Expansion effort sees Brickendon open new offices in Poland and US

13 September 2017 Consultancy.uk

British consultancy Brickendon has doubled its international office footprint with the opening of two new hubs, in Warsaw, Poland and Raleigh, US. With the new locales, Brickendon aims at bolstering its on-the-ground support to existing clients, as well as expanding into what it calls “exciting growing markets”.

Brickendon, which has a pure focus on the financial services and counts many large banks and insurance firms amongst its clients, aims at achieving a target group-wide sales of £30 million by the end of year. A large share of that revenue is reaped by traditional consulting services, such as advisory and implementation support. The firm’s fastest growing segments, however, are its Solutions and Managed Services arms. Dozens of clients make use of the firm’s proprietary solutions for data management, compliance (e.g. MiFID II, GDPR), robotics process automation (RPA) or IT testing among others. Likewise, the Managed Services unit oversees all outsourced contracts, managed by Brickendon on behalf of financial institutions, spanning back-office functions and activities.

The launch of two new hubs in Warsaw, Poland, and Raleigh, US, mark the opening of Brickendon’s third and fourth offices. The management and technology consultancy was founded in 2010 in London, and made the jump across the Atlantic to US in the summer of 2016. 

Christopher Burke, Brickendon’s CEO, foresees accelerated growth in the outsourcing domain, particularly as the trend for off-shoring has started to be reversed in favour of returning core functions to head offices or to so-called near-shore locations. Burke said, “Quality challenges, recruiting adequately-skilled staff, and rising costs at off-shore locations have caused this shift,” referring to popular outsourcing destinations such as India, China or Malyasia – the three countries which are on top of A.T. Kearney’s latest annual ranking for top locations for business process outsourcing (BPO).

Brickendon opens new offices in  Warsaw, Poland and Raleigh, US

Brickendon is looking to take advantage of the re-shoring trend, he added, with Poland and the US as its chosen bases. Explaining the decision for these two locations, Burke stated, “Both Warsaw and Raleigh are exciting markets. Many of our clients already have offices in one or both regions and there are pools of highly-skilled and hard-working talent available.”

By expanding into the markets on both sides of the Atlantic, Brickendon hopes to both support existing clients with their near-shore strategies as well as to expand its footprint into new client segments. The firm has already started recruitment for both offices, and is looking at employing up to 20% of its global workforce in Poland and Raleigh within the first year, while Burke expects that staff levels will ramp up quickly as client demand grows.

Across the board, Brickendon has seen a strong first quarter, with sales up 60% on the same period a year earlier. Its growth is outperforming average in the consulting market. The US management consulting market, which is valued at $58 billion, for instance grew 7% last year, with 91% of firms reportedly expecting at least a further 5% increase in revenues by the end of 2017. Meanwhile the UK consulting industry, valued at around £10 billion, saw 9% growth in 2016.

To encourage further growth of its practices, Brickendon promoted and appointed a number of partners to its leadership ranks in 2017, in the hopes that new talent will help to drive innovation that can bring in new clients and revenue. Chris Beer was positioned to lead the firm’s Strategy practice, while Nathan Snyder and Lee Pittaway were also manouevered to the rank of partner. Harpreet Singh and Richard Cryer were in turn promoted to executive level, just beneath partnership at the London headquartered consultancy. 

Recent weeks have seen a range of UK consultancies embark on international expansion. FinTech advisory 11fs earlier expanded across the Atlantic, opening a new office in New York City. Meanwhile, consultancies Bovill and Egremont Group, both opened locations in Chicago, with its strong links to the rest of the US Financial Services sector.

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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.”