04 Jun 2023

Oliver Wyman subsidiary Cavok acquires UK based aviation firm

In a bid to expand its technical aviation expertise in Europe, Oliver Wyman has completed the acquisition of AVISA for an undisclosed fee. The aviation safety systems business will become part of Oliver Wyman’s fledgling subsidiary Cavok, which is in the process of spreading its wings across Europe.

Global management consultancy Oliver Wyman has acquired the business of UK-based AVISA Aviation Safety Systems. AVISA Aviation Safety Systems is a leading technical consultancy which also provides airworthiness management support and training for major international airlines, regulatory authorities, aircraft engineering firms, commercial, civil, and military aviation industries. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The AVISA team of specialists will be fully integrated into the broader Cavok operations and services portfolio – Oliver Wyman’s technical consulting and services division – which are undergoing a European expansion effort. Cavok has been building its presence in continental presence for a while, hiring experts to grow their London presence near Gatwick – including former ICF Consulting Vice President David Stewart, who arrived as a Partner at Cavok at the turn of the year. Stewart had spent more than three decades in the aerospace consulting segment, with stints at BAE Systems, Willis Towers Watson-precursor Towers Perrin, Mercer and Aerostrategy, on the path to his present role.

Oliver Wyman now has more than 4,500 professionals in its employ globally, in offices spread across over 50 and in nearly 30 countries. Meanwhile, with the influx of AVISA’s more than 130 professionals, Cavok has further boosted its operations, with the new arrivals boasting skills in assisting airlines, MRO providers, lessors, and other aviation and aerospace stakeholders with mission-critical issues surrounding certification, safety, training, and performance and execution support for technical operations.

David A. Marcontell, Cavok’s General Manager, said, “Since its inception, Cavok has steadily grown into North America’s preeminent air carrier and MRO regulatory and certification advisory firm, as well as a leading player in airline technical support services. For our expansion into Europe we looked for firms with similar capabilities and credibility. AVISA is a perfect fit with its EASA-approved Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization (CAMO) designation and reputation as a highly-regarded training provider and regulatory guidance adviser.”

Phil Stuckle, AVISA’s Managing Director, said, “We are extremely pleased to be joining the Cavok crew and look forward to the opportunity to bring all of Cavok’s long standing knowledge and experience into the European marketplace.”

Taking off

According to research from Cavok, the global Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) sector faces challenges resulting from a combination of increased demand and a waning supply of personnel. Meanwhile the global air transport fleet is set to undergo considerable upgrades and growth as new deliveries outpace retirements, and as recent profitability spurs companies to invest in new, more efficient, stock. The total world-wide fleet is set to grow at 3.4% CAGR to 2027, adding around 10,000 new planes in that time. As a result of this forecast growth, many firms are following Cavok’s lead in investing heavily in the sector, which is likely to turn increasingly to the consulting trade to tailor solutions for the aviation and aerospace industries.

Examples of this include a number of other major deals in aviation consulting. Earlier in the year, global aviation group Air Partner purchased the UK-based flight safety consultancy Safeskys, while Accenture incorporated aerospace expansion into their now infamous $1.8 billion acquisition drive, with the landing of aviation consultancy Seabury. Cavok parent-firm Oliver Wyman have themselves been heavily involved in M&A activity in the sector over recent years, too. In 2015, they purchased TeamSAI, a specialised consultancy and technical services supplier to the global aerospace and aviation industry. The firm followed this up last year with the further obtaining of LShift – a technology firm with clients such as professional services group Honeywell, who work within aerospace – to compliment Oliver Wyman Labs’ data and analysis operations.