5,000 independent consultants affiliated with matchmaker Comatch

18 July 2018 Consultancy.eu

The number of management consultants and industry experts that have affiliated with online marketplace Comatch has for the first time passed the 5,000 barrier. 

German-origin Comatch was launched as a response to the strongly growing ‘gig economy’ in the consulting landscape. Due to the changing economy and organisations’ need to anticipate earlier and faster to external changes, clients are increasingly looking for a flexible layer of top talent – such insourced consulting support can either be temporary support on an interim basis or involve flexible project teams for consultancy engagements. 

Katharina Schneider, Director Consultant Relations at Comatch, stated on the trend in the market: “Organisations see great value in quickly and flexibly adjusting the staffing of their projects without losing sight of quality and professional account management, and in the process are make increasing use of intermediary firms and channels.”

Comatch is one example of such an intermediary. The company distinguishes itself by focusing on top talent (Comtach professionals have a background at top tier consulting firms) by maintaining a rigorous talent selection process – “about 50% of the consultants who register at Comatch are not admitted into our network”, said Schneider. Data presented on Comatch’s site shows that over half of the consultants affiliated with the network among others have a history at the major strategic consultancies (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc) or the Big Four (Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC). 

From a supply side, the gig economy has been lifted by growing acceptance among professionals to take on an independent career. The most important reasons cited by consultants as to why they pursue a career as an independent consultant are a better work-life balance, improved financials, and being able to enjoy more autonomy and freedom, whilst working on challenging projects. According to a recent study among freelance consultants active in the higher segment of the freelance market, only 11% of consultants would seriously consider returning to a permanent position at a firm.

5,000 independent consultants affiliated with matchmaker Comatch

“Some consultants just want to remain consultants instead of becoming partners, some start their own startups in parallel with their project-based work and some want more time for their families, hobbies or practicing sport. Anyone who chooses professional independence is driven by the desire for more self-determination,” explained Schneider.

Founded in 2015 by two former McKinsey & Company consultants who saw a gap in the market, Comatch now has a team of around 100 employees. They evaluate and select professionals, maintain contact with clients and ensure that projects are managed well, through monitoring of progress and quality assurance. The company is backed by a number of private equity firms which have so far pumped over €10 million into Comatch – jointly they have the ambition to become the largest marketplace for independent consultants in Europe. 

By reaching a membership base of 5,000+ consultants, who combined have knowledge and experience in almost every conceivable sector and functional area, Comatch has taken the next step in achieving its old vision. Key objectives for this year are to increase the number of completed projects (500 engagements were brokered last year), give a further boost to the branding and awareness among clients, and continue the roll-out across Europe.

Comatch’s operations are the most mature in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), followed by countries such as the Netherlands, where it has been active since the end of 2015, and Scandinavia, where it has been operational for about two years. Two of Europe’s three largest consultancy markets have recently been entered: the United Kingdom and France. 

Related: Consulting matchmaker named Germany's 10th fastest growing digital start-up.

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