Kiumars Hamidian unveils his first focus areas as BearingPoint's new CEO

03 September 2018 8 min. read
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BearingPoint’s new Chief Executive Officer, Kiumars Hamidian, has formally taken office. While he will keep much the same, testimony of BearingPoint’s strong growth in past years, he has also unveiled in his first plans a number of new focus areas he will bring to the organisation.

A firm which is now thriving, BearingPoint has risen from a complicated history to become one of the globe’s largest management and consultancy firms, thanks in part to its long-standing industrial heritage. In 2017 BearingPoint reported record revenues of over €710 million for its last financial year, growth which also came with improved profitability, and the firm is keen to kick on with a new chapter of progress in 2018.

Part of this new chapter has seen Peter Mockler, BearingPoint’s long-standing Managing Partner, step aside to allow for fresh leadership of the firm. Now that Mockler has opted not stand for re-election, after three terms in office, newly appointed boss Kiumars Hamidian has his work cut out for him, with some big shoes to fill following Mockler’s successful tenure.

Kiumars Hamidian - CEO of BearingPoint

Of course, Hamidian will be well aware that if something is not broken, the last thing you should do is try to fix it. Commenting at his inauguration as BearingPoint’s new leader, Hamidian signalled that he is keen for continuity on a number of fronts, stating, “in a dynamic market environment, the firm is mature and on a strong growth path.”

First and foremost, this is likely to mean that the company’s historic focus on Europe will remain, with BearingPoint continuing to concentrate on European clients. Playing to the strengths of the Amsterdam-headquartered firm’s home market, the tactic has seen the firm set on the path to becoming global leaders.

Outside of its core territory, meanwhile, the firm will keep its Global Reach Offices in China and the US. For other markets, BearingPoint will work with its Global Consulting Network partners for global reach. For Asia this is Abeam Consulting, in North America West Monroe Partners and in Latin America this is Gruppo ASSA.

Second, Hamidian is likely to keep the firm’s successful structure, which was introduced by Mockler in 2015, put in place to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. Consulting, Solutions and Ventures will subsequently remain the three pillars of BearingPoint’s business.

The firm will also need new ideas however if it is to maintain the momentum of its impressive recent growth trajectory. At the start of Hamidian’s time in the top job, the global digital transformation consulting market is worth $44 billion, having experienced exponential growth in recent years, so logically BearingPoint could be expected to play to this market more under its new leadership. A greater focus on digital will likely see the firm enrich its portfolio focused on digitalisation, regulation and analytics, by creating new IP and services, and expanding its partner ecosystem fueled by innovation.

In Hamidian’s address, he said, “We want to develop even more of our own services around IP, for example in areas such as AI, Robotics, and Cyber Security, to push the advisory of our clients on new business models and quickly help put them into practice. Even in a market that’s hard to predict, these kinds of innovations will differentiate our firm. They already do so today!”

Grow ecosystem

A recent report from Accenture suggested that companies building ecosystems could tap into trillions of added value. With a growing number of firms concerned that growth strategies are susceptible to disruption, honing new ecosystems which include long-time rivals could be the key to delivering exceptional growth, and in another strategic change, BearingPoint seems set on harnessing this potential.

“We will also concentrate on orchestrating our current ecosystem comprising more than 40 external partners. Some of these partners may become Ventures. Ventures provide great opportunities for us, as we have both the management know-how and the technological capabilities to make them happen,” continued Hamidian.

In parallel, the firm will also need to chart a course on the matter of talent acquisition and retention, with most leading economies experiencing the beginnings of ageing populations and a growing number of workers reaching retirement age. BearingPoint’s global consulting network currently hosts more than 10,000 people, supporting clients in over 75 countries, and so a shortage of talent cannot be afforded.

As a result, the firm will focus more heavily on the promotion of diversity, which will help maximise the potential labour pool the firm can access, while additional social responsibility measures will help to boost its attractiveness as an employer. At the same time, retention of staff remains of paramount importance. Hamidian said that to this end, creating and maintaining an environment where the firm’s people can develop and grow is important.

In terms of transparency and communication, to further push the people focus of the firm, HR Leader Stephan Weber will join the global Management Committee of BearingPoint. His focus is on making the right talent available to clients, and also on the effective organisation and deployment of the BearingPoint people and on the realisation of their potential. Weber will also take on responsibility for BearingPoint’s internal IT to match the requirements of the BearingPoint people with the right systems.

“Ventures provide great opportunities for us, as we have both the management know-how and the technological capabilities to make them happen.”
– Kiumars Hamidian

In Hamidian’s footsteps

Hamidian’s own step up to the top role leaves some spaces behind. A 22-year veteran at BearingPoint, he previously occupied the position of Regional Leader for Germany, Czech Republic and Romania – which is the firm’s largest region and home to the firm’s largest office (Germany) in revenue, ahead of France and the UK.

Hamidian became a Partner in 2002, and was elected to the firm-wide Management Committee two years ago, becoming further responsible for BearingPoint's innovation processes and venture activities; an arm that has grown strongly in recent years and holds the key to the firm’s diversification-based growth strategy. The gap left by his elevation will see a reshuffle of three senior partners to fill it.

Iris Grewe, Regional Leader Switzerland, Italy, Austria (SIA), will take on the leadership of the region Germany, Czechia, Romania (GCR). “Putting the leadership of both regions under one person, especially a leader such as Iris, strengthens the close collaboration between the GCR and SIA regions and further leverages our capabilities across borders,” said Hamidian.

Matthias Loebich, Global Leader Production Industries, will also take over responsibility for BearingPoint’s Global Consulting Network. “Matthias has a highly successful track record in our international engagements and will bring in all his expertise to further develop our internal capabilities and also leverage our global consulting network to best serve our clients,” Hamidian added.

Donald Wachs, Global Leader Industrial Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, will lead the Service Line Digital & Strategy (D&S). Hamidian commented; “Donald will strengthen our D&S offering and expand our IP services in the digital area, which will help us differentiate ourselves even more in the market. D&S is especially important to our growth ambitions, and I am thankful that Donald will leverage all his experience from various projects across the globe to fuel our service offering.”