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Our History

From our local beginnings over 130 years ago to our vast international presence today, WSP has enjoyed continuous growth and enrichment of its service offering. Every milestone reached has enabled us to better fulfill our purpose of preparing our communities and environment for the future.

 

WSP is a globally-recognized professional services firm employing approximately 36,000 people. 

We welcomed 2,500 experts from eight different acquisitions in 2016, adding to existing expertise in our Americas, EMEIA and Asia Pacific operating regions, as well as establishing our presence in three new countries: Chile, Peru and Mexico. The largest team to join us was Mouchel Consulting, a 2,000-employee engineering consulting firm operating mainly in the UK and Ireland, with a presence in the Middle East. 

In 2016 Alexandre L’Heureux, our former Chief Financial Officer, transitioned to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, we made the important decision to bring together our different firms to unite under a single brand: WSP.

Parsons Brinckerhoff in the UK traces its roots back over 125 years through three consulting engineering practices: MRM Partnership, Kennedy & Donkin and Merz and McLellan.

MRM Partnership, a multidisciplinary consultancy first established in 1887, was acquired by WMX Technologies Inc. in the US in 1993, and in 1994 became Rust Consulting Limited. Kennedy & Donkin, originally focused on power generation and distribution projects, was founded in 1889. In 1994, Kennedy & Donkin was also sold to WMX Technologies Inc. and became Rust, Kennedy & Donkin.

In 1995, Parsons Brinckerhoff acquired Merz and McLellan, another century-old power engineering consultancy, based in Newcastle, UK. In 1997, Rust, Kennedy & Donkin and Rust Consulting integrated their expertise, and the company was purchased by Parsons Brinckerhoff in 1998.  

The Williams Sale Partnership Limited was established in 1969 as a building services consultancy in the UK. The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1987 as WSP. Between 1990 and 1995, UK-based acquisitions added structural and civil engineering capability to WSP’s skills portfolio. From 1996 to 1999, acquisitions were completed in the UK and South Africa, and then in 2001 WSP acquired Jacobson & Widmark in Sweden and two smaller Finnish consultancies. In 2003, further acquisitions in Finland increased our presence in the Nordics.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has been active in the Middle East since the 1940s. From 2005 to 2006, WSP gained a meaningful presence in the Middle East with two acquisitions in the region. In 2007, further acquisitions in Germany and the Middle East reinforced WSP’s profile as a global consultant. In 2014, the acquisition of Technip TPS, specialising in building and infrastructure engineering, enhanced our presence in the French market. In 2015, Faveo Group was acquired in Scandinavia.

More history on wsp.com