BearingPoint has seen its full-year revenue grow to €563 million, the highest level since the company’s inception seven years ago. Looking ahead, BearingPoint’s CEO, the German Peter Mockler, has unveiled ambitious growth plans – by 2020 the European-origin management and technology consultancy aims to break through the barrier of €1 billion in gross revenue.
Founded in 2009, through a management buyout of the European and Middle East operations of BearingPoint (the firm however has a long heritage within KPMG*), BearingPoint is one of the globe’s larger consulting firms.
Since the carve-out from the US operations, the consultancy has – despite Europe’s rough economic waters – marked a period of strong growth. At the time of the IPO, BearingPoint noted a fee income of around €441 million, while, data released by the firm last Thursday, shows that BearingPoint ended 2015 with a gross revenue of €563 million, generated by 3,700 employees. Net income came in at just over €11 million. The record revenues are, according to Peter Mockler, who has been at the helm of the firm since the buyout, now in his third term, the result of three main developments.
Firstly, BearingPoint managed to grow its business across its services portfolio, from financial services and retail, and across its footprint – the consultancy currently has hubs in 21 countries. Moreover, the firm has seen the demand for its proprietary software solutions take off – its Solutions business unit booked 44% growth. BearingPoint has in recent years invested heavily in this unit, which focuses on solutions that support, among others, digital transformation (e.g. Infonova R6), regulatory solutions (e.g. ABACUS and FiTAX; aimed at financial services firms) and advanced analytics (e.g. HyperCube; acquired in 2012).
In addition, the Netherlands-headquartered consultancy expanded its international footprint. In 2015, the firm won key engagements in the Middle East (BearingPoint opened offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2014), opened a third office in Romania (based in Timisoara), grew its operations in China, and built a joint Center of Excellence in Singapore with ABeam Consulting, one of its six global alliance partners**. BearingPoint furthermore acquired Magenta Advisory, a Helsinki-based management consultancy specialised in digital business development in the Nordic region.
€1 billion strategy-to-results execution agenda
Going forward, Mockler and his ~150 strong partner team have agreed an ambitious growth strategy. By 2020 the business advisory aims at reaching the milestone of €1 billion in gross revenue, a target which requires the firm to nearly double its global fee income in the space of five years. A challenging task, acknowledges Mockler, and one which will require the firm to accelerate its growth in 2016 and beyond – the CEO however is optimistic: “I expect to see our new strategy and investments made in the past few years to accelerate our growth in 2016 and achieve our ambitious €1 billion goal.” At the heart of the strategy lies what he calls a “strategy-to-results execution agenda”, and a roadmap, which details out a range of pillars that support growth targets.
As part of the roadmap, the firm last year introduced a new company structure, centered around three pillars: Consulting, Solutions, and Ventures. “The pillars are synergetic, each works together to drive innovation, sustainable revenue, and client value.” The Ventures unit has been launched to allow the firm to groom or invest in high-potential startups, with the first results already visible in the market. In May this year Elevence Digital Finance, a Switzerland-based spin-off of BearingPoint that specialises in blockchain technologies, was acquired by US-based Digital Asset Holdings.
BearingPoint Ventures will, in the coming years, however in terms of growth and fee income remain a marginal contributor, with in particular the Solutions unit seen as the main driver of the growth agenda. “Global expansion and selective acquisitions will also play a role in our future growth,” reflects the CEO.
Asked for how he expects the consultancy will stand out from the crowd, in a global consulting market which is growing but at the same time heating up, Mockler says: “Combining Consulting and Solutions and being business-led will help differentiate us from traditional consulting, software and technology firms.” He adds “We will leverage our global reach and continue to empower our people. Most importantly, we will stay close to our clients and be proactive in identifying how we can best serve them.”
* BearingPoint was formally established in 2002 when KPMG Consulting rebranded as BearingPoint.
** Alliance partners of BearingPoint are West Monroe Partners (North America), ABeam Consulting (Asia), Grupo ASSA (South America), ARETE (Turkey), Cumbria FSC (Spain) and IPOPEMA Business Consulting (Poland).