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.

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Digital consultancy Vendigital receives funding from Livingbridge

03 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Vendigital, a global consultancy based in London, has secured a major investment from private equity firm Livingbridge. The news comes as the latest chapter in a succession of funding packages Livingbridge has handed the growing UK consulting sector.

Operating from hubs in Europe, America and Asia, Vendigital specialises in advising corporates and other organisations in supply chain structuring and optimisation, as well as cost reduction and procurement strategies. Its technology team also helps businesses develop bespoke systems to harness big data and drive organisational value. Operating in the field for almost two decades, the consultancy helps clients optimise operations to unlock untapped margins, ensuring a cost advantage to win more business and leverage new technology.

Headquartered in London, with additional offices in Hong Kong and Chicago, Vendigital also hosts an in-house Data Science lab, which provides bespoke solutions which streamline data collection and analysis to produce actionable insights. Thanks to its expertise, the firm has enjoyed bullish growth, and was ranked by the Financial Times in the UK’s Top 25 Leading Management Consultancies in 2019. Vendigital will likely see demand spike further as it was recently crowned a winner at the annual MCA Awards, scooping the prize for Commercial Excellence for its work with Spectris.

Digital consultancy Vendigital receives funding from Livingbridge

In order to cater to its increasing client base, Vendigital has secured funding from private equity firm Livingbridge. Global dynamics such as increasing M&A activity and accelerating digital disruption have put tremendous pressure on cost, efficiency and operating models. Livingbridge’s investment will be used by Vendigital to take advantage of this rapidly-growing market, both organically and through acquisitions, to further develop its international presence, as well as further expanding its employee headcount.

Dominic Jephcott and Roy Williams, co-founders and Managing Partners at Vendigital, remarked, “This is an exciting time for the business. Livingbridge is the ideal investment partner for us with a successful history of supporting organisations with ambitious growth plans. We’re looking forward to continuing to build on our position as a leading technology-led consultancy while growing our team and increasing our global footprint.” 

The deal sees Livingbridge add to the growing number of consulting firms it has invested in. With the UK consulting market remaining one of the strongest growing elements of Britain’s economy, Livingstone took a minority stake in Efficio in 2015, returned Broadstone Group to independence in 2016, and backed Catalyst Development in 2017.

Commenting on the firm’s latest deal in the sector, Matt Upton, Partner at Livingbridge said, “We are delighted to announce our investment in Vendigital. At a time when the C-Suite is under increased pressure to drive down costs, improve efficiencies, and create strategic value across their entire operating model, Vendigital stands out with its proven track record and innovative solutions.”