Over a century of service
Our roots go back over 100 years to the early days of two big names in professional services: Arthur Andersen and KPMG. These roots in consulting’s major players have added to our strengths and distinctive character.
In 1913 Arthur Andersen started his accounting firm in Chicago. Over the decades that followed, Arthur Andersen grew its accounting business and, from the 1970s onwards, its consulting services. By the early 1990s, Arthur Andersen was the largest management consulting firm in the world.
In parallel, KPMG was developing its consulting business. In 2000 KPMG spun off some of its consulting units as KPMG Consulting Inc., and in 2001 KPMG Consulting Inc. went public on the NASDAQ. The company began a rapid global expansion – acquiring a majority of Arthur Andersen’s business consulting practices in 2002. That same year, the company changed its name to BearingPoint Inc. and moved to the NYSE.
Rapid growth continued but ultimately ended in financial difficulties culminating in BearingPoint Inc. filing for Chapter 11 for their US operations in 2009. This challenging time nevertheless created a decisive moment for the firm’s European leaders – a moment they seized to execute a management buyout (MBO) and make the independent BearingPoint partnership we are proud to be part of today.
In August 2009, our founding partners sealed the deal that set us on our way as an independent firm of management and technology consultants wholeheartedly committed to the long-term success of our clients and our partnership.
Our MBO had a strong foundation, with many of us already working together at the European arm of the former BearingPoint Inc. We were a newly independent firm with a long history and understanding of how to deliver quality, serve clients, and operate efficiently. Between us, we had a deep pool of diverse experience and expertise and knew how to succeed. In essence, we were an established start-up. From day one, we have drawn on this great heritage in consulting, taking the best with us on our journey to excellence.
Our firm’s soul, our brand, our values, and our core purpose – who we are, what we believe in, and why we’re here – the stuff that never changes in our ever-changing world, was honed in those intense early days.
Following the MBO, we set new sails and opened, in addition to the already existing European BearingPoint locations, offices in China, the Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, the UAE, and the US to expand our reach across the G-20 countries and beyond. We increased our office locations from 25 in 2009 to 41 in 2020 to help European companies become global leaders.
While Europe is our home base, we operate our own offices in the US and China since those are, besides Europe, the biggest markets for most of our clients. To complement our global reach, we have built a strong and trusted global alliance network: ABeam Consulting for Asia, West Monroe Partners for North America, and Grupo ASSA for South America.
To further strengthen our strategic position, we executed targeted acquisitions:
We also pushed innovation, internal incubators, and spin-offs. In 2016, we transferred our blockchain technology Elevence to Digital Asset Holdings, and in 2020 we sold our RegTech business to Nordic Capital, retaining a level of investment in the new RegTech business with a minor stake and a seat on its Advisory Board.
The idea behind our incubators is to develop an environment, team, and structures to forge ahead with standalone opportunities, explore new ways of cooperating with our clients, and develop joint venture IP.
Ten years after the MBO, our net revenue grew from €441m (2009) to €781m (2019), and the number of our people increased from 3,140 (2009) to 4,639 (2019).
Today, our growth is based on three synergetic business units: Consulting, Business Services, and Software Solutions. The first unit covers the consulting business with a clear focus on selected business areas. The second unit offers IP-driven digital assets and managed services beyond SaaS. The third unit provides market-leading software for a successful digital transformation. Across all units, BearingPoint develops new, innovative business models together with clients and partners.
We continue on the path of sustainable and profitable growth by executing our Strategy 2025, which we built around Markets, Portfolio, and People.