Outsized launching in the UK
Fixing a broken market
Outsized was founded with an ambitious goal – to transform the global market for consulting services. Why? Well frankly speaking we do not think the current way of procuring consultants works very well – not for clients and not for high-quality boutique consulting firms.
Until now, the choice for a client to find consultants for a project was to either hire a big brand / perceived ‘safe’ firm, or to go through a risky and time-consuming word-of-mouth search for alternatives. As a result, project outcomes suffer because the big firm was too generic with limited specialist skills, or because a word-of-mouth recommendation did not turn out to be so hot after all… In a rapidly changing world where easy access to expertise is key to stay ahead, this is not good enough.
We started with an Emerging Markets’ focus 18 months ago in which we had seen first-hand the sheer scale of the problems faced by buyers of consultancy, particularly in Financial Services and Private Equity. Our proposition has resonated and we have been lucky to work with an amazing set of organisations such as Bharti Axa, DHFL, Birla Sun Life, Shriram, Fairfirst (Fairfax Group), IFMR, Kotak Mahindra Bank, LeapFrog Investments, Quona Capital, Elevar Equity, FMO and many more.
In total over the past 18 months we have worked on 60 engagements across the value chain, enabling us to secure a network of over 1,100 boutique consulting firms and specialists covering critical areas for growth and efficiency.
Outsized in the UK
It is not only in Emerging Markets where the consultancy sector needs fixing. The UK consultancy market is the 2nd largest consultancy market in the world and continues to be one of the fastest growing globally. Two of primary drivers of volume and growth are Financial Services sectors and Digital and Technology consultancy services.
The Financial Services industry generates an estimated 33% of total turnover, with technology consulting representing 28% of turnover from a service line perspective. When you add the broader digital transformation agenda, Industry 4.0 and the changing competitive and regulatory landscape, the demand in Financial Services for external expertise, advice and solutions will continue to grow.
However, we do not believe the current consultancy market structure, which is dominated by “the Big 9” and their legacy model of consulting, is fit for purpose in this new world. The Big 9 and traditional consultancies will continue to play an important role in solving certain business problems and in certain business and technology services. However, the rapidly evolving, and in some cases disrupted, FS market also demands high levels of specialism, more practical, tangible and agile solutions that are designed to deliver faster results at better value and price points.
The rapidly burgeoning market of specialist, boutique and challenger firms can fill this gap. They are adding to the ranks of the c.140,000 registered consultancies in the UK. However, there is no functioning marketplace for them to connect with buyers of their services and vice versa. This is what Outsized provides.
Our overall goal remains the same. We help FSIs, institutional investors and asset managers source high quality specialist and boutique firms to work with them on critical priorities for growth, innovation and efficiency. We will continue to help investors and corporate M&A teams find specialist due diligence providers.
The model however will be adapted in 3 key areas:
- Focus: Rather than cover broad service areas on demand as we do in most Emerging Markets, we will initially focus on a narrower set of services that are critical to the digital transformation and innovation agendas of FSIs. This will be focused around digital business services, customer experience, analytics and innovation.
- Partnerships beyond consulting: In addition to boutique consultancies, we will help FSIs in their broader digital and tech partnerships with high quality specialist digital agencies, technology service providers and product vendors.
- Vetted and diligence global options: We will give UK FSIs and investors access to our network of consultancies, experts, innovators and entrepreneurs in the Emerging Markets in which we operate. This allows for a cross-fertilisation of ideas as well as access to due-diligenced, high-quality consultants in lower cost geographies. Our local team in Asia has kicked the tyres, met the teams and done the due diligence.
To blaze this trail, we have hired Simon Martin as a Director to head up the UK business. Simon spent 13 years at a Big 9 consultancy firm (so he knows the tricks of the trade!), primarily in Financial Services in advanced, emerging and developing markets. He has also worked in Private Equity as an operations director and been a client of Outsized. Therefore we are delighted he has joined our push for a better, more transparent and more effective consultancy marketplace.
Get in touch
Following a short pre-commercial phase, we are in full start-up mode, engaging with both buy-side (major FSIs and investors) and sell-side (boutiques, agencies, solution shops) to rapidly build both demand and supply.
If you are a buyer looking for great alternatives to the usual suspects, or a service provider looking for a new channel to access great projects and partnerships, get in touch with either of us.
We will be posting regularly on our UK launch and general musings on the UK consultancy market in the usual places (LinkedIn, Twitter etc). Watch this space!
All the best from London,
Niclas and Simon.
 Source: MCA data http://www.consultancy.uk/consulting-industry/united-kingdom
 The Big4 accountancy firms, the MBB strategy houses and the two largest technology consulting firms