Forecasts for 2017
Strategic Planning Programme 2017
By Rachel Duk.
I confess: I was utterly enchanted by Disney’s remake of their classic film Beauty and the Beast. In common with my fellow cinema-goers, I sought solace from the ongoing political debacles in the UK in a French wonderland of singing candlesticks and talking teacups. And in a happy coincidence, my mind was allowed to linger in that particular universe for a little longer, as the next day I boarded a Paris-bound Eurostar to talk to some of our customers about the France consulting market. While I prepared myself for the day ahead—the soundtrack still ringing in my ears—it began to dawn on me just how many parallels existed between Beauty and the Beast and the France consulting market.
Blog | 16th May 2017 | Read more
Zoë Stumpf shares some insights from our recently published report on the UK consulting market, noting the impact of Brexit and the continuing growth in digital transformation work, along with a positive forecast for the year ahead.
By Fiona Czerniawska.
A recent article in The Economist argued that globalisation was already “in retreat” before politicians started talking about the need for greater protectionism. In 1990, when McDonald’s opened its first branch in Moscow, the firm “embodied an idea that would become incredibly powerful: global firms, run by global managers and owned by global shareholders, should sell global products to global customers”. But the return on equity of the top 700 multinationals has fallen to 11%, down from a peak of 18% ten years ago; moreover, if we compare the ROE of multinational firms with that of their local competitors, the latter often do better. “Global reach has become a burden, not an advantage”, The Economist concludes.
Blog | 17th March 2017 | Read more
By Julie Ahadi.
Researching clients’ views on the consulting industry in the GCC can sometimes feel a bit like falling through a rabbit hole: We don’t claim to have encountered any rabbits in waistcoats along the way, but much like Alice in Wonderland, we have, at times, felt as though we’ve entered into an alternate reality...
Blog | 14th March 2017 | Read more
By B.J. Richards.
“Keep calm and carry on”: The plucky little exhortation with the horrifying backstory became positively ubiquitous over the last few years, gracing countless coffee mugs and greeting cards while keeping many a London souvenir shop afloat. Irrepressibly British, the WWII-era sentiment clearly struck a chord with a recession-weary citizenry upon its rediscovery at the end of the noughties.
Blog | 8th March 2017 | Read more
By Fiona Czerniawska.
I’m not generally prone to nostalgia, but trying to analyse trends in the consulting industry is sometimes enough to make me yearn after a quieter life.
Forecasting demand trends used to be very simple. Back in the heady 1990s, it was just a question of how big you thought the growth figure should be. You could, for example, assume that all banks would behave in the same way. Want to know the size of the consulting market there? Easy: 3% of costs across the board. Want to know what it would be the next year? No problem: take the last five year’s growth and draw a straight line. The global financial crisis came as fairly rude wake-up call to all that, but at least the consulting world could comfort itself that, if they got it wrong, then so did just about every major financial institution and government on the planet. Since then, we’ve all learnt to forecast at a more granular level, to be circumspect about our predictions, and to spend more time talking to clients, who after all will be the ultimate arbiters.
Blog | 23rd February 2017 | Read more
By Zoë Stumpf
When we carried out our global survey of clients in December last year, we had a good idea that we knew what they would say. With the world looking like a less certain place than it did only a few short months ago, we thought that they would be more tentative about increasing consulting spend, and less likely to be committing to new projects.
It’s a good job that we didn't put any money on the outcome, because we were quite wrong. Clients were overwhelmingly positive–more so than they have been for the last few years–both in terms of their plans to kick off new initiatives and to use consultants to help them.
Blog | 7th February 2017 | Read more
By Fiona Czerniawska.
Our latest report on UK consulting pegs growth in this market at 8.2%, that’s up from 6.6% in 2014 and means that, for the second year running, the UK is one of the world’s most attractive consulting markets.
Inevitably, though, growth isn’t spread evenly across all industries or service lines: two areas stand out.
The first is risk and regulation. That’s not a new story, but it does have a bit of a new twist to it. As we’ve pointed out before, demand is bifurcating, with the more familiar areas being commoditised and industrialised, as clients seek to limit the overall amount of money they have to spend in this area, and the less familiar areas commanding greater executive attention and higher fee rates. We thought that might lead to a slow-down in growth overall, because the bulk of consulting falls into the first, commoditised category and because clients here are seeking to bring fee rates down even if they can’t reduce their actual workload, but it appears that the amount of regulatory change is still more than enough to maintain demand. The risk and regulatory consulting market, worth just over £500m in 2015*, grew by 12%.
Blog | 29th March 2016 | Read more