Derek Dewan is perhaps best known as the former Chairman of MPS Group, which provides staffing and other business services. With Dewan's guidance, that company was sold in 2009 for $1.3 billion, an impressive achievement. MPS Group includes the companies Beeline, Idea Integration, Soliant Health, Special Counsel, Entegee, Modis, Accounting Principles, and Badenoch & Clark; Dewan founded the first five of these companies.
Derek Dewan first joined AccuStaff, the company that later became MPS Group, in 1994. At the time, he was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a position he had achieved at the remarkably young age of 29. He became acquainted with a local entrepreneur, Delores Kesler, who had built a staffing business from scratch, beginning in the 1970s with a mere $10,000 loan. By the time he met her, Kesler's business was worth millions, and she convinced him that the consolidation of the staffing industry was an inevitable trend and one that could be capitalized upon. Together, with Dewan acting as Kesler's advisor and accountant, they organized the consolidation of Kesler's business with three other staffing companies to create AccuStaff. Kesler then recruited Derek Dewan for the position of CEO, an offer he accepted in 1994.
Learning from his experience in creating AccuStaff, Dewan embarked on a plan of aggressive consolidation. Throughout the 1990s, AccuStaff acquired dozens of staffing companies, often by making generous offers and allowing the companies to keep their names. Dewan became renowned for his relentless pursuit of these companies and even had a new telephone line installed at his home so he could continue negotiations well into the night.