Andersen sets up e-venture unit

Andersen Consulting has formed Andersen Consulting Ventures, a unit that will invest up to $1bn over the next five years to create new electronic businesses.

Andersen will seed the initiative with more than $500m and give it access to intellectual property. The remaining funding will come from a variety of other strategic and financial players.

“We are sending a strong message to our clients, alliance partners and our employees that Andersen Consulting intends to lead in the new e-economy,” said Joe Forehand, managing partner and CEO of Andersen Consulting.

Andersen Consulting Ventures, which will be based in Palo Alto, will be headed by Jackson Wilson. He was previously Andersen Consulting’s managing partner, global markets, and managed a significant portion of the firm’s global P&L. He was also responsible for the firm’s strategic alliances and equity investments, and he drove the firm’s ecommerce initiatives.

In his new role, Wilson will establish relationships with venture capital firms, investment banks and other ecommerce providers, as well as with innovative companies in Europe, Asia and North America, three regions where the creation of ecommerce ventures and companies is accelerating.

“Andersen Consulting Ventures will offer a significantly different venture capital option for startups,” said Wilson. “In addition to the experience gained through our more than 140 investments and alliances with companies, we will be able to leverage Andersen Consulting’s scale, global presence and relationships with established industry leaders throughout the world.”

He added that through Andersen Consulting Ventures, Andersen Consulting will now be able to create value as a principal in addition to being an adviser to new businesses.

Forehand said that the initiative complements and supports the firm’s service to its clients. “The insights and experience gained through these ventures will bolster our understanding of the new economy and strengthen our ability to forge new models for doing business on the internet,” he said.

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