A double celebration for Simon-Kucher & Partners: in the year when it celebrated its 30th anniversary, the consultancy has also managed to book the most successful performance in its history. The international consultancy, headquartered in Germany, last year grew its revenue by 21%, helping it beak through the barrier of €200 million in revenue.
It was late 2010 when Klaus Hilleke and Georg Tacke, co-CEOs of Simon-Kucher & Partners, made the headlines in the world of consulting. In a period when the world of business was gripped by the aftermath of the economic crisis, leaving organiations paralysed in terms strategic growth ambition, the co-CEOs sent out a clear, but bold – in the eyes of many an audaciously bold – statement. “We have set the goal of hitting the €200 million mark by 2015.” In particular in the light of the state of the consulting industry at the time – counterpart Roland Berger and Monitor Group were facing rough waters and LECG and dozens of other consultancies found themselves on the brink of collapse – analysts took the message with a grain of salt.
Roughly five years down the line Hilleke and Tacke look back at what they describe as a “brilliant and ground-breaking performance.” And according to analysts that shadow the consulting space, rightfully so. Last year Simon-Kucher & Partners, a consultancy with a focus on marketing and sales services, booked a revenue of €209 million, growing by 21% compared to the previous year. The result had to an extent been expected, as featured by Consultancy.uk in the summer of 2015, yet nevertheless Hilleke and Tacke say they are “thrilled” with seeing the facts on the table.
The co-CEOs trace the growth back to clients' interest in growth strategies. In almost all industries and regions, sustainable growth strategies are in high demand. “This has played right to our strengths, since growth has always been at the core of our consulting work. With our focus on boosting top line performance, we help our clients to grow their revenue and profit,” says Hilleke. From an industry point of view, the main driver was the financial services sector (up 27%), while from a regional perspective the markets in the USA, Singapore, the Middle East, the UK, Italy and Spain all played major roles delivering growth, with each market seeing an increase in fee income of over 30%.
Simon-Kucher & Partners now employs 860 employees – over 100 more than the previous year – across its footprint, which spans more than 30 offices. The majority of offices are based in Europe, with seven based in the Americas and four in Asia.
Looking ahead, Hilleke and Tacke say they are convinced that the firm is well positioned to face similar bright fortunes in the years to come. Hilleke refers to the growing trend he sees towards growth strategies – although a recent survey by PwC launched in the run up to the WEF in Davos found that CEO confidence is down slightly – and points at the significant growth potential which looms in the digital sales and marketing space. The German-origin consulting firm also plans at growing by entering new markets. “New offices in Geneva, Hamburg and San Francisco will open in the near future,” reveals Tacke, adding that in particular the upcoming San Francisco hub is sending a buzz through the firm’s ranks, with Tacke describing the location as “the center of a booming market."
In terms of hard numbers, the co-CEOs disclose the consultancy is aiming for €240 million in revenue in 2016, while the number of employees is forecasted to reach 1,000 by the end of the year. By 2020 the ambition is to near the €400 million mark.
In a world where fast paced change and rapid technological advancements have become business as usual, making strategy setting substantially more complicated than it was decades ago, such statements are typically welcomed with some reservation. Yet in the case of Simon-Kucher & Partners the firm has since 2010 been close to spot on with its forecast (which it sends out twice a year), and with project pipelines full to the brim 2016 is well on its way to be another record breaking year.
Simon-Kucher & Partners was founded in 1985 in Bonn by Hermann Simon, Eckhard Kucher and Karl-Heinz Sebastian. In 2009 Simon stepped down as CEO of the firm, he currently serves as Chairman of the firm.