Why Diversified Had to Acquire MCW

CI 2016 Integrator of the Year Diversified’s latest acquisition brings the company capabilities it didn’t have, helps with global reach in myriad markets

CI’s 2016 Integrator of the Year, Diversified, is projected to reach the $650 million revenue plateau by the end of this year after its acquisition last week of Ashburn, Va.-based MCW, but chairman and CEO Fred D’Alessandro echoed a common refrain when asked about his company’s lofty standing.

“We want to be the best, not the biggest,” says D’Alessando, repeating a phrase he used after Diversified acquired Technical Innovation early in 2016 and added CompView earlier this year, among other major deals that have built Diversified up to about 1,500 associates after the MCW acquisition.

For his part, MCW president and co-founder Ghattas Hajjo wasn’t scared off by Diversified’s size or its succession of acquisitions, saying the eight to 10 months he and other MCW leaders spent talking to D’Alessandro and his team confirmed it was a good move to join forces.

“We have cultures that mesh very well,” says Hajjo. “It’s rare to find that kind of synergy. We took [MCW] to the point where we either needed additional capital to acquire other companies to keep building on the success we’d had or needed to join a company that allowed us to expand the way we wanted to.”

MCW leaders chose the second option, joining the family of a fellow 2017 Inc. 5000 honoree, ending a process that Hajjo says was a couple of years in the making in terms of deciding which way to go.

“We wanted to position ourselves to have options,” says Hajjo, noting MCW turned down “quite a few” other acquisition attempts by other integration companies before joining Diversified. “We were a growing company and we were doing very well and Diversified wasn’t in a position where they needed to make a deal.”

Diversified Living Up to Its Name

With an electronic security business across the U.S. and Europe, MCW brings Diversified a solution set it didn’t have, says D’Alessandro, and strengthens the company with another division, joining business consulting, presentation technologies, unified communications, dynamic signage, live events, security, command and control, broadcast, medical and IT solutions.

“The market is driving the demand for this sort of all-encompassing solution,” says D’Alessandro. “We want to give our clients a single partner to deal with. It’s always been our vision to provide not only the broadest solution set, but the best. The talent and breadth we provide truly is unprecedented.” That includes AV, IT and security integration and managed services, he says.

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