Roland Berger Partners count on continuity in vote for new management team and agree consulting package for the corona crisis

Press releases   •   Mar 27, 2020 03:53 -12

  • With new management, Roland Berger is capitalizing on proven minds from all established consulting fields and regions.
  • Supporting customers in current crisis and reactivating economic performance are the focus of consulting approaches.

Munich, March 2020: On March 27th, as scheduled, the approximately 250 Roland Berger Partners from 35 countries elected a new management and supervisory board at the first purely virtual Partner Meeting in the company's history. In light of the corona pandemic, the Partners also agreed a comprehensive consulting package to support clients during the current crisis. The focus of the package was predominantly on the question of how to reactivate economic performance in a controlled manner. In the western world, this will have to take place at a point in time when the corona virus has not yet been completely defeated.

The new Board of Managing Directors, elected for a four-year term, consists of, Marcus Berret, Denis Depoux and Stefan Schaible – all proven faces from the current leadership team. Stefan Schaible will assume the function of Global Managing Partner and Spokesman of the Board of Managing Directors. The Board of Managing Directors and Roland Berger's newly elected Supervisory Board, which consists of Laurent Benarousse, Sascha Haghani, Robert Henske, Yvonne Ruf and René Seyger, represent the diversity of the consultancy across all established fields of expertise and regions.

Stefan Schaible, Global Managing Partner and Spokesman Board of Managing Directors, views the fast and proactive support of customers in the current situation as the consultancy’s top priority: “The spread of the coronavirus is putting our societies and the global economy through an unprecedented test. The protection of the population, in particular of at-risk groups, is the first priority. That is why the worldwide ban on contact and the rescue measures for companies are absolutely the right move. However, the question of how we can boost economic output in a controlled manner is already an important one. In concrete terms, this means protecting the workforce in such a way that production and services can be broadly resumed. This requires a social tour de force in terms of the availability of corona tests, protective suits, breathing masks, disinfectants etc. and the rapid implementation of corona-compatible work processes. German companies with their excellent production know-how are called upon here to first supply the health care system in full and then gradually enable other companies to ramp up their operations. We are contributing to this with our “protected ramp-up” approach, which focuses on human and economic factors.”

Thanks to its broad setup of industries, Roland Berger is currently providing many clients with acute support in response to the economic impact of the corona pandemic. These days, many companies are setting up so-called Emergency Rooms and 360-degree check-ups. Ad hoc measures are primarily aimed at avoiding liquidity shortage, securing the confidence of investors and banks, and, if necessary, securing government aid. With its proven experience in restructuring and corporate performance improvement, and its established industrial expertise in key industries, Roland Berger advises on sensitive decisions that safeguard business, enabling companies to cut costs in the short term while maintaining their growth potential. The services described above are available remotely, as is appropriate to the situation.

Roland Berger's globally integrated consulting fields allow it to bring together impressions from international market and industry trends. With analyses on the economic impact of COVID-19, the consultancy is outlining possible scenarios and helping companies assess the consequences of the crisis. Based on these findings, companies work with Roland Berger experts to develop industry-specific, regional solutions for acute operational challenges and define responses to medium-term changes in the business environment, ensuring that competitiveness can be secured sustainably.

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Roland Berger, founded in 1967, is the only leading global consultancy of German heritage and European origin. With 2,400 employees working from 35 countries, we have successful operations in all major international markets. Our 52 offices are located in the key global business hubs. The consultancy is an independent partnership owned exclusively by 250 Partners.

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The PE sector focuses on the further development of portfolio companies: Sustainable business models are becoming increasingly important

Press releases   •   Feb 24, 2020 19:31 -12

(Study Download)

  • Companies see sustainability as an increasingly relevant criterion for their portfolio management
  • 70 percent of experts are preparing for an economic downturn in Europe
  • PE professionals consider the markets in Scandinavia, Italy and Greece to have the most promising outlook in 2020

Munich, February 2020: The issue of environmental sustainability is having an increasingly concrete impact on investment behavior in the private equity industry. Among the most important criteria for portfolio management, this topic has the highest increase (5%) compared to the previous year and thus ranks among the top five portfolio value creation measures. This is one of the core findings of the "European Private Equity Outlook 2020", for which Roland Berger surveyed around 2,500 PE experts across Europe.

"Investors' increased attention on environmental sustainability not only reflects the strong public sensitivity to environmental issues," says Sascha Haghani, Member of the Global Executive Committee and Head of Restructuring, Performance, Transformation & Transaction at Roland Berger. "Today, the climate compatibility of an investment portfolio is also a key factor for the value of assets.”

Weak economy leads to investments in cyclically resilient companies

Overall, the industry is cautiously optimistic about 2020, with around a third of those surveyed expecting no change in M&A transactions with PE involvement compared to the previous year, while 29 percent expect a slight increase. However, 42 percent of those surveyed expect the European economy to decline slightly; more than two thirds of PE professionals (70%) are preparing for a potential economic downturn.

"Investments in stable companies that are less susceptible to economic fluctuations are considered to be the most effective measures to prepare for a downturn," says Christof Huth, Partner at Roland Berger. The focus of activities is therefore also on consolidating portfolios. The low interest in new business may also be due to the valuation of the markets; 94 percent of PE professionals currently consider the market to be overvalued.

Big differences between regions

The forecast development of the PE market differs significantly between regions. For example, M&A activity in Scandinavia is expected to grow by 2.3 percent compared to 2019. The experts also anticipate a catch-up effect for Italy and Greece, with growth of 1.5 and 1.4 percent respectively. Great Britain, DACH and France are expected to remain stable in 2020.

The sectors with the highest expected M&A transactions with PE involvement have not changed fundamentally compared to previous years. In 2020, most experts (90%) expect Technology, Software & Media to take the lead, followed by Pharma & Healthcare (81%) and Business Services & Logistics (59%). At the bottom of the scale are the automotive (7%) and construction industries (11%).

"Investors continue to be particularly interested in companies with innovative technological approaches from which they expect high growth rates in the coming years. In addition, small and medium-sized companies in particular are still considered promising targets in 2020," explains Christof Huth.

Roland Berger, founded in 1967, is the only leading global consultancy of German heritage and European origin. With 2,400 employees working from 34 countries, we have successful operations in all major international markets. Our 50 offices are located in the key global business hubs. The consultancy is an independent partnership owned exclusively by 230 Partners.

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Investments in AI startups rise to USD 4.7 billion in Europe in 2019

Press releases   •   Feb 10, 2020 20:00 -12

(Study Download)

  • Total investments more than double since 2018
  • Europe's leading countries are France (USD 1.3 billion) and the UK (USD 1.2 billion)
  • AI ecosystem in Europe much more fragmented than in China or the US
  • Brexit adds complexity

Munich, February 2020: Within the European AI ecosystem, the UK recorded the most new startups in 2019. In terms of investments made, France is in pole position with USD 1.3 billion, followed by the UK (USD 1.2 billion), Israel (USD 902 million) and Germany (USD 510 million). The total volume of investments in the European AI ecosystem rose by around 50 percent over 2018 figures. This is one of the findings of the study entitled "The road to AI – Investment dynamics in the European ecosystem" published by Roland Berger in collaboration with France Digitale, Europe's biggest association for startups, which unites 1,400 digital startups and more than 100 investors. The study encompasses 28 European Union Member States (including the UK) plus Norway, Switzerland and Israel.

"Many of the developments are very positive – they show that Europe's AI ecosystem is still experiencing strong growth," says Jochen Ditsche, Partner at Roland Berger. "But compared to China and the US, Europe's AI ecosystem is too fragmented and suffers from a lack of integration." He goes on to say that Brexit could exacerbate these problems.

Chinese investors underrepresented
France, the UK, Israel and Germany accounted for a good 80 percent of investments in the period 2009 through 2019. American investors are well represented among the top five sources of overseas funding in each of the countries: Last year US investors accounted for 17.5 percent of foreign funds in the UK, 14 percent in Germany and 7.5 percent in France. Chinese investors, on the other hand, are barely present at all. Europe's AI ecosystems still depend strongly on domestic investors.

"The funding of AI startups only really began to pick up pace in 2014," explains Emmanuel Touboul, Managing Director of Roland Berger Tech Ventures in Paris. "Since then, annual growth rates have been in excess of 50 percent." In concrete terms, a mere USD 528 million of funding was invested in AI startups across all of the countries in 2014 – not much more than was invested in Germany alone in 2019.

Europe is overly fragmented
In spite of the strong growth in Europe, there is still a lack of coordination between the individual countries across the continent. For example, a European patchwork of approaches has emerged out of all the different interpretations surrounding the General Data Protection Regulation. "Europe cannot be allowed to continue to get lost in details," says Emmanuel Touboul, sounding a warning note. "We need a strategy that safeguards the free flow of data, creates synergies between countries and balances out the nations' different strengths and weaknesses with regard to patents, infrastructure, investment capacity and skills shortages."

The UK plays a key role in Europe's AI ecosystem. In a country-by-country comparison, the UK spends the most on research and development and files the most patents. "Brexit could hinder access to data even more and endanger Europe's innovation and dynamism across the entire continent," cautions Jochen Ditsche. "That is why we need to make sure there is a comprehensive and forward-looking framework in place between the EU and the UK so that digital entrepreneurs and investors can continue to operate in a growth environment."