Acquisitions / Business development

Plymouth Meeting’s Helm is merging to become a national hub for tech advisory services

The local firm is merging with New Jersey's Bluewave Technology Group. Here's their growth plan.

Helm's Richard Wilson (L) and Blue Wave's Seth Penland. (Courtesy photos; image by

Two technology consulting agencies, including one with a Philly-area HQ, are merging to form one of the largest tech advisory firms in the US.

Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania’s Helm Partners and Parsippany, New Jersey’s Bluewave Technology Group announced their merger this week. Richard Wilson is currently CEO of Helm Partners, but as of Jan. 1, he will be chief strategy officer with Bluewave. Going forward, all Helm work and employees will be under the Bluewave name, and add about 30 employees to Bluewave’s 120.

Wilson told that he met Seth Penland, the current CEO of Bluewave, a few years ago, but it wasn’t until January that the two started seriously talking about a possible merger, “digging in a little bit more openly and understanding each other’s business.”

Both Helm and Bluewave have both been on “acquisition and growth mode” for the last few years, according to Wilson: The companies have each completed their own acquisition deals, with this being Bluewave’s eighth and largest. This new merger, for which financial terms were not disclosed, is part of Bluewave and partner investment firm Columbia Capital’s 2022 growth plan, which included a $75 million investment from the latter back in February.

Wilson said specifically the work Helm did with the contact or call center industry makes them unique.

“Our major investments for for 2023 really are going to be in the contact center space, both in terms of optimization, implementation, ongoing, technical account management practices, and then also in the cybersecurity space,” he said.

Both companies also work closely with the C-suite of their client companies to identify their goals with technology and then implement those goals.

“We needed to invest in systems, we needed to invest in certain groups of people, practices, and Bluewave had built a lot of that out, and had a lot of that in house,” Wilson said. “[Also] it was just a natural fit for us to come in and really support their growth initiatives with everything that we’ve been doing to date.”

Bluewave’s company headquarters is in New Jersey, but has a Philadelphia-area presence from an acquisition last year. Wilson said they will continue to operate out of its own Plymouth Meeting headquarters and Guillaume added that the Philly region will become the new East Coast “hub.”

Going forward, Wilson said the two will focus on fully exploring all of the opportunities in both existing client bases. He personally is excited to see further growth.

“Seth’s big point is that we’re building something that’s going to be here in 20 years,” Wilson said. “And that was always our position with Helm and now it’s just a matter of again, jumpstarting that growth engine to to get there a little quicker than we had previously thought we could.”

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

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