Management team of Efficio praised for firm's strong growth

07 December 2018 Consultancy.uk

The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association Awards has lauded the efforts of Efficio’s management team, as the firm continues to enjoy strong growth. Since private equity firm Livingbridge took a minority stake in the procurement consultancy three years ago, the consultancy has more than doubled its revenues, the majority of which now is generated outside of the United Kingdom.

When Livingbridge invested in Efficio, the company – which helps its clients identify, deliver and sustain benefits in procurement – generated revenues of around £30 million. Today, the consultancy has about 400 employees across offices in the UK, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Middle East, Switzerland and the US. Growth in the past years consistently hit double digit figures, and taking its founding year 2000 as a baseline, Efficio has experienced an average growth rate of around 30% per year.

Commenting on the firm’s strong growth, Jens Pedersen, CEO of Efficio, said, “Our continuous growth is representative of our strong value proposition and commitment to delivering ever-greater value for our clients. The achievement demonstrates the strength of our services and the extraordinary skills of the teams who deliver them.”

Alongside international expansion – the offices in the Middle East and Denmark launched last year – the consultancy owes its growth to a number of developments, Pedersen confirmed. The CEO went on to outline the way the ways in which the company had achieved its meteoric expansion.

Management team of Efficio praised for firm's strong growth

First, he suggested the company presents an especially attractive value proposition for clients seeking to transform their procurement function. “With procurement now making up between 50-70% of revenues in most organisations, managing costs in this area can have a substantial impact on the bottom line.”

He then added that changes to the profile of the company’s client base had also helped, explaining, “Mid-sized organisations globally and across a range of industries – from financial services, manufacturing and utilities, to service companies including the public sector – have started approaching consultancies for help, which never used to be the case.”

The third factor at play is that private equity is looking more at procurement for operational services, meaning such firms are also using procurement expertise as a value driver for their portfolios. Pedersen said, “We have worked with many major private equity houses, identifying savings during an opportunity assessment, sometimes even before a deal has closed, and building programmes to deliver sustainable savings focused on each individual portfolio company by leveraging a common strategic sourcing process and knowledge across the full portfolio.”

Finally, Efficio has effectively added managed services to its consulting and execution portfolio. The firm’s CEO stated, “Over the past five years we have seen a move towards longer-term client relationships with our managed services offering. Our revenue model is now 50% managed services, supported by technology and expert knowledge. We expect this to become the majority of our revenues as more and more clients seek support over a longer period of time.”

Prize for Mid-Market Management

After already being recognised for its strong growth by the Financial Times and Statista, and the Sunday Times International Track 200, the firm has added yet another accolade to its list of honours. At the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) Awards, the firm scooped National Mid-Market Management Team of the Year 2018 prize. The judges were impressed by Efficio’s strong and sustainable growth, acknowledging that this is for a large part down to the company’s management team, which has scaled a 'people business' and differentiated itself in a competitive market.

Pedersen, who accepted the award on behalf of Efficio in front of a 500+ strong audience at the BVCA Gala Dinner at the London Hilton on Park Lane, said that he owes much to the 'great' people at the firm. “We work together as one global team made up of consultants representing more than 40 nationalities. We attract very bright people who are passionate about delivering large improvement projects for our clients globally – ultimately, this is what drives our success.”

Pedersen also highlighted the important role Livingbridge played in steering the firm to growth. “Private equity backing was the right decision for us. It has made us a better company, provided us with an exciting future, and significant growth opportunities.”

Liz Jones, a Partner at Livingbridge, commented on Efficio’s triumph, “We are all delighted to see Jens and the Efficio leadership team winning this prestigious award, particularly against such strong competition.”

Earlier this year Efficio was also among the six fast-growing UK management consulting firms lauded not just for their high-speed growth and boost to employment, but also for their positive impact on society and the environment. To qualify for this new ‘ranking from a ranking’, named the ‘FT Future 100 UK’ list, all of UK’s fast growing companies that qualified for the FT1000 were assessed to what extent they make a positive impact via their environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, or through diversity promotion and industry disruption.

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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.