OC&C Germany and OC&C Poland join the firm's integrated partnership

15 December 2017 Consultancy.eu 6 min. read

In a statement released this morning, OC&C Strategy Consultants has announced that it has taken a large leap in the execution of its ‘one firm’ strategy. OC&C Poland and the newly launched OC&C Germany have joined the firm’s integrated partnership, as the group comes closer to concluding its three-year organisational change programme.

With over 400 consultants, OC&C Strategy Consultants is one of the globe’s ten largest specialised strategy consulting firms. About three years ago, the firm’s leadership decided to reform their partnership structure, moving the network from a federation of franchises to a closely integrated network. In order to realise this, the London-headquartered consultancy crafted the largest internal change programme since its founding in 1987.

“Three years ago we realised that in order to do our best work for clients, we needed to evolve our firm’s structure, substituting a federation of offices for a more closely integrated partnership,” said OC&C’s International Managing Partner, James George.

As part of its growth strategy, OC&C decided to move towards an international partnership, in line with the traditional model utilised by peers McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Roland Berger, and others. The new integrated ownership structure of country units broadened the international mandate of equity partners. Previously, the global partnership dealt solely with marketing, part of the training and international expansion projects, while revenues and profits came back to the countries, with local partners enjoying a great deal of freedom in the deals they struck. The larger the company became, however, the more unaligned the process became, and with clients and accounts increasingly internationalising, a move to centralisation was deemed beneficial for the group as a whole.

OCC Germany and OCC Poland join the firms integrated partnership

James George added, “The move to an integrated ‘one firm’ approach is a deliberate and strategic response to the changing nature of the work that OC&C has been doing. We have been winning more global clients alongside national and regional accounts meaning that we have had to structure the firm to respond in kind.”

As part of these changes, OC&C’s fourteen global offices were consulted on their desire to adopt the OC&C ‘one firm’ approach. The move started in the UK, and since then, offices in the US, France, Turkey, and China (alongside associate partnerships in Italy and Brazil) have followed suit. The latest pair to join the new platform are OC&C Poland and OC&C Germany.

OC&C Warsaw

The Polish arm of OC&C is located in Warsaw. The international strategy consultancy’s regional outfit is led there by partner Marek Zdziech, who is also a co-leader of OC&C’s global Consumer practice. The former PepsiCo senior executive leads advisory work with clients from the FMCG, retail and TMT sectors, developing and implementing innovative strategic solutions in these highly competitive industries. The office also has a strong track record in the region’s private equity market – as recent examples, OC&C Waraw has advised the sell side of Zabka, the largest convenience retail in the region, and the the buy side of Hortex, a producer of juice and frozen food in CEE and Russia.

Since the inception of the Warsaw office into the OC&C network in 2012, the team has nearly doubled its business.

OC&C Munich

OC&C Germany was founded in 1987 by by former partners of McKinsey & Company: Gerd Schnetkamp and Hans-Dieter Kleinhueckelskoten. However, it was one of the offices that didn’t align completely with change. Addressing the departure of the German partners, George said, “It is always disappointing when partners leave the network but we now have a team in Germany that is committed to our ‘one firm’ approach and ensuring that the full potential of the integrated network is realised in Germany, especially for our clients. We remain confident and excited about our ability to win ever more clients in that market.”

Quote - James George

The German team is led by James McDonnell, Christoph Treiber and Jan Bergmann, with a focus on consumer goods and retail, operating from Munich.

Reflecting on the progress of the ‘one firm’ strategy, OC&C’s International Managing Partner confirmed that the approach is already producing dividends for partners and clients alike, as “our integrated offices are growing by 15% over the past year.” In comparison, this is higher than market average – even beyond the somewhat disappointing growth levels of the UK consulting industry last year. According to the most recent data from UK's consulting association (the MCA), the British consulting market grew by 4.8% in 2016, with similar results expected at the end of this year. Consult'in France, MCA’s equivalent for France, expects 11% growth this year, while Spain’s representative consulting body AEC expects over 6% growth in the country. The German association, BDU, expects growth of 8.3% this year, while growth rates in Italy are expected to hit 5%, the strongest since the crisis. The globe’s largest market, the United States, meanwhile anticipates around 8% growth.

George went on to say, “For us, greatness is not about scale. It is about knowing what we’re good at, being relentless in the pursuit of the right answer, and doing it with a group of exceptional people. This combination is what makes us confident about our future. It is also a difference that our clients recognise, exemplified by the fact that 80% of our work is for clients who come back to us time and again. Our ambition is an ambitious partnership, excited by the huge opportunities in front of us which we are ready to seize. We’re intent on continuing to set the standard for the industry – for clients, colleagues and prospective partners alike.”