Horn & Company embarks on next growth phase with investor

15 October 2021 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read

German management consulting firm Horn & Company has entered into a strategic partnership with investor Waterland, in a deal that aims to more than double its business in the coming years. 

Founded in 2009 by Christian Horn and Alexander Bethke-Jaenicke, among others, Horn & Company is a consultancy with around 100 employees. The Dusseldorf-based firm provides a range of corporate and management consulting services to clients in two main industry verticals: financial services and manufacturing, serving both large corporates as well as mid-sized (family) businesses. 

With the help of Waterland – a well-known investor in the professional services scene – Horn & Company now aims at accelerating its growth, and further down the line, becoming the epicentre of “a new growth platform for mid-sized consultancy businesses”, said managing partners Horn and Bethke-Jaenicke in a statement. 

Horn & Company embarks on next growth phase with investor

“In recent years, we have established ourselves in the market [Horn & Company has won several awards in recent years in home market Germany] and convinced a top-class client portfolio from our value creation approach. Now it is our goal to accelerate our growth journey,” said Horn.

With the added financial muscle, the German consulting firm plans to realise two growth pillars. For one, an internationalisation strategy. The firm currently operates with five offices in Germany, and aims to become “an even stronger brand in the German-speaking consultancy market.” Basically meaning that the consultancy will expand its recently launched office in Vienna, Austria, and enter the Swiss consulting market. 

From its foothold in DACH, “expansion into neighbouring European markets is also planned,” said Horn, with the mature consulting markets of France, Belgium and the Netherlands currently being explored.

While expansion within DACH will be achieved mainly through organic growth (Horn & Company has enjoyed double-digit for multiple consecutive years), growth outside of the German-speaking region will primarily be driven though inorganic means. “We see potential both horizontally and vertically,” said Horn, hinting at deals that could widen the firm’s product-market offerings. 

The second pillar revolves around bolstering Horn & Company’s portfolio of services. Not surprisingly, significant investments will be pumped into beefing up its digital transformation and data analytics capabilities. “We also will expand into other functional areas in order to provide our clients with a comprehensive consulting service,” explained Bethke-Jaenicke. 

He added that Horn & Company’s leadership team are convinced that pan-European investment house Waterland are the “right partner” to realise these goals. “Waterland has the necessary operational know-how in the field of professional services as well as the required industry expertise to take the next step in Horn & Company’s success journey together with us. We are looking forward to the partnership.” 

Waterland’s most known stake in professional services is that of Moore, a global accounting, auditing and advisory group. In the management consulting landscape, the investor has a stake in Dutch consultancy First Consulting, which leveraged Waterland’s backing to subsequently add Valcon and Viqtor Davis to its network. The investor also owns stakes in digital agencies Intracto and Sideshow. 

Commenting on its funding into Horn & Company (for an undisclosed sum), Gregor Hengst, a partner at Waterland, said: “The clear strategic profile and unique positioning of Horn & Company convinced us from the very start. We see promising growth potential, in particular through inorganic value levers. We look forward to supporting their experienced management team.”