Civitta launches in Saint Petersburg, 2nd office in Russia after Kaliningrad

27 August 2018 4 min. read
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Baltic management consulting firm Civitta has opened a new office in Saint Petersburg, the firm’s second office in Russia and seventeenth in Europe. The expansion follows from the admission of local consultancy Senior Advisors into its network.

Established in 2015, Senior Advisors is a consulting firm specialised in strategy, market research, investment valuation, M&A, fundraising, startups acceleration and digital transformation. The firm’s team works for companies in the IT, media, retail, food, real estate, construction, logistics, energy, manufacturing and professional services sectors. 

By joining Civitta, a consultancy with offices across the Baltic and Central Eastern Europe, Senior Advisors will be able to add an international perspective to its services, said Vadim Batkin, CEO of the Saint-Petersburg based firm. The Russian advisory will also be able to leverage the broader capabilities of Civitta and the know-how of the firm’s 250+ consultants. “This partnership will bring mutual benefits and further strengthen our core competencies, allowing us to provide a wider array of services to our clients in Russia.” 

For Civitta, the expansion – Senior Advisors has formally joined on a franchise basis – marks its second this year and sixth in the past three years. Founded in 2010 in Lithuania, Civitta has since embarked on a steep growth trajectory through organic growth and a buy-and-build approach, adding a presence in Latvia, Estonia and the Belarus in the following two years, and by 2015 the consultancy had pushed into Ukraine, Romania and Russia. 

Saint Petersburg based Senior Advisors joins Civitta

The new office in Saint Petersburg, with over 5 million inhabitants Russia's second-largest city after Moscow and regarded as the country’s cultural centre on the back of its role as the imperial capital for two centuries, is however Civitta’s first office in mainland Russia. Its other office is based in Kaliningrad, a Russian territory which is not attached to Russia, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast. The area, which formerly belonged to Germany (it then went by the name of ‘Königsberg’), has been under Russian control since World War II. 

Combined, the offices in Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg provide Civitta with a strong footprint in West Russia, which holds the bulk share of Russia’s management consulting industry, estimated to be worth around €440 million. “This partnership will support growth of our consulting services attractiveness in Russia,” explained Batkin.

Russia’s consulting industry

Russia’s consultancy industry is undergoing a challenging period. While rising oil prices and better economic performance in the past months have seen the market recover, the industry comes from three years of contraction (2014 – 2017), and many fundamentals on which the sector builds, including business confidence, economic trade and government investment, are still relatively shaky. As a result, clients remain cautious about spending on management consultants.

Civitta will aim at nestling itself in between the larger players in the market: Russia is home to many of the globe’s larger consultancies, including the Big Four, McKinsey, BCG, Bain and Oliver Wyman, as well as hosting several home-grown consultancies such as Moscow Consulting Group, Alinga Consulting Group and Energy Consulting, which is a subsidiary of HLB Russian Group, the largest provider of management IT consulting services in the country. 

Internationally, Civitta will be able to add the track record of Senior Advisors to its roster. Among the projects the Saint Petersburg consultancy has delivered are a strategy development and financial modelling engagement for a TV company in Russia, conducting a valuation for one of the biggest IT companies in the country, and supporting an international supply chain company in the region with the delivery of a large IT project. 

“Cooperation with Senior Advisors is in line with our growth strategy,” said Adam Saulius Vaina, the CEO of Civitta, who prior to founding the firm worked six years for US strategy consultancy giant McKinsey & Company. Asked about why he believes the joining of forces will be a success, he added, “Senior Advisors shares the same values and client approach, and work in line with similar principles and beliefs, including transparency, a flexible approach and a focus on tailor-made solutions for clients.”