D&B Takes Majority Stake in JVKellyGroup, Inc.

In a rather unorthodox deal, D&B and JVKellyGroup, Inc. (JVKG) announced this morning that D&B was acquiring a majority stake in JVKellyGroup, Inc. In an advance notice that I received from JVKG this morning, I learned that D&B has taken a "majority stake in the firm" and that "JVKellyGroup [is] now a D&B Company". D&B and JVKG announced the new expanded collaboration and majority investment today following a long-standing working relationship between the two organizations. The notification JVKG sent out earlier noted that the "longstanding partnership" between JVKG and "their new parent company" has included "the co-development of D&B's spend and risk analysis tool, Supplier Portfolio Manager." You can read Spend Matters analysis of the applications that JVKG co-developed with D&B (and also look at screen shots from them) by clicking here, here and here. What's my initial take on this new level of integration between the two providers?

Perhaps most important, I'd argue that we can't look at this deal as just an acquisition of a consulting firm by an enterprise content or software provider. JVKG is one of the most unique services firms I've ever come across. Their ability to talk developer shop and rapidly prototype and deploy Flex-based applications is like nothing I've seen before (nor are some of their UIs, for that matter). But at the same time, JVKG has got significant domain knowledge of the sourcing and procurement world and they even have experience going beyond just project-based initiatives, taking on outsourced procurement responsibilities for companies.

In other words, this is a boutique organization that has an exceptionally unique combination of true geeks, deep process experts and overall procurement experience and leadership. Among services organizations of this size -- let alone any size -- I guarantee there's no one else quite like JVKG in the market. And I suspect this combination of talents will be critical for D&B as it attempts to catapult itself to the forefront of the growing supply risk management market. Moreover, since D&B had the chance to date before getting married, it's pretty clear they knew what they were getting into with JVKG and I suspect there's more to this deal than what they noted in the announcement that was distributed this morning and that I've reprinted below (since I can't find it on the web).

"Huntington, NY – JVKellyGroup, Inc., a leading spend management consulting firm, has announced that D&B, the leading provider of global business information, tools and commercial insight, has taken an majority stake in the firm. JVKellyGroup, now a D&B Company, is headquartered in Huntington, NY.

'We are excited for our future as a D&B Company,' says Jim Kelly, CEO of JVKellyGroup, Inc.' We have had a great relationship with D&B throughout the years and are focused on the opportunity to grow with them.'

Since 2002, JVKellyGroup has been providing innovative spend management solutions to the world's leading organizations. They've had a longstanding partnership with their new parent company, including the co-development of D&B’s spend and risk analysis tool, Supplier Portfolio Manager.

'The impact of supplier instability continues to send shock waves across industries, driving greater need for visibility and strategies to protect against failure,' said Jim Lawton, SVP and General Manager of D&B Supply Management Solutions. 'Combining JVKellyGroup's domain expertise in sourcing and procurement, with our predictive solution, we deliver what companies need now to navigate the recession and emerge stronger and better able to compete.'"

Stay tuned for further Spend Matters coverage and analysis of what this majority investment means for D&B and the overall supplier risk and information management marketplace.

Jason Busch

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