IBI Group was founded in 1974 by nine partners to provide professional services in research, policy, planning, and design related to urban development and transportation.
The term IBI was derived from the last initials of the two senior partners – Neal Irwin and Phil Beinhaker – with the second “I” representing the international aspirations of the partners.
Earlier, in the 1960’s, Neal had a key role in building a prominent North American consulting practice specializing in transportation planning and systems. This practice was acquired by the Peat Marwick organization, where Neal, an engineer by profession, joined with Phil, an architect, in leading a broad practice focusing on urban development and transportation.
From the outset, IBI Group integrated different professional disciplines to provide comprehensive services to clients. Our professionals have a broad range of intellectual and academic backgrounds and experience in urban design/planning, architecture, civil engineering, transportation engineering, traffic engineering, systems engineering, urban geography, real estate analysis, landscape architecture, communications engineering, software development, and many other areas of expertise. As we have grown, other disciplines have been added: interior design; structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering; and others.
Since its inception, IBI Group has focused on growing through geographic expansion and through increasing the scope of its business to provide a broader range of services. This approach helps insulate the firm from downturns in the economic cycle in various geographic areas, and strengthens the firm and the deployment of its services.
From the initial two offices in Toronto and Vancouver with 35 staff, IBI Group now has 80 offices in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and more than 3,000 staff. IBI Group’s professional services have expanded to four main disciplines: Urban Land, Facilities, Transportation, and Intelligent Systems.
A key element in the successful growth of IBI Group has been the direct involvement of the principals (termed Directors and Associate Directors) in the firm’s projects. Each project has a responsible principal who is accountable for the successful completion of the work.
In 2000, IBI Group embarked on a program of strategic growth through acquisitions. In 2004, the firm went public with the formation of the IBI Income Fund. The Fund was converted to a corporation – IBI Group Inc. – at the end of 2010.
Since 2000, three dozen professional practices have been integrated within the IBI Group of firms. Many of the senior principals of these firms have advanced through the IBI Group management structure to become Directors and Associate Directors. Today the leadership group comprises 64 Directors and 49 Associate Directors, all of whom have many years of professional practice experience with the firm and predecessor organizations. Of the original nine partners, two are still practicing full-time and three are participating part-time.