Financial services specialist Projective has been nominated as a finalist for the 2015 Golden Bridge Export Awards. The winners will be unveiled on 26 November during an awards ceremony and gala dinner in London.
Now in their 19th year, the Golden Bridge Awards are presented annually to the most successful Belgian or Luxembourger business in the goods and services sector active in the UK market for at least the past three years. Awards are also presented to the Best SME and Best Newcomer. The awards are a joint initiative of the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (BLCC) and the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (COBCOE).
Among the finalists for this year’s competition is Projective, a Belgium-origin consulting and project management firm that focuses purely on clients in the financial services industry. The consultancy was founded in 2006 in Belgium and has since expanded strongly, with its current team consisting of 100+ advisors working across offices in home-based Belgium, the Netherlands (established in 2009) and the UK (launched in 2011). “The UK market was an attractive one for Projective, and setting up an office in London was a logical step in its continuing growth” reflects Projective’s CEO Stefan Dierckx on the move to enter the market four years ago.
The team of banking and insurance consultants based in Projective’s London office has since booked stellar growth, growing to over 25, making the UK “Projective’s second-biggest market,” acknowledges Dierckx. Asked for the recipe behind the success, the CEO highlights that the approach is in line with the strategy applied in Belgium and the Netherlands, although the UK differs slightly through its more extensive focus on in-depth expertise. “Belgian customers are primarily interested in a broader knowledge base, while in the UK there is more appreciation for outstanding expertise in a single, specific domain. But what sets us apart remains the same everywhere: project management, and nothing else. That was also the missing link in the UK market,” comments Dierckx.
In a previous interview with Consultancy.uk, Dierckx elaborated more on what he believes is the firm’s key edge, which he summarises as a hands-on, high adding-value approach and a unique DNA. Dierckx also points at the fact that Projective UK has successfully been able to embrace the traditional ‘after-work networking’ scene in London – an essential part of life and business in the financial district. “Every month Projective organises informal gatherings for customers, staff and potential employers, and new contacts always result,” he explains.
On the back of the strong growth, Dierckx believes Projective is well positioned to scoop the award. Yet competition is fierce, with several other fast growing names shortlisted, all striving to follow in the footsteps of previous winners such as Brussels Airlines, Farnell element14, Le Pain Quotidien, and 4C Associates. “The nomination for the Golden Bridge Award is in itself a brilliant recognition of our London team’s work,” says Dierckx.
Looking ahead, Dierckx says irrespective of the prize the outlook for Projective UK is bright. The UK consulting market, expected to reach £6.4 billion by the end of the year, is buoyant, and financial services – with a share of 30% the largest industry – is one of the main growth drivers. The industry finds itself in a state of major change, and as a result banks and insurers are increasingly turning to external consultants to support transformations, with in particular new business models, digital, risk & compliance and innovation top of the agenda. “The UK market has plenty of opportunities to offer, and Projective intends to make full use of them. With its clear-cut PR strategy, thought leadership and made-to-measure career site already in place, the London office is ready for even more far-reaching expansion,” he concludes.
Across its operations, Projective has set the target to double in size by 2017.