Double Effect expands into North American market

06 February 2015

Double Effect, a consulting firm with four offices across the globe, has opened its first office in North America. From its new base in banking capital Charlotte the firm has set the ambition to grow its footprint in the world’s largest consulting market, with a focus on banking and insurance.

Established in 2003 in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, Double Effect is a consultancy firm that specialises purely in the financial services sector. In its early years the business advisory grew steadily, and in 2010 the firm welcomed its 50th employee. The following year the firm commenced its international expansion path, with the decision falling in the favour of Singapore, the main financial hub in the Asia Pacific region. Two years later Double Effect expanded into the German market (Frankfurt) and more recently the UK market was entered with the opening of an office in London.

Double Effect expends into North American market

In line with the strategic ambitions of the firm, Double Effect has now pushed to cross the Atlantic, moving into the United States, with an estimated market value of in excess of $40 billion the globe’s largest, and arguably most competitive, consulting market. After assessing several potential locations, the decision of the management team fell in the favour of Charlotte, North Carolina. The consultancy chose for Charlotte for its strategic importance in the US banking industry – the city is after New York City the second largest banking district in the country, with for example both Bank of America and Wells Fargo basing their East Coast operations headquartered in the city.

Another factor that played a role is the presence of Synechron, Double Effect’s parent company, in Charlotte. Following the acquisition of Double Effect by Synechron in April 2013, the firms agreed a strategy to gradually grow the synergies between the two, both in business development and project delivery. With banks and other financial services clients – similarly to its daughter firm Synechron is a pure FS player – increasingly demanding integrated management consultancy and IT services, the two firms believe their bundling of expertise hits a sweet spot in the market. On the back of a similar, successful approach applied in the UK, headed by the Dutchman Jeroen Bos, the US will now serve as the next test case. “By combining Double Effect’s business consulting expertise with Synechron’s technology capabilities, we expect to further accelerate their fast-track growth and enter a new phase of development,” explains Pablo van den Bosch, co-founder and Managing Director at Double Effect.

Double Effect - 5 locations across the globe

The Charlotte office will be led by Selwyn Halbertsma, an 8 year veteran at Double Effect. He has been tasked with setting up Double Effect’s presence in the US, tying the bonds with Synechron’s team and building the firm’s local eminence and footprint. Prior to joining Double Effect, Halbertsma worked for Accenture, and previously followed internships at Atos and Verdonck, Klooster & Associates, a local Netherlands-based firm focussed on IT strategy.


More news on


Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

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.”