RSM grows consulting services by more than 14% in 2018

04 February 2019 Consultancy.uk

The  sixth largest auditing and advisory network in the world has reported record global revenues of $5.37 billion for 2018, crowning five consecutive years of growth. RSM’s consulting services spearheaded the meteoric rise of revenues, which jumped 14.5% on the previous year. 

RSM is the sixth largest network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms, encompassing 116 countries, 750 offices and 40,000 people internationally. Last year saw the consulting and accounting firm expand via acquisitions such as that of Netsuite specialist Explore Consulting, and RSM’s global revenues now stand at $5.37 billion.

With the impressive results crowning five consecutive years of growth for RSM, the last year has seen the network collectively deliver on a strategy focused on RSM’s people, clients and future-led innovative thinking. In Europe, a region that welcomed Gregor Schmidt as its new Regional Leader in June, this was particularly pronounced, with revenue growth more than doubling from 2017 figures to hit 12%.

RSM grows consulting services by more than 14% in 2018

2018 chiefly saw RSM’s consulting services lead its growth, with revenues up 14.5% from the year before. The introduction of GDPR, increased cross-border trade risk and the growing threat from cybercrime have all provided new opportunities to extend relationships with clients. Elsewhere, tax advisory services have grown by 6%, while accounting services are up 13%. In addition, international collaboration between member firms remains a core contributor to RSM’s growth, with cross-border client fees increasing 18%. 

Jean Stephens, CEO of RSM International said, “2018 was a year of growth across our network, particularly for our rapidly expanding consulting services. Clients around the world looked to RSM for solutions based on a true understanding of their needs, solid expertise in their market and the agility to move quickly as the business landscape shifts. We will continue to focus on realising our global strategy and ensuring that RSM remains the leading adviser to the middle market, wherever we are in the world.”

At the start of 2018, the firm had previously reported another solid year of growth across its British offices as well. RSM has 35 offices across the UK, and the professional services group saw revenues increase by 9% to £319 million, on last financial year, ending 31 March 2017.

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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.