A: We are fortunate to have enjoyed
consistent growth and financial
performance over our first 11
years in business. That said, 2013
was a particularly strong year for
West Monroe Partners—one of
our best ever in terms of growth
and profitability. If anything, what
surprised me is the strength of
demand for consulting services. In
my experience, when recessions hit,
companies go into survival mode;
they keep the lights on but do not
enhance their businesses. But as we
emerge from recessionary periods,
we typically see significant pent-up
demand for change and improvement.
Even though we’re several years
into a recovery period and the media
would have you believe the economy
is still very much struggling, we’re
still riding that wave of demand today.
It also surprises me that the chaos and
dysfunction in our government—
and this is not a partisan comment
because I strongly believe it applies
to both sides of the aisle—has not had
a bigger impact on our economy.
Q: How would you describe your
firm’s outlook for 2014?
A: I am extremely bullish about 2014
and believe our firm can achieve
25 to 30 percent growth during the
year. One key reason for this is the
profound change shaping industries
where we have particular strength
in the market. For example, whether
you agree or not with the Affordable
Care Act and regardless of what
will happen to it, our healthcare
system is fundamentally broken and
in need of massive overhaul. The
energy and utility industry is another
sector changing rapidly, driven by
several macroeconomic factors—
including an insatiable appetite for
energy and the growing pressure
for sustainability—that are forcing
utilities to change their businesses.
And a third example is in the
financial and capital markets sector
as the baby boom generation moves
into retirement. This generation has
spawned one of the most prolific
entrepreneurial periods we’ve ever
seen in the United States, amassing
tremendous value in small and mid-sized businesses.
Now, these individuals need
to retire and monetize their
businesses—and there is a substantial amount of investment capital
waiting for them to do so. We’ve
built distinctive capabilities that are
helping companies in these markets
transform to do business in new
environments with new demands.
That is the primary reason I’m so
bullish about the coming year.
of the firm’s most notable transformation assignments
are consulting-led. What’s somewhat surprising is the
acceleration of the shift in consulting models. The pace of
change in the consulting market continues to quicken. We
are seeing a major shift in the profession from advisory
to end-to-end implementation, from a process focus to
solution and asset-based consulting models. That means
shifting from being a services provider to partnering on
innovations and solutions, and going from traditional fee
per-hour to outcomes-based pricing.
Q: How would you describe your firm’s outlook for 2014?
A: Overall, our market position is stronger than ever. Our
value proposition is being accepted and clients see us as
a viable alternative to traditional consulting firms. We
challenge companies to unlock new business potential
by leveraging deep domain knowledge across a range
of vertical industries, and by offering cross-industry
capabilities such as business and IT strategy, program
management, process and quality consulting, enterprise
information management, and digital transformation.
Q: How do you see the profession evolving in 2014?
A: Consultants must look at defining solutions more
broadly, as the profession moves from a focus on pure
advisory to end-to-end implementation. We must look at
what problems the client is trying to solve and use our
collective resources to create market-related solutions.