Hanover Group acquires Middle East arm of PR firm Bell Pottinger

07 December 2017 Consultancy-me.com

The European corporate communications consultancy firm Hanover Group has acquired the Middle Eastern arm of collapsed public relations (PR) firm Bell Pottinger amid break-up.

Specialising in strategic consultancy advice in the financial services, healthcare, technology, media and telecoms sectors, and with offices presently in the London, Brussels and Dublin, the Hanover Group states that the acquisition will increase its current Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) team of 125 regional consultants by an additional 15, and boost its regional 2018 income from fees beyond £20 million.

While the UK-based Bell Pottinger recently collapsed amid accusations of provoking racial tensions in South Africa, Hanover in a statement iterated that Bell Pottinger Middle East was not involved in the affair, adding that its raft of existing blue-chip clients have remained supportive during the turmoil.Hanover Group picks up Bell Pottinger assets in Middle East

Hanover’s founder and Chief Executive Charles Lewington spoke highly of the Middle Eastern subsidiary; “Bell Pottinger Middle East is a terrific business with a talented, professionally run team which presents a strategic opportunity for Hanover to supercharge its growth in the region.”

The managing director of Hanover Middle East, Jonty Summers, will add the new business to his portfolio, with its name to change to Hanover Middle East, while Archie Berens, managing director of the Dubai practice, will take on the chairman role. Berens said of the outcome, “I am delighted we have found a professional partner for our first-class team, whom I would like to thank for their loyalty and dedication during the uncertainty of the last two months. Hanover is an award-winning consultancy and incredibly well run, and we are looking forward to an exciting future together.”

Earlier this year in the Middle East, McKinsey & Company acquired Elixir, a Saudi Arabian management consultancy with around 140 employees in Jeddah and Riyadh.

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Israeli cybersecurity consultancy Sygnia picked up by Temasek

29 October 2018 Consultancy-me.com

Israeli cybersecurity consulting startup Sygnia has been bought by Singaporean stste investment firm Temasek in a deal reportedly worth $250 million.

Describing itself as a provider of ‘military-grade’ cybersecurity, the Tel Aviv-based start-up Sygnia provides organisations worldwide with high-level cross-sector cyber resilience consulting and incident response support services: “We apply technological supremacy, digital combat experience, and a business-driven mindset to cyber security, enabling organizations to excel in the age of cyber.”

Co-founded in 2015 by current CEO Shachar Levy and launched by Team8, an Israeli cybersecurity ‘think-tank’ come incubator set up by former leaders of the Israeli Defense Force’s fabled technology and intelligence division Unit 8200, the cybersecurity start-up will now come under the ownership of Singaporean sovereign investment agency Temasek, which holds upwards of S$308 billion in assets.

While financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, sources reportedly close to the matter have placed the sale at $250 million, with Sygnia apparently not having received any further funding beyond its original $4.3 million seed investment. For Temasek, the deal marks a growing taste for cybersecurity investments, with the fund having led a $60 million Series B funding round closed in June for fellow Team 8 start-up Claroty, a cyberdefence software producer focused on factories and industrial plants.Israeli cybersecurity consultancy Sygnia picked up by TemasekAccording to the announcement from Sygnia, the company will continue to operate as an independent entity while pursuing collaborations with Temasek and its portfolio of companies, with Levy slated to remain at the helm and fellow co-founders Ariel Smoler and Ami Kor staying on in key roles. Team8 co-founder and CEO Nadav Zafrir will also hold on to his role as Sygnia chair, with both outfits to continue their collaboration.

“Sygnia has built a powerful combination of professional proficiency, methodologies, technologies, and a culture of excellence, which is critically needed in confronting the growing complexity of cyber,” Zafrir said. “Team8 will remain committed to Sygnia's success and we will continue to collaborate and work closely together.”

Speaking on Sygnia’s acquisition, Levy said; “Aligning with Temasek will strengthen our capability to provide end to end strategic support to organisations in meeting the specter of cyber threats, and allow us to accelerate building our global reach. I am incredibly proud of our team members - who have made this company into what it is. We will remain committed to the highest standards of professional excellence, client focus, decisiveness and speed.”

The purchase comes at a time when not only are there growing concerns for a shortfall in cyber preparedness around the world, and particularly in Southeast Asia, but also as tensions continue to simmer across the Middle East between long-time rivals – with state-sponsored cyber-attacks on real world infrastructure seen as a genuine threat. Recently, Accenture’s cybersecurity division outlined the rising global threat from agents in Iran, while Saudi Arabia has been busy ramping up its cyber-warfare capabilities. In Israel, the country's start-up sector is increasingly turning its attention to cybersecurity.