A&M continues European expansion strategy with new Stockholm office

18 August 2017 Consultancy.uk

Consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal has expanded its global footprint by opening a new Nordics office in Stockholm. The new office in Sweden's capital city is led by three leading industry professionals, who all joined from Big Four firm KPMG.

In a move prompted by pan-European regulatory changes which have driven expanding markets to higher levels of demand, global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) have opened a Stockholm office. The locale is aligned with the firm’s global expansion strategy, aimed at meeting demand for independent professional services firms to help clients meet the new cross-continental regulations. This new Scandinavian venture follows several projects completed in the region, with the consulting firm using the momentum and demand created to open up on-the-ground operations in the Nordics.

A&M’s market share reportedly continue to expand, with the firm’s European practices experiencing more than 30% growth over the past two years, making the new Nordic tact an integral part of the firm’s longer term ambitions. The Stockholm office is accompanied by the news that A&M also went to great lengths to invest in heavyweight industry professionals from Big Four consultancy KPMG, primarily in order to further attract businesses in the region to the new growing Nordic wing. Recognised transaction advisory and operations professionals Christer Wiberg, Taus Wolfsberg and Christer Johansson join A&M’s Stockholm office as Managing Directors.

Alvarez & Marsal expands deeper into Nordics with Stockholm office

According to a release from A&M following the appointments, the headhunting of the experienced trio was aimed at augmenting A&M’s comprehensive offerings through reinforcing its “operational heritage, fortifying its connectivity across Europe and growing the Nordic region.”

The Nordics division has previously seen expansion as A&M also invested in regional restructuring capabilities with Norway-based Senior Director Ole Kristian Sivertsen serving as a member of the Nordic Restructuring and Turnaround team. 

Three Managing Directors to lead operation

Taus Wolfsberg was Head of KPMG’s Deal Advisory in Sweden before joining A&M, having previously served as leader of the Big Four firm’s Private Equity (PE) group there. Christer Johansson meanwhile brings more than 15 years of operational due diligence, carve-out processes and integrations expertise to A&M, having most recently led KPMG’s Nordic market operational due diligence and integrations/carve-out team. Christer Wiberg, who will also serve as Country Leader and Transaction Advisory Leader of A&M’s Nordic operations, came to A&M with extensive expertise advising clients on complex and international buy-side and sell-side due diligence projects across multiple sectors including healthcare, consumer retail and industrial manufacturing. Wiberg was most recently the leader of KPMG’s Advisory business in Sweden.

Wiberg said of the new challenge he and his colleagues had taken on, “A&M’s comprehensive offerings and freedom from audit conflicts position the firm as the go-to partner for Nordic corporates and PE firms. A&M’s operational heritage is at the foundation of maximising value through transaction advisory and is at the heart of our joining A&M. My colleagues and I look forward to working with A&M’s clients and expanding the firm’s Nordic presence.”

This is not the first time a large-scale poaching of talent has occurred in the booming Nordic consulting market which – particularly thanks to Sweden’s continued market growth to a value of €800 million – has seen consultancies determined to dip into the increasing profitability of the region. In 2016, as BDO opened 4 offices in Sweden, the firm also raided six partners and 14 professionals from rivals Grant Thornton.

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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.”