West Monroe Partners plan to grow Chicago office to 1,200 consultants

03 July 2018 Consulting.us

Frequently named among the best places to work in Chicago, consultancy West Monroe Partners should have little trouble attracting top talent for its expanding headquarters. The firm has expanded its Chicago office space by 35,000 square feet and plans to almost double the headcount to 1,200 people.

West Monroe Partners is the exclusive occupier of the 11th floor of The Franklin in downtown Chicago. With rising revenues and an expanding portfolio of clients, the consulting firm has opened a huge new place on the 10th floor to house its award-winning Performance Service practice.

The firm first set up shop in The Franklin in 2012, ten years after WMP was founded in the city by four former Arthur Andersen consultants – Dean Fischer, Susan Stelter, Matt Rager, and Kevin McCarty. Today there are around 700 Chicago-based consultants and several hundred more representing the firm in nine other national offices, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Seattle.

A management consultancy with a cross-industry client base, WMP has expertise in financial services, healthcare, energy, utilities, and consumer products. Its expanding Performance Services practice provides IT infrastructure, security management and data support. Through the practice, WMP has been recognized as one of the nation’s top Managed Services Providers.

 Revenue generated by the Chicago office alone has swollen by 60% in two years. Technology experts will make up around 40% of the planned additions to the team, with around 500 new jobs in the Windy City expected to be occupied by 2022.West Monroe Partners plan to grow Chicago office to 1,200 consultants“Becoming a multi-floor office is an exciting milestone for our Chicago team, but also an essential step for meeting our goal to expand our local workforce beyond 1,200 people by 2022,” said Doug Armstrong, senior managing director and Chicago office leader.

“Collaboration and camaraderie are core to the way we work, and the need for that is amplified the larger we become. We have very intentionally built an office environment in which we can blend our talents, create exceptional solutions, and build the next generation of leaders.”

 “We wanted to create a seamless and consistent experience regardless of where people are working within our office,” added Caryn Alavi, senior manager of real estate and project lead for the expansion. “While consultants spend much of their time in the field working with clients, our office remains the heart of our distinctive culture of collaboration and cross-functional teamwork. We have put great attention into preserving that, even as our people work between floors.”

A dedication to ensuring its people work in a constructive and collaborative environment is one reason WMP has been ranked one of the Chicago Tribune’s ‘Top Workplaces’ for eight years running. It was ranked No.1 on a list of the Best Small and Medium Workplaces in Chicago and on Crain’s Chicago Business’ Best Places to Work.

The consulting firm recently set up a new network and resource group for LGBT employees named WMPride. Employees also volunteer in their local community regularly through the WMP Day of Change initiative.

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Simon-Kucher & Partners reports record revenue growth

14 February 2019 Consulting.us

2018 was a banner year for Simon-Kucher. The consulting firm, known for its expertise in pricing strategy and marketing, posted revenues of $360 million – an increase of 23% over 2017. The Bonn, Germany–based firm saw explosive growth in the US, where revenue jumped by 35%.

The results for 2018 were the strongest growth figures that Simon-Kucher has seen in over a decade. Founded in Germany and breaking into the US market in 1996, the firm has seen robust and consistent growth since it shattered the €100 million ($119 million) fee income barrier in 2010.

Demand for effective digitalization services was key to the firm’s stellar global revenue results in 2018. Simon-Kucher CEO Georg Tacke notes that though firms have spent massive sums on digitalization, many have seen disappointing results. “The solution is therefore smaller, clearly defined, and highly-profitable digitalization projects, rather than just digitalization for digitalization’s sake,” explained Tacke. “This is exactly where companies turn to us for our support and expertise.”

Simon-Kucher’s revenue growth rate was boosted by excellent performance in the US, where fee income grew by 35% – driven by consulting work for the booming software, internet, and media industry.

Simon-Kucher & Partners reports record revenue growth

“We continue to be closely linked with the Unicorn ($1 billion+ valuated startup) community in the North America, having now worked with over 25 of them,” commented Brad Soper, partner and Atlanta office head. “Most notably, this year we created a loyalty program for one of the ride sharing companies.” 

Simon-Kucher has also seen significant demand for top-line growth services from private equity–owned firms looking for a boost in portfolio valuation from effective pricing. In total, the consulting firm serves over 20 industries, including banking and financial, consumer and retail, healthcare and life sciences. 

Last year, the firm's business-to-business (B2B) practice supported a top packaged ice manufacturer with a revamped channel pricing strategy, developed a pricing program for a large foam manufacturer, and helped numerous distribution firms plan for tariff impacts.

Uncertain economic times can help drive demand for pricing advisory, as firms look to maximize their top line in less than perfect circumstances – battered by tariffs and risks surrounding international trade, a forecasted global downturn, and fluctuating commodity prices.

The above-mentioned factor will be an even stronger influence on the firm’s 2019 business. “The overwhelming theme this year will be pricing in uncertain economic environments,” remarked Soper.  “Whether we have rising costs due to tariffs or raw material cost fluctuations – companies need to be proactive in their pricing strategy.  In addition, we see many companies continuing to innovate – which calls for a departure from a historical cost-based pricing approach to value-based.”

Meanwhile, Simon-Kucher also posted excellent growth numbers in China, where revenue jumped by over 40%. Tacke noted: “China is becoming increasingly important for the international consulting market. At the moment the share is still low – but if the positive trend seen in recent years continues, China will soon become a permanent fixture for the industry.”

In its home market of Germany, Simon-Kucher’s revenue grew by 25%, outstripping the 8.4% consulting industry average in the country by a wide margin.

The firm is forecasting another strong year in 2019, with a revenue target of $400 million. Simon-Kucher will also look to expand its 1,300-person global workforce with an additional 400 associates this year.

In the US, the company is planning to open its seventh office in Houston this year, presumably to enable greater opportunities in Texas' booming energy sector. The office will be led by partner Philip Daus.

Last year, the consultancy opened a new location in Chicago. Based out of Boston in the US, Simon-Kucher has further offices in Atlanta, Mountain View (CA), NYC, and San Francisco.