Anthesis and Wallbrook merge to form most comprehensive global ESG offering in response to shifting regulatory landscapes

07/06/2023
Stuart McLachlan (Anthesis Group's CEO)

ANTHESIS, the sustainable performance activator and the largest group of dedicated sustainability professionals globally, announces a merger with Wallbrook, a leading global ESG advisory firm focused on anti-corruption, investigations & resolving disputes, business ethics and human rights. 

This strategic deal reflects a shifting regulatory landscape and growing stakeholder expectations for investors and companies to help build a more sustainable future. Merging Anthesis’ decade of experience guiding clients on their sustainability transition across environmental and social issues with Wallbrook’s cultural, linguistic, and thematic expertise across business ethics, compliance and human rights will enable clients to cohesively address the E, S and G aspects of their business models. All delivered through one team with the aim of helping clients succeed in the economy of the future.

With offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Zurich, Wallbrook was established in 2018 to support the world’s foremost organisations to be responsible stakeholders in their global activities, providing on-the-ground intelligence to help them respect human rights, combat corruption, trace and recover assets and benefit society.

Wallbrook’s Co-Managing Partner, Ian Barclay, will join the Anthesis Board and become part of Anthesis’ leadership team as part of the integration. Attracting high-integrity and mission-driven individuals, the 70-strong team includes Mariana Abreu, Wallbrook’s Head of Human Rights, who is a human rights lawyer formerly with Global Witness, Amnesty International and the United Nations; and Wendy Wu, Wallbrook’s Head of Investigations, and a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Wallbrook will continue to be led by Managing Partner and CEO James Hunt.

Proud to unite with Anthesis as B Corps approaching business as a force for good, the Wallbrook team provides best practice advisory across anti-corruption M&A compliance, business ethics, human rights impact assessments, ESG advisory, internal and workplace culture investigations, and resolving disputes. Wallbrook’s core anti-corruption offering has received the Chambers Tier One Ranking for two consecutive years, one of only four global risk advisory firms to do so.

As one of the leading providers of ESG advisory and integrity due diligence services, Wallbrook’s offerings strongly complement Anthesis’ established expertise in ESG solutions for corporate businesses, private equity sponsors and other global asset managers across strategy development, transaction due diligence, portfolio engagement and reporting.

Commenting on the deal, Stuart McLachlan, Anthesis Group’s CEO, said, “An organisation’s governance directly correlates with how it views, and operates within, sustainable business models. All elements of ESG must be a priority, making our merger with Wallbrook an obvious and important addition to Anthesis. Together, we can support organisations to thrive in the face of complexity and disruption as we guide them into a more ethical and responsible existence through local intelligence on a global scale, expertise across all jurisdictions, and combined thinking across the complete ESG agenda. I look forward to working with the wider Wallbrook team and welcoming Ian to our leadership council and the Board.”

Wallbrook’s Co-Managing Partner, Ian Barclay, added,  “The combination of Anthesis and Wallbrook offers our clients access to a wide range of experts helping to solve key sustainability challenges in support of a circular economy, through effective ESG diligence and human rights impact assessments, supply and value chain analysis, policy development and reporting. I am particularly excited that our corporate clients and the wide array of investment platforms we serve will benefit from Anthesis’ depth in environmental consulting, as we continue to support them in the transition to net zero and navigate such a dynamic regulatory environment.”

Gary Tipper, Managing Partner at Palatine, commented, “Environmental, Social and Governance challenges are often inherently interlinked so broadening Anthesis’ capability in Governance will strengthen its ability to make a meaningful difference to its clients.  Helping our investments originate and complete strategic M&A is a core value enhancement focus for Palatine and so we are delighted to have done so here.”

Anthesis’ 17th acquisition in 10 years, the collective offering brings Anthesis Group to more than 1,100 sustainability specialists with offices in 22 countries. Recognised as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the UK and Europe, Anthesis’ ambitions for 2023 are to build on its position as the market leader in sustainable performance and attract the best talent to deliver meaningful impact with the world’s largest and most influential organisations globally.

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