BearingPoint's CEO Peter Mockler reflects on the firm’s bumper 2017 year

07 June 2018 Consultancy.uk

Management and technology consulting firm BearingPoint reported record revenues of over €710 million for its last financial year, growth which also came with improved profitability. Peter Mockler, BearingPoint’s Managing Partner, talked in the firm's Annual Report about BearingPoint's performance, ambitions for the future and the leadership transition to the newly appointed boss, Kiumars Hamidian.

How was business for BearingPoint in 2017?

BearingPoint had another great year with all important KPIs hitting double digits: We saw a 13% increase in revenues in comparison to the previous year, reaching the record result of €712 million in 2017. Bookings even grew 14% on last year, showing strong momentum in business development. Regarding utilisation rate, the firm ran at capacity, and we increased our workforce by 11% compared to last year to allow for further growth. Despite significant investments in people and the creation of new IP-based assets, growth was highly profitable with an EBIT increase of 18% year over year. As a result, we are in good shape to reach our goal of €1 billion in revenues by 2020.

What were the drivers of success?

We certainly had a good market environment in 2017, but BearingPoint’s performance was particularly strong. The firm grew much stronger than the 7% growth forecasted by research company Gartner for consulting worldwide in 2017. It was the continued execution of the firm’s long-term strategy to combine business consulting and technology solutions that again paid off in 2017. We saw growth across all regions, industry segments, and service lines.Revenue of BearingPointThe firm also continued to invest in innovation ecosystems that bring technologies, ideas, and financing together to create rapid solutions for changing market environments through a steady flow of new IP assets. Against this background we acquired the supply-chain specialist LCP Consulting in the UK, integrated an automotive consulting team in Italy, and invested in the Norwegian InsurTech start-up Tribe. With our “Be an Innovator” process, we generated more than 100 ideas for new services. Innovation labs were used to develop and validate innovative services with clients. BearingPoint created ten new Accelerators, our technology packages with rapid market impact, which led to €56 million in new bookings in 2017. 

Our workforce grew double-digit, and there is a good reason for our success in attracting talent. We understand that it’s all about the ecosystem of work: the company culture, the way you experience leadership, the quality of the projects you are working on, and the environment you are working in. We are trying to improve the experience our people have when working at BearingPoint by viewing them as what they are: our internal clients. In addition to our extensive training offerings, we are matching our people’s lifestyles with the projects they are working on whenever business permits, and we are pushing diversity as a great way to refresh our perspectives.

All these drivers are interlinked in our ecosystem of success, which is ultimately rooted in our unique combination of business consulting, technology, and IP- based assets.

Do you have any personal highlights? 

2017 as a whole was a highlight year, and I’m proud of what we achieved as a team. However, there are two aspects I’d like to mention because they are particularly close to the entrepreneurial mind-set that drives our firm.

We further developed the infrastructure of our Solutions unit to better match its focus on software products. It now also includes P&L responsibility, creating more room for entrepreneurial initiatives in this unit.

We also admitted 19 new Partners into the firm’s partnership, 16 of which were promoted internally and three that joined from the market. Admitting new Partners to BearingPoint is great news for our clients and for us: it’s great for our clients because the Partners are at the heart of our independent partnership. They make sure that we keep our client focus as our first priority at all times. It’s also good news for us because stewardship is a core principle of our partnership: we are determined to develop our people and our capabilities in order to build a stronger, healthier, and wiser organization for the benefit of future generations of employees. I’m also happy to report that four of our newly appointed Partners were women, which was an important step toward our target of 20% of Partners being female by 2020. 
Number of employees at BearingPoint

BearingPoint is a management and technology consultancy with European roots and global reach. Which clients can benefit the most from this setup?

We are at our best when enabling European leaders to become global leaders because Europe is our core territory. However, with our offices outside Europe and our global consulting network, we are in a good position to serve our clients wherever they need us. Regardless of their location, our clients will always benefit from our combination of business consulting, technology, and IP-based assets. It enables us to advise them on new business models, but to also put the strategy into action and validate it for the rapid impact our clients need.

Our readers can’t help but notice that BearingPoint launched a new design and brand profile in 2017. Why is that?

Like most companies, we aim to evolve our brand and design profile continuously. We had not made any major updates to it since 2013. Our firm has developed a lot since then, and so we decided in 2017 that the time was right. Our brand should emphasise our creativity and our innovative and collaborative agency-like approach. And it should also represent the diversity we embody. We are bold, fresh, and modern, and updating our brand profile will make sure the world sees us as we are.

What’s in store for BearingPoint in 2018?

After three terms, I won’t stand for reelection as the Managing Partner again, and I feel collected about it because we have been preparing for this generational change for years. Kiumars Hamidian, the current Regional Leader for Germany, Czech Republic and Romania, has been appointed as the new Managing Partner.

In Q3, Kiumars and the new management team will then come up with a strategy update, which will provide a perspective beyond 2020. The process is well on track, and I’m confident that the new leaders – whatever they come up with – will keep the independence of the firm and stick to the founding principles that made us great: one firm – one partnership, one Partner – one vote, with the spirit of stewardship at the core of everything we do.

Key figures for BearingPoint in 2017

22 Countries where BearingPoint has a direct presence
78 Countries in which BearingPoint served clients
39 BearingPoint offices
4,343 Global BearingPoint headcount
174 BearingPoint Partners
76 Global alliance offices
11,360 Global alliance headcount

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Robert Park on the launch of his consultancy RWG Enterprises

18 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Following a lengthy spell as a General Manager at an international materials corporation, Robert Park was keen to rediscover his inner entrepreneur. With the launch of his new consulting firm, RWG Enterprises, Park spoke with Consultancy.uk to outline his hopes for the future of the company, and how he believes his boutique will be able to challenge the market.

Robert Park commenced his career in retail, taking up a string of General Store Manager positions with companies – including Poundstretcher and The Gadget Shop – before making the 2005 move that would lead him to a 13-year stay with Morgan Advanced Materials. First taking up a role as Production Supervisor with the organisation, Park quickly worked his way to the upper echelons of the group. By 2013, he held the role of UK Operations Manager for the company’s UK ceramic core business, Certech UK, before seeing out his final four years at the firm as General Manager, leading the senior management team and strategic direction of the business.

Despite his success with the firm, however, Park found himself getting itchy feet. A change of career seemed increasingly appealing, and by February 2019, the time to take a new path had arrived.

Park explained: “I was losing the ability to to use the entrepreneurial flair that I had enjoyed in the past; the organisation was moving more towards a structured and common approach for doing things, and that made me feel restricted. I also really enjoy the troubleshooting, problem solving side of my role. However, having been in my last post for four years, the troubleshooting and firefighting was long behind me. I realised that I am really energised by tackling difficult issues or turning around things that are clearly struggling.”

New consulting firm RWG Enterprises launches

His criteria for a new career seemed to point conclusively in the direction of management consulting, and while his CV has no formal experience in the sector, Park believes his career to date has provided him with a wealth of transferable skills. During his time with Certech at Morgan Advanced Materials, he became a Senior Manager at the age of just 21, and went on to succeed in a harsh factory environment where six former candidates had previously failed to deliver results.

Later, he became the group’s youngest General Manager in its history, and was involved in the turnaround of numerous departments. He also developed vast experience dealing with a wide range of ‘people’ challenges, including re-organisation, talent development, talent acquisition and leadership development. Along the way, Park noted that he learned to deal with large, blue chip organisations such as Rolls Royce, securing major long-term contracts worth upwards of £25 million.

Now, he hopes to take that know-how and apply it to the diverse world of consulting work. Park elaborated: “I really want to be able to help organisations that feel that there is no hope or have lost faith in the business… Having been there myself I know how helpful it would have been to have someone to refer to in times of crisis… The firm will also focus on leadership development, as I spent a lot of time with the global graduate program during my corporate career… and I was really motivated to see these individuals grow and develop… helping them to find their own way through challenging situations.

New enterprise

Park’s new Derby-based consultancy, RWG Enterprises, will focus on five key operational fronts. As stated, leadership development and business rescue will be two of these areas, as well as manufacturing – where the firm will tackle challenges such as new product introduction. RWG will also offer financial advisory services and strategic business planning offerings.

While Park is understandably guarded about the firm’s initial engagements, he revealed that he has been “speaking at length to a well-known university and business school about providing mentoring and coaching support to students.” In the long-term, the aim is for RWG Enterprises to take on engagements from clients across the industrial spectrum. He added that as “the company is very embryonic”, it would be “foolish” to become too focused on target clients at this stage.

When asked how RWG Enterprises intends to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack, in an ever-more-crowded UK consulting sector, Park is undaunted by the task ahead. He stated, “I think the main differentiator is that we are small... I have operated at a very senior level for many years but I have enjoyed a very diverse background having worked in most functions within my last organisation. I also won’t take on any work or clients that I feel I cannot deliver value for, I am honest and ethical and am really motivated by seeing others become successful… The main thing I am focused on is 'can I add value' and 'can I help?'”