European management consultancy BearingPoint has continued its growth path in 2014, boosting its profit by 6.2% to the highest EBIT in its history. Revenue rose to €560 million, and looking ahead Peter Mockler, BearingPoint’s Managing Partner, says the firm is well placed to continue its momentum into 2015 and beyond.
Since the management buyout of the European and Middle East (EMEA) business in 2009, BearingPoint has been on a growth track*. In 2009 the firm realised a turnover of approximately €441 million, and despite the repercussions of the financial crisis the consultancy managed to grow its revenue to €550 million in 2013. On the back of another successful year, revenue has grown by 1.3% to €560 million – a new record – and the number of employees has passed the 3,500 mark, compared to 3,200 in 2009.
“2014 was a record year for BearingPoint and I am very pleased with what we have achieved together over the last years,” says Peter Mockler, Managing Partner of BearingPoint. Mockler has been with the firm since the early days with KPMG Consulting, remained on board after the 2002 rebranding**, and in 2009 played an instrumental role during the buyout. Mockler was rewarded by the partner team, appointed Managing Partner for a three year term, during which he guided the firm through the transformation process and led its expansion. In September 2012 the Berlin-based partner was re-elected for a second term, with his mandate running for at least another eight months.
Key growth drivers
Last year’s improved performance is, according to consultancy, mainly the result of three key factors. Firstly, the firm increased its geographical coverage, with new offices opened in Dubai en Abu Dhabi, boosting its footprint to 32 offices in 18 countries. In addition, a new strategic alliance was signed with Grupo ASSA, providing the consultancy a footprint in the growing Latin American market, an industry valued at ‘just’ $6 billion but with large growth potential. The construction is similar to the longer standing alliances with West Monroe Partners (covering the North American market) and ABeam Consulting (serving the Asia market), as well as smaller partnerships serving specific European market such as ARETE Consulting (Turkey) and Cumbria FS Consulting (Spain). In 2013 the firm opened new offices in China and Ukraine, which also serves as a hub for the CEE region.
Secondly, BearingPoint, which recently was named one of the most prestigious consulting firms in Europe, witnessed a strong growth of its Asset Based Consulting service line. The firm globally has more than 1,000 reporting units that use its suite of software products, including solutions as HyperCube (acquired in 2009; focus on big data), ABACUS (used by financial services institutions) and LogEC (provides environmental compliance). Lastly, the firm not surprisingly states it is noticing economic recovery in the Eurozone, which has boosted project pipelines and bottom-line profitability.
Looking ahead, Mockler says the partner team is “confident the firm can strengthen its position as an independent, management and technology consultancy”, highlighting further expansion both in footprint and service portfolio as key targets, however refusing to let go of details. “The opening of new offices and excellence centers will soon to be announced.” Big Data is earmarked as a key focus area – building on the launch digital factory in Paris for showcasing digital prototypes the firm plans to accelerate its investments in digitalisation. “Our world is increasingly digital. It’s a world of big changes and big data, where being able to quickly and effectively adapt can make all the difference.”
* Between 2007 and 2009 the US organisation of BearingPoint came into financial difficulties, and in 2009 large parts of the North American firm were bought by among others Deloitte and PwC. The EMEA business, which was operating profitably, decided to continue autonomously following a buyout.
** BearingPoint’s roots lie in KPMG. The firm was formally founded in 2002 when KPMG Consulting rebranded as BearingPoint, following its IPO and the desire to further differentiate itself from its former parent (KPMG). The BearingPoint brand was chosen out of about 550 options suggested by employees and outside experts, and the firm reportedly spent $20 million on the rebranding process.