Last year European management and technology consultancy BearingPoint booked record revenues of €560 million and recorded the highest EBIT in its history. Peter Mockler, Global Managing Partner of BearingPoint, reflects on the performance and looks ahead, saying the firm is well placed to continue its momentum into 2015 and beyond.
If the 2014 business year were a PR headline – what would it be?
BearingPoint’s intense focus on client needs delivers strong 2014 business results.
What was strong about your business performance?
In 2014, we delivered our best overall business performance since the Management Buyout (MBO) in 2009. Our success was due in large part to our employees, who never lost sight of our goal to serve the client first and foremost.
What are the most important drivers of BearingPoint’s success?
We focus our organization entirely on our clients, which include many of the most important corporations, financial institutions, and government entities in the world. This means our work has a big impact, and with that comes great responsibility for our society and future generations. Our partnership is founded on stewardship: a desire to leave a better firm – and world – for future generations. Our business growth is a reflection of this principle. It is sustainable, stable, profitable, and provides value to our clients and society.
In what ways did BearingPoint reflect these principles in 2014?
Last year, we executed three firm-wide initiatives as part of our global strategy, which will leave a lasting impression on our business going forward. Those initiatives included digitalization and regulation – two topics, which can give our clients sleepless nights. We launched our Go Digital initiative, creating a Digital Factory and a Center of Excellence. And we invested heavily in our product portfolio in ways that help our clients better address regulatory requirements.
Another focus area was the expansion of our global reach. We want to be wherever our current and future clients need us. So we opened new offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Chicago, and Milan and established a new strategic alliance with Grupo ASSA in Latin America. Our One Firm philosophy also extends to our strategic alliances. In that way, our clients will receive the same quality service wherever they are in the world. And as part of our client centric mission, the core of our firm’s strategy, we continued to reinforce our cultural values in 2014 by launching the biggest firm-wide cultural program in our history. We call it the BearingPoint Spirit. This program outlines five characteristics, which differentiate us in the market place.
BearingPoint had its five-year anniversary in 2014 as an independent partner-led firm. What were your biggest challenges and successes?
Our biggest challenge was to overcome a difficult economic environment. Our MBO was completed in August 2009 just as the world economy faced a major recession. We had no outside investors and yet we finished 2009 with positive results. Many people did not believe we could do it, especially without external support. But since we did, our reputation has grown in the industry, and our clients reacted extremely positively to our excellent customer service.
What is in store for 2015 and beyond?
We will continue to move forward with our strategic roadmap and make investments in our business. During 2014, we made significant investments centered on innovation, digital management, and assetbased consulting.
Geographically, our roots are in Europe, but from the start we worked on opening offices and forming alliances to develop a global reach. We will continue with this approach to meet our client’s needs. Still, the economy is ever changing and further challenges are looming. But, we are in an excellent position to ride out stormy waters. We are not too big, and that makes us nimble. Our financial condition is sound, which is very important to our firm’s continued development and success.
What is your vision of the future?
I see a very fast changing world, full of creative disruptions. Consulting firms are finding new ways of delivering their services. The focus will remain on the consumer and there the use of big data analytics has really just begun. We live in a world where companies are confronted with huge regulatory pressures in the wake of the financial crisis, and sustainability is no longer an afterthought but a core element of doing business. In that context, we need to ask ourselves where our place is in this world. I believe it is to help our clients navigate these changes for lasting, sustainable success, and to enable and encourage new leaders, who can help build a better tomorrow.
In May the partners of BearingPoint re-elected Peter Mockler as the firm’s Global Managing Partner. The German origin advisor, who has been at the helm of the company since the buyout in 2009, enters his third term in the role.
The Interview with Mockler is sourced to the latest Annual Report of BearingPoint.