Refreshed branding for WSP has been launched globally, with the same core strategy but in the hope of shaking off some of the old engineering imagery. There's also a new company structure in the UK – now the company’s second biggest area of operations. Only the firm’s Canadian HQ employs marginally more than the 7,100 now working for WSP in the UK.
The rebrand follows WSP’s acquisition of Mouchel last year. But it dates back further as an exercise that started about a year ago, said the former MD and now CEO of the UK business, Mark Naysmith, talking to Infrastructure Intelligence ahead of the brand launch. As expected, the Parsons Brinckerhoff name has gone and so too will the Mouchel brand, once its integration is complete by the end of July.
"We’re sticking to what we understand and know, but projects need people from all backgrounds and areas of expertise and our services support more than just construction.” Mark Naysmith
Now the emphasis is all on positive imaging and upbeat messages as the global company rebrands. A total of 85 different acquisitions over the past decade have transformed the Montreal based WSP, now globally 36,500 strong, into one of the world’s big consultancy firms. It’s probably now at number two in the UK and recognised as much for its presence in infrastructure markets as it is for work in building, property and other engineering sectors.
The rebranding comes with a new WSP manifesto in place of the company’s previous vision and values. The strategy essentially stays the same, but the new refreshened logo is at least partly about shaking off some of the old engineering image.
“We still have the same focus on being a pure-play consultancy and a professional services business across many sectors. WSP is proud of its roots. We’re not diversifying into new markets, we’re sticking to what we understand and know, but projects need people from all backgrounds and areas of expertise and our services support more than just construction,” Naysmith said.
The new WSP logo is intended to reflect this new modern outlook. Naysmith said: “Obviously we’ve used the same letters but they’re incomplete because filling in the gaps, being creative to solve problems, is what we do,” Naysmith says. “This is now the message right through our brand and we wanted it to be modern and fresh and not be just about engineering. We provide professional services right across the natural and built environment. The rebrand represents a real change for us, the first time we’ve done it so fundamentally.”
"The General Election should help to bring back some stability and more confidence. We have to accept these ups and downs, a bit of turmoil is the new normal."
As CEO Naysmith is at the head of a business which now splits into four UK divisions. Transport & Infrastructure is led by Steve Smith, Planning & Advisory by Ian Liddell, Property & Buildings is headed up by Kamran Moazani and Energy & Industry by Frazer MacKay.
The outlook in all areas, particularly in infrastructure, is very good, Naysmith said: “We’ve had a lot of good wins this year. The private sector started to slow down before Brexit and did so again at the end of last year, but it’s all picking up again and the General Election should help to bring back some stability and more confidence. We have to accept these ups and downs, a bit of turmoil is the new normal.”