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Bernard's new consultancy to merge

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Chicago--Only three months after he founded it, Chairman-CEO Robert Bernard plans to merge his new CRM advisory firm, Form + Function Consulting Inc., with Groundswell Inc., a Pleasanton, Calif.-based enterprise portal integration consultancy. Bernard, the former Chairman-CEO of MarchFirst Inc., the defunct b-to-b consulting firm, will become CEO of the newly combined firm, which is to formally merge by mid-August and be headquartered in Chicago. The Groundswell name will be phased out over the next several months, and the Form + Function moniker will be kept. No job cuts are planned among Form + Function's 30 employees and Groundswell's 80 employees, according to Jim Calabrese, an outside spokesman representing the firms. Executives at Form + Function and Groundswell could not be reached for comment. The deal underscores Form + Function's desire to expand beyond its core CRM advisory business. Groundswell is considered a leader in the enterprise portal development space and brings to the combined company a blue-chip client base that includes Chevron Corp., Charles Schwab & Co., FedEx Corp. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. The deal is a victory for Bernard, who has been mounting a comeback after withstanding criticism for his oversight of b-to-b consultancy MarchFirst, which filed for bankruptcy in April and has since gone out of business.
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