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Annual review 2019

Our 2019 annual review reflects on how our purpose – bringing ingenuity to life – guided us as we supported our clients, people and communities in more ingenious ways than ever before. 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."

Our purpose drives our every move

In 2019, business leaders had the most extraordinary opportunities to succeed. It was also the year when change came faster than before and where incumbents had to work harder than ever to thrive.

At PA, we believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future, and never has this belief been more relevant.

Since our founding, we’ve worked with a wide range of clients – from start-ups with a promising idea to change the world to some of the most important global companies and organisations – to find innovative ways to be faster and nimbler, to create the services and products that grow their businesses, delight their customers and serve citizens.

Alan Middleton, CEO

We’re achieving enduring results for our clients

Our Purpose – bringing ingenuity to life – is the lighthouse that guides our efforts to innovate towards a positive human future.

It's been central to our work with Milliken, a global industrial manufacturer, with whom our materials scientists and business strategists identified ways to reduce the environmental impact of plastics. It's also been critical to our relationship with Photobox Group, Europe's biggest digital personalised gifting business, as our digital and design experts overhauled the company's online customer experience. Purpose has further guided our work with the UK's Ministry of Defence, whom our defence and technology experts advised on the future technologies that will keep people safe, and with Airbus and partners, with whom our quantum experts designed a prototype next-generation navigation system as a failsafe to the Global Positioning System.

We've organised our 2019 annual review around four forces that came together last year to offer an unprecedented opportunity to affect positive change:

  • society, with its bold new attitudes about how to pursue business growth and respect social impact
  • customer, who has more buying power than ever
  • people, who accept that difference is a powerful stimulus for spurring innovation
  • technology, which, whether repurposed in new ways or designed from scratch, creates breakthroughs that make life materially better.

We’re different in what we do and how we do it

Our clients benefit from our diverse teams of experts. Our strategists, digital experts, consultants, designers, scientists and engineers work across a range of industries in the UK, Europe, Nordics and the USA. Because we operate as a single firm, we're able to quickly pull together the best people. The depth and breadth of our capabilities – and our people's prized skills – means we're the only firm with a unique end-to-end innovation offering. We take clients from idea to prototype, to market at pace, and achieve meaningful and enduring results.

We're trusted advisers to global leaders on the innovation strategies and technologies that will grow their business and create a better planet. We recognise these leaders want to work alongside the very best people, with the very best thinking. That's why we invest in researching and publishing on the topics that matter most to them. We've partnered with the United Nations (UN) to produce thought-leading publications on the breakthrough technologies that will accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the UN, we've also co-authored a guide to how businesses can achieve breakthrough innovation at scale.

We’re making life at PA ever more ingenious

Beyond our client work, our Purpose shapes how we evolve our business to have ever more relevance and impact for our clients. In the past year, we've welcomed 40 new partners. We also acquired the specialist innovation consultancy 4iNNO, which delivers new product platforms to drive top-line growth for leading global brands. 4iNNO was our fourth acquisition in just two years. All told, our acquisitions further strengthen our strategy, customer insight, innovation, product and service design, engineering, and digital offerings.

As we've grown, we've made further investments in our people, through learning programmes, which enable our people to continuously upskill to meet our clients' needs, and through our focus on wellness and inclusion and diversity so that everyone feels able to bring their full selves to work.

We’re inspiring the next generation of ingenious leaders

We're proud to be inspiring the next generation of ingenious leaders and will once again hold our Raspberry Pi competition. The competition challenges schoolchildren to invent something that benefits society using engineering and coding skills. Our work experience programme, Springboard, paired young people with our consulting teams to solve real-world social challenges using new and existing technologies. And our digital experts taught young women the digital skills they need for more meaningful careers through our Women in Tech programme. Meanwhile, our internship programme at our Global Innovation and Technology Centre gave young people the chance to gain hands-on experience solving real-world challenges.

We’re bringing ingenuity to life

As rapid change continues to define our world, overcoming the inherent challenges will uncover opportunities to make a positive impact. Key to achieving this will be a strong sense of purpose in each of our organisations.

I thank all our clients who chose to work with us this year and our people for their commitment to our Purpose.


PA in numbers

We are 3,200 experts…

we generated £500m in fee income in 2019…

and saw 11% growth year-on-year…

98% of clients recommend us.

Life at PA

We’re not a traditional consulting firm. Our clients recognise we’re different – different in ‘what’ we do and even more in ‘how’ we do it.

At the heart of our business are our people – strategists, innovators, designers, consultants, digital experts, scientists, engineers and technologists – who all bring real-world experience and apply it at pace.

Yet life at PA isn’t just about delivering enduring results for clients. It’s about learning from brilliant people, shaping global conversations and inspiring the next generation of ingenious leaders to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.

Read our full annual review

There are four forces that, when considered in combination, offer an extraordinary opportunity to effect positive change. Read our full 2019 annual review to explore how we’re leveraging the forces of society, customer, people and technology as we unlock ingenuity to build a positive human future.

Download our annual review

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PA Consulting Group Half Year Report – September 2020 >