Deloitte has made the latest move in the battle of the consultancies as they aim to upgrade their creative credentials through the acquisition of Market Gravity.
The specialist design consultancy, which has been in operation for over eight years, will join the Deloitte fold from 1 June but will retain its name despite being a part of Deloitte Digital.
Both parties have worked together for around three years on projects that have included the creation of Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank's digital banking service B last year and originally partnered on a retirement preparation service for Aegon in 2014.
"We have a distinctive market offering in my mind but we also have proven a blueprint of what a new generation of consultancy can be but proven on a small scale. We hope to take what we have developed and really super charge it to scale," explained Peter Sayburn, chief executive officer and founding partner at Market Gravity.
The 60-strong agency already works with clients that span financial services, automotive, telecoms, retail and energy with the aim of providing creative innovation and services with team's across its London headquarters, Edinburgh, New York and Toronto, although Rich Hurley, technology consulting partner at Deloitte, did elude that future territories could be expanded into down the line.
"We had a really close fit in terms of ethos," stated Hurley of why the deal made sense to him without filling any obvious gaping hole within the Deloitte Digital offering. He added his belief that the offer of insight, design and commercial skills within the team would aid Deloitte's current client base, while Sayburn recognised the obvious scale that was now afforded to the business he began with Gideon Hyde in 2009.
"What this does change is the ability to scale what they do in terms of people, propositions, methods and the tools that they have got," continued Hurley. "Also it allows this fantastic way of working and approach and allows us to scale it across a deeper client set and to truely get the products and proposition out there."
Deloitte has also acquired the rights to subsidiaries of the business such as Market Gravity Proposition Design Canada Limited, Market Gravity PTE Ltd and Market Gravity Hong Kong Limited, it confirmed also.
The move follows much speculation around how Deloitte would respond to the acquisition of Karmarama by Accenture in November, and while this is not understood to be in direct reaction to that deal, it does bolster the consultancy's creative aspirations further, with rumours that it is interested in acquiring the Engine Group still unconfirmed. Other acquisition activity from the business in this space is also rumoured for this year and is part of a long expected move within the marketing services sector by the consultancies planning to move into the space.
In March 2016, Deloitte snapped up admired San Francisco digital firm Heat but has not been as active as some expected in recent years on the mergers and acquisition front. In May The Drum also reported that the consultancy business also recruited DigitasLBI's head of mobile Ilico Elia.