Arthur D. Little acquires on demand consulting platforms

02 June 2020 Consultancy.org

In a pioneering move in the top tier of the management consulting industry, Arthur D. Little has acquired on demand experts platforms in the United States and Europe. 

The move marks a bold shift from the traditional focus of M&A in consulting – acquiring other consulting firms to bolster size and capabilities.

Now, the world’s oldest management consultancy Arthur D. Little has pushed into a segment that ironically is one of the larger challengers of the business models of tier one players: agile, digital platforms that match clients seeking consulting support with independent consultants and industry experts. 

Cutter Consortium is a US-based talent platform focused on digital transformation capabilities. Its network consist of around 150 experts – all of whom have a senior track record in the field – who support clients with digital leadership, technology adoption, enterprise agility, data analytics and digital-led innovation. The firm’s member consultants deliver consulting, project execution and training services. 

With over 6 million experts worldwide in its database, Presans is one of the globe’s leading on demand talent platforms for the innovation landscape in mainly industrial sectors. The platform, founded in 2008 in France, provides on-demand expertise to industrial innovation projects, and helps companies with organising innovation in ecosystems and the formation of industry-wide innovation groups. 

Arthur D. Little acquires on demand consulting platforms

Since its inception, Presans has delivered more than 100 innovation projects in Europe, the US and the Middle East for 50+ international industrial groups. Its clients include the likes of Airbus, Cargill, DSM, LVMH, Renault, Thales, Total, Schneider Electric, and Vinci.

Both platforms are now fully owned by Arthur D. Little, but will continue to operate under their current brands with the same management teams. 

An open consulting model

Obviously, they will benefit from Arthur D. Little’s global scale, expertise and CxO level client network, said company CEOs Karen Coburn (Cutter Consortium) and Albert Meige (Presans). Coburn: “Arthur D. Little’s more than 40 offices in 30 countries gives Cutter an enhanced ability to assist its clients.” Meige added, “Presans can now addresses more problems at the crossroads of strategy consulting and scientific & technical expertise.” 

Meanwhile, for Arthur D. Little, the move provides the firm with a major expansion of its expertise and potential headcount for client-facing work, while enjoying the benefits of a flexible on demand talent pool.

“At Arthur D. Little, we believe the future is open consulting.”
– Ignacio García Alves, CEO of Arthur D. Little
 

To date, tier one strategy and management consultancy firms have stayed away from investing in on demand consultant platforms, but they have behind the scenes been using the more premium platforms – those that house many former MBB and Big Four consultants – to backfill their own projects under a white label construction. 

Yet at Arthur D. Little, “we believe the future is open consulting,” inciting the firm to venture into what Ignacio García Alves, Chairman and CEO of Arthur D. Little, calls “the next-generation consulting model.”

“With the double acquisition of Cutter and Presans, we are able to expand our open consulting ecosystem and open problem solving capabilities, offering access to experts, premium insight and a differentiated experience for our clients, in a seamless way,” said Arthur D. Little’s chief executive, who is based in Brussels and Paris. 

The acquisition is according to Consultancy.org’s database the firm’s first since it returned to independence in 2011 following a partner buy-out from Altran (now part of Capgemini).