BearingPoint books record revenues and aims at €1 billion by 2020

06 June 2016 Consultancy.uk

BearingPoint has seen its full-year revenue grow to €563 million, the highest level since the company’s inception seven years ago. Looking ahead, BearingPoint’s CEO, the German Peter Mockler, has unveiled ambitious growth plans – by 2020 the European-origin management and technology consultancy aims to break through the barrier of €1 billion in gross revenue.

Founded in 2009, through a management buyout of the European and Middle East operations of BearingPoint (the firm however has a long heritage within KPMG*), BearingPoint is one of the globe’s larger consulting firms.

Since the carve-out from the US operations, the consultancy has – despite Europe’s rough economic waters – marked a period of strong growth. At the time of the IPO, BearingPoint noted a fee income of around €441 million, while, data released by the firm last Thursday, shows that BearingPoint ended 2015 with a gross revenue of €563 million, generated by 3,700 employees. Net income came in at just over €11 million. The record revenues are, according to Peter Mockler, who has been at the helm of the firm since the buyout, now in his third term, the result of three main developments.

Firstly, BearingPoint managed to grow its business across its services portfolio, from financial services and retail, and across its footprint – the consultancy currently has hubs in 21 countries. Moreover, the firm has seen the demand for its proprietary software solutions take off – its Solutions business unit booked 44% growth. BearingPoint has in recent years invested heavily in this unit, which focuses on solutions that support, among others, digital transformation (e.g. Infonova R6), regulatory solutions (e.g. ABACUS and FiTAX; aimed at financial services firms) and advanced analytics (e.g. HyperCube; acquired in 2012).

Global offices of BearingPoint

In addition, the Netherlands-headquartered consultancy expanded its international footprint. In 2015, the firm won key engagements in the Middle East (BearingPoint opened offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2014), opened a third office in Romania (based in Timisoara), grew its operations in China, and built a joint Center of Excellence in Singapore with ABeam Consulting, one of its six global alliance partners**. BearingPoint furthermore acquired Magenta Advisory, a Helsinki-based management consultancy specialised in digital business development in the Nordic region. 

€1 billion strategy-to-results execution agenda
Going forward, Mockler and his ~150 strong partner team have agreed an ambitious growth strategy. By 2020 the business advisory aims at reaching the milestone of €1 billion in gross revenue, a target which requires the firm to nearly double its global fee income in the space of five years. A challenging task, acknowledges Mockler, and one which will require the firm to accelerate its growth in 2016 and beyond – the CEO however is optimistic: “I expect to see our new strategy and investments made in the past few years to accelerate our growth in 2016 and achieve our ambitious €1 billion goal.” At the heart of the strategy lies what he calls a “strategy-to-results execution agenda”, and a roadmap, which details out a range of pillars that support growth targets.

As part of the roadmap, the firm last year introduced a new company structure, centered around three pillars: Consulting, Solutions, and Ventures. “The pillars are synergetic, each works together to drive innovation, sustainable revenue, and client value.” The Ventures unit has been launched to allow the firm to groom or invest in high-potential startups, with the first results already visible in the market. In May this year Elevence Digital Finance, a Switzerland-based spin-off of BearingPoint that specialises in blockchain technologies, was acquired by US-based Digital Asset Holdings.

Organisation structure of BearingPoint

BearingPoint Ventures will, in the coming years, however in terms of growth and fee income remain a marginal contributor, with in particular the Solutions unit seen as the main driver of the growth agenda. “Global expansion and selective acquisitions will also play a role in our future growth,” reflects the CEO.

Asked for how he expects the consultancy will stand out from the crowd, in a global consulting market which is growing but at the same time heating up, Mockler says: “Combining Consulting and Solutions and being business-led will help differentiate us from traditional consulting, software and technology firms.” He adds “We will leverage our global reach and continue to empower our people. Most importantly, we will stay close to our clients and be proactive in identifying how we can best serve them.” 

* BearingPoint was formally established in 2002 when KPMG Consulting rebranded as BearingPoint.

** Alliance partners of BearingPoint are West Monroe Partners (North America), ABeam Consulting (Asia), Grupo ASSA (South America), ARETE (Turkey), Cumbria FSC (Spain) and IPOPEMA Business Consulting (Poland).

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PA Consulting results reveal record 14% revenue growth

17 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Global professional services firm PA Consulting has reported another year of strong growth, outpacing the global consulting market significantly over the duration of 2018. PA’s revenue boomed by 14%, passing £455.8 million over the course of the year.

Founded in 1943, by Englishmen Ernest Butten, Tom Kirkham and David Seymour, the firm once known as Personnel Administration has since gone on to become one of the largest consulting firms in the world. PA Consulting Group, as it is now known, has over 2,600 professionals and a global presence spanning 18 countries. While turnover took a decade to recover from a rocky spell after the global financial crisis, PA Consulting is now firmly on the upward incline.

PA has booked strong growth in recent years, following its securing of private equity investment from the Carlyle Group in 2015. While the first full year of results following that move were slightly muted, due in part to the altering of how PA measured its results, the decision has clearly paid dividends since. Revenues jumped by 6% in 2017, hitting an all-time high of £400 million in the process.

Annual consulting revenues of PA Consulting versus UK market

Now, in the latest chapter of the firm’s rapid turnaround, the innovation and transformation consultancy has revealed things only got better in 2018. A set of record results released in April have confirmed that fee income rocketed up by 14% over the course of the prior 12 months, hitting £455.8 million. Considering the UK’s consulting market saw growth slow for the second year running (just 5.6%), PA’s performance is even more pronounced, especially in its first year of full results since influential Chair Marcus Agius stood down. 

The firm is also outpacing the global consulting market. Analytics firm Statista estimates that the consulting market expanded by 4.08% in 2018. As a result of such bullish demand, PA Consulting has also bolstered its staffing, boosting its consulting team’s headcount by 10% in the space of 12 months. 

PA’s team was further strengthened with its continued acquisition campaign, which brought three new firms into the fold during 2018. Boston-based innovation company Essential Design, specialist digital service design firm We Are Friday and London-based digital insight and strategy consultancy Sparkler all became part of PA over the course of the year. PA has also announced plans to recruit 400 professionals for its new digital centre in Belfast. 

‘Not traditional’

In terms of client work, in the UK PA supported Skipping Rocks Lab to create an edible alternative to single use plastic drink packaging, and worked on a notable restructuring project at disability charity Scope. Further afield, PA helped Norwegian authorities deliver their citizen-facing digital services, while in the US and India, PA partnered with Virgin Hyperloop One to build the first new mode of transport in a century, one that hopes to revolutionise travel. It even worked with United Nations to identify the technologies most likely to contribute to the achievement of the organization's Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the year’s performance, Alan Middleton, PA Consulting CEO, said, “We’re not a traditional consulting firm and we think this is key to our ongoing success and why 98% of our clients recommend us… Our people are strategists, technologists, digital experts, consultants, designers, scientists and engineers – all of whom bring real-world experience, and apply it at pace. We offer the innovation, design, digital and transformation skills that our clients need to change, fast. There’s a sense of optimism behind our purpose. And it’s a feeling that inspires our people as well as our clients.”

The existing staff of PA also enjoyed a bumper year, as it was revealed that a refinancing manoeuver at the firm was expected to land over 1,000 employee shareholders a significant pay-out. The firm’s debt, which includes vendor loan notes put in place when Carlyle purchased the firm, is set to be refinanced in a deal worth £350 million.