The next chapter…
Strategy& is a global management consulting firm operating
under the aegis of Big 4 professional services giant PwC. Formerly
Booz & Company, the firm was acquired by PwC inthe spring of
2014, with the intention to marry Booz's strategic capabilities
with PwC's global reach and ability to execute. In doing so, the
outfit-led by former Booz CEO Cesare Mainardi and PwC Consulting
Chairman Tony Poulter-is attempting to offer something that is
almost unknown in the consulting industry at present: strategy and
execution under the same roof.
…is still being written
When it was first announced, the firm's new moniker split the
business community into two distinct camps: those who instinctively
filled in "Execution" (and hence got the point of it); and those
who considered it to be too alternative to succeed in the
marketplace. (Note that keeping the Booz brand was not an option:
the 2008 split of Booz Allen Hamilton into two separate firms
contained a clause guaranteeing that if either unit was acquired,
it would drop the Booz name).
However, a third possibility does exist: that the brand is a
temporary placeholder while the two firms figure out a way to fully
integrate Booz & Company's capabilities into PwC's existing
advisory offerings. In an interview with Consulting
magazine in June 2014, PwC's Tony Poulter noted that "'the market
will decide' how long the Strategy& brand will continue.' In
one extreme, the market could receive it very well and it goes on
[…] On the other hand, we could transform the PwC brand so that it
will clearly speak for strategy through execution. We see this as
really interesting because we are testing the power of the
co-branding in professional services, and we'll see where that
Whatever happens on the branding front, it seems likely that the
firm's industry focus and practice areas are likely to remain the
same for the time being: as such, Strategy& will continue to
count businesses, government ministries, and institutions around
the world as clients, and to provide them with services including
strategy, organization, operations, transformation, information
technology and, of course, execution. In terms of expertise,
meanwhile, the firm's industry focus includes aerospace,
automotive, chemicals, consumer, energy and utilities, financial
services, health, industrials, media and entertainment, oil and
gas, retail, transportation and others.
Hitting the books
Another aspect of life that is unlikely to change too much is
the firm's heavy emphasis on thought leadership-a trait that goes
all the way back to founder Edwin Booz. The firm regularly
publishes reports, white papers and books, and even publishes a
quarterly magazine, strategy + business. It also produces
regular podcasted online talk shows on mergers and acquisitions and
videos to promote its leading research.
IN THE NEWS
Cover story: Strategic thinking
The June cover story of Consulting magazine features Strategy&
CEO Cesare Mainardi and Strategy&
Chairman/PwC's Global Head of Consulting Tony Poulter explaining the exciting future of
the newest consulting juggernaut. Read the article here.
Most executives agree that their companies spend too
much money on low-priority initiatives and cut costs
indiscriminately, says new Strategy& survey
A Strategy & survey of over 500 executives warns that
companies may be diverting money away from strategically important
Executives worldwide say low-priority initiatives get too much
funding, cost-cutting isn't strategic and budgeting isn't tightly
aligned with strategic planning at their companies.
Those are among the findings of a new survey, the Fit for
Growth* index profiler, of more than 500 companies worldwide
conducted by Strategy&, a member of the PwC network of
"The findings are concerning. Even in relatively good economic
times, companies need to be clinical about cutting back on
non-priority areas so they're able to constantly invest in critical
capabilities and businesses. Investing a little bit in everything
is not going to allow companies to grow; but that appears to be
what many companies are doing," said Vinay Couto, Senior Vice President at
Strategy&, formerly Booz & Company, and a co-author of the
"In a competitive environment, if you don't invest strategically
and cut ruthlessly, you'll lose out in time to a competitor who
does," he added.
Read the full article here.
Research on the strategy-execution gap
In a Strategy& survey, executives disclosed that their
companies have significant shortcomings when it comes to developing
and executing strategy. Indeed, 42% of executives admit they are
significantly concerned about at least one barrier to successful
strategy and execution and another 54% have some concern; only 4%
indicate that they are not concerned about any barrier. Fully 55%
of executives believe that their company isn't focused on
execution. (The survey garnered responses from 500+ executives at
all levels of seniority and from companies of various sizes,
geographies, and industries.)
Executives see shortcomings in their company's strategy
It's not that companies aren't trying to execute their
strategies. It's that the strategies often aren't implementable and
aren't designed to win. Indeed, leaders frequently focus too much
on screening the market for opportunities that look interesting and
not enough on identifying the strategic opportunities their company
is uniquely well positioned to pursue - those that will give them a
right to win.
Read the full report here.
The 2013 Chief Executive Study
This is the 14th year that Strategy& has examined CEO
successions and success among the world's top 2,500 public
companies. This year the firm focused particularly on women CEOs
over the last 10 years.
"Women CEOs are still rare - just 3 percent of this year's
incoming class - but they are becoming more prevalent, and we
expect that trend to accelerate. In terms of professional
background, we found fewer differences between female and male CEOs
than we anticipated, but two particularly notable ones: Women are
more often hired from outside their company, and women are more
often forced out of office."
"We also traveled through time to explore how the role of the
CEO has evolved over the past 100 years and made a few predictions
for what we think that role will be in 2040 - when today's
graduates will be stepping into the CEO position. By 2040, we
project that women will make up about a third of new CEO
appointments. In addition, CEOs will take charge of strategy,
edging out a separate chief strategy officer role, and the chief
human resources officer role will expand. These HR leaders will be
charged with ensuring that the company has all the resources it
needs, including natural resources - they'll be chief resource
officers. With CEO tenures averaging about five years, every leader
your company chooses between now and 2040 will give you a chance to
move closer to the ideal CEO of tomorrow."
Read the full study here.
Quarter century until about one-third of incoming CEOs
at world's largest companies are women, predicts new Strategy&
Overall trend is positive - More incoming women CEOs than
outgoing - But women CEOs are more likely to be forced out than men
and less likely to be promoted from inside
The numbers are moving in the right direction: In eight out of
the last 10 years, the share of women becoming CEOs of the world's
biggest public companies has been higher than the share of women
leaving that office. And, over the past five years, the total share
of women becoming CEOs was considerably higher than in the prior
five-year period (3.6% versus 2.1%).
But despite the upward trend, the numbers are low and wobbly:
women made up just 3% of new big-company CEOs in 2013, a 1.3
percentage point drop from 2012.
That's according to Strategy&'s 14th annual Chief Executive Study, which
examines CEO turnover and incoming and outgoing CEOs at the world's
2,500 largest public companies. The current study looks at women
CEOs over the past 10 years as well as overall succession trends
with a focus on 2013's incoming class of CEOs.
The study authors do expect a bit more progress over the next
quarter of a century. "As much as a third of the incoming class of
CEOs will be women by 2040, based on a 10-year trend in our data,
ever higher education of women, continuing entry of women into the
business workforce and changing social norms around the world,"
said study co-author Ken Favaro, Strategy& senior partner.
PwC completes its acquisition of Booz &
PwC announced the successful completion of its combination with
Booz & Company. With the granting of all regulatory approvals
for Booz & Company to join PwC, it is now officially part of
the PwC Network. All closing conditions for the deal have been
Marking the occasion, Booz & Company changed its name to
Strategy& (pronounced Strategy and). This new name, which will
be used alongside the PwC name and brand, reflects the strength in
strategy consulting that Booz & Company brings to the PwC
Network and the benefits this deal will bring to all clients and
stakeholders. After a short grace period, Booz & Company can't
legally continue to use the Booz name following the change in
Welcoming the Strategy& team to the PwC Network, Dennis Nally, Chairman of
PricewaterhouseCoopers International, said, "Today signifies an
important step for PwC, our clients and stakeholders. Businesses
are navigating unprecedented, disruptive threats and organisations
increasingly want the right strategy and the ability to execute it.
Together PwC and Strategy& meet this need - delivering superior
value to our clients and stakeholders, attracting premium talent
and helping businesses around the world build their capabilities on
a global scale."
"This combination of PwC and Strategy& will see PwC lead the
way in changing the landscape of the global consulting business,"
added Mr Nally.
"We are delighted to be joining PwC, the leading professional
services network in the world, as it enables us to offer both our
clients and our people a bigger, broader, and better opportunity to
connect strategy to impact," said Cesare R. Mainardi, CEO of Strategy&.
"Strategy& brings a 100-year heritage of practical strategy
advice to PwC's broad and deep portfolio of expert advisory
services. On day one, we can meet clients' needs for a full menu of
strategy-through-execution services, and a single point of access
in delivering results. We have the footprint, the scale, the
resources, and the proven capabilities to help global enterprises
every step of the way from strategy to outcomes. It's an exciting
PwC Strategy&'s Board of Directors will be chaired by Tony Poulter, a PwC partner and global
consulting leader. Cesare Mainardi will be CEO of Strategy&. He
has been the CEO of Booz & Company for the past two years.
For more information, please visit www.strategyand.pwc.com.