Deloitte has purchased the Toronto agency Isaac Reputation Group, which will join the consulting house’s risk advisory practice.
Deloitte said it acquired Isaac to help clients with “corporate purpose.” Asked about joining the risk advisory practice, Isaac founder Mike Robitaille said it reflects changing priorities in the business landscape, driven by evolving consumer expectations of brands.
“The historical expectations for business are shifting dramatically and rapidly,” said Robitaille, pointing to the recent Business Roundtable declaration that corporations should prioritize stakeholder value—employees, customers, communities and the planet—over shareholder value.
“Isaac is a combined consulting and creative professional service built in response to this new imperative,” said Robitaille, who has been named partner, corporate responsibility and sustainability for Deloitte Canada.
By joining with Deloitte, Isaac will deliver a service that helps business leaders “inspire belief then earn the trust, enthusiasm and advocacy of all stakeholders in every action and communication of the company,” said Robitaille. “More people cheering for your company to win is an invaluable competitive advantage.”
Deloitte confirmed that 10 Isaac employees are joining Deloitte including Robitaille’s partner Bob Goulart.
Isaac’s roots are in creative and advertising, with Robitaille and Goulart working together as partners at Grip beginning in 2004. Robitaille left Grip in 2007 and started his own shop, Unitas in 2009.
From launch, Unitas offered traditional agency services including advertising creative, winning business like Sears and Public Mobile. However, Robitaille always wanted clients to look for holistic approaches to brand building—moving beyond beyond advertising and communications in search of ways for brands to build more meaningful connections with people.
Goulart and his creative partner Dave Hamilton joined Unitas in March 2016 and the agency was rebranded as Isaac Reputation Group a few months later. Hamilton, who left Isaac in 2018, was just named creative director for TD’s in-house creative agency.
The release from Deloitte describes Isaac as “early pioneers in the field of corporate purpose,” offering business strategy and planning, brand identity, creative, project management and business analytics.
Corporate purpose today is about the “pursuit of a human ideal,” said Robitaille. “We want our worlds to be better and will throw every ounce of available energy behind those people, companies and organizations we believe can get us there. Our definition of purpose is informed by that pattern: help people toward a human ideal for a good life or better world.
“Companies motivated by human idealism are the ones people watch, follow, support and finance.”
Adding Isaac enhances Deloitte’s services for clients looking for guidance on “corporate purpose, stakeholder trust, and reputation,” said Poonam Singh, managing partner of Risk Advisory at Deloitte Canada, in the release. “With Isaac’s expertise and deep creative capabilities, we’re now much more equipped to serve our clients better and provide meaningful insights catered to their unique and diverse business needs.”
*This story has been updated to include a clarification on Unitas.
Photo: Supplied by Bob Goulart