Capco opens office in Poland, 2nd in Eastern Europe and 24th globally

11 December 2017 Authored by Consultancy.eu

Five years after entering Eastern Europe with an office in Bratislava, Capco, a consultancy for the financial services industry, has expanded its position in the region with the launch of a new operation in Warsaw, Poland. The move reflects growing demand for Capco’s services from clients across Poland and Central and Eastern Europe.

With over 4,000 employees in Europe, North America, South America and Asia, Capco is one of the globe’s larger management consulting and technology implementation firms. Since its founding in 1998 in Belgium, the consultancy has been dedicated to the financial services industry, serving banks, insurance companies, asset managers, regulatory bodies, FinTech’s and other financial institutions. 

Last week, Lance Levy, the Chief Executive of Capco, unveiled that the firm has opened its second office in Eastern Europe and 24th globally. With the entry into Poland, Capco, which recently returned to independence, aims at benefiting from both the growth of the Polish economy as well as of the country’s financial services sector. According to Poland’s statistics body Główny Urząd Statystyczny, the country’s accumulated GDP growth hit 4.7% for the past year (as of 30th September 2017), a growth rate which exceeds many of Europe’s major markets, while going forward, the forecast for the Polish economy continues to be strong. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that if Poland’s policy makers succeed in putting the right fundamentals into place, across manufacturing, services, consumer markets and trade, coupled with an ambitious digitisation strategy, the country has the potential to become Europe’s “new growth engine”. 

“The growth of the Polish economy is providing many exciting opportunities. The opening of our new office in Warsaw makes us ideally placed to capitalise on these opportunities,” remarked Levy. 

Capco opens office in Poland

The economic growth and the continuing rise of the middle-class is providing financial services institutions with rising opportunities. Meanwhile, they find themselves in an era of massive change, driven mainly by technology trends and changing consumer preferences. Comparable to other European markets, banks in Poland are rapidly digitising their services and operations to remain competitive as they seek to fend off incumbents, market entrants, and agile FinTech’s, with insurance companies and wealth managers facing similar challenges.

“There is an increased need for local consulting expertise to help financial services institutions benefit from technology trends. Capco’s strong reputation and deep industry knowledge have led to a surge in demand for its services within the country,” explained Levy. Growing regulatory requirements is another factor that is lifting demand for Capco's propositions – risk, regulatory change, reporting and compliance are among the company’s main areas of specialisation globally.

According to data from a British analyst firm to the consulting industry, financial services is the largest industry for consultants in Poland, with Poland’s financial services landscape, which is relatively mature in the region, growing faster than those in neighbouring countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. “Poland and the Czech Republic have mature banking sectors and so consulting firms are enjoying big growth in the financial services industry,” stated the researchers in the latest edition of their Eastern European consulting industry analysis. 

Poland’s management consulting market – Eastern Europe’s largest market, valued at around €450 million – has however been heating up in recent years. The majority of top tier consulting firms by now have a presence in the country, including the American-origin strategy firms (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Oliver Wyman and Strategy – all are based in Warsaw), the Big Four accounting and consultancy goliaths, and dozens of industry and functional specialists. Capco though firmly believes it has the profile to succeed in the country, leveraging its “innovative thinking with unrivalled industry knowledge” and ability to provide an end-to-end offering, from advisory and consulting to transformation delivery, technology, package integration, and managed services. “We help our clients successfully innovate, increase revenue, manage risk and regulatory change, reduce costs, and enhance controls,” said Levy. 

Andrea Lo Solfo

To lead the Warsaw office, Levy has appointed Andrea Lo Solfo as Managing Partner Poland. The move shows close resemblance to the leadership strategy the consultancy has often successfully used elsewhere when building up new offices. Capco’s Bratislava office, which launched in 2012, was led by Claus Hintermeier*, a fourteen year Accenture alumni, who managed to grow the office from scratch to 150 FTE within 3 years – today, the Bratislava hub has diversified from its initial focus on managed services to also include management consulting and technology services, and enjoys the status of one of Capco’s largest hubs in Europe. 

Andrea Lo Solfo - Managing Partner at Capco Poland

When Capco opened in Hong Kong in September 2014, the consultancy appointed Neil Ramchandran, a former Accenture partner in the UK and Germany, as Country Head (today he serve as Capco’s Managing Partner for APAC). Meanwhile, the Singapore office, established in May 2015, was co-led from the start by Bao-Viet Lê*, who previously spent eighteen years at Accenture. More recently, Capco expanded into Sweden with a new office in Stockholm, its first in the Nordics, with Anette Tånneryd, a former Managing Director at Accenture Sweden, brought on board to take the helm of the operation.

In Italy, Andrea Lo Solfo worked for over twelve years at the US giant in its consulting division, latterly holding the role of Senior Manager. For the past four years he set up a Polish consultancy for a listed Italian player, which, coupled with his consulting background makes him the ideal person to lead the Warsaw office, said Levy. “He brings extensive knowledge of the Polish financial services market, and has more than 15 years of experience in business and digital transformation, risk and regulatory programs and core systems implementation. Our global reputation as a trusted transformation partner, combined with Andrea’s domain expertise and experience in the Polish market, will enable us to deliver exceptional value and bespoke solutions to our clients.” 

Commenting on his new role, Lo Solfo said he is “thrilled” with the challenge, adding, “The team at Capco has an impressive reputation, and their knowledge of the digital and FinTech scene is second to none. I’m looking forward to working with them to build our presence in Poland and throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and to leveraging Capco’s global expertise to deliver transformative solutions to local clients.” 

In September, the Polish wing of Grant Thornton acquired digital studio Edisonda, adding 30 staff to its digital outfit. Two years ago Deloitte boosted its Polish footprint through M&A following the acquisition of Stratosfera – the Polish marketing consulting firm today operates as ‘Stratosfera by Deloitte’, with a focus on the development of marketing strategy and brand positioning products and services. 

* Claus Hintermeier left Capco in 2016 for Infosys Consulting to lead the firm’s Financial Services consulting business in Switzerland. He currently works for Swiss bank Zürcher Kantonalbank. Bao-Viet Lê currently works for Bain & Company in Dubai.

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