Experienced banker Brad O'Brien joins Baringa as partner in the US

10 November 2017 Consultancy.uk

Baringa Partners have appointed a new Partner for their US wing. Former Accenture consultant Brad O’Brien will be responsible for growing the firm’s IT and data consulting services for banking clients in the region.

A year ago, British consulting firm Baringa made the journey across the Atlantic to establish a permanent presence in New York. The decision to relocate to the world’s financial capital led the firm to hire a number of experienced US professionals, including former EY and JP Morgan Chase staffer Alexandra Kruse, who became a Manager at the firm, along with the relocation from the UK of James Nicholls, arriving as Partner and North American Lead, along with Senior Manager Beth Elliot.

Now, as the firm aims to accelerate the growth of its office, Baringa has appointed a new Partner in New York. The consultancy has hired Brad O’Brien to be responsible for growing Baringa’s IT and data consulting services for banking and capital markets clients in America.

Brad O'Brien - Partner at Baringa

O’Brien’s skillset includes IT architecture, large-scale programme delivery and cost take out – services that Baringa will hope to take advantage of following surges in client demand in those areas. Baringa Partners had already worked with a number of clients in the US before opening its New York office in 2016, and continues to pursue an ambitious growth strategy in the region. The firm’s focus is to support both international and domestic financial services companies by offering the full range of Baringa capabilities, with a particular focus on risk and compliance and process transformation services.

Having begun his industrial journey as a consultant at Accenture in 1995, O’Brien spent nine years of his 22-year career at UBS in various technology roles, as well as almost five years at Citigroup. Joining FinTech consultancy Hatstand in 2011, O’Brien latterly became the Global Chief Executive of the firm, and most recently guided the group through its successful acquisition by technology and management consultancy Synechron – remaining in the capacity for a further year before leaving for the new challenge at Baringa.

Baringa’s North America lead James Nicholls, also formerly of Accenture, commented, “We’re delighted Brad is joining the team at such an exciting time for the business, both in the US and globally. Since opening our New York office just over a year ago, our rapidly growing team has attracted some of the industry’s top consultants, and we are helping leading financial services firms tackle some of their biggest challenges. These range from assessing the impact of the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) market risk capital rules, to launching a new cash clearing capability, and shaping and delivering a $100 million cost saving program.”

The hiring follows the recent promotion of long-serving employee Ben Reid, who first arrived at Baringa in 2010 as a Senior Consultant. Having risen through the ranks in the firm’s London practice, Reid has now been confirmed as a Director at Baringa Partners' US office in New York City.

Another UK consulting firm that headed for the $58 billion American consulting market, Egremont, has meanwhile experienced explosive growth – illustrating why companies make the potentially risky crossing.



Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of partners

18 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Three senior level consultants have been boosted to the rank of Partner at Quantum Advisory, as the firm works to meet heightened levels of client demand. Aled Edwards, Amanda Burdge and Chris Heirene become Partners as long-time Quantum member Rob Davies retires in May after 15 years as a Partner at the firm.

Founded in 2000, Quantum Advisory provides pension and employee benefits services to employers, scheme trustees and members, with five offices across the UK. The firm has enjoyed exponential growth in recent years, following a number of major client wins and booming demand for its services. It opened a new office in Bristol in 2016 to service the South West and in 2017 relocated its Cardiff office to a larger site within the Welsh capital to house the increased workforce. More recently, Quantum relocated its Amersham, Birmingham and London offices to more spacious premises in the centre of both cities to cope with demand.

The financial services consultancy, which employs 115 people across the UK, has promoted three senior team members to Partner, as part of its wider growth plans. The firm has moved Aled Edwards from Principal Consultant & Actuary, while Amanda Burdge has ascended from Principal Investment Consultant. Chris Heirene, former IT Manager, has also joined the ten current Partners at Quantum.

Aled Edwards most recently managed the actuarial team within Quantum’s Cardiff office as well as providing technical training for all staff. He boasts more than 17 years of pensions experience. He started his career as an Actuary at Jardine Lloyd Thompson’s Bristol wing, before joining Quantum in 2011. Edwards is also the President of the Welsh Actuarial Society (WAS), which supports actuaries and actuarial students living or working in Wales.

Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of Partners

Amanda Burdge joined Quantum’s team in 2001, as one of the fledgling firm’s first employees. Most recently she was a Principal Investment Consultant with the firm, and with more than a quarter of a century’s experience in the sector, she is responsible for providing investment advice to many of Quantum’s key clients with both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Prior to her time with Quantum, Burdge spent two years as a consultant with SBJ Benefit Consultants (now Capita), and three years with Tesco Pension Trustees. She currently sits on the Regulation Committee for the Pensions Management Institute.

Chris Heirene initially worked with Quantum as an IT Consultant with Teamwork Technology Services and then UES for over five years, before finally joining the firm itself in 2011. He is now responsible for Quantum’s IT systems across all of its offices, including the network and core server infrastructure which supports the business. Heirene is heavily involved in utilising IT to improve and build upon the processes in place throughout Quantum.

David Deidun, Partner at Quantum Advisory, said of the promotions, “This is a very exciting time for Quantum. The recent round of promotions fully recognise the hard work and dedication shown by the three, all of whom go above and beyond for the company. I’ve no doubt that Aled, Amanda and Chris will settle into their new roles with ease and look forward to working together to grow Quantum even further.”

The news comes as Rob Davies retires in May, after spending fifteen years as a Partner at Quantum. A qualified actuary, Davies was instrumental in setting up Quantum’s Investment Division, specialising in aiding clients with their investment strategies. He will remain with the company on a part-time consultancy basis, while working with several clients in the Fiduciary Manager area.