Consultancy fees return to pre-crisis levels
Green shoots in the wider economy appear to have headed off what was a growing proportion of management and IT consultancies reporting fewer pounds for their professional services.
Releasing annual figures last week, the Management Consultancies Association said that, despite the fiscal headwinds of late, the UK consulting market grew last year by 5% to £9bn.
Banks and financers, usually the top-payers by sector, were credited with much of the rise, having needed experts to reshape themselves around new rules born out of the industry crisis.
But the strongest upturn came from manufacturing, MCA said, with consultancies brought in to improve productivity and efficiency, resulting in 21% more business from the sector.
The overall effect, helped by financers spending even more than they did pre-credit crunch, is the return of aggregate fee income levels last seen in the period immediately before the crisis.
Alan Leaman, MCA chief executive reflected: “The UK consulting industry is both resilient and agile. It looks likely that the increased spending on consultancy services in 2011 by the private sector was an early sign of some improvement in wider economic prospects.
“While most private sector clients are not confident enough to undertake major projects, they are often developing their capacities, processes and systems so that they are ready for an upturn when it materialises.”
Members of the MCA, which represents three-quarters of the UK consulting industry, include Accenture, IBM Global Business Services, Tata, Hitachi, Capita and Deloitte.