European consulting firm BearingPoint has signed a strategic alliance with Grupo ASSA, an advisory counterpart in Latin America. As part of the deal, they will share their infrastructure and resources, enabling the partners to better meet the international needs of their clients in the respective regions.
BearingPoint is a management and technology consultancy based in Europe and since recently also in the Middle East*. Since its management buyout in 2009 the consultancy – which has its roots in KPMG Consulting** – has grown strongly, to roughly 3,350 employees across 32 offices in 20 countries. To meet the increasing global needs of its customers, the firm has over the past years followed an ‘alliance’ strategy to cover large markets outside Europe. In North America BearingPoint works with West Monroe Partners, Asia is covered through a partnership with Abeam Consulting and last year an alliance was struck with ARETE Consulting, a Turkish based-firm with a presence in the Middle East.
In Latin America BearingPoint to date had relatively little coverage and lacked an on-the-ground presence. The firm therefore, over the past months, actively pursued a search for suitable partners, with Grupo ASSA the result.
Founded in 1992, Grupo ASSA has grown into one of the leading consulting firms in Latin America, with more than 1,400 employees across the continent. “Expanding our global reach to serve clients around the world is one of the key elements of our firm’s strategy”, explains Peter Mockler, Managing Partner at BearingPoint. “Latin America is a strategically important market for us and Grupo ASSA is the ideal partner in this region as our services and client bases complement each other in the best possible way. Grupo ASSA has a splendid success record of serving clients in relevant industry sectors, as well as substantial international experience in working with European companies. Our international clients who are, or want to become, active in the Latin American region will most certainly benefit from this alliance.”
The alliance implies that BearingPoint and Grupo ASSA will continue to focus on their local markets, but whenever required (e.g. BearingPoint multinational client in UK requesting project support in Argentinian business unit) they will collaborate on projects. The partnership not only focuses on delivery – it spans the entire consulting value chain, from pre-sales to joint marketing efforts and sharing best practices. According to Claudio Della Penna, Chief Services Officer at Grupo ASSA, the combination will provide both firms the possibility to boost their service delivery to customers. “The alliance provides enhanced services to our international clients. They now have access to top consultants and resources all around the world and can get support from global centers of excellence in practically all industries. Our respective clients will experience the power of a like-minded global network while keeping the advantages of having one point of contact and the personal attention of a client partner.”
* In May BearingPoint opened offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
** In 1997 KPMG Consulting became a separate business unit of KPMG and three years later it formally demerged from its accounting and audit counterpart. Following an IPO in 2001 the firm was rebranded to BearingPoint (it was legally obliged to drop ‘KPMG’ from its name). At that time, it was with approximately 17,000 employees and operations in more than 60 countries one of the world’s largest providers of management and technology consulting services. After a few poor years, BearingPoint was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2009, driven mainly by bad financial performance in North America. Several global units were poached by competitors (e.g. Deloitte and PwC). However, the European practice – which was performing strongly – continued operations as BearingPoint following a management buyout.