The big got bigger in November, as meeting, event, and incentive travel management titan Maritz Travel Co. acquired what Maritz president and CEO Jeffrey Reinberg called his firm's “top quality” competitor, McGettigan Partners.

The two privately held companies have $1 billion in combined revenues, and more than 6,000 employees. Philadelphia-based McGettigan will operate as a division of St. Louis, Mo.-based Maritz, and clients will see no change in products and services, says Danamichele Brennen, senior vice president of marketing and chief technology officer at McGettigan.

“The most important thing right now is to not disrupt any of the McGettigan or Maritz relationships,” says Reinberg. “People are comfortable with who they do business with, and we don't want to disrupt that.”

Reinberg notes that the two longstanding brands — Maritz has been around 107 years and McGettigan 71 — have similar “high-touch” corporate cultures, making the acquisition work from a service and an economic standpoint.

Combined, the companies have more than 500 accounts, only seven of which overlapped at the time of the merger. Maritz, whose high-tech client roster includes Microsoft, serves Fortune 1000 clients. McGettigan specializes in serving companies in the pharmaceutical, financial, and technology industries.

McGettigan's Philadelphia, Boston, and Indianapolis offices will remain open. In the San Francisco area, Maritz will merge its existing area office into the larger offices of McGettigan MeetingsPlus in Walnut Creek. That office will be called Maritz + McGettigan; the other offices will retain the McGettigan Partners name.

Christine Duffy will remain president and COO of McGettigan Partners, and Norbert McGettigan, the company's chair emeritus, and Doreen McGettigan, vice president, will remain actively involved. Mimi McGettigan-Kehan, chair and CEO of McGettigan Partners, will transition out of the business after 27 years.

Maritz Travel operates in 53 countries; Reinberg estimates that a quarter of the company's business is outside the United States.