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West Monroe secures strategic investment by MSD Partners

Investments firm MSD Partners is to make a strategic investment in North American digital consulting firm West Monroe. 

Chairman & CEO Kevin McCarty and the rest of West Monroe’s senior management team will continue to lead the company following MSD’s investment.

West Monroe is a digital consulting firm with eight US offices and 2,000 employees across the globe. Established in 2002, the firm has grown revenue at a 30 per cent CAGR, outpacing the 10 per cent to 12 per cent average annual growth rate for consulting firms broadly.

MSD Partners pursues majority and strategic equity investments in situations where it can bring its unparalleled access to human and financial capital to support companies in their next phase of growth. The firm aims to be a partner of choice for companies led by owners and established management teams who are seeking a thoughtful and patient investor with a business-building mindset and the ability to provide flexible capital solutions. The firm was founded in 2009 by the partners of MSD Capital, the family investment office for Michael Dell, Founder & CEO of Dell Technologies.

The capital investment from MSD Partners will support West Monroe’s strategy to establish itself as the leading digital consulting firm in North America and to expand internationally. In particular, the investment will be used to expand the firm’s global product development platform via acquisitions, to advance skill-building programs for West Monroe employees to provide world-class digital consulting services, and to drive enhancements to its offerings and Intellio suite of assets, among other strategic imperatives.

“This is the right time for West Monroe to take on a strategic investment from an investor who shares our long-term view on growth and client service. In MSD Partners, we selected a partner who believes in our strategy, our culture, our operating principles and the ability of our talented employees to achieve our goals,” says Kevin McCarty, West Monroe Chairman & CEO. “This investment will give us enhanced financial capabilities to fuel the next phase of West Monroe’s growth, as well as an investment partner with a long-term perspective and significant digital technology expertise.”

West Monroe has achieved national prominence by becoming a top alternative to the largest consulting firms. While many of its competitors specialise in either strategy or implementation—or in business or technology—West Monroe is built on the principle that all of its consultants are fluent across strategy, implementation, business, and technology. The firm assembles multidisciplinary, industry-led teams of experts who help clients become digital leaders in their industries at a time when digital leadership has never been more critical to commercial success.

“The West Monroe team has built a special digital consulting firm,” says John Civantos, co-Head of MSD Partners’ Private Capital Group. “Their unrelenting drive to do more and achieve more is reflected in their differentiated culture, which has been the fundamental pillar supporting the strong growth the company has achieved to date. We’re excited to partner with West Monroe in their next chapter and share their commitment to capturing the significant opportunities that lie ahead.”

“Our partnership with West Monroe has all of the hallmarks of an MSD investment,” says Steven Lamb, a Managing Director in MSD Partners’ Private Capital Group. “We could not be more thrilled to back such a wonderful management team in executing its strategy.”

As it relates to its culture, West Monroe has achieved prominence as a best place to work, receiving nearly 30 top workplace awards every year, both nationally and locally in the most competitive markets for top talent.

The firm was one of the largest employee-owned companies in the country. The investment evolves the ownership structure of the firm for the next stage of growth. Moving forward, all West Monroe employees will have the opportunity to invest in and own part of the firm.

“Employee ownership is a founding value that has helped fuel our growth and enhanced our ability to serve clients. It remains important for our firm to continue to provide ownership and investment opportunities for our people, so they can both drive and benefit from company growth,” McCarty says. “Significant growth is ahead. There has never been a better time to join our firm.”

Following the investment, which is expected to close in November, MSD Partners will have a 50 per cent ownership stake in West Monroe. The leadership team at West Monroe will remain intact and the company will be jointly governed by a 50/50 split of representatives from MSD and the employee-owners of West Monroe.

Guggenheim Securities, LLC and Macquarie Capital acted as financial advisors to West Monroe. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Mayer Brown LLP, and Polsinelli acted as legal counsel to West Monroe. Houlihan Lokey advised MSD Partners. Blackstone Credit and Owl Rock Capital provided financing for the transaction.

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