Simon-Kucher & Partners has enjoyed another record year in 2016 – the firm’s revenues have soared to €241 million. On the back of its growth, the global strategy and marketing consultancy has for the first time seen its staff numbers surpass the 1,000 mark. Looking ahead, the business advisor has set ambitious targets: “we are aiming at 2,000 employees by 2023”, says CEO Georg Tacke.
Over the past decade, Simon-Kucher & Partners has consistently grown (way) ahead of the average in the consulting industry. In 2005, the German-origin consultancy specialised in (digital) strategy, marketing and sales, had global revenues of €53 million, generated by a team of approximately 250 employees. At the start of 2011, Simon-Kucher employed approximately 500 employees, while today, a good six years later, the consulting firm has doubled the figure to over 1,000 consultants (‘fee-earners’) and staff. Global revenues – Simon-Kucher has 33 offices worldwide – reached over €240 million last year, up 16% on the year previous.
“Since its foundation, Simon-Kucher has grown on average by approximately 15% to 20% annually – much stronger than the global consulting market worldwide”, remarks Georg Tacke, who leads the firm with co-CEO Klaus Hilleke. They have been at the helm of the consultancy since 2009, when they succeeded Hermann Simon, who co-founded Simon-Kucher in 1985* and served as CEO until migrating to the role of the company’s Honorary Chairman.
Simon-Kucher has booked growth across its service portfolio, explains Tacke. “Right now, in times of digitalisation, our consulting topics such as growth strategies, pricing, sales and marketing, are in demand like never before. Many companies are wondering how they will continue to make money and grow sustainably in the digital future. This is exactly where we can help.”
Focus on commercial strategies
Contrary to the generalists in the advisory space, which focus on the technical aspects of digital, Simon-Kucher sets itself apart in the market through its focus on commercial strategies and revenue models. According to the ‘Global Pricing Study 2016’, an inaugural study of the firm, approximately 60% of all companies need to significantly adjust their revenue models if they want to remain successful. “That’s where we enter the game. This is our absolute core expertise”, says Tacke. “We help companies to revise and redevelop their revenue models so that the customers aren’t the only ones who substantially profit from the enormous advantages of digitalisation, but also the companies. We make companies future-proof.”
In terms of geographic development, Simon-Kucher’s US business was the star performer, growing turnover by almost 30%. Industries that in particular performed well were the consumer goods, life sciences, banking and construction sectors. The entire growth was realised by organic growth at existing offices – Europe accounts for the majority of revenues – and the opening of new offices: a second office in Silicon Valley, Hamburg, Geneva and Stockholm.
The next 1,000 employees
Looking ahead, Tacke highlights that the firm’s management team have set ambitious targets for the years to come. “For the first 1,000 employees, it took us 32 years. We are planning for another 1,000 within the next five to six years. That’s 2,000 employees by 2023.” The FTE addition target for 2017 has been set at 200 employees – recruitment is already underway. The revenue goal for this year has been pegged at €275 million, with new offices planned in among others Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Earlier this year Simon-Kucher added sixteen new partners to its leadership ranks, of which eleven are based in Europe.
* Simon-Kucher & Partners was founded in Bonn by Hermann Simon, Eckhard Kucher and Karl-Heinz Sebastian.