In the media

PA Consulting books fastest growth in over two decades

Consultancy UK

24 May 2022

This article was first published in Consultancy UK

PA Consulting has booked its strongest growth in over two decades. The global management and technology advisory noted a 24% jump in fee income in the last financial year, despite – or in part thanks to – the continued challenges posed by the Covid-19-pandemic.

“It has been another remarkable year for PA Consulting,” said Ken Toombs, the chief executive officer of the London-headquartered group. “I have witnessed, with great pride, our teams applying their ingenuity to tackle transformational issues and deliver end-to-end innovation for clients in extraordinary times.”

Building on the strategic investment the firm received from engineering group Jacobs in March 2021, PA Consulting boosted its fee income to £692 million, meaning the firm is nearly double its size back in 2016.

By the start of 2025, the firm wants to have broken through the magical £1 billion fee income barrier.

The performance makes PA Consulting one of the fastest growing global consulting firms in the world. Among a handful of major players that managed to keep pace with PA are Boston Consulting Group (25% growth), Simon-Kucher & Partners (22% growth), and Oliver Wyman (21% growth).

“Our team has a unique range of experts – strategists, innovators, designers, consultants, digital experts, scientists, engineers and technologists – who are able to deliver end-to-end innovation, together with our clients,” said Toombs. “Last year we continued delivering exciting work across the consumer and manufacturing, defence and security, energy and utilities, financial services, government and public services, health and life sciences, and transport sectors.”

PA Consulting helps clients with a range of services, from strategy and innovation through to the delivery of organisational improvements and change, and the development of ‘ingenious’ technological solutions. Examples of its 2021 engagements include supporting Unilever with rapidly adapting its people for the pandemic world; designing the UK’s new EV chargepoint concept; and helping wind turbine manufacturer Vestas with a major innovation programme.

Most importantly, PA Consulting enjoyed a high level of client satisfaction during this spike in work. Making it easier to build on the momentum of the previous year, 98% of clients in 2021 said they would recommend PA to their peers.

Ken Toombs noted that this puts PA Consulting “in a great position for growth – for our clients and our people.” The firm closed the year with roughly 4,000 employees, on the back of a record hire of 1,392 new people, including 50 new partners. Looking ahead, the firm will look to further expand its ranks.

“Our purpose and strategy are clear,” Toombs explained. “In 2022 we will focus growth by investing in building our deep sector expertise and bringing together our end-to-end capabilities to create even more ingenious responses to clients’ biggest challenges. And we will ensure we continue to recruit amazing talent, and further invest in creating opportunities for our people to learn, develop and build exciting and rewarding careers.”

Finally, the firm also intends to build on its community work of the last 12 months. 2021 saw PA Consulting staff continue to give back to their communities, volunteering their skills and experience for societal good. Following on from this, PA Consulting, with support from its people and benefactors, has committed over £10 million to its Foundation, to be dispersed across projects run by its global communities over the next five years.

The foundation plans to disburse £1 million of funding across PA’s global communities each year; partnering with the PA Consulting brand to deliver 10,000 hours of skills-based volunteering to its charity and non-profit organisation partners and beneficiaries.

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