Former Wavestone CEO launches new consultancy: Cupertino Partners

12 January 2018 3 min. read
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The ex-Chief Executive of management consultancy Wavestone’s UK wing has launched a new consultancy. Harry McDermott will now head Cupertino Partners, a group aimed at helping ambitious SMEs and start-ups to realise their potential.

In 2006 Harry McDermott founded niche, London-based consulting firm Hudson & Yorke, where he served as CEO. In 2015 he sold the business to Paris-based Solucom – which later rebranded as 'Wavestone'. McDermott was retained as UK CEO and a member of the Group Executive Committee until 2017, and as part of the firm’s 2017 expansion drive, he oversaw ambitious targets set for Wavestone’s UK business, looking to add 100 new consultants to the total staff. Commenting at the time, he stated, “To meet a growing demand, we are seeking to expand our UK consulting team, with the aim of hiring an additional 100 consultants in the next 2-3 years.”

McDermott remained with Wavestone UK until the completion of Hudson & Yorke’s post-merger integration into the group, last year, at which point he exited the business to pursue new interests and opportunities. Over the course of his career, McDermott has helped clients to structure and negotiate some of the largest and most complex global technology deals in sectors such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, FMCG, energy and utilities. He is also an accredited STEM Ambassador to enthuse schoolchildren about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Now, the successful entrepreneur is looking to leverage his more than 30 years of experience in technology and related professional services to launch a new consulting venture. 

Harry McDermottCupertino Partners is an independent network of senior experienced professionals. The new company states that it aims to enable small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups to be successful. The group will aid clients with the navigation of their entrepreneurial journeys, drawing heavily on Harry McDermott’s own experiences as a business-founder.

In the inaugural blog released on Cupertino’s website, McDermott stated, “I am delighted to launch Cupertino Partners, an independent advisory firm aimed at early stage technology and professional services firms. Having personally navigated the entirety of the entrepreneurial journey from start-up to successful exit, I can relate to the many challenges facing young ambitious businesses. I remember clearly the adrenalin of the early years of my own niche venture, a period fuelled by vision, passion, commitment and creativity. I want to tap into this again and to help founder/CEOs to be successful.”

Start-ups have seen a major boost in business prospects in recent years, thanks to a dramatic and sustained period of development in digital technology. Now, new challengers can compete with long-term market incumbents by wielding innovative business practices and digital operations structures – to the extent CEOs of many traditional companies are seeking to emulate them. Indeed, while investors were initially hesitant to back new technology, for fear of what disruption its development might cause to the market, 74% of British organisations alone now say that they are investing in innovation themselves rather than waiting to be disrupted by competitors. As start-ups bid to maintain their competitive edge on these large firms, the consulting industry could provide important strategic advice on how to best utilise the increased agility of an SME or a new company.