AlixPartners, Capco and Oliver Wyman add senior advisors in Germany

20 April 2018

International consulting firms AlixPartners, Capco and Oliver Wyman have added senior advisors to their teams in Germany. Armin Scharlach joins Oliver Wyman as a partner from Accenture, Peter Heckmann and Stefan Duderstadt bring backgrounds at Roland Berger and Strategy& to AlixPartners, while former Accenture partner Gerhard Längst bolsters Capco’s banking wing. 

Armin Scharlach

The 48 year old Armin Scharlach has over two decades of experience in the consulting industry, having previously served Accenture, A.T. Kearney, IBM and PwC, among others, as well as heading a procurement consultancy he founded himself. Over the past 15 years Scharlach has specialised in procurement, helping clients with services including procurement transformation, logistics and packaging sourcing, outsourcing, digital purchasing, and advanced collaborative sourcing. He gained most of his experience in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, beverage, consumer and engineering sectors, working for clients in Germany, Switzerland, Central Europe, Scandinavia and the UK. 

In his most recent role, Scharlach was a Managing Director at Accenture in Berlin, and was previously a Vice President at A.T. Kearney, a role in which he served for over eight years. 

At Oliver Wyman, Scharlach has been appointed a partner in the firm’s Procurement arm for the DACH region (Germany, Switzerland and Austria). In Germany, Oliver Wyman has five offices (Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich), while its Swiss office is based in Zurich. 

In addition, he takes on the role of Commercial Director. In the prior role, he will mainly focus on ‘advanced collaboration, a service which helps customers achieve win-win scenarios in a wider purchasing ecosystem through clever commercial cooperation models with partners and suppliers.

Commenting on the partner appointment, Finja Carolin Kütz, Oliver Wyman’s boss in Germany, said, “With Scharlach in the role of Commercial Director, we are convinced that we are well positioned to achieve further growth in DACH and Europe.”

Armin Scharlach, Peter Heckmann and Stefan Duderstadt and Gerhard Längst

Peter Heckmann and Stefan Duderstadt

Private-equity backed AlixPartners has meanwhile added two experienced consultants to its German ranks. Peter Heckmann (52), who previously worked for 25 years at Strategy& and its predecessors, has been named a Managing Director in the Dusseldorf office, and will be responsible for expanding the firm’s retail activities in Germany.

He started his career with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he became a partner in 2000. After Booz Allen split into two firms in 2008, he transitioned to Booz & Company, and remained with the consultancy after it was acquired by Big Four giants PwC in 2013. Among the leadership roles he held at Strategy& are Head of European Operations Practice and Head of the German Retail wing. Most recently, Heckmann, who specialises in procurement and supply chain management services, concentrated on expanding Strategy&’s business in EME’s consumer goods and retail sectors. 

46 year-old Stefan Duderstadt is an expert in insurance and, as a senior director based in Munich, he will support the financial services activities of AlixPartners. He brings with him over 20 years of experience in the financial services and insurance industry, gained both as a consultant (Duderstadt worked more than five years for Roland Berger) and in industry. Latterly, he was the Head of Corporate Strategy for Munich Re, a company which he served for over a decade. Earlier in his career, Duderstadt also worked for Dresdner Bank, where he completed his traineeship.

AlixPartners has eleven offices in the EMEA region, including three in DACH: Dusseldorf, Munich and Zurich.

Gerhard Längst

Financial services specialist Capco, which just like AlixPartners is private-equity backed (the firm returned to independence in August last year), has appointed Gerhard Längst a senior partner in the firm’s Dusseldorf office. “With his thirty years of experience in consulting, Gerhard is an ideal addition to our partner team,” said Bodo Schaefer, Managing Director for Capco Germany, Austria and Poland. 

Prior to joining Capco, Längst had worked as a freelance consultant for large banking clients in Germany and Austria since 2005. Previously, he worked for Accenture, and in his last position he was a managing director with a focus on outsourcing services. Before that, he headed the Finance & Performance Management division for Accenture in the DACH region. 

Längst, who started his career in consulting in 1988, has extensive experience in areas such as finance, risk management, controlling, accounting and regulatory. At Capco, he will advise on innovative solutions and large transformations in banking and develop digital blueprints on technology transitions.

“I am very pleased to join the team at Capco. The banking sector is faced with major disruption, ranging from new competitors and regulatory requirements to strong pressure on margins and changing client behaviour. This background requires new ideas and solutions that can shape the financial ecosystem of the coming years. I look forward to working with the team to help our clients navigate their (digital) challenges,” remarked Längst. 

Capco has two offices in Germany (Dusseldorf, Frankfurt), two in Switzerland (Geneva, Zurich) and one in Austria (Vienna).

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.”