A&M strengthens European practice with duo of appointments

22 March 2018 Authored by Consultancy.uk

Global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal has bolstered its Corporate Performance Improvement practice via two senior appointments. Kate Donaldson has been hired as a Managing Director, while former Deloitte employee Erin Brookes has been promoted to Head of Retail for Europe.

As tighter regulatory requirements, in relation to audit conflicts, give rise to disruption in the professional services market and create a competitive advantage for non-audit based firms, Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) is working to bolster its operations, in anticipation of a glut of business. Following a large roster of new appointments and promotions across the firm’s international operations, A&M’s corporate performance improvement service is its latest wing to receive such a boost.

According to A&M, the senior appointments of Kate Donaldson as Managing Director and Erin Brookes as Head of Retail, Europe, illustrate the expansion of A&M’s performance improvement offering in response to the structural challenges facing multiple business sectors, from digital disruption to the rise of e-commerce, the struggle for growth and the increasing client demand for solutions that address key performance challenges and deliver sustained change at pace.

Erin Brookes and Kate Donaldson - Alvarez & Marsal

Kate Donaldson arrives at the firm from AlixPartners, a firm where she latterly held the position of Senior Director, before joining A&M this year. She was with AlixPartners from 2014, working within its Enterprise Improvement Practice, with a focus on helping businesses identify and overcome the barriers to profitable growth and improving salesforce effectiveness. Donaldson joined the firm from Blue Ridge Partners – where she similarly spent three years, becoming a Managing Director before departing for a new challenge. Having begun her career in the highly competitive consumer products industry in the US, prior to this, Donaldson held a number of senior roles at various companies, including a Partnership at Beta Business Ventures, where she spent eight years of her career. She also holds an MBA, which she obtained from the Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.

Erin Brookes has more than 17 years of experience in the retail sector advising retail businesses and their key stakeholders along with leading revenue creation opportunities for businesses targeting the sector. Brookes, who has been with A&M since 2016, specialises in retail commercial strategy and operations, consumer/shopper engagement and store performance improvement. Prior to joining A&M she worked in a variety of commercial strategy and execution roles for a leading international retail business. This included three years with Big Four professional services firm Deloitte, where she became Head of Business Development, Consumer Business before leaving in 2009. She spent the following three years with The Body Shop, where Brookes reached the role of International CRM & Loyalty Development, before leaving in 2014 to take up a Research Associate position at the University of Southampton. Before exiting the University in 2016 to take up a position with A&M, she became a Senior Enterprise Fellow for Retail Business Engagement.

Donaldson will now lead CPI’s Revenue Growth practice, focusing on driving pragmatic top line growth for A&M’s corporate and private equity clients, while Brookes will head up the firm’s  European Retail Practice, advising corporate and private equity clients on commercial strategy and operations and performance improvement opportunities. The team will continue to be led by Lawrence Hutter and Roger Bayly, Co-Heads of the CPI practice in Europe.

Hutter, who is Managing Director and Co-Head of A&M’s Corporate Performance Improvement practice in Europe, said of the appointments, “Our overall European growth rate was 25 percent last year, as clients look beyond the ‘Big Four’ and strategy firms for non-audit advisory and transformational performance improvement. We’re committed to meeting this demand and are becoming the ‘go-to’ firm for corporates facing the need to rapidly address challenging performance issues.”

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