OC&C Strategy Consultants moves into new office in Rotterdam

16 June 2016 Consultancy.uk

The Dutch arm of OC&C Strategy Consultants has recently moved into its new office in Rotterdam near the Maas, taking over the former office building of the Dutch Central Bank. The interior of the new office is designed by Fokkema & Partners architects and combines the rawness of the port of Rotterdam with a fine finish that calls forth tranquillity.

With more than 500 consultants in Europe, Asia, and North and South America, OC&C Strategy Consultants is one of the larger strategic advisory firms in the world. OC&C is specialised in private equity, FMCG, retail, transportation and logistics, and has successfully positioned itself among the larger strategy players like McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company.

In recent years, the Dutch office of OC&C was located at Weena 157, in Rotterdam. The firm announced last year that it would move its Dutch operations to a "beautiful office building" encompassing some 2,000 m2, at Boompjes 250, Rotterdam, located next to the Maas river in the former office building of the Dutch Central Bank ('De Nederlandsche Bank'). Dirk Rens, partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants, said last year: "After twenty years at Weena it was time for a new office space. Boompjes offers a beautiful 'industrial Rotterdam' look and therefore fits well with culture at OC&C Strategy Consultants."

OC&C Strategy Consultants office in Rotterdam

For the design of the interior the strategy consultancy hired in Fokkema & Partners Architects. Originally the strategy consulting firm proposed a traditional office layout, with large closed areas. OC&C and Fokkema & Partners analysed the merits of various interior designs, and, after careful analysis, a combination of closed and open workspaces was decided on.

The design and layout uses, on the one side, the raw feel of recycled materials, which reflect the raw atmosphere of the port of Rotterdam. Examples include used concrete columns and steel beams from bridges, which are incorporated into the interior, but also the table tops, which are made of wood which was previously used for coal shipments. On the other side, the architects opted for a fine finish of these raw elements. It was also decided that the simple lines and specific interior details that refer to the history of the former DNB office building, which dates back to the '50s, would stay in place.

The workplaces for OC&C’s consultants run alongside the façade. In addition, employees have easy access to conference rooms, which are housed in the middle of the office space. On the office’s top floor there are two terraces and a bar. Looking at the spatial aspects of the office, Fokkema & Partners choose for continuous, long sightlines accompanied by strategically placed elements. The design brings with it, according to the architects, a certain peace of mind: "The design is intended to keep the symmetry intact and add any elements that disturb them. Thanks to the visual tranquillity is a special element is the spiral staircase through additional advantage.”

Finally, with respect to the colour scheme of the new office interior, it was chosen on the basis of a tone-on-tone palette of colour. Fokkema & Partners: "For added contrast there are black elements and lines, as seen in the ceilings, windows and cabinets. The elements are positioned so that all the elements are visible regardless of the point on the interior. Thanks to the 'neutral' colour scheme the art collection also stands out."

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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”