Marcus Ehrhardt and Lars Hille join partnership of BCG & Roland Berger

04 October 2018

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Roland Berger have added partners to their German operations. Lars Hille, a former board member of DZ Bank, will join Roland Berger’s Financial Services practice as a Senior Partner, while Marcus Ehrhardt has joined BCG as a Partner in the firm’s Healthcare and Operations practices.

“We are very pleased to welcome Lars,” said Markus Strietzel, who leads Roland Berger’s Financial Services division in Central and Eastern Europe. Hille brings over 25 years of experience in banking to the German-origin strategy consultancy, most of which has been gained at DZ Bank. After working for Mummert und Partner (acquired by Sopra Steria) and the German Stock Exchange, he joined DZ Bank in 1998. DZ Bank is the central institution for more than 1,000 co-operative banks in Germany and their 12,000 branch offices, making it the country’s second largest bank by asset size. The circa 30,000 employees of the banking institution generate revenues of over €6.5 billion.

From 2007 onwards, Hille serves as DZ Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the group’s finance operation as well as for several large programmes, including the firm’s digital agenda. After he steps down from his role, Hille will in November this year join Roland Berger as a Senior Partner.

“Financial service providers and especially banks are undergoing a fundamental process of transformation of their business models, so exciting and challenging tasks are ahead of us,” he said, adding; “Roland Berger gives me the opportunity to bring my know-how and experience in finance and business model engineering directly to the table of clients.”

Marcus Ehrhardt and Lars Hille join partnership of BCG & Roland Berger

The appointment comes at a time when Germany’s banking landscape is unsettled. Deutsche Bank, which last year hired McKinsey & Company to help it with updating its strategy, is rumoured to be in discussions with rival Commerzbank as the pair explore merger synergies; bank officials have however slammed the news as ‘fake news’, and criticised the media for bringing rumours to life. Meanwhile, German banks akin to their European counterparts have faced a dip in economic profits off late, an analysis by The Boston Consulting Group found, against a backdrop of rapidly changing markets which are requiring them to ramp up their investments in digital to remain relevant.

In another top appointment in consulting, Roland Berger’s rival The Boston Consulting Group has added German-national Marcus Ehrhardt to its Partner team. BCG has 90+ offices globally, and in Germany, the firm’s seven growing offices in the country generate revenues estimated to be around €830 million.

Ehrhardt is an experienced consultant to executives in the healthcare industry. He joined from Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business formed in 2014 after the Big Four firm acquired Booz & Company. Ehrhardt was based in the firm’s New York office, out of which he led Strategy&’s US Operations practice for the Life Sciences industry. He specialises in strategic transformation, performance improvement, supply chain management, digitisation, sourcing and pharma-distribution. He also has a track record helping private equity firms with due diligence, turnaround and post-merger integration work.

During his 18-year tenure at Strategy&, Ehrhardt was recognised as a ‘Global Young Leader’ by the Atlantik-Bruecke Association, a transatlantic network of leading American and German decision-makers. Prior to joining the strategy consultancy in 2000 (Booz Allen Hamilton at the time), Ehrhardt worked at General Motors both in Europe and the US, and for the Department of Economics at Frankfurt University on an international research project on technology and innovation management.

Earlier this year, Strategy& in Germany bolstered its banking practice in Germany with the addition of former Bain & Company advisor Robert Bischof.

Rik de Weerd joins Product League as Chief Digital Transformation

19 April 2019

Product League, a digital transformation agency dedicated to the OutSystems platform, has brought Rik de Weerd on board as Chief Digital Transformation.

Based in the Netherlands, Product League is a rapidly growing digital product specialist. The firm helps clients – including the likes of beer brewer Heineken and grocery players Albert Heijn and Coop – build systems, applications and products by combining a rapid application development approach with an agile way of working. To this end, Product League is dedicated to the low-code platform of OutSystems. 

Against a backdrop of a growing need to transform core legacy systems, as organisations embrace emerging technologies to bolster competitiveness and (digitally) navigate change, low-code is seeing a booming uptake by organisations of all sizes. According to one estimate, by a US analyst firm, the market for low code development is set to double in size from its current value of $1.6 billion roughly every two years during the period until 2025. Alongside peers such as Appian and Mendix, OutSystems is at the forefront of the low-code industry.

According to Rik de Weerd, Product League is uniquely positioned to tap into the growing market for OutSystems services, leveraging its specialist and multidisciplinary approach to help clients “deliver winning products”. He elaborated, “there are many good players in the OutSystems market which deliver excellent technical work. Product League goes beyond this, and additionally brings a focus on the strategic level. The firm is not only a strategic partner with the right toolset, but also brings the determination to take clients wherever they need to go.”

Rik de Weerd joins Product League as Chief Digital Transformation

The Dutchman brings a wealth of experience to Product League, as well as a reputation as one of the Benelux’s OutSystems thought leaders in the low-code industry. Before joining the digital consultancy, he worked for OutSystems from their Benelux office as Lead Solution Architect for Northern Europe. During his tenure, he has led a large number of digital transformation projects and has been responsible for resolving complex business and IT issues. Earlier in his career he held several IT consulting and project management roles. 

Asked about his move from OutSystems to Product League, De Weerd commented: “After five years of evangelising low-code, drawing up countless solutions across Northern Europe and battling 'old habits and short-term thinking’, now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. I had the privilege to be presented with several new business cases every week in different branches and help blueprint the road to value in all of them. Now I’m eager to take that to the next level and drive the programmes that actually transform corporations into the digital age.”

“Low-code has crossed the chasm, the technology is now here to stay. Searching for new, more effective ways of catalysing their digital transformation, leading companies are realising this. Driving digital transformation as a core competency of Product League is now my mission and I believe it will be an excellent fit.” 

He further pointed at Product League’s ability to provide an end-to-end service, “With a team of product owners, business analysts, UX/UI designers and OutSystems developers, Product League can offer clients the full digital experience. But technology can only take you so far – without the right people, the right mindset and the power to execute, IT stays hypothetical. I believe I’ve found all three in Product League.”