Global consulting firm BearingPoint enjoyed a bumper year in 2017, with revenues up 12% compared to the year previous to a record level of €710 million and profitability up 18% year over year.
Data released by BearingPoint, one of the largest European-origin consultancies that traces its roots back to KPMG Consulting, shows that the firm has outpaced the consulting industry for the second consecutive year. Following 10% growth in 2016, last year the management and technology consultancy added 12% to its total fee income – a much faster growth rate than the 7% forecasted by Gartner for the global consulting industry in 2017.
“We certainly had a good market environment in 2017, but BearingPoint’s performance was particularly strong. It was the continued execution of the firm’s long-term strategy to combine business consulting, technology and IP-based assets that again paid off, and I am proud of what we achieved as a team,” said BearingPoint's Managing Partner Peter Mockler, who has been at the helm since the firm’s buyout in 2009.
€1 billion target by 2020
Launched in 2015, BearingPoint’s five-year strategy has set the ambitious goal of achieving a revenue of €1 billion by 2020. “We are well on the way of reaching our one billion euros revenues goal,” said Mockler. As part of the strategic plan, the consultancy set goals to significantly expand its footprint in technology consulting and solutions. To keep the firm heading at an innovative and forward-looking direction, BearingPoint also increased its focus on venturing, as a means of investing in high-potential startups to book returns for its privately-held partnership, but more so as a vehicle of gaining access to add-on clients offerings.
“The pillars are synergetic, each works together to drive innovation, sustainable revenue, and client value,” explained Mockler.
In 2017, BearingPoint saw growth across all industry segments, spanning Automotive, Financial Services and Consumer Goods & Retail to Public Sector, Telecommunications and Energy & Utilities, among others. The same was true for service lines and regions, with the firm’s core territory EMEA similar to the year previous forming the stronghold. The firm has offices in 19 European countries, while offices in Casablanca and Dubai serve the Africa and Middle East markets. Outside EMEA, BearingPoint has offices in Asia – to cover other markets it works with strategic partners: West Monroe Partners in North America, Grupo ASSA in South America and ABeam Consulting in Asia.
In consulting, BearingPoint’s growth was lifted by the acquisition of LCP Consulting, a UK-based supply-chain specialist, and the addition of an automotive consulting team in Italy. The firm’s ventures arm invested in among others the Norwegian insure-tech start-up Tribe, while several of the firm’s investments in new technologies were rapidly and successfully brought to the market, which led to €56 million in new bookings in 2017. To provide the Solutions wing with more room for entrepreneurship and organic expansion, several refinements have been done to its governance and financials, including the introduction of a standalone P&L responsibility.
Underpinning the growth was an 11% increase in headcount, which equates to an uptake of around 400 professionals, taking the overall team size to over 4,000 consultants and staff. Mockler: “Our workforce grew double-digit, and there is a good reason for our success in attracting talent. We understand that it’s all about the ecosystem of work: the company culture, the way you experience leadership, the quality of the projects you are working on, and the environment you are working in.”
Among the new hires were 19 new Partners, of which 16 were promoted internally and 3 joined from the market. “Partners are at the heart of our independent partnership. They make sure that we keep client focus as our first priority at all times and that we adhere to one the main core principles of our partnership: stewardship. This embodies our determination to develop our people and our capabilities in order to build a stronger, healthier, and wiser organisation for the benefit of future generations of employees,” concluded BearingPoint’s chief executive.