DTZ and Donaldsons

Global Professional Services Integration

DTZ was a global property advisor with 10,000 employees, seeking to expand its business through acquisition and organic growth. It was seeking to bolster its position in the UK and European markets through acquisition of Donaldsons LLP, a property advisor with strength in 'retail'. The quality of previous integrations in the business and the industry more broadly had been criticised by analysts and commentators.

As a professional services organisation, the value of the acquired business was in the staff of the acquired partnership and their relationship with clients.

The challenge of the business integration was to take a partnership into a corporate organisation and to unify the culture, without loss of key professional staff. The market was very competitive at the time with competitors seeking to poach key staff.

Key challenges were:

  • Provide reassurance over the management of the business integration
  • Integrate and motivate salaried partners to work in a new larger corporate organisation
  • Absorb the partnership culture in the wider DTZ environment creating a single culture.
  • Achieve the synergy benefits and cost targets as part of the process


  • Designed and led the integration programme, resourcing it internally from both organisations, and provided the governance and structure for management oversight and speedy resolution of issues
  • Led a successful communications programme that reassured the investor market, clients and staff throughout the process
  • Achieved integration of key acquired staff into the structure and professional DTZ. community with no loss of client critical staff
  • Achieved unified culture within 9 months through a series of communication events, professional events and office moves across the UK
  • Merged businesses across Europe


Global Professional Services Integration Endorsement

"Philip rapidly understood the cultural and business requirements and was able to design and deliver an integration programme that allowed us to quickly resolve issues and deliver our integration goals."


Guy Varney
Group Corporate Development Director


Next Case Study:
A Logistics Integration