Oliver Wyman buys Booz Allen’s MENA management consulting business

05 April 2022 Consultancy-me.com 4 min. read

Oliver Wyman has announced a major deal in the Middle East and North Africa, agreeing to acquire the management consulting business of Booz Allen Hamilton.

With a heritage in the Middle East that goes back more than six decades, Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the best known consulting brands in the region.

Oliver Wyman meanwhile was founded in the US nearly four decades ago (notably by two Booz Allen Hamilton partners), and has been present in the Middle East since 2005 when the firm launched its first office.

Oliver Wyman acquires Booz Allen Hamilton MENA management consulting business

The agreement between the two consulting giants (Booz Allen Hamilton has round 30,000 staff globally and Oliver Wyman around 5,500) now sees Oliver Wyman purchase Booz Allen Hamilton’s strategy and management consulting business in MENA. Consultants in Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Cairo, Doha, Dubai and Riyadh will cross to Oliver Wyman.

As part of the transaction, which is expected to close later in 2022, Booz Allen Hamilton will retain its remit and team that serves US government clients with technology (cyber, security, cloud) services and defense offerings.

“Booz Allen is a leading strategic advisory firm and one of the Middle East's longest serving management consultancies, supporting clients across the private and public sector,” said Nick Studer, President and CEO of Oliver Wyman.

Pedro Oliveira, Managing Partner of Oliver Wyman in India, the Middle East and Africa, added: “We've long admired Booz Allen Hamilton’s ethos of client excellence and deep sector expertise of the highest standards. We are confident this move to come together will offer exponential value to our clients, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Oliver Wyman team.”

For Oliver Wyman, a $2.5 billion business globally, the joining of forces expands its strategic capabilities across industries, in particular in the energy, real estate, financial services, and public sectors. “In addition, Booz Allen’s specialised cybersecurity offering will strengthen our rapidly growing digital capabilities in the Middle East,” said Oliveira.

Meanwhile, for Booz Allen Hamilton, the move sees it join a firm dedicated to strategy and management consulting – Booz Allen has over the years notably transitioned into a technology heavy business. “Oliver Wyman is a global management consulting leader that will be a great home for our people, capabilities and clients,” said Souheil Moukaddem, Booz Allen’s MENA Managing Director.

Nick Studer, Pedro Oliveira, Karen Dahut, Souheil Moukaddem

“Bringing together our shared vision for the Middle East, cultures of entrepreneurship, inclusivity and diversity, and leading strategy consulting capabilities will deliver tremendous value as we enter a new era together.”

Karen Dahut, Booz Allen’s Global Defense Sector President, added: “Oliver Wyman provides the management consulting focus, investment and culture that will allow our people and clients to thrive, while enabling Booz Allen to retain a core focus on serving US government clients at the center of mission and technology.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial details have not been released.

The exit of an iconic brand

For the industry as a whole, once closed the move would see one of the region’s most iconic brands leave the management consulting stage (Booz Allen will remain active in the region in other segments).

Back in 2008, when Booz Allen Hamilton split into two businesses, the region already witnessed the exit of the Booz Allen Hamilton brand when Booz & Company was incepted to serve markets outside of the US, including the Middle East and North Africa.

But shortly before Booz & Company was purchased by PwC (which then rebranded the firm to Strategy&), Booz Allen Hamilton had made a grand return to the region. In 2012, Booz Allen re-launched in Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon and the UAE, spending the past decade successfully rebuilding its business (since 2017 under the leadership of Moukaddem).

In related news, earlier this year Oliver Wyman boosted its presence in Australia with the acquisition of Azure Consulting. Late 2021, the firm bought the life sciences strategy practice of Huron in the US.