French consultancy Advancy grows in France and eyes international expansion

10 April 2018 5 min. read

French strategy and operations consultancy Advancy has started the year with growth on multiple fronts. In the firm’s home market, the consultancy expanded its partner team from six to nine and relocated to a new, larger office in Paris to accommodate for its further growth ambition, but the firm has also set its sights on international expansion in 2018, with Germany, India and South Africa the key countries eyed for entry.

Last year, the French management consulting market grew by 8.5% to €5.9 billion, on the back of a number of boutique firms branching out internationally. Among the number to expand beyond France’s borders were Estin & Co and Exton Consulting, who expanded their presence into Germany, as well as Advancy.

Advancy is a consulting firm which mainly works for clients in the retail, consumer goods, luxury and tourism sectors, dealing with clients in these areas to provide corporate strategy, marketing and sales, organisation and operational efficiency, while accompanying investment funds on their due diligence. Founded in 1999 by former A.T. Kearney consultant Eric de Bettignies, Advancy has since grown to host about 270 management consultants, of which 70 are based in headquarters Paris, with the other advisors located in offices in Boston, London, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Sydney.

French consultancy Advancy grows in France and eyes international expansion

The firm’s growth has continued into 2018, on both the global and domestic fronts. Firstly, Advancy has expanded its Parisian Partner team to nine, with the hiring of three new partners at the turn of the year. Most recently, continuing the consultancy’s historic ties with A.T. Kearney, Rémi Cornubert, a former Partner of the firm, as well as Oliver Wyman, joined Advancy as a Senior Partner. The ninth Partner in Paris arrived hot on the heels of two internal promotions to the same order: Jérôme Salomon and Alexandre Szwarcberg.

The new Partners joined the ranks of Managing Partner Eric de Bettignies (tourism, leisure and transportation); Patrick Pudduy (process industry and manufactured products); Laurence-Anne Parent (luxury, retail and consumer goods); Sébastien David (process industries); Sebastien Revel (manufactured products industry); Stéphane Blanchard (consumer goods); Jerome Solomon (chemistry and mines); Alexander Szwarcberg (retail, consumer good and luxury sectors); Rémi Cornubert (chemistry and automotive).

In order to accommodate for further head-count growth, Advancy has also relocated its Paris office, closer to the famous Place de l'Etoile (Star’s Plaza). Previously located avenue Charles de Gaulle in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a space of 800m2, the new Advancy office was installed at 28 Avenue Victor Hugo (2000m2), in the former premises of Oliver Wyman.

Restart in Germany and international growth

Advancy commenced the difficult project of international expansion by cutting its teeth in Shanghai. Following the firm’s opening for business in the growing Asian market, Advancy laid out plans to similarly launch in Sydney, Sao Paulo and the United States, alongside entries into the staple Francophone markets of Casablanca and Brussels.

Now, Advancy has set its sights on further growth in Western Europe, with Germany selected as the next locale to enter, following entry into the UK in 2016 with an office in London. The countries where variants of German are spoken (Germany, Austria and Switzerland, also known as the DACH-region) have a combined consulting turnover of over $24 billion, representing the largest regional consulting market in Europe.

Advancy had previously worked extensively in Germany through a strategic alliance with a local German advisory, currently operating under the title ADVYCE. However, in December 2017, the firm announced the provisional end of its German adventure. The partnership which it had developed with ADVYCE’s consultants in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Munich was dissolved, following a series of disagreements between the firms on either side of the Rhine.

Instead, Advancy has announced that in July 2018, it will open its own office in Germany, as part of a new roll out of global presences. The consultancy's management is also planning the opening of several other offices, including one in India and one in South Africa.

Last week, another French-origin consultancy, Wavestone, a business and technology advisory, expanded in the UK and US with the acquisition of Xceed Group, adding a team of 60 professionals.