A.T. Kearney launches Restructuring arm in Germany and Central Europe

11 May 2018 Consultancy.eu

A.T. Kearney is expanding its service portfolio in continental Europe with the launch of a restructuring and turnaround arm.

“With A.T. Kearney Restructuring, we are expanding our competencies with a network of Chief Restructuring Officers and senior restructuring professionals,” said Martin Eisenhut, Partner and Managing Director of A.T. Kearney Central Europe.

The new business unit will help companies that are facing crisis situations (‘crisis management’) or are in financial distress – companies that no can longer meet or are have difficulty paying off their financial obligations to creditors – with three offerings. First, helping companies stabilise in acute situations; second, supporting them with crafting a roadmap for recovery; and third, with the implementation.

The launch comes on the back of growing demand for restructuring services globally, despite the service being one that is highly synchronised to economic cycles. When the economy is booming and companies are riding high, demand for turnaround typically falls, while in periods of economic pressure, cost focus tends to spiral back up the strategic agenda, and the number of companies that risk falling or fall into administration starts peaking again.Martin Eisenhut - AT Kearney However, the rapid rise of digitisation has turned the decade-long equation upside down. Enter digital disruptors, and companies deemed financially healthy not too long ago have come under immense pressure, as they face more digital, agile-savvy and innovative competitors. This has led to a rise in new-age restructuring projects, as noted by a report from management consultancy Roland Berger. The authors found that the trend of digital-led disruption to strategies and operating models is sparking a rise in demand for Restructuring Officers to implement redesigns and manage turnaround situations. 

“We expect more and more crisis management situations, that is why we are expanding our offering into the area,” explained Eisenhut. “On a macroeconomic level, the pillars of global growth have become more shaky. And across the board, productivity growth is lagging behind growth rates, and in our work with companies globally, we are seeing a growing potential for crisis situations.” He explained, “Thanks to our decades of experience as a top player in operations consulting, we can already see which companies today are still performing well, but risk running into a crisis situation in the medium term.”

Asked about how A.T. Kearney will differentiate its offering in a market that is dominated by big players such as the Big Four, AlixPartners, FTI Consuting, Roland Berger, and even the likes of McKinsey and BCG which have more recently ventured into the field, Eisenhut said, “We have deep expertise in cost transformation, operations excellence and digital / IT transformation with a worldwide network of hands-on Chief Restructuring Officers (CROs), other industry experts and industry leaders. Our network also includes dozens of highly skilled and experienced interim executives who have a market-leading track record in strategic turnaround programmes.” 

When on the job, A.T. Kearney’s approach focuses on helping companies “think outside the box” to reap the full benefits of restructuring, while the firm can leverage its strategic capacities in an agile manner to help companies slash costs, and identify opportunities for much-needed new growth.”

Last month German-national Martin Eisenhut welcomed two new partners to A.T. Kearney’s partnership in Germany. Both Christian Malorny and Thomas Luk joined the Automotive practice and previously worked for McKinsey & Company.

France has grown into Comatch's second largest market

19 April 2019 Consultancy.eu

France has quickly become Comatch’s second largest market, since launching in 2017. The platform for connecting consultants and independent experts with companies has used the wide ranging expertise of its 900 strong network to enjoy rapid growth in the country.

Two years after launching in Germany in 2015, Comatch landed in Europe’s second largest economy of France. Now one and a half years down the line, the company has completed dozens of projects in the country. Over the past six months, the number of projects completed has increased by 170%.

Comatch’s activities in France are growing for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the excellent health of the consulting market in France is a key factor. In 2018, Consult’in France found that the industry had expanded its revenues by 11%, and with this boom in demand, the need for independents as found in Comatch’s network has risen as well. Its database of French freelancers now hosts around 1,000 management consultants and industry practitioners. The firm’s entire database sits at 7,000 members all over the world, so almost 15% of the network is currently based in France.

At the same time, Comatch’s network boasts quality as well as quantity. Each member is handpicked and must undergo a rigorous process of vetting before being admitted. Meanwhile, the wide variety of skills and capabilities shared by these consultants mean that Comatch is capable of covering matters across strategy and business consulting. It now has a track record in more than 30 sectors as a result.France has grown into Comatch's second largest marketContrary to the largest consulting firms, Comatch targets mainly medium-sized and intermediate companies that typically find the fees of the MBB or the Big Four too high, or their consulting processes to cumbersome. According to Bernhard Ney, the Chief Executive of Comatch France, this means that clients are satisfied with Comatch’s consultants, due to the very high return rate on engaging them.

Ney explained, “With reduced overhead costs, the Comatch model makes top consultants more accessible to these companies. We see major opportunities in this segment, and thus address them with a personalised approach and a tailor-made support system… With a rate of recommendation of 94% and the multiplication of project renewals, we are convinced of the relevance of our model. Our customers emphasise not only the flexibility and availability of our teams, but also the quality of the members of our network.”

For 2019, the firm aims at continuing its growth. It intends to do this by becoming a trusted partner of companies, and extending its portfolio of services from consultancy engagements to placements as well. To support these developments in the French market, the team has been strengthened and now has around fifteen people.

The French team will now build on the foundation built by Comatch globally. The company has a global team of over 100 employees, and last year closed a €8 million financial round to accelerate its expansion, including a deepening of its services, investment in its technical infrastructure, and entering new markets.

Even talk of a global economic slowdown doesn’t concern Ney thanks to this progress. He concluded; “If forecasts of economic slowdown materialise, our light cost structure will allow us to propose consulting engagements at prices adapted to this cycle of the economy.”