2023 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Very strong proposition in fast growing firm that is attracting very large clients now.”
“Interesting problems, highly strategic work.”
“The perfect size—not too big and not too small.”
“In some countries, clients don't yet recognise our brand.”
“Lack of international travel.”
“Lack of consistency between processes implemented, ways of working.”
About OC&C Strategy Consultants Europe
If you want to know what OC&C Strategy Consultants does, you don't need to look too far for answers--it's right there in the title. Focusing on strategic analysis, the firm breaks the concept down into six organizational areas: group strategy, business unit/divisional strategy, product/market/channel strategy, transaction support, strategy realization, and organisation and change. Like any strategy master or tactician, the firm's emphasis isn't always on speed--it tries to pace itself during consulting projects, thoroughly evaluating possible solutions to a problem before jumping into operational issues. That's a strategy, the firm says, that ensures clients benefit from truly custom-built solutions, rather than off-the-shelf methodologies that may not fit the client's needs.
Although OC&C, like many firms in the industry, doesn't publicize its client list, it does claim to work with major corporations and smaller companies that need strategic help in rapidly changing industries. It states that it wants to work with “ambitious organisations that understand the importance of excellent strategy.” Its industries include business services, consumer goods, leisure, luxury, media, software & tech, private equity, retail, telecommunications, and transportation.
Expanding the footprint
Chris Outram founded OC&C in London in 1987. After several years at other consulting firms, including BCG and Booz Allen Hamilton, Outram and a colleague had tired of the fact that their employers devoted so much time to operational issues while neglecting strategic analysis. So they decided it would be "more fun and more challenging" to start their own firm.
While founded in Europe, with its early offices in the UK, Germany and France, OC&C has successfully expanded its footprint in core strategic markets to enable it to serve the largest clients on a global basis. In addition to maintaining its presence in these markets and the Netherlands, it has also leveraged its leading European market position in its core sectors to the US, Asia, and beyond—trading from offices in New York, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Most recently, OC&C has formed associate partnerships with leading South American consultancy, Advisia, in Brazil whilst also incorporating offices in Italy, Poland and Australia. International growth remains firmly on OC&C's strategic agenda, driving depth and breadth in all markets.
One business area in which OC&C takes particular pride is its expertise in consumer goods. Within this area, it tries to provide solutions in three key sections: growth stakes, profitability issues and category management. In connection with consumer goods, retail has also long been an OC&C focus. The firm claims to have been one of the original advocates for the importance of emerging value offers, private label goods and battling category killers. In addition, OC&C has more recently implemented multichannel and internalization strategies.
The firm has made a significant effort to advise media outlets since its founding. Some of the media-related services it offers are strategy reviews, transformational performance improvement, profitable use of the digital arena, and go-to-market strategies for new services and products. Several major media outlets have looked to the firm for analysis of their own industry, concerning subjects ranging from the future of TV news to the decline of magazine readership in the face of internet competition.
Next to its work for corporate clients, OC&C has special expertise in supporting the world's leading private equity firms in such areas as potential investment scoping, vendor and buyer due diligence, and post-acquisition strategy and/or integration.
Strategizing a better world
OC&C enjoys highlighting its charitable efforts, and has a section dedicated to pro bono work on its website. The majority of the firm's philanthropic work is in helping charities "achieve a step-change in performance." The firm does work with NSPCC, “the UK’s children charity,” which helps to prevent abuse and provide recovery efforts to those affected.
In the last 12 months the firm has worked with City Gateway (focused on transforming the lives of disadvantaged youths and women through educational opportunities) and TwentyTwenty (who engage with youths through life skill training to re-engage them back into education or assist them in finding sustainable employment). Previously, the firm led the merger of Impetus with the Private Equity Foundation to create a larger and more powerful force in the venture philanthropy arena. Several charity initiatives are supported pro-bono in each OC&C geographic region every year.
Employer Type: Private
Global Managing Partner: Will Hayllar
London Office Head: Tim Cook
US Office Head: Ed Plummer
10 offices worldwide:
- Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
- FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods)
- TMT (Technology, Media, and Telecoms)
- B2B Services