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Our 2018 Annual Review

Bringing Ingenuity to Life

Are you ready?

Our annual review reflects on the exciting year that 2018 was. We brought ingenuity to life for our clients and worked extra hard to apply ingenuity towards building a better, safer and more sustainable future.

We invite you to explore how, with a clear purpose and diverse teams of experts, we took clients further, faster to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.

We believe in the
power of ingenuity to build
a positive human future in a
technology-driven world

Alan Middleton

Alan Middleton, CEO

A clear purpose is an anchor that helps you sense-check your plans, make good decisions and organise what you do. It’s a compass that helps you choose the best course and navigate through opportunities and challenges. And it’s a beacon that helps you attract the best people and motivate them to perform. This is a message we often share with our clients. And it’s one we always heed ourselves.

For us, that purpose centres on ingenuity – the cleverness, inventiveness and originality it takes to formulate and put into practice innovative ideas to seize opportunities, big and small. We call it Bringing Ingenuity to Life.

As business leaders we’ve never been afforded a better opportunity

The world is changing. Fast. We have powered up consumers, five generations all together at work. The rapid pace of societal and business change challenges us every day. And there’s an enormous mix of technologies driving a fundamental reset of businesses around the world. Our clients recognise this change in pace, the challenges and, importantly, strive to benefit from the huge opportunities. We’re not just talking about start-ups, tech firms and disruptors. We’re helping big banks, high-street retailers and governments to get fit for the future. Our clients are quickly reinventing and setting themselves up for sustained success. It’s refreshing to see.

As business leaders right now, we’ve never been afforded a better opportunity to adapt and transform – to truly understand our customers’ motivations, to harness the power of technology to create incredible products and services and to find creative and effective ways to engage and empower our people.

Bringing ingenuity to life with our clients

Our clients recognise we’re different. We’re different in ‘what’ we do, and even more in ‘how’ we do it. Our distinctive approach creates strategies that inspire change and bring innovative thinking and breakthrough technologies to seize the best opportunities. Our style of working means we get the best from our team and our clients. It’s a fact that 98 per cent of clients would recommend us based on our work.

We are different

We’re not a traditional consulting firm. Our strategy work helps clients deliver innovation into the real world. It’s innovation that moves an organisation forward, yet is commercially profitable, is technically feasible and delights customers. We understand that the era of five-year strategies, and 10-year IT programmes, is over. We offer the innovation, design, digital and transformation skills that our clients need in order to change, fast. And critically, we bring creative approaches to transformation that value human ingenuity, not just numbers.

We combine diverse teams of experts

Our diverse team of experts are experienced, and they understand what it’s like to walk in our clients’ shoes.

Our people are strategists, technologists, digital experts, consultants, designers, scientists and engineers – all of whom bring real-world experience, and apply it at pace.

We hire and integrate deep industry experts who work from offices across the Americas, Europe, the Nordics and the Gulf, partnering with clients across a range of industries including consumer and retail, defence and security, energy and utilities, financial services, government and public sector, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, and transport, travel and logistics.

We invest in setting the agenda for business. Throughout the year, we’ve shared thinking on artificial intelligence, customer centricity, dark data, digital strategy, future of work, privacy, sustainability and transformation. Our most popular insight paper of the year described how agility is essential to unlocking ingenuity, even in very large organisations. It was published as Organisational Agility. Old Dogs. Ingenious New Tricks. It is well worth a read.

Our clients progress further, faster

We bring ingenuity to life for our clients and we work extra hard to apply ingenuity towards building a better, safer and more sustainable world for the future.

In the UK, we supported Skipping Rocks Lab, a start-up, to create a way to manufacture an edible alternative to single-use plastic drink packaging. We empowered the people of Schroders bank to adopt agile ways of working. In Norway, we improved how local authorities deliver their citizen-facing digital services. We partnered with Virgin Hyperloop One in the United States and India to build the first new mode of transport in a century, one that will revolutionise travel – faster, cleaner and less environmentally impacting. And we worked with the United Nations to identify the technologies most likely to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, setting the blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.

Because we share the same purpose and culture, and operate as a single firm, we respond to our clients’ needs by quickly pulling together the right people anywhere in the world to deliver our work. Clients tell us we’re unique in the way we work, with our strong appreciation of culture, teamwork, quality and innovation.

Making life at PA ever more ingenious

There’s a sense of optimism behind our purpose. And it’s a feeling that inspires our people as well as our clients. Our people give us their ideas, expertise and commitment, and in return we give them the most stimulating work they can imagine, brilliant colleagues they can learn from and an inclusive and supportive culture to help them achieve their ambitions and grow.

We are rapidly hiring the skills our clients need and looking to acquire teams and brilliant businesses in each of our markets. Our acquisitions in the last year allowed us to welcome three new teams into PA Consulting that further strengthen our innovation and digital offerings around strategy and product design, customer insight, and service design and engineering.

Our purpose and skills are in high demand and this has helped us to grow our own business, focus our efforts and continue to deliver outstanding client work. Our consulting team is 10 per cent larger and our fee income in 2018 grew to £455.8 million, delivering £79.5 million in adjusted EBITDA.

Our people love working with our clients, and are also motivated and supported to invest in our communities. We are passionate about giving people – particularly, young people – the chance to ignite a lifelong passion for ingenuity and leadership. This includes interns on the threshold of careers, enjoying real technology challenges at our Global Innovation and Technology Centre. We have sixth-formers from disadvantaged backgrounds learning important leadership skills as part of our Springboard initiative. And school children discover the thrill of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in our ever-popular Raspberry Pi competition.

We have big ambitions for 2019 and beyond. We thank our clients for choosing to work with us, and our people for their ideas, expertise and commitment. We’re excited for the journey ahead. We believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.


Alan Middleton

It has been a privilege and pleasure to join PA as chairman. It is inspiring to see first-hand the innovative and enduring results we deliver for our clients – and to see our people apply their ideas, expertise and commitment to create a positive lasting impact for our clients and the wider world

John Alexander
Chairman

Bringing ingenuity to life
with our clients

At PA, we believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world. We see it in the work we do, and invest time and energy into decoding ingenuity for our clients. This year, we focused our efforts on a major research study, which explores how even large established organisations become more agile, unleashing the full potential of their ingenuity. We called it the evolution of the agile organisation.

We’ve found that the most agile organisations display five key characteristics that all organisational leaders can embrace:

Our client work in action

Picture of Ecobooth

Ecobooth

Finding new uses for old plastic and creating a sustainable business

Ecobooth

Finding new uses for old plastic and creating a sustainable business

Plastic is increasingly hitting the headlines as a global waste headache, whether it’s clogging oceans or piling up in landfill. Ecobooth, a sustainable events company, wanted to reduce the huge amount of plastic waste produced by the events industry. We partnered with them to transform an innovative idea into a successful business.

Our technology experts researched, analysed and identified potential materials, manufacturing technologies and certification approaches. We then helped link choices on certification, materials and technologies back to a deeper understanding of the customer value proposition.

In less than a year, the business has transformed from an idea to a fully-operational organisation.

Read more

Picture of Schroders

Schroders

Transforming into an agile global organisation

Schroders

Transforming into an agile global organisation

We led an Agile transformation programme for Schroders’ global IT organisation. That included training more than 600 IT and business professionals in Agile techniques. We also developed a new operating model for the IT organisation to bring focus and structure to the way it serves the business. We helped bring people on board with the changes through a global network of change champions.

Now that they’re using Agile methods, the IT organisation is completing projects faster – over nine months the speed of release went up by 20 per cent. They’re creating more user-friendly systems and there’s a closer, more productive relationship between the IT organisation and the business. This will support Schroders’ ambitions for the future.

Read more

Picture of United Nations

United Nations

Driving sustainable development by helping business leaders understand new technologies

United Nations

Driving sustainable development by helping business leaders understand new technologies

The United Nations (UN) has 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): pledges to overcome some of biggest challenges the world faces by 2030. They want to end poverty, protect the planet and bring prosperity for all. Business has great potential to drive progress.

The UN asked us to identify the new technologies most likely to transform business. And to explore how they could help businesses do business in a better way – minimising waste to protect the environment or having a positive impact on society for example. We’ve developed briefings for 12 technologies including drones, robots and digital agriculture.

We’re now working with the UN to develop practical support to help business leaders take action.

Read more

Picture of Virgin Hyperloop One

Virgin Hyperloop One

Developing the next evolution in transport

Virgin Hyperloop One

Developing the next evolution in transport

Virgin Hyperloop One is reinventing transport. The new transport system will levitate magnetically, running in a partial vacuum to reach speeds of up to 670 miles per hour – on land.

In India, Virgin Hyperloop One, with our support, is on track to connect Pune and Mumbai, two major economic centres, creating a competitive mega-region with a combined population of 26 million. A pre-feasibility study found the time, cost and accident benefits of the Pune-Mumbai route could be worth $55 billion over 30 years. That’s a seriously positive human future, built by a transport mode created for customers, rather than infrastructure.

Read more

Bringing ingenuity to life
inside PA

We believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world. It’s our purpose and it drives our commitment to making Life At PA ever more ingenious, every day.

20
18
in numbers

2,851

technologists, innovators, strategists, leaders and developers

25

global offices

£455.8m

generated in fee income
 

£79.5m

in adjusted EBITDA

2019 and beyond

We have big ambitions for 2019 and beyond. We thank our clients for choosing to work with us, and our people for their ideas, expertise and commitment. We’re excited for the journey ahead. We believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.

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PA's Annual Review

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