Double Effect, a consulting firm with four offices across the globe, has opened its first office in North America. From its new base in banking capital Charlotte the firm has set the ambition to grow its footprint in the world’s largest consulting market, with a focus on banking and insurance.
Established in 2003 in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, Double Effect is a consultancy firm that specialises purely in the financial services sector. In its early years the business advisory grew steadily, and in 2010 the firm welcomed its 50th employee. The following year the firm commenced its international expansion path, with the decision falling in the favour of Singapore, the main financial hub in the Asia Pacific region. Two years later Double Effect expanded into the German market (Frankfurt) and more recently the UK market was entered with the opening of an office in London.
In line with the strategic ambitions of the firm, Double Effect has now pushed to cross the Atlantic, moving into the United States, with an estimated market value of in excess of $40 billion the globe’s largest, and arguably most competitive, consulting market. After assessing several potential locations, the decision of the management team fell in the favour of Charlotte, North Carolina. The consultancy chose for Charlotte for its strategic importance in the US banking industry – the city is after New York City the second largest banking district in the country, with for example both Bank of America and Wells Fargo basing their East Coast operations headquartered in the city.
Another factor that played a role is the presence of Synechron, Double Effect’s parent company, in Charlotte. Following the acquisition of Double Effect by Synechron in April 2013, the firms agreed a strategy to gradually grow the synergies between the two, both in business development and project delivery. With banks and other financial services clients – similarly to its daughter firm Synechron is a pure FS player – increasingly demanding integrated management consultancy and IT services, the two firms believe their bundling of expertise hits a sweet spot in the market. On the back of a similar, successful approach applied in the UK, headed by the Dutchman Jeroen Bos, the US will now serve as the next test case. “By combining Double Effect’s business consulting expertise with Synechron’s technology capabilities, we expect to further accelerate their fast-track growth and enter a new phase of development,” explains Pablo van den Bosch, co-founder and Managing Director at Double Effect.
The Charlotte office will be led by Selwyn Halbertsma, an 8 year veteran at Double Effect. He has been tasked with setting up Double Effect’s presence in the US, tying the bonds with Synechron’s team and building the firm’s local eminence and footprint. Prior to joining Double Effect, Halbertsma worked for Accenture, and previously followed internships at Atos and Verdonck, Klooster & Associates, a local Netherlands-based firm focussed on IT strategy.