BETHESDA, Md. and NEW YORK, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Leveraging the strengths of both organizations, Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced plans for a strategic collaboration through which Marriott will transition the services provided by its Louisville, Tenn.-based Marriott Business Services (MBS) finance and accounting (F&A) unit to Accenture, and Accenture will provide F&A services to Marriott and its franchisees.
In conjunction with the collaboration, Accenture will create a new business service, Accenture Hospitality Services (AHS), built in part around the operations and capabilities coming from Marriott's MBS unit. Accenture Hospitality Services will provide management consulting, technology and business process outsourcing services to companies in the hospitality industry.
The plan includes the transfer of MBS and its associates to Accenture, and the Louisville operation, just outside of Knoxville, will become an Accenture center of excellence for finance and accounting business process outsourcing and provide those services to Marriott as part of AHS. The best-in-class capabilities from MBS will be combined with proprietary assets, business processes, and software, as well as analytics capabilities for the hospitality sector.The arrangement is designed to provide Marriott's hotel owners with savings and benefits over a 10-year period comprised of lower costs for a range of business services that will be delivered by Accenture. Carl Berquist, Marriott International's chief financial officer, said, "Our announcement will provide a new pathway to opportunities for our MBS business and associates. Capitalizing on both the foundation MBS has built since its inception in 2001 and Accenture's economies of scale, Accenture Hospitality Services will immediately be able to attract customers throughout the hospitality industry – something MBS could not do as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott. AHS will also benefit from Accenture's substantial resources, including people, marketing systems and process management, to enhance operations and attract Accenture customers across other industries, generating even more growth opportunities." Paul Loftus, global managing director of Accenture's Hospitality Industry Group said, "By combining the world-class financial processes developed by MBS with Accenture's scale and cross-industry expertise, Accenture will create a new business service to help lodging and hospitality companies better target strategic outcomes, achieve greater agility and drive new growth areas. We look forward to offering new career opportunities for MBS associates as we develop and grow AHS."