Civil engineering firm Kuo & Associates enters strategic growth partnership with The HFW Companies

Mar 11, 2024

Kuo & Associates (KUO), a civil engineering and surveying firm serving Houston and Southeast Texas since 1985, entered into a new strategic growth partnership with St. Louis-based The HFW Companies (HFW), an expanding professional services firm in the architecture and engineering (A-E) industry.

KUO will keep its name as part of the deal and continue to build its own legacy in Houston and beyond, according to Shaheen Chowdhury, PE, president of KUO. KUO is the eighth partner firm to join HFW in its effort to build a network of A-E legacy partners across a national footprint.

KUO, which employs 35 professionals, provides civil engineering services across Southeast Texas, with a focus on water resource management, transportation, site development, and land surveying. Chowdhury said he is looking forward to leveraging HFW’s expertise, as well as the bench depth of the growing portfolio of HFW Partner firms across the country.

“As we work to strengthen our infrastructure design position in the market, we have been looking for a growth partner, and HFW is the right partner,” said Chowdhury, who has worked for KUO for the past 31 years. “We can see a lot of synergies with HFW and the other partner firms, and we are looking forward to collaborating in ways that will strengthen us across our operations and allow us to take advantage of the growth opportunities ahead here in Houston and beyond.”

KUO joins the ranks of a growing HFW Partner firm portfolio that now includes partner firm locations in Las Vegas; Kansas City; Chicago; Des Moines and Waterloo, Iowa; Charleston, Hilton Head, and the Midlands of South Carolina; Augusta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and multiple locations in Florida.

All are part of HFW’s “House of Brands” concept, according to Michael Hein, AIA, chief executive officer of HFW. That is, a network of growth-oriented A-E firms sharing best practices, economies of scale, unique areas of expertise, and business development opportunities, while continuing to build their own legacy brands in their own regions and beyond.

“We’re excited that KUO has joined us as one of our HFW Partner firms,” said Hein, who co-founded HFW in 2020 with partners Matthew Westphal and Daniel Forguson. “Over the years, KUO has built a strong and reputable legacy as a go-to civil engineering and surveying firm all over Houston and the surrounding areas, positioning itself for even greater potential growth ahead.

“As the most populous region in Texas – and one of the top five most populous regions in the country, Houston continues to demonstrate a tremendous need for new infrastructure and a great opportunity for KUO,” Hein continued. “We’re looking forward to providing additional support to KUO ahead as it meets that growing need.”

Jon Escobar of A-E industry consulting firm Morrissey Goodale advised HFW on this transaction.

Chowdhury likewise said he is looking forward to collaborating with HFW and the other partner firms.

“We always have delivered quality work, with strong resumes, and good client relationships,” Chowdhury said. “I can’t wait, though, to see what we can do in this fast-growing region with additional resources and other strategic support from HFW and our new HFW Partners.”