James Ford and Reka Pecsi on working at Coeus Consulting

06 January 2020 Consultancy.uk 7 min. read
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Digital disruption has opened up the IT consulting market to a host of new challengers, who have quickly gained a foothold in the segment due to the heightened demand for transformation advisory and change management services. James Ford and Reka Peksi of Coeus Consulting spoke to Consultancy.uk about the unique collaborative culture that has enabled the firm to grow so rapidly in the IT advisory space.

Founded by former KPMG Directors Ben Barry and James Cockroft with ex-Serco specialist Rob Walker, Coeus Consulting first set out to disrupt the IT advisory segment in 2013. In the seven years since, the London-headquartered firm has become recognised as a rapidly expanding challenger to the established names of the market. Last year, a selection of Coeus’ staff and client projects won the Award for Value Creation at the Global Sourcing Association (GSA) and were shortlisted for seven Management Consultancy Association (MCA) Awards.

As Coeus looks to continue its momentum into a new decade, two consultants from the firm sat with Consultancy.uk to discuss the key themes underwriting the company's early success. Having joined as a Senior Consultant from Cincom Systems in 2018, James Ford has seen two years of rapid progress at the firm. Now a Principal Consultant, Ford has found his time with Coeus to be “a really exciting period”, having joined in time for the launch of the company’s Düsseldorf office, as well as its MCA and GSA nominations, and as it welcomed many new faces to meet its increased resourcing requirements.

James Ford and Reka Peksi on working at Coeus Consulting

In terms of his own work, Ford has largely concentrated on transformation and change delivery projects across Europe. This has offered him a unique and diverse set of projects to engage with, which he says he has enjoyed greatly.

Ford elaborated, “Most recently [I worked] with a global energy and utility company providing program management expertise to deliver a transformed, cloud-based telephony and unified communications platform to more than 270 sites across six countries. The program has been viewed as a great success by the business, with a reduction of nearly 50% in overall telephony lines and over 80% reduction in physical devices – two key strategic objectives from the project outset.”

In order to keep up with this diverse and rapidly evolving demand, Coeus needs to keep its consultants ahead of the curve by helping them develop their skills. Ford has witnessed this first hand, and he explained the firm helps its staff to specialise in each of its core competencies, such as strategy, transformation or technology. Working groups in these fields meet regularly to discuss the latest developments across the industry and decide which should be further researched, while bi-monthly ‘knowledge share’ meetings see the entire company attend in-depth briefings on a specific set of topics, creating a top-to-bottom support network.

Ford summarised, “Above everything else, Coeus has a supportive culture that is crucial given the challenging and varied work we often undertake. Everyone from the leadership team down is happy to be approached at any time, and will always make themselves available for some guidance or to offer some insight from their own experiences. The company also strikes a good balance in ensuring we have fun throughout the year with regular social events and overseas meetings such as the annual company meeting being held in Munich and Palma over the last two years.”

Rapid integration

In contrast, Reka Pecsi is still seeing the firm from the perspective of a relative newcomer. Pecsi joined Coeus in April 2019, bringing more than a decade of management consulting experience to the company. Prior to life at Coeus, she was a Principal Management Consultant and Programme Director with Field Consulting Services, before relocating to the UK from Hungary – a move which she is thoroughly pleased with.

“All the positive aspects of relocating into the UK exceeded my expectations,” Pecsi explained. “As the UK is the birthplace of management consulting I knew that the professional standards, level of expertise and quality of work will be outstanding but I am still impressed by the work ethic and team spirit I have experienced as a new team member of Coeus Consulting. They took really good care of me, sharing the unique local culture and making sure I have felt comfortable during the settling in process.”

The company-wide assistance Ford described has helped Pecsi adapt to her new environment quickly, with colleagues providing “on-going support during my integration,” working to include her in the company culture as soon as possible. At the same time, this has enabled Pecsi to work with various clients in the international management consulting environment boosting the team’s strength and motivation in the field. Currently, this is seeing Pecsi work on a “very exciting next-generation operating model planning and implementation assignment.”

“The UK is the birthplace of management consulting… but I am still impressed by the work ethic and team spirit I have experienced as a new team member of Coeus Consulting.”
– Reka Pecsi, Principal Consultant, Coeus Consulting

“The client has established an 'IoT Development Hub' within its IT organisation in order to test the market potential of IoT services,” the Principal Consultant elaborated. “The client has built up an internal development team to manage the IoT IT business service development and to support the launched IT business services products. While the first connected devices/products launch and the first B2C consumers get on-boarded, there is a need to transform current operations to develop and deliver new products at speed and scale as well as provide competitive IoT services in these new markets.”

It is projects like this which were the very reason Pecsi was drawn to Coeus in the first place. Based on her experiences during a decade in management consulting, Pecsi understands that the sector is based upon the continuous renewal and adoption of new potential solutions and technologies. According to her, Coeus provides the ideal platform to play that role as an independent management consulting firm which can be an “outstanding and remarkable partner for strategy definition,” and which can also “find the best implementation methodology and processes.”

Looking back on what she has seen so far, Pecsi concluded, “The main challenge has been to understand complex situations and problems, and to provide clear end-to-end solutions for the decision maker, also on the operative level of the clients. I am impressed with Coeus Consulting, the company is outstanding in supporting the client on the vision/strategy level, and also managing and supporting implementation. With the set-up of its consulting teams, I have so far had the opportunity to work with best in-class strategy consultants, as well as acknowledged experts in specific fields.”