Ankura launches a European restructuring consulting practice

27 September 2021 3 min. read
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US-headquartered consulting firm Ankura has launched a European restructuring practice, bringing on board several high-profile restructuring specialists from rivals to lead the charge.

Founded in 2014, Ankura has over the past years grown into a 1,500-strong consulting firm that advises clients on a range of strategic, organisational and financial topics. The firm has over the years grown strongly through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, including the $470 million purchase of the disputes and forensics business from Navigant Consulting in 2018. 

In Europe, Ankura operates with two offices: in London (where the firm employs around 150 people) and in Frankfurt (where Ankura has close to 80 professionals). Operating out of London, the new restructuring practice will aim at nestling a position in the restructuring scene amid a period of booming demand for distressed services.

Ankura launches a European restructuring consulting practice

The restructuring consulting landscape is dominated by four types of firms: the restructuring arms of the Big Four; the large ‘independent firms’ such as Alvarez & Marsal, AlixPartners and FTI Consulting (who don’t run potential conflicts of interest such as also being a company’s auditor); the restructuring outfits of the strategic firms (notably BCG, McKinsey and Roland Berger); and dozens of boutique consultancies dedicated to restructuring and turnaround.

Ankura aims to differentiate itself in the market by bringing together the “impressive groups of senior restructuring professionals in the market” and through its holistic approach, said Simon Michaels, Ankura’s Chairman for EMEA and APAC. “The distressed advisory market is ripe for disruption. It’s clear that companies across a multitude of sectors require a level of support that extends beyond pure financial restructuring.”

“Our team has strategic, commercial, and operational expertise with experience of delivering sustainable solutions,” he added.

The launching team consist of 11 experienced restructuring experts, and is led by Senior Managing Directors Donald Featherstone and Mark Hawken (both are ex-BCG) and Scott Millar (the former UK head of restructuring at AlixPartners), who bring an excess of 60 years of combined experience, having worked on some of Europe’s most high-profile cases in recent years.

Donald Featherstone and Mark Hawken and Scott Millar

They are supported by a group of eight seniors: Managing Directors Craig Bowen, Mark Smith, and Mark Menon; Senior Directors Mark Christiansen, Barry Hopkins, and Nick Edwards; and Directors Gyusub Chung and Joshua Edwards.

In the coming months, Ankura plans to expand the team to deepen its restructuring consulting services and expand into new segments including interim management and creditor capabilities. The consultancy also will expand its geographical base with the launch of new offices in Italy, Spain and France, said Michaels.

Philip Gund, Ankura’s Global Head of Turnaround & Restructuring said: “We are excited to welcome our colleagues in Europe as we continue to expand our global footprint. We look forward to collaborating in bringing solutions to our internationally based clients and other cross-border opportunities as well as further building on our global restructuring capabilities.” 

Backed by private equity group Madison Dearborn Partners, Ankura is pursuing an internationalisation strategy. The firm currently generates 85% of its revenues in the US market. By 2025, the share of non-US revenue should have grown to 35%. Europe is at the epicentre of this plan, with the Middle East, Asia and Australia the other markets identified for strong growth.