The fastest growing consulting firms and companies of Europe

22 May 2018 Consultancy.uk

Europe's thirty fastest growing consulting firms have achieved an average compound annual growth rate of 78% across a three-year period. France has the largest number of fastest growing consultancies on the continent, followed by the UK, which has six firms among the top thirty.

Last week, Consultancy.uk analysed data from the Financial Times and Statista regarding the 1,000 most rapidly growing companies across Europe. While companies from 31 different countries made the list, the top 50 was still dominated by companies based in the UK. Over a fifth of the top 50 performers were located in Britain, and while in the top 1,000 overall, Germany and France still hosted more of such rapidly growing companies, the UK’s contingent also saw a much higher collective revenue of €6.9 billion, and a higher average revenue per firm.

Examining the data of the top 30 rapidly growing consulting companies in Europe, a similar trend emerges. The UK is once more in the top three performing nation, between France’s 10 firms and Germany’s five, and the six British consultancies on the list are generally larger than their foreign counterparts, meaning they across the board have added more revenue and headcount to their footprint.

Europe’s fastest growing consulting firms by country

Of the firms featured in the ranking, UK firms saw their FTE (the hours a single employee works on a full-time basis) increase the most by far – averaging an extra 105. Despite this, fast growing British firms saw their CAGR average match the growth of German firms, at 76%, and trail French consultancies, which saw the highest CAGR of any nation on this list at 91%.

Other countries which are home to Europe's consulting elite in terms of growth are Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. An overview of the top 30 fastest growing consulting firms in Europe:

everBe | France

everBe is a management consulting and cloud service company focussing on Finance, HR&Payroll, Analytics powered by Workday Cloud solutions. The company specialises in in strategy, deployment and support services of Workday Solutions (Cloud solutions for Finance, HR - HCM, Payroll, Time, Recruiting, Planning and Analytics) in France and Europe.

Headquartered: Paris, France. Founded: 2002

The Retail Performance Company | Germany

The Retail Performance Company (rpc) is a retail-focused service provider, working with clients across all industries to manage customer-centric transformation and ongoing operations. The company’s multifaceted portfolio includes consulting, coaching, training and HR services, retail design and data analytics.

Headquartered: München, Germany. Founded: 2013

Seistag Innovación | Spain

Seistag is a consultancy which works with small and medium-size companies to help them apply techniques mainly leveraged by large organisations. The operational advisory firm promotes innovation and internationalization, as well as new technologies, automatisation, product development, new materials, and biofuels.

Headquartered: A Coruña, Spain. Founded: 2013

Anthesis Group | UK

Formed in March 2013, Anthesis Consulting Group was founded on the belief that commercial success and sustainability go hand in hand. With over 250 people globally, achieved through organic and inorganic growth (including Best Foot Forward), the global sustainability services and solutions provider has grown rapidly by offering clients strength and depth in data analytics and technological expertise.

Headquartered: London, UK. Year founded: 2013

Theano Advisors | France

Last year, Theano Advisors was found to be the fastest growing management consulting firm in the EU. The firm works with CEOs and executive teams to prepare strategies for companies in an increasingly disruptive digital market.

Headquartered: Paris, France. Founded: 2012

Red Badger | UK

Red Badger is a digital transformation and technology consultancy focused on clients in the retail, media and financial services sectors, including several of the UK's larger retail banks.

Headquartered: London, UK. Founded: 2010

The fastest growing consulting firms of Europe

Atlante | France

Atlante assists economic and institutional players in managing transformations and improving performance. The consultancy advises decision-makers and their teams from the planning of projects to their realisation.

Headquartered: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Founded: 2011

Davricourt | France

Davricourt currently has more than 300 employees and five agencies in Paris, Lyon, Tours, Lille and Belfort. Practicing a "made-to-measure" policy, Davricourt specialises in engineering consulting and technical assistance.

Headquartered: Levallois-Perret, Île-de-France. Founded: 2011

Join Business MC | Italy

Join Business MC supports clients from different sectors in the generation of sustainable value by identifying new business opportunities and solutions to face critical challenges, helping clients to transform their operational models.

Headquartered: Siena, Italy. Founded: 2013

Expera Conseils | France

Expera is a management consultancy providing clients with end-to-end services from the creation of a project through its development and administrative, accounting, social and legal follow-up, support companies towards success.

Headquartered: Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume. Founded: 2009

Fekra Consulting | UK

Fekra’s team of management consultants has been providing advisory and consultancy services on leasing, lending, loans, consumer credit, accounting, and regulatory reporting to clients for ten years.

Headquartered: London, UK. Founded: 2008

Experium Nax Group | France

Experium Nax Group is a consulting company of more than 40 people specialising in consulting and integration of Oracle ERP solutions, JD Edwards and ERP SAGE X3 as well as providing organisation and performance advice to clients.

Headquartered: Paris, France. Founded: 2012.

TEAMWILLE | Germany

TEAMWILLE is a project management consultancy founded by Johannes Wille in 2004. The firm’s focus is project management consulting and training, whether classic, agile or hybrid in the program, portfolio or project environment.

Headquartered: München, Germany. Founded: 2004

Delta Capita | UK

Delta Capita is an international business and technology consulting and managed services provider, specialising in the Financial Services sector.

Headquartered: London, UK. Founded: 2010

Boycor | Spain

Boycor is a professional services firm made up of professionals with more than 10 years of experience in the IT sector, both in the recruiting area and in team management.

Headquartered: Cambre, A Coruña, Spain. Founded: 2011.

Buyingpeers | France

BuyingPeers is a consulting and training firm, specialising in three areas of expertise: organisation and performance consulting, operational council, and recruitment training and business coaching.

Headquartered: Paris, France. Founded: 2012

Kronos Group | Belgium

Experiencing a continuous expansion ever since its launch, business transformation consultancy Kronos Group can now rely on 100+ skilled consultants, mainly working for top tier companies on high added value projects in procurement and finance.

Headquartered: Brussels, Belgium. Founded: 2011

The 16-30 fastest growing consulting firms of Europe

Regulatory Finance Solutions | UK

Regulatory Finance Solutions is a compliance consultancy focused on the financial risk and regulatory sectors. The firm works to enable regulated companies solve complex resource, planning and regulatory challenges in their businesses.

Headquartered: Swindon, UK. Founded: 2005

Considerati | Netherlands

Professional services firm Considerati helps technology and data-driven organisations further their objectives by ensuring that clients comply with applicable legislation, providing legal advice in the field of privacy, data protection and cyber security.

Headquartered: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Founded: 2007

CARMAO | Germany

CARMAO is an IT security consulting firm for exigent requirements, conceiving solutions for customers to attain a permanent high added value. Its clients are chiefly DAX listed companies, but also include other enterprises, leading in their respective markets.
Headquartered: Limburg, Germany. Founded: 2003

BeRepublic Networks | Spain

BeRepublic is a network of consultants specialised in e-business and digital marketing, advising on defining and executing clients’ digital business model.

Headquartered: Barcelona, Spain. Founded: 2006

HRpepper | Germany

HRpepper is a consultancy which works with top management, senior leaders and HR managers on projects geared to lastingly increase the performance of organisations.

Headquartered: Berlin, Germany. Founded: 2012

Mind the Value | Italy

Mind the Value offers decision making, management and business & system integration consulting services, to clients, leading companies towards a strategic growth, supported by operational processes optimisation and strong technical competences.

Headquartered: Milan, Italy. Founded: 2011

BaseTIS | Spain

BaseTIS is an IT services consultancy which aims to provide a quality service to clients through industrial knowledge and understanding, sectorial experience, and multidisciplinary technical expertise.

Headquartered: Barcelona, Spain. Founded: 2009

ÁlamoConsulting | Spain

A consulting company specialising in IT, strategy and management consulting, founded in 2007 by a group of professionals with proven experience in the sector with the simple aim of making good projects, meet deadlines and meet customers’ needs.

Headquartered: Madrid, Spain. Founded: 2007

MA Provider | Italy

MA Provider is a consultancy specialising in market access, public affairs, health economics, and marketing/communication services for its clients.

Headquartered: Milan, Italy. Founded: 2010

Consultake | France

Consultake focuses on strategy and management, organizations and technologies consulting work with large companies and high growth SMEs. The firm supports clients in their strategic and technological thinking as well as in the operational implementation of transformation plans.

Headquartered: Levallois-Perret, France. Founded: 2006

L&B solutions | Germany

The objective of L&B Solutions is to offer a sustainable solution which helps clients master future challenges. To this end, the firm’s portfolio of services is structured around three core areas: leadership, project management, and transformation.

Headquartered: Starnberg, Germany. Founded: 2010

Efficio | UK

Management consultancy Efficio’s experts work with clients to identify, deliver and sustain improvement opportunities in procurement. At the same time, the firm works to transform the capabilities of clients in order to sustain these improvements for the long term.

Headquartered: London, UK. Founded: 2000

Harwell Management | France

Harwell Management has 170 employees at its Paris, Brussels, Geneva and London offices. The firm’s extensive knowledge of the banking sector and operations mean it has been able to support international clients in their transformation strategy.

Headquartered: Paris, France. Founded: 2009

Principle | UK

Principle is a global brand implementation specialist, something which the firm asserts makes it unique in the world wide consulting market. The consultancy works with brand owners and their partners to solve the unique challenges of managing and implementing consistent brand environments anywhere around the globe.

Headquartered: Huddersfield, UK. Founded: 1987

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Accenture's push into the creative sector is an identity crisis

18 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

In its latest push into the creative sector, Accenture Interactive acquired New York and London-based ad agency Droga5 earlier this month, adding illustrious clients such as HBO, Amazon and The New York Times to its roster of clients. With the latest in a long line of similar purchases, Accenture Interactive further demonstrated its ambition of becoming the globe’s leading trusted advisor to chief marketing officers. Yet according to Ben Langdon, Chairman of Class35, Accenture’s strategy may be heading in the wrong direction.

A press release on Accenture’s website announcing the acquisition sits next to a quote stating that “brands aren’t built through advertising” – a huge contradiction from a consultancy firm hell-bent on becoming the ‘CMO agency of choice’. It’s not alone of course. The entire consulting industry wants a piece of the creative pie right now. In addition to Accenture Interactive, recent acquisitions by PwC Digital, IBM iX, and Deloitte Digital meant that in 2017, for the first time ever, four of the world’s ten largest creative agencies were consultancies.

So just what it is that Accenture wants to achieve from this? For one thing, it’s clearly trying to be a digital transformation business. A one-stop creative shop rivalling more traditional models, it wants to lure CMOs in with the promise of lower ad spend and a “more impactful customer experience”. At the same time, though, it’s still in thrall to those same slinky, shiny branding and advertising agencies it’s attempting to disrupt. The Droga5 acquisition and that of Karmarama a few years before are both testament to this.

There’s a fundamental problem with this, though. Digital transformation businesses don’t sell to CMOs. These people have enough on their plates trying to transform their own marketing skills in order to keep up with an ever-changing market – they just don’t have the time or the energy to concern themselves with digitally transforming a whole business. If Accenture’s purpose is digital transformation, then going after creative agencies is barking up the wrong tree.Is Accenture's push into the creative sector an identity crisis?

Worlds apart

Perhaps more importantly, these two industries are worlds apart in terms of the way they think. Creative agencies are all about ideas, campaigns and consumers. Digital businesses, on the other hand, are customer-driven – they think in terms such as lifetime value, measurement, and efficiency. Customer-led thinking is an entirely different beast to consumer-led thinking.

The reality is that the arrival of digital and an all-encompassing obsession with technology, measurement and social has led to the death of agencies in a reductive, zero-sum, efficiency-focused battle with brands. Indeed, agencies have become so obsessed with the latest tech fads, they’re beginning to forget how brands work. Worse still, they’re beginning to forget how brands are built. And, by forgetting, they’re destroying their own values.

Killing creativity

All things considered, it really feels to me as though Accenture is a chip leader in a game it doesn’t understand. Expensive acquisitions like these show that they’ve got the big money, but they don’t appear to have any idea what they’re doing with it. Take talent, for example. The best talent in the creative industry right now is out in the market; it’s not tied to any one agency. Both agencies might well be at the top of their game, but why would a consulting firm waste so much money on buying them when they could hire high-quality creative talent on a contingent basis instead?

As their presence in the top 10 creative agencies shows, there is a growing trend in which Accenture, like many of the other big players, are buying up agencies as if they were nothing more than keywords. What they’re really buying, though, is a collection of credentials, clients and IP. Unfortunately, the talent that created those credentials aren’t going to stay at the business, the clients that hired the agency in the first place won’t be interested in buying what is basically just another part of Accenture, and the IP never really existed to begin with.

Droga5, for example, was one of the few agencies that did great brand work the old-fashioned way – undoubtedly something that made it attractive to Accenture in the first place. The irony, though, is that by leading it further away from the way of working that made it so special, the consulting giant will kill its creativity.

“Accenture Interactive has been dazzled by its ambitions to become the CMO agency of record…. But, in flashing its cash, it is spending millions on acquiring nothing of any value.”

If pressed, the recently acquired agency staff at Accenture will tell you just how dysfunctional the new arrangement is. They’re largely unfulfilled. Rarely do they feel their work has any sort of meaning or purpose. What’s more, the different disciplines have found little or no common ground, and find it hard to work together as a cohesive whole. It’s not surprising, then, to see talented people leaving in droves.

Beyond the window dressing 

It’s clear, then, that consulting firms and creative agencies are no easy bedfellows. But in his company’s defence, Accenture Interactive’s Senior Managing Director for North America, Glen Hartman, described its culture as being “far, far away from what a stereotypical consulting firm would look like. Our office and studios look a lot like Droga5’s.”

In demonstrating a belief that office design equates to workplace culture, this statement serves as an illustration of how confused Accenture is right now. It wants to justify its new strategy so badly, it’s started dressing like a creative agency. But if you look beyond the window dressing and see that you and your partners are speaking a different language with a different purpose, selling to different people in a different market, there’s no getting away from the fact that you’re different.

Accenture Interactive has been dazzled by its ambitions to become the CMO agency of record, and it wants to dazzle others with its new direction. But, in flashing its cash, it is spending millions on acquiring nothing of any value.

Related: Space between consulting firms and creative agencies is converging.