Waveguide, one of the AV industry’s top-five design consulting firms headed up by Scott Walker, just announced that on December 1, 2016, Waveguide merged with the Compass Group USA and Flik Hospitality. Compass Group USA is based in Charlotte, N.C., and with $16 billion in revenues in 2016, is the leading American foodservice management and support services company. Compass Group’s UK-based parent company, Compass Group PLC, was named the 6th largest publicly traded employer in the world by USA Today and one of 50 Companies Changing the World by Fortune. Compass Group PLC had revenues of £19.9 billion in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016. Waveguide will be managed under Flik Hospitality, a sector within Compass Group USA that specializes in foodservice and conference center management—including on-site AV technology management—for global corporations and leading educational institutions.
Here is Waveguide’s announcement:
Flik Hospitality and Waveguide share an Atlanta client, and it was at this client’s corporate headquarters that Flik Hospitality witnessed firsthand the successful implementation of our planning, design, software programming, commissioning and technology management services. They approached us with the idea of combining our full complement of conference services to better serve all of our clients. And while an AV company joining a foodservice company might seem unconventional at first glance, Andy and I quickly realized that aligning Waveguide’s full suite of lifecycle services with Flik Hospitality’s existing audiovisual business presented a unique opportunity for accelerated growth and success — for Waveguide, our AV industry partners, and most importantly, our clients.
At Waveguide, we’ve always been focused on doing great work. Now we have the resources to do great work even better. Beyond that, we don’t expect our organizational change to have an impact on your day-to-day interactions with us. Andy and I, along with the rest of the Waveguide team, will continue to operate as we always have, offering industry-leading AV, IT and acoustics consulting; software programming; and on-site management services for current and future clients of all stripes. You’ll still work with the same great Waveguide people. Our company brand remains the same. Our headquarters remain in metro Atlanta. Our other offices and satellite sites all remain put. I will remain as president of Waveguide, and Andy stays on as head of operations and finances. Lastly, our commitment to your business and the industry continues unabated. In fact, the only difference you may notice is our name changes from Waveguide Consulting Inc. to Waveguide LLC. But hey, you can still just call us Waveguide.
We are certain being part of a multibillion dollar global corporation, which counts 490 of the Fortune 500 as clients, will better position us to support the growing and changing landscape of our clients’ technology needs as well as bring our name-brand services to Flik Hospitality’s diverse list of clients. It’s win-win-win for everyone.
This is an interesting merger and grows the industry as a whole. All you have to do is look at Compass Group and what they do to see this is different. But, it also means that their competitors are likely to follow suit and try to buy other large consultants or, potentially, a large integrator. Sysco, for example, is even larger than Compass with over $50 Billion in revenue.
Scott is a personal friend of mine — I’ve known him for longer than nearly anyone in AV. This is a fantastic move for him, personally, but an even better move for his company and the industry, as a whole. Trust me on this one.