Kanata con­sult­ing firm to merge with na­tional ac­count­ing gi­ant MNP

A Hun­dred An­swers says deal will al­low fast-grow­ing com­pany to ex­pand na­tional pres­ence

Ottawa Business Journal - - FINANCE - BY DAVID SALI david@obj.ca

Ama­jor Ot­tawa player in the man­age­ment con­sult­ing in­dus­try has an­nounced it is merg­ing with one of the coun­try’s largest ac­count­ing firms in an ef­fort to ex­pand its na­tional pres­ence.

A Hun­dred An­swers, a Kanata firm that pro­vides ser­vices rang­ing from hu­man re­sources man­age­ment ad­vice to soft­ware and web­site sup­port, said it is com­bin­ing its op­er­a­tions with Cal­gar­y­based MNP LLP as of Oct. 1.

Un­der the deal, A Hun­dred An­swer’s own­ers will ac­quire a stake in MNP, with CEO Sean Mur­phy and other top ex­ec­u­tives be­com­ing part­ners in the com­bined firm. All of the Kanata com­pany’s more than 50 em­ploy­ees will be ab­sorbed into MNP and the Hun­dred An­swers name will be grad­u­ally phased out over the next few years.

Mr. Mur­phy said his com­pany felt it had grown as much as it could or­gan­i­cally and needed to com­bine forces with a big­ger player in or­der to ex­pand its reach into other Cana­dian mar­kets. MNP has 3,500 em­ploy­ees in more than 75 of­fices from coast to coast.

“We’ve been in Ot­tawa for the last num­ber of years, and I think we looked at this merger as a way for us to go na­tional in a re­ally big way,” Mr. Mur­phy said. “MNP is a great part­ner for us to do that.”

MNP ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent for On­tario and Que­bec Jeremy Cole said the merger helps fur­ther the com­pany’s long-term strat­egy of of­fer­ing a wider range of ser­vices to com­pete with multi­na­tional pro­fes­sional ser­vices firms such as Ac­cen­ture and Deloitte.

“It’s just con­tin­u­ally adding to our port­fo­lio of ser­vices, par­tic­u­larly on the tech­nol­ogy side,” he said. “The ser­vice line that A Hun­dred An­swers pro­vides gives us an­other busi­ness area that we as a firm can ex­ploit for our clients.”

It’s the sec­ond time this year MNP has pulled the trig­ger on a merger with a pro­fes­sional ser­vices firm. In April, it com­bined with Mis­sis­sauga-based cy­ber­se­cu­rity com­pany NCI.

Founded in 2009, A Hun­dred An­swers has a client base that in­cludes sev­eral fed­eral gov­ern­ment de­part­ments as well as pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions such as WestJet. With the com­pany do­ing more and more work out­side Ot­tawa in mar­kets such as Toronto and Cal­gary, Mr. Mur­phy said the merger pro­vides a spring­board to reach cus­tomers across the coun­try.

MNP has pro­vided ac­count­ing ser­vices to A Hun­dred An­swers for the past few years, Mr. Mur­phy said, so the two com­pa­nies were al­ready well ac­quainted with each other even be­fore merger talks be­gan. In the end, the deal came to­gether “quite quickly” over the sum­mer, he said.

FILE PHOTO

A Hun­dred An­swers’ Sean Mur­phy.

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