How was 2016 for BearingPoint?
I am happy to report that our revenues grew by ten percent to 622 million euros, reaching another record. All service lines, industry segments and regions showed positive revenue trends and solid growth rates. The firm reported year-over-year net bookings growth of 13 percent which means that we accelerated our business development. As a result, we stay committed to our 2020 goal of one billion euros in revenue.
Most importantly, BearingPoint’s growth was sustainable and profitable, allowing us to make further investments in our client services. We also invested strongly in recruiting top talent and developing our people. The firm again received several awards, underlining our strength in proven tech packages with rapid market impact. I am really proud that we achieved all these results despite challenging economic and political conditions in Europe.
What was your focus in terms of strategy?
After validating our strategy in 2015, we decided that 2016 would be all about execution, so we focused on a strategy-toresults approach.
Our strategy is indeed paying off. The combination of consulting, solutions and ventures is the right set-up. Projects focused on regulation and digitalization as well as the technology solutions business were strong drivers of growth. So we made further investments in our focus areas of digital transformation and regulatory technology. We also invested in the expansion of our geographical coverage, opening new offices in Singapore, Portugal and the Czech Republic.
How important is a local presence in an era of global connectivity?
We believe in a global language, but with local dialects. Our services and project teams can of course be made available and deployed across borders. But long-term relationships and trust are forged locally. After building a foundation of mutual trust, you can then increasingly work in a virtual space and ensure a seamless quality of the services across borders. We use the opportunity to work in different countries and collaborate in teams with people from different cultures in order to develop novel solutions for our customers by leveraging diversity.
Geographic growth also means growth of complexity. How do you deal with that?
It’s true, having established presences in China, the Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, the UAE and the US over the last three years, we had to reorganize parts of our regional structure. For example, we divided the Central Continental Europe region, which has seen very strong development, into two new regions, GCR (Germany, Czech Republic, Romania) and SIA (Switzerland, Italy, Austria), which took effect January 1, 2017. In this way, we ensure sustainable growth and agility. We also put an even stronger focus on developing BearingPoint’s presences outside of Europe as well as the global consulting network comprising the alliance partnerships. Against this background – new regional structure and globalization – we created three new dedicated leadership positions to back-up our strong development.
What were your key initiatives driving growth?
In 2016 BearingPoint continued to build its unique ecosystem of innovation. It integrated start-ups, clients and consulting power, providing a customized mix of technology, ideas and funding to spark growth. We launched ten new Accelerators, our highly focused, effective and tested solutions designed to accelerate positive change in areas that are important to our clients. We initiated a Shark Tank innovation concept and generated 420 new ideas through the BE an Innovator process.
We further anchored our positioning as a digital consultancy in the market by successfully pushing our digital ecosystem management (DEM) offering and further educated our own people on our wide range of tech products and services. Our Solutions business continued to show strong progress. Besides the market success of DEM resulting in many new client projects, we expanded the international reach of our regulatory technology services, which drove extraordinary growth and market recognition. All these efforts resulted in improved analyst consulting rankings, notably by Gartner, IDC and others, in particular in the areas of FinTech and RiskTech.
What does sustainability mean to BearingPoint?
There are three ways how we exercise our responsibility for the sustainable development of our firm, our clients and society at large: one economic, one environmental and one social. It all started with the economic dimension. We made stewardship one of our guiding principles right from the beginning: we are determined to develop our people and our capabilities in order to build a stronger, healthier and wiser organization for the benefit of future generations of employees.
The environmental dimension is also rooted in the idea of stewardship. Hence, we call it environmental stewardship and its purpose is to improve efficiency, to reduce waste in operations, and to address BearingPoint’s responsibility to be an exemplary global corporate citizen.
Our social engagement to support sustainability is focused on our social purpose which is the development and understanding of the human mind. We created the BearingPoint Foundation, a charitable organization, to deliver on this purpose. We pledged to invest at least one percent of the firm’s annual profits through the Foundation by giving our time and expertise, raising and donating money and providing our products and research. We also strongly believe that the development of our people is critical to our firm’s long-term success and put a lot of resources into our leadership development and the concept of diversity.
Sustainability is in our corporate genes and emerged in a variety of ways over time. However, we pulled it all together and put it into a structure to allow for more impact through bundling. For this Annual Report, we created an overview you can find in a dedicated Sustainability Report.
Where is the firm headed in 2017?
While we always will stay adaptive, 2016 made us even more confident that we are on the right track with our strategy. 2017 will be centered on innovation, continued strategy execution and maintaining the momentum the firm gained in 2016. However, 2017 also sees important political votes in our two largest countries, and we must remain vigilant and flexible to any market changes. By doing so, we will continue our journey towards our goal of one billion euros in revenue by 2020 and a prosperous future for our clients and our firm.