Global corporate sustainability consultancy giant ERM has snapped up Kathy Jones and Associates (KJA), the influential stakeholder engagement and communication consultancy with about 70 staff in Sydney and Melbourne.

The acquisition will give ERM access to Australia’s “buoyant government sector”, according to ERM, and boost its current low key profile.

The merger will also bolster the company’s ability to engage stakeholders at all stages of major infrastructure and urban regeneration projects thanks to KJA’s 20 years’ experience in the field.

KJA’s portfolio spans transport, planning, construction, infrastructure, energy, environment, education and health sectors, and includes clients from all levels of government, private and not-for-profit organisations.

Big projects include the new Sydney Metro, the Northern Beaches Hospital, and the Barangaroo precinct on Sydney Harbour

The acquisition of KJA follows ERM’s 2017 acquisition of Australian sustainability consultancy Pacific Environment, which also has a background in major infrastructure and urban growth.

For KJA, the merger opens doors in new locations and opportunities to innovate and grow, founder and executive chair Kathy Jones said. The acquisition also gives the company access to the resources sector.

Ms Jones founded the company in 2001.

“Becoming part of the ERM Group provides KJA with the opportunity for geographical expansion and the scale to support our growth ambitions,” she said.

“I’m proud of what the KJA team have achieved over nearly two decades. I am excited for us to be working closely with ERM to maximise the synergies of our specialist teams to continue to deliver great outcomes for our clients.”

Employing more than 5000 people, ERM has 160 offices in 43 countries worldwide. Opening its first office in Australia in 1994, it now has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Newcastle, Canberra and Port Macquarie.

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