Accuracy wants to become ‘the McKinsey’ of the advisory world

14 November 2013 Consultancy.uk

Ever since Accuracy's founding, a specialized advisory firm in the field of financial advisory, merges and acquisition, it has shown to grow impressively. In less than ten years of time, this company has grown from scratch to a player with 240 advisors and offices in 9 countries. It has a turnover value of more than €50 million. In a recent interview with French media, CEO Frédérique Duponchel lets it be known the advisory firm has ambitious plans for growth in the upcoming years. “It is our ambition to become the McKinsey of the M&A advisory world.”

Accuracy was founded in 2004 by a group of ex-employees of Arthur Andersen in France. As a consequence of the convergence between audit- and advisory service, the founders opined that there should be a player in the field of merges, acquisitions and transaction services. From their headquarters in Paris, the footprint of the advisory firm grew quickly. By the year 2006, Accuracy opened its first international office in Madrid. In June 2007, the founding of Accuracy in the Netherlands followed.

Accuracy Timeline

In the year 2008, Accuracy opened an office in Milan. A year later, offices followed in Brussels and Frankfurt, in 2012 London was added to this footprint. In mid-2011, offices were opened in München, Rome and Canada. By the beginning of 2012, the first establishment in Asia followed, just outside the city center of Indian capitol New Delhi.

The fast growth and internationalization of Accuracy caused, against all odds during the crisis, turnover to grow spectacularly. 40% of the turnover is accounted for by M&A works, 30% by forensics and litigation and the remainder aliquot by financial advisory assignments. An overview:

Accuracy Omzetontwikkeling

According to Frédérique Duponchel, co-founder and CEO of Accuracy, the organization primarily thanks its growth to their distinguishing business model. Their approach relies on independency; Duponchel states that this is the key criterion for making sure customers receive ''excellent delivery''. This is what distinguishes Accuracy from, for instance, the Big 4 and other multi-disciplinary advisory firms. Accuracy has its roots in one Big 4 office. Above all, a large part of Accuracy’s consultants have a background at one of the international acoountants- and advisory firms.  For instance, Accuracy's Managing Partner in the Netherlands, Leontine Koens-Betz, has worked at KPMG. Also, during the past year multiple advisors with a Big 4 background were attracted (i.e. Bas van Helden at KPMG; ex-KPMG and Gijs Siecker; ex-KPMG).

Looking ahead in time, Duponchel is downright concerning his ambitious goals. For this year he foresees a record breaking turnover of approximate €50 million. This thanks to an improving M&A market. ''There are signs of strong recovery in the market. Organizations expect more assistance in the field of financial advisor. All our signals are on green for the coming months''. In the long-term, ambition is probably more challenging: ''It is our ambition to become the McKinsey in the M&A advisory world'' says Duponchel, referring to the strategic advisory firm McKinsey & Company**. This organization has been on top of the strategic advisory market’s list for years.

Accuracy logo

Pitfall

Hopefully Accuracy does not make the same mistake as another French branche associate: Investance. After their founding in 2001, also in Paris, Investance grew exponentially  with an annual growth of at least 45% between 2001 and 2013. However, their ambitious plans have proven to be too ambitious, and under the economic crisis and rising costs, the global organization had to divide its business. By February this year, the whole international network was taken over by Sia-Partners.

* Based on multiple interviews with French Media between 2009 and 2013.

** With 17,000 employees in over 60 countries and a global turnover of approximate €5.25 trillion, McKinsey & Company is the worldwide market leader in boardroom consulting.  Next to its size, the reputation of this strategic advisory firm has been part of the strongest organizational brands in the world.

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