Alvarez & Marsal launches People & Organisation Change unit in Europe

26 July 2018

As business demands change across Europe to accommodate a trend for digital transformation, human capital and change offerings from consultants have become a hot commodity. In response to growing demand, global consultancy Alvarez & Marsal has launched a new unit dedicated to assisting clients across Europe to manage the people side of change programmes.

People and organisation change is an increasingly important factor in terms of business success, because transition to a new end-state is fruitless without altering the behaviours and skills of human resources. As a result, change management offerings from the consulting industry are becoming increasingly sought after services, as companies look to ensure their transformation programmes meet their objectives.

In response to growing demand on this front, international consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) has launched a People & Organisation Change service line in Europe to help corporates organise and lead change with their staff during times of disruption. A&M specialises in management consulting, financial advisory, offers services such as strategy, performance improvement, restructuring, and mergers & acquisitions. The launch comes as part of the firm’s expansion of its performance improvement proposition to companies in need of pragmatic solutions, at speed.

Alvarez & Marsal launches People & Organisation Change unit in Europe

The People & Organisation Change arm will work to win separate human capital consultancy projects for A&M in the market, while working as a supporting service line on other A&M engagements. In these engagements, different A&M individual teams can now leverage the firm’s new People & Change to offer more integral services to clients. A&M’s expanded offer also reflects tightening regulatory requirements in relation to audit conflicts, that are giving rise to major corporates increasingly turning to non-audit based consulting firms for high quality, senior-led performance improvement and turnaround support.

Peter Blausten

The practice will be led from London by A&M Partner Peter Blausten – a consulting industry expert of 30 years – who has been appointed as Managing Director to lead the new European initiative. Blausten brings three decades of human resource and organisation change management experience. As the Group HR Director of a FTSE 30 international, he supported a company-wide organisation review with the CEO, and the implementation of a new operating model and leadership framework.

Roger Bayly, Managing Director and Co-Head of A&M’s Corporate Performance Improvement practice in Europe, said, “People and leadership issues are becoming increasingly important elements in delivering effective performance improvement programmes. Peter’s extensive experience in leading high profile, complex and challenging assignments, with both corporates and private equity, will be invaluable to our clients."

Alvarez & Marsal already had a substantial People & Organisation Change outside of Europe, most notably in the US, where the firm is headquartered. The service line offers propositions such as human capital advisory, HR transformation, change management, leadership alignment and HR due diligence on transactions. 

"Our team of experienced practitioners will work alongside A&M’s wider corporate performance improvement group and Human Capital and Organisational Change service line to analyse, plan and deliver results at pace," said Bayly.

Related: Alvarez & Marsal launches Transaction Advisory Group in France.

France has grown into Comatch's second largest market

19 April 2019

France has quickly become Comatch’s second largest market, since launching in 2017. The platform for connecting consultants and independent experts with companies has used the wide ranging expertise of its 900 strong network to enjoy rapid growth in the country.

Two years after launching in Germany in 2015, Comatch landed in Europe’s second largest economy of France. Now one and a half years down the line, the company has completed dozens of projects in the country. Over the past six months, the number of projects completed has increased by 170%.

Comatch’s activities in France are growing for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the excellent health of the consulting market in France is a key factor. In 2018, Consult’in France found that the industry had expanded its revenues by 11%, and with this boom in demand, the need for independents as found in Comatch’s network has risen as well. Its database of French freelancers now hosts around 1,000 management consultants and industry practitioners. The firm’s entire database sits at 7,000 members all over the world, so almost 15% of the network is currently based in France.

At the same time, Comatch’s network boasts quality as well as quantity. Each member is handpicked and must undergo a rigorous process of vetting before being admitted. Meanwhile, the wide variety of skills and capabilities shared by these consultants mean that Comatch is capable of covering matters across strategy and business consulting. It now has a track record in more than 30 sectors as a result.France has grown into Comatch's second largest marketContrary to the largest consulting firms, Comatch targets mainly medium-sized and intermediate companies that typically find the fees of the MBB or the Big Four too high, or their consulting processes to cumbersome. According to Bernhard Ney, the Chief Executive of Comatch France, this means that clients are satisfied with Comatch’s consultants, due to the very high return rate on engaging them.

Ney explained, “With reduced overhead costs, the Comatch model makes top consultants more accessible to these companies. We see major opportunities in this segment, and thus address them with a personalised approach and a tailor-made support system… With a rate of recommendation of 94% and the multiplication of project renewals, we are convinced of the relevance of our model. Our customers emphasise not only the flexibility and availability of our teams, but also the quality of the members of our network.”

For 2019, the firm aims at continuing its growth. It intends to do this by becoming a trusted partner of companies, and extending its portfolio of services from consultancy engagements to placements as well. To support these developments in the French market, the team has been strengthened and now has around fifteen people.

The French team will now build on the foundation built by Comatch globally. The company has a global team of over 100 employees, and last year closed a €8 million financial round to accelerate its expansion, including a deepening of its services, investment in its technical infrastructure, and entering new markets.

Even talk of a global economic slowdown doesn’t concern Ney thanks to this progress. He concluded; “If forecasts of economic slowdown materialise, our light cost structure will allow us to propose consulting engagements at prices adapted to this cycle of the economy.”