SYPartners and SYProducts to join Hakuhodo DY Holdings' new strategic operating unit called kyu.

May 09, 2014, 09:00 ET from SYPartners

NEW YORK, May 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SYPartners is pleased to announce that it is being acquired by Tokyo-based Hakuhodo DY Holdings. The firm will be one of the first members of a new unit named kyu. Ultimately, kyu will serve as home for a small, distinguished portfolio of the world's most entrepreneurial and generative agencies, design firms, and consultancies.

Kyu will be led by CEO Michael Birkin—an industry leader with more than 25 years experience. "I have followed and admired SYPartners for more than a decade and a half," says Birkin, "I think they bring a one-of-a-kind perspective on how companies, brands, and cultures are built. They are able to mobilize entire companies to show up in an authentic, differentiated way. I am pleased SYPartners has chosen to be one of the founding companies of kyu."

SYPartners helps leaders build great companies—with a practice that focuses on vision and strategy; culture building; and customer experiences. SYPartners has a 20-year track record of working with leaders of the world's most influential companies, including AARP, American Express, Bloomberg, eBay, General Electric, IBM, Kohl's, Starbucks, The Coca-Cola Company, among others.

"In our work with CEOs and their leadership teams, we see that today's companies are calling for a new kind of partner," says SYPartners Chairman Keith Yamashita. "We have been building that new kind of firm—which combines strategic thinking and design, in order to move the business model, brand, and culture. We look forward to working with the leaders of kyu to attract and build other companies that represent the future of the industry."

As part of pioneering ways to offer its intellectual capital in new ways, the company launched a division SYProducts several years ago. So far, the firm has brought to market Unstuck (—a suite of advice, tools, and an app aimed to help individuals live their best lives. Unstuck has nearly a million users worldwide. The firm also launched Teamworks (—a set of web-based tools and advice to help managers keep their teams more connected and aligned to achieve new levels of engagement and performance. 

"As we enter our third decade, we were looking for a way to have a greater impact in the world," says SYPartners CEO Susan Schuman. "kyu allows us to do that by strengthening our consulting division, fueling the success of our products, and building sister companies with different skills—but the same philosophy and world view about what clients truly need today and in the future."