Leading Growth and Innovation Consultancy, Progressive, Joins Anthesis

Anthesis, the leading global pure-play sustainability advisory and solutions firm, today announces that it has acquired Progressive, a prominent growth and innovation consultancy. This latest merger from Anthesis responds to the growing demand from the C-Suite of organisations to unlock growth opportunities that support sustainable performance through strong strategic insights and the best technology opportunities.

Founded in 2016 by Matt Nicholls and Ken Valledy, Progressive works with senior leadership teams to help accelerate and unlock new, sustainable growth. Based in London and with a global network of subject matter expert associates, Progressive works with a range of international blue-chip organisations, predominantly across the Retail, Finance, CPG, Automotive and B2B industries, including Kimberly Clarke, Nestle, DFS Group and Informa to develop innovative new research and insights, and powerful start-up & scale-up programmes. It also delivers proven venture building solutions, such as the So Simple and Sofables brands for the DFS Group.

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Photo (left to right): Dean Sanders, Chief Enterprise Officer, Anthesis, Ken Valledy, Co-founder, Progressive, Stuart McLachlan, CEO, Anthesis, Matt Nicholls, Co-founder, Progressive, Kirsten Doddy, Global Head of Marketing & Communications, Anthesis

The work that Progressive do to empower companies and brands to go beyond the norm and unlock new growth through emerging technologies is impressive. They act as an enabler to accelerate progress, impact, and partnerships, delivered through trusted relationships with the C-Suite. Matt, Ken and the wider team are a welcome addition to Anthesis.
Stuart McLachlan
CEO, Anthesis Group

Co-founders and Partners of Progressive, Matt Nicholls and Ken Valledy, each bring more than 30 years of experience from across the worlds of advertising, brand management, start-ups, innovation, and entrepreneurship. From Saatchi & Saatchi and Accenture through to founding one of the UK’s largest and most successful digital marketing agencies, Grand Union, Matt’s career has spanned strategy, communications, and technology. Ken spent 14 years as Brand Director and Consumer Connections Director for multinational drinks and brewing company, ABInBev, before founding Tech2Brand, a firm solely focused on connecting brands with new start-up technology. Both Matt and Ken are active investors and mentors for the start-up community and investment and academic programmes.

The Progressive methodologies strengthen and blend seamlessly with the Frontiers’ sustainable innovation and venturing offering from Anthesis. Established in 2022 and led by Chief Enterprise Officer, Dean Sanders, Anthesis Frontiers is focused on targeted innovation, delivered through access to unrivalled sustainability expertise, global and cross-sector reach, and extensive research and databases. It guides clients through problem identification and evaluation to presentation of emerging ideas, trends, and innovations. It uses an adaptable, robust, and user-friendly impact assessment and scoring tool, inspired by LCAs, for breakthrough innovations.

Matt Nicholls and Ken Valledy, Co-founders of Progressive, said, “It’s a very exciting time to be joining Anthesis. The overarching ‘Sustainable Performance’ philosophy and solutions developed by the whole Anthesis team are really compelling. We’re very much looking forward to working together and being able to help further accelerate the combined success of the business, leveraging our capabilities and solutions as part of the Group.”

Progressive is Anthesis’ fifth M&A deal in 2023, following announcements with Colombian sustainability and digital consultancy, ConTREEbute, Australian sustainability advisory firm, Ndevr Environmental, a leading global ESG advisory firm, Wallbrook, and impact-led creative change agency, Charlescannon. Anthesis has completed 21 acquisitions since 2013, growing to over 1,250 specialists across 44 offices in 23 countries.

About Progressive

Progressive is a leading growth and innovation consultancy helping organisations unlock and accelerate new, sustainable growth opportunities. Based in London, with partner offices in San Francisco, Singapore and Australia and working across retail, automotive, financial services, media and entertainment, CPG and professional services sectors. Progressive have developed over 300 ecosystem research reports and brought over 200 pilots and new ventures to market, adding over £120m+ of value to their client’s businesses over the last 36 months including GSK/Haleon, Informa, Mercedes-Benz, DFS Group, Kimberly-Clark, and PMI.