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Surviving and thriving in the economic crisis

Mark Thomas
PA Consulting Group
23 February 2009
The economic crisis will mean spectacular failures but some big winners

PA Consulting Group has published a concise book, 'Surviving and thriving in the economic crisis', which sets out the strategies CEOs will need to follow to be among the winners from the current economic crisis.

The key steps to being a winner are:

  • maximising liquidity – even at a high cost;
  • diverting capital aggressively from poor businesses;
  • improving performance; and
  • being bold enough to act quickly to pick up the bargains resulting from the demise of your competitors.

The losers will be those who:

  • fail to secure their liquidity;
  • continue to support businesses without a future;
  • focus on traditional cost cutting (travel and marketing budgets) and ignore the bigger picture; and
  • are paralysed by caution and miss out on the opportunities.

In most sectors, according to PA’s research, there are significant numbers of companies whose liquidity is in doubt.  These companies will suffer and many will not survive.  For companies whose finances are robust, however, the recession offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities: weakened competitors will see their share prices fall to levels which make them attractive acquisition targets; they may sell their crown jewels to raise cash; or they may simply disappear, reducing the over-capacity which exists in so many sectors.  High quality assets will become available – for anyone with the capital, and the courage, to acquire them – at bargain basement prices.  Well-positioned companies can achieve a decade’s worth of progress in two years.

The author of the book, Mark Thomas, Head of PA’s Strategy and Marketing Practice, sums up the position saying:

‘The consequences of this recession will be extremely serious but there will be real opportunities for businesses that have both robust finances and leaders with the commitment and courage to seize them. Those companies will win and win big.’


Notes to editors

About PA Consulting Group

PA Consulting Group is an independent, employee-owned, global firm of 3,000 operating from offices across the world, in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, and Oceania. We have won numerous awards for delivering complex and highly innovative assignments, have technology development capability that few firms can match, deep expertise across key industries and government, and a unique breadth of skills from strategy to IT to HR to applied technology.

• defence • energy • financial services • government and public services • international development • life sciences and healthcare • manufacturing • postal services • retail • telecommunications • transportation

• strategic management • innovation and technology • IT • operational improvement • human resources • complex programme delivery

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