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Duck Creek turns head of global tech company

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Ireland-based Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN), a $21 billion technology company, entered into an agreement to purchase Bolivar-based Duck Creek Technologies for an undisclosed amount July 14. The sale is expected to close by late August, according to representatives of both companies.

Duck Creek founding CEO and board Chairman Doug Roller said he does not expect any downsizing to take place within the company that has roughly 340 employees and four offices in the U.S. and U.K. Duck Creek, which opened its doors in Bolivar in 2000 and posted 2010 revenues of $40.3 million, sells software for property and casualty insurance carriers.

“One of the critical components of this is Accenture’s desire to make sure it can continue to be successful in the marketplace, and I think it views our management team and our employees as being critical to that process,” Roller said, adding that roughly 200 employees work out of Duck Creek’s Bolivar headquarters. “(Accenture) is committed to keeping all of our current sites in place and all of our current employees in place. In addition, we feel like there will be strong growth opportunities going forward because we’ll be expanding our market.”

Once the transaction closes, Duck Creek will become a part of Accenture Software, a division of Accenture, which reported fiscal 2010 net revenues of $21.6 billion. Accenture employs 223,000 providing global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing in 120 countries.

Roller said he had been aware of Accenture’s software products for some time and discussions about working together last year led to talks of a merger beginning in the first quarter of 2011.

“Because they have a claims system and we have a policy-administration system, we had talked about partnering,” Roller said, noting that both companies operate on Microsoft’s .Net platform. “It was, I guess, a sort of natural progression from a point where we spoke only about a partnership to a place where we decided that a stronger relationship might be advantageous to both companies.”

Colin Davies, global managing director for Accenture Software, said he’s been impressed by Duck Creek’s operations since entering discussions last year.

“While Duck Creek was out there selling policy, and we were out pushing claims, the market was evolving into wanting both – and companies wanted products integrated and they wanted them to be seamless,” Davies said. “And that helped to push us together.”

Davies doesn’t expect layoffs of Duck Creek employees. In fact, as Duck Creek comes on board, he said the integration of its software products should only lead to growth.

He said Accenture’s insurance software products are an anchor for the company, which has more than 70 clients in 25 countries operating with Accenture’s claims platform.

Roller said he would have a senior role in Accenture following the close of the deal and that members of the Duck Creek management team would work in positions similar to what they are doing now, though he said many details of the transition won’t be ironed out until after the companies merge.

“It’s important that our customers continue to see Duck Creek in essentially the same way as they did prior to the merger,” Roller said, adding that he expects the name to remain in place at least in the short-term.

Roller had worked with Bolivar-based Micro-Magic Systems, which served the insurance industry with ratings software, before it sold to AMS, an insurance software company, and he helped form Duck Creek Technologies. In 2007, the company entered the European market with the formation of an office in Surrey, U.K.

Accenture reported net income of $669 million in its third quarter ended May 31, a 24 percent increase compared to third-quarter net income in 2010. Accenture shares closed Aug. 3 at $58.01, compared to a 52-week range of $36.45 to $63.66.[[In-content Ad]]


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