Brand and communication consultancy i-sekai launches in Germany

21 January 2019

i-sekai, a Munch- and Berlin-based consultancy firm, has opened its superpower-tinged doors.

The firm, founded by former Edelman executives Cornelia Kunze and Moritz Kaffsack, offers strategic and creative services, in contrast to Edelman’s PR executions, to in-house teams from global companies. The firm will rely on support from independent agencies, creating an ecosystem able to support a range of client needs. 

“There are so many senior people locally who have left the agency system and are working independently – agencies are losing talent. There is so much technology now that enables us to work together like an agency without overheads. We don’t do pitches or retainers, just project work. We can decide to work with people we like and who have the same philosophy, on strategic client work rather than management tasks, and there aren’t quite so many Excel spreadsheets,” Kunze said in an interview with the Holmes Report.

Brand and communication consultancy i-sekai launches in Germany

Kunze has worked for 25 years across Europe and Asia, for clients such as Mars, Unilever, Shell, Microsoft, P&G, Adidas, and Hilton. She is also a university lecturer on international community management. Kaffsack has worked as a consultant with Edelman for 12 years, focusing on the local market strategies of Pfizer, Starbucks, and Mitsubishi Hitachi in Asia and the Middle East

The launch of i-sekai comes at a time when networks of independents are rapidly gaining ground in professional services – a sector traditionally dominated by large firms. In accounting, the Big Four (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC) are increasingly challenged by freelancer groups, while in management consulting, networks such as Talmix and Comatch are attempting to revamp the way clients buy consultancy services for some of their most pressing challenges.

The word “i-sekai” refers to a subgenre of Japanese fantasy manga, anime, video games, and other art in which the protagonist travels or is trapped in an alternate or parallel universe, where he or she has special powers. This falls in line with the firm’s promise to help its clients develop abilities, such as “absolute creativity”, “ultra-speed,” and “clairvoyance” – that will improve companies’ reputations and services by building trust with and adding value to society.

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Financial services consultancy Axxsys Consulting opens Nordics office

25 April 2018

Financial services consultancy firm Axxsys Consulting has expanded into the Nordics with the opening of an office in Copenhagen, Denmark. The locale is Axxsys’s fourth office globally, following London, Toronto and New York. 

Established in 2003, Axxsys Consulting is a IT consultancy firm to the asset management and hedge fund industry. The firm specialises in business analysis, systems specification and project delivery, with its services spanning from inception to implementation and training. 

The new office in Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen is according to Klaus Krarup, Director at Axxsys and Head of the Nordic Region, a move that is in response to increased demand from the firm’s existing client base. “Whilst we have been growing our international portfolio of clients, we have also been developing a strong client base in the Nordics for some time now, building a strong knowledge of the local markets and trends. More recently we have seen demand increase from our existing clients for on the ground consulting services.”

The hub, which is located at Flæsketorvet 68, will primarily serve the Danish market, but also the wider Nordic region, which includes Finland, Norway and Sweden. Combined the four countries host a consulting industry worth over €2,5 billion, with growth rates set to rise in the coming years on the back of an improving economic climate, both in the region as well as across Europe. 

Financial services consultancy Axxsys Consulting opens Nordics office

Krarup added that he also foresees a strong opportunity to acquire new clients in the Nordics, as “We are seeing demand increase from new/potential clients looking for strategic and implementation services.” 

International expansion

The expansion into Denmark is the third international venture for the London headquartered company. After servicing the Canadian market since 2009, Axxsys Consulting expanded into Toronto in 2013, and later that year the firm made a foray into the United States, which is the globe’s largest market for investment management (in terms of assets under management). Globally, the consulting firm now has a team of nearly 50 consultants. 

To staff the Copenhagen office, Axxsys Consulting has launched a recruitment drive. Krarup: “We are looking to recruit a number of new consultants locally and are interested in knowledgeable industry professionals with experience of working with some of the leading investment management vendor solutions.” 

Earlier this year, Axxsys Consulting was named one of the top consultancy firms in the European funds industry. Commenting on the award during the Funds Europe Awards ceremony held in London, Philip Ritchie, Director at Axxsys said “This is recognition of our progress since the business commenced trading almost 15 years ago. The recognition validates our business model, cultural values and relentless focus on delivering a world class service to our growing list of clients.  Most importantly this nomination underlines the professionalism, tenacity and expertise demonstrated by our consultants every day.

Asked about how Axxsys Consulting stands out in the competitive consulting market, Ritchie stated “At Axxsys, we have been developing our range of services that can deliver real value to firms looking for highly skilled industry professionals to help with business or technology integration projects. Our consultants have extensive experience of working with the technology vendor solutions, not just implementations but also ensuring the new technology platforms integrate efficiently into the existing business. This is where we are seeing the greatest demand for our services.”

Last year, Analysys Mason, a consulting firm for the telecom sector, entered the Nordic consulting industry with the acquisition of Nexia Management Consulting. Meanwhile, one of the top home grown Scandinavian consultancies, QVARTZ, has recently moved in the opposite direction, branching out across the globe, most recently into the Netherlands (through a joint venture with Boer & Croon) and India (through a partnership with UC Strategy).