Hitachi, Mercer make strategic pick-ups

by Vault Consulting Editors | January 04, 2011

  • My Vault

Hitachi Consulting today announced its acquisition of California-based IT outsourcer Sierra Atlantic. The addition of 2,400 former Sierra Atlantic employees will more than double Hitachi's consulting ranks, currently at 2,000, and will significantly boost the company's offshore capabilities through delivery centers in Hyderabad, India and Guangzhou, China. Sierra Atlantic is largely an offshore specialist, offering a wide range of application and infrastructure outsourcing services through Oracle, Microsoft, and other platforms.

The move bolsters Hitachi Consulting's technical credibility and expertise as the firm seeks to establish itself as a premier IT consultancy in the US and abroad. It also marks Hitachi's return to the business of strategic acquisitions after a quiet 2010; before last year, the firm had made at least one significant acquisition each year since 2004. In fact, Hitachi Consulting owes its own existence to a buy-out of Grant Thornton's consulting unit in 2000.

Yesterday, employees at Hammond Associates, formerly an independent investment consultancy based in St. Louis, began their first week as employees of Mercer LLC. Despite its relatively low headcount at 120+ professionals, Hammond lies on the cutting edge of an emerging consulting trend: investment consulting for endowments and foundations. The company claims to be the country's third-largest firm of its kind.

Mercer clearly sees investment consulting for endowments and foundations, an industry segment which saw 10 percent growth last year in the US, as an investment opportunity in its own right. The acquisition "underscores our commitment to meeting the growing needs of our clients and to invest in the investment consulting business," said Jeff Schutes, a Mercer consulting exec in the US. "It will also enable us to provide strategic consulting and to demonstrate our depth of expertise in alternative investments such as private equity, hedge funds, and infrastructure. We feel this will be a significant competitive advantage in a changing market environment."

For more information:
Hitachi Consulting acquires Sierra Atlantic
Mercer completes acquisition of Hammond Associates

- Sam Reynolds

Filed Under: Consulting

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