Environmental consultancy looks to double size of Manchester office

26 July 2018 Consultancy.uk

Since the launch of its Manchester office in 2017, environmental consultancy LUC has been working to grow its regional offering. Following a fruitful year, the office’s leader has said that it intends to double its headcount in Manchester to grow the business further.

UK-based environmental consultancy LUC has launched a bid to double its staff tally in Manchester, as it celebrates its first anniversary of launching in the city. LUC, which has offices in London, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Lancaster, launched its Manchester office in summer 2017, with the office’s Head, Tom Jonson, joining from AECOM.

Jonson said he plans to double staff numbers to around 15 in the next 12 months, following several new client and project wins and it is part of his strategy to provide LUC’s full suite of services out of Manchester. These have included being appointed by Eden District Council to lead on the preparation of a strategic master-plan to create between 5000 to 8000 new homes, a new link road as well as a 70-hectare employment site, alongside being appointed by Manchester City Council to provide landscape appraisals at Heaton Park, while continuing to work for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Environmental consultancy looks to double size of Manchester office

 “It has been an excellent 12 months and we are delighted to have achieved so much in such a short period," Jonson said. He added, “The team has grown significantly, and we are delighted to welcome the new members on board, all of whom have a wealth of expertise and skills which will play a vital role in the future development of the Manchester office.”

Jonson’s arrival at the firm was accompanied by the hire of landscape architects and urban designers, Jacqueline Whitworth-Allan and Chris Cox, and since then the office has already expanded its services to include planning and before welcoming five further new recruits. Most recently, this saw Melissa Kurihara join as an Associate Director to lead the Manchester planning team. She was previously at Urban Vision in Salford where she was an associate planning consultant.

Kurihara said of joining the firm, “It is an exciting time to join LUC. The company has an excellent reputation and is involved in some of the UK’s leading landscape and urban design projects. I am looking forward to growing the Manchester team.”

Stephanie Crewe has also joined the landscape planning team as a principal landscape architect. Meanwhile, principal planner Jennifer Rea has relocated to Manchester from LUC’s London office. On top of this, two graduates are soon to join the Manchester office to work in the design and planning teams.

Jonson concluded that this period of expansion will ultimately help LUC to add to its growing client base. He stated, “In the next 12 months our strategy is to deliver all LUC’s core services from our new office including landscape design, urban design, planning, environmental impact assessment, landscape management, heritage and ecology which will put us in a great position in the Manchester market.”

Related: UK environmental consulting market growth slowed by Brexit.

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PA Consulting results reveal record 14% revenue growth

17 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Global professional services firm PA Consulting has reported another year of strong growth, outpacing the global consulting market significantly over the duration of 2018. PA’s revenue boomed by 14%, passing £455.8 million over the course of the year.

Founded in 1943, by Englishmen Ernest Butten, Tom Kirkham and David Seymour, the firm once known as Personnel Administration has since gone on to become one of the largest consulting firms in the world. PA Consulting Group, as it is now known, has over 2,600 professionals and a global presence spanning 18 countries. While turnover took a decade to recover from a rocky spell after the global financial crisis, PA Consulting is now firmly on the upward incline.

PA has booked strong growth in recent years, following its securing of private equity investment from the Carlyle Group in 2015. While the first full year of results following that move were slightly muted, due in part to the altering of how PA measured its results, the decision has clearly paid dividends since. Revenues jumped by 6% in 2017, hitting an all-time high of £400 million in the process.

Annual consulting revenues of PA Consulting versus UK market

Now, in the latest chapter of the firm’s rapid turnaround, the innovation and transformation consultancy has revealed things only got better in 2018. A set of record results released in April have confirmed that fee income rocketed up by 14% over the course of the prior 12 months, hitting £455.8 million. Considering the UK’s consulting market saw growth slow for the second year running (just 5.6%), PA’s performance is even more pronounced, especially in its first year of full results since influential Chair Marcus Agius stood down. 

The firm is also outpacing the global consulting market. Analytics firm Statista estimates that the consulting market expanded by 4.08% in 2018. As a result of such bullish demand, PA Consulting has also bolstered its staffing, boosting its consulting team’s headcount by 10% in the space of 12 months. 

PA’s team was further strengthened with its continued acquisition campaign, which brought three new firms into the fold during 2018. Boston-based innovation company Essential Design, specialist digital service design firm We Are Friday and London-based digital insight and strategy consultancy Sparkler all became part of PA over the course of the year. PA has also announced plans to recruit 400 professionals for its new digital centre in Belfast. 

‘Not traditional’

In terms of client work, in the UK PA supported Skipping Rocks Lab to create an edible alternative to single use plastic drink packaging, and worked on a notable restructuring project at disability charity Scope. Further afield, PA helped Norwegian authorities deliver their citizen-facing digital services, while in the US and India, PA partnered with Virgin Hyperloop One to build the first new mode of transport in a century, one that hopes to revolutionise travel. It even worked with United Nations to identify the technologies most likely to contribute to the achievement of the organization's Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the year’s performance, Alan Middleton, PA Consulting CEO, said, “We’re not a traditional consulting firm and we think this is key to our ongoing success and why 98% of our clients recommend us… Our people are strategists, technologists, digital experts, consultants, designers, scientists and engineers – all of whom bring real-world experience, and apply it at pace. We offer the innovation, design, digital and transformation skills that our clients need to change, fast. There’s a sense of optimism behind our purpose. And it’s a feeling that inspires our people as well as our clients.”

The existing staff of PA also enjoyed a bumper year, as it was revealed that a refinancing manoeuver at the firm was expected to land over 1,000 employee shareholders a significant pay-out. The firm’s debt, which includes vendor loan notes put in place when Carlyle purchased the firm, is set to be refinanced in a deal worth £350 million.