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, and the UAE.

Ankura goes global after buying Navigant divisions for $470 million

Its headcount has also leaped from 575 consultants to over 1,400. Meanwhile, the deal places the firm at $500 million in annual revenues – making Ankura one of the globe’s largest private legal risk and compliance consultancies.

“Navigant’s DFLT and TAS businesses bring a global footprint and complementary expertise to Ankura, enhancing our client offerings, deepening our relationships with clients, and creating exciting new career opportunities for our people,” said Roger Carlile, CEO of Ankura. “I am thrilled to welcome our new colleagues who share our passion, growth-oriented mindset and motivation for success.”

“I look forward to working with them and our existing team members as we build a unique business advisory firm with worldwide scale and expanded capabilities to comprehensively and effectively address the diverse and complex challenges facing our clients today,” added Carlile.

As part of the deal, Navigant’s former DLFT segment leader – David Tortorello – as well as Navigant’s former Construction practice leader and head of Disputes and Economics outside the US – Darin Buchalter – will join Ankura’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

“Joining Ankura and its well-respected leadership team ensures that the DFLT and TAS businesses are set to thrive and grow,” commented Tortolrello. “We are thrilled to be a part of this innovative, solutions-oriented firm and to help build upon Ankura’s collaborative, nimble approach to client service.”

Ankura recently made some changes to its senior leadership – appointing Ben Seto as chief financial officer, Gina Ciavarro as chief information security officer, and Angela Cinefro as chief people officer. The fast-growing firm also recently added seasoned technology consultant Thomas Emmons as a managing director at its New York office.


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OneDigital buys Northwestern Benefit in company's largest acquisition yet

11 April 2019

Human resources and benefits consultancy OneDigital Health and Benefits has acquired Northwestern Benefit, the largest privately held benefits broker in Georgia.

Atlanta-based OneDigital has carried out an aggressive acquisition strategy in past years, completing 28 deals in 2018, as well as five in 2019 thus far. Its recent acquisitions have included consulting firms Paradigm Group, Cherry Creek Benefits, and Veritas Risk Services. OneDigital’s rapid expansion last year boosted annual revenue by $100 million in 2018, reaching $400 million.

OneDigital’s core offerings include strategic benefit advisory services, analytics, compliance support, human resources management technology, and insurance broking. The firm has more than 80 offices in the United States.

The consulting firm has continued its accelerated growth strategy with the purchase of benefits and HR consultancy Northwestern Benefit, which is also based in Atlanta. “This represents an exciting milestone for OneDigital, where our largest acquisition to date is also located right here in our home state of Georgia,” Adam Bruckman, CEO of OneDigital, said. “Northwestern lets us compete in the Atlanta benefits marketplace in an entirely new way.”OneDigital buys Northwestern Benefit in company's largest acquisition yetThe acquired firm was founded in 1996, and provides benefits, HR, compliance, wellness, education, and workforce planning advisory services to clients in George and across the US. Northwestern Benefit’s 150 employees will join OneDigital, bringing the firm’s headcount to over 1,600 employees, and its employer client count to approximately 50,000.

OneDigital’s chief growth officer, Mike Sullivan, highlighted Northwestern’s excellent sales culture and client service models as factors in the deal, while noting that the deal will significantly expand the firm’s middle market scale and capabilities. Sullivan expects more deals on the horizon, as OneDigital seeks to scale up further. “We expect north of 25 acquisitions again this year to bring us over the $500 million revenue threshold,” he said.

David Asbury, CEO of Northwestern Benefit, will join OneDigital as a senior managing principal. “As the benefits space continued to consolidate and we considered acquirers, it was incredibly important to me to find the right partner,” he said. “With OneDigital’s scale, reach and long-term vision, we knew our organizations would fit together and be stronger together right off the bat.”

As employment levels remain at record highs, employers are increasingly turning to effective and comprehensive benefits packages in order to attract and retain a dwindling pool of talent. HR and benefits firms help employers strategize the ideal benefits and compensation packages to get the talent they need, while doing so in the most cost-effective manner. “In a rapidly changing economy, an employer’s ability to attract and retain talent is often directly tied to the benefits they can provide, and OneDigital ensures we’re supplying our clients with the most robust health, wealth, and HR advisory services,” Bruckman said.