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Stephen Humphreys from Huntswood looks at the consulting market in the first quarter of 2013.
Huntswood: The state of the market – Q1 2013
 
 
   I have started this
year feeling very
positive: the FTSE100 is
back to where it was two
years ago (pre-Eurozone
crisis and in full
recovery mode) and
people I’m talking to
are feeling real
enthusiasm about the
year ahead. The “new
normal” that we exist in
means that, although
growth will be minimal
by pre-crash standards,
it still should be
something to celebrate.
Mercer’s Salary
Movement Snapshot

suggests that UK
employees are in for a
3% pay increase through
2013; I, for one, am
celebrating that!
  
   The picture is even
rosier in the management
consultancy world. The
MCA’s Consulting in 2013
report predicts a 5%
rise in fee incomes
through 2013, with 77%
of firms interviewed
saying they expect their
business to grow. While
80% of fee incomes still
come through the top 10%
of firms by size, this
is – to some extent –
flattening out and the
smaller and more
specialist firms are
showing more
resilience.
  
   Firm
performance

 
    Growth has been the
report from most firms
publishing results in
the last quarter save
for a few strugglers. Of
the larger consulting
organisations, Ernst &
Young’s advisory
function is up 16.2% at
year end; its best year
since 2006. PwC has also
reported a 7% revenue
growth in its UK
consulting business,
including a net 3%
increase in headcount.
Similarly, Deloitte’s
consultancy is up 14%.
However, what we are
hearing on the ground is
while certain service
lines are booming
(Deloitte Digital, for
example), some of the
more traditional
business change
consultancy service
lines are struggling in
the Big Four.
Off-the-shelf solutions
aren’t enough any longer
in the likes of shared
services and outsourcing
design and delivery.
KPMG has been making
redundancies while the
boutique consultancy
market in this area is
flourishing. For more on
this please read our
blog article regarding
boutique consulting.
  
   In the technology
players, Accenture is up
4% in revenue across
European consulting and
Atos is up 8% in revenue
 
  
   
 
 
 
 consultants. The firm
has had a fantastic year
and reported a 25%
growth in its business
for FY ending in April
2012. This, it has to be
said, is in line with
massive growth reported
across various other
specialist firms in
similar sectors, with
reports of up to 200%
growth in the last
financial year.
  
   M&A

   The big story of the
last quarter was the
takeover by Deloitte of
the Monitor Group. This
demonstrates the firm’s
clear intent to continue
to expand its footprint
in the strategic
consulting space, as
outlined by Deloitte’s
MD of strategy &
operations consulting,
Michael Canning.
Commentators have
speculated about whether
this will lead to a full
merger, or whether the
firm will try to
maintain the Monitor
brand in a “Monitor
Deloitte” entity.
  
   Elsewhere in M&A
news:
  
   • Deloitte has also
acquired mining
consultancy Venmyn for
an undisclosed amount,
in a move to consolidate
its existing mining
advisory services into a
 
 new entity: ‘Venmyn
Deloitte’.
  
   • Hitachi Consulting
has made a move to
bolster its management
consultancy services by
acquiring business
operations consultancy
Celerant. The deal, for
which terms were not
disclosed, will give
Hitachi a greater
footprint across Europe
& the Americas, as well
as combining with the
rest of the portfolio to
allow the firm to make a
full business
transformation lifecycle
pitch. It is an
interesting move for the
highly acquisitive firm
which has previously
signalled its intentions
to pursue more of an IT
consultancy focus. I
look forward to seeing
how the new business
develops.
  
   • In looking for ways
to enhance the company
network since its
management buyout and
re-structure last year,
Arthur D. Little has
partnered with Solidance
in APAC, a B2B growth
strategy advisory and
promoter of growth and
innovation in emerging
markets.
  
   continued on next
page...
 
 in consulting and
technology, driven by
public sector work (a
stark contrast though to
the 7% decrease across
the rest of Europe).
Cognizant has reported
revenue growth and is
expected to publish a
20% increase for 2012
globally, driven by the
establishment of a
consulting-led approach.
CSC has also reported
another improvement in
profit through its Q2, a
sign of its slow
recovery, although total
revenue fell slightly.
Capgemini and IBM have
reported minor
contraction in
consulting services
through Q3 of 4% and 3%
respectively, though the
latter is reporting a
huge increase of 14% on
the year to date in its
business analytics
offering.
  
   In the boutiques the
MCG has confirmed that
Alexander Proudfoot and
Kurt Salmon are
performing in line with
management expectations,
an improvement on the
outlook of the last
quarter. Baringa
Partners, the specialist
consulting in the energy
and financial services
sectors, now has 250
 
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