John Sartor, CEO of PS&S
By Joshua Burd
PS&S has acquired a Wall-based professional consulting firm, marking a major addition to its team of architects, engineers, designers and environmental practitioners in the region.
The Warren-based firm announced Wednesday that it has purchased DW Smith Associates, a 54-year-old design and engineering practice. As part of the move, PS&S will merge its regional office in Wall with DW Smith’s current headquarters, while DW Smith principals Jennifer Nevins, Timothy Lurie and Thomas Murphy will join the PS&S senior management team.
About 70 DW Smith employees will join PS&S to create a combined team of around 350, the company said. DW Smith will continue to operate under its existing name for the near term.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to bring the immense talent of DW Smith into the PS&S family,” said John Sartor, CEO of PS&S. “We’ve had the pleasure of working alongside DW Smith on projects for several mutual clients. The talented team of DW Smith will help us expand our energy, utility, and community association practices. This will also allow us to continue to provide the highest quality work within the Northeast region and beyond.”
DW Smith’s long-held niche in community associations figures to drive additional growth for PS&S’ design and engineering business in the residential sector, Sartor said. The new team will also bring a large client base involved in pipeline projects beyond New Jersey, adding to PS&S’s robust survey practice that currently serves the utility sector in its home state.
Sartor, whose firm has been exploring acquisition opportunities in recent years, added that familiarity was a critical aspect of the newly completed transaction. Teams from PS&S and DW Smith have been collaborating on projects for years, he said, while the two firms have had many significant clients in common.
PS&S has also become well-versed in Wall and the greater Monmouth County area since the opening of its office there in fall 2013.
“The fact that we have folks who know each other is going to make that process a lot more seamless because there is familiarity,” Sartor said. “They’re from the same areas, they’re from the same communities and, in a lot of cases, our people have worked with their people in the last 20 years.”
The leaders of DW Smith echoed those feelings as part of a joint announcement on Wednesday.
“Combining our firm with PS&S was truly a natural extension of our current working relationship,” said Nevins, a principal of DW Smith. “Our cultures are so closely aligned and given PS&S’ reputation in the industry, we couldn’t imagine a more appropriate partner. The synergy brought by combining our talents will enable our combined firm to better serve existing clients and enhance our depth of offerings to current and potential clients.”