• Overview

Business, Belgian style

Belgian-born consulting firm Capco Group has a plan and it is sticking to it.  For nearly 12 years, the firm has dedicated itself to being the self-regarded "transformation firm" for financial services.  With offices around the globe, spanning the United States, the Netherlands, India, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, Capco's 650-plus professionals have consulted on projects for some of the biggest names in the financial services industry, including Bank of America, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wachovia.  Capco's areas of expertise lie strictly within the realm of the financial services industry, with specialties in asset management, retail banking, wholesale banking, market infrastructure and payments.  The company's transformation services include business and technology consulting, processing services and technology solutions. 

De Donald

While not everyone in the United States has heard of Rob Heyvaert, Capco's founder, chairman and CEO, he's about as popular a boss in Belgium as Donald Trump is in New York.  That's because Heyvaert has been busy doling out business advice to young Belgian businesspeople on the country's version of The Apprentice, De Topmanager, in its 2006 season.  Before founding Capco in 1998, Heyvaert was CEO and president of Cimad Consultants, a systems integration and professional services firm that he founded in 1989.  By the time Heyvaert sold Cimad Consultants to IBM, the firm had grown to be one of the leading consulting and software firms in Europe with more than 1,400 people and a $120 million turnover.  Until 1998, Heyvaert stayed on at IBM as IBM Global Service's general manager of securities and capital markets, developing the group's overall strategy in these areas.  Heyvaert eventually left IBM and went on to start Capital Markets Company in July 1998, which was rebranded as Capco in 2001.  The following year, PriceWaterhouseCooper Consulting's Bill Irving assumed the presidential role at Heyvaert's firm.  By that time, Capco had offices in Belgium, London, New York, Frankfurt and Paris, to which facilities in Bangalore and Toronto were added in 2005.  The Bangalore office, in particular, has been one of Capco's rising stars.  With 100 employees, Capco's Indian operations have gone from being just a service delivery center into a full-fledged consulting outfit, offering consulting services and technology and managed services to local and international clients.

Connections count

Over the years, Capco has found friends in high places to help it offer more sophisticated services.  The firm has developed networked.Capco, an industry web of clients, companies, individuals, industry groups and academic partners who connect its clients with the information and business solutions they need.  In March 2006, Capco entered into a seven-year agreement with ING Group.  As part of the agreement, Capco Reference Data Services will provide managed reference data services to the company through its reference data services division, in a deal that made CRDS the first vendor to provide a managed securities and market reference data service and platform that covers all asset classes and all data types.  The firm also has close relationships with EDS and offshore IT-services companies Wipro and Ness Technologies, to jointly deliver services for clients.  In addition, Capco has struck up alliances with service providers, including BEA, Calypso, GL Trade, Microsoft, Omgeo and S.W.I.F.T. to boost its own business savvy and that of its clients.

The Capco Institute

Capco tries to get most of its thoughts on transformation and operational strategy down on paper.  The Capco Institute sends out weekly bulletins and in-depth research notes, and regularly publishes its Journal of Financial Transformation, "dedicated to the advancement of leading thinking in the field of applied finance."  The Journal is available online for free to registered users, and has been recognized with an Apex Award for publication excellence.  It includes features from some of the world's leading applied finance thinkers from Wharton, IMD International Institute of Management Development, INSEAD, the University of Chicago and the London Business School.  A May 2006-study released by the firm, conducted in conjunction with a research team from the London Business School, showed that financial services firms are adopting sourcing lessons from the manufacturing industry, outsourcing and off shoring their operations more and more to increase efficiency.  "Financial services and has historically lagged behind manufacturing industries in exploring the opportunities of outsourcing and off shoring, key components of what are known as ‘global sourcing models,'" the study reported.  It also presented that the question in financial services companies' minds is not whether to outsource or offshore their business, but how.

Aggressive expansion

Capco has bullish growth plans for the future.  Even though 2009 was a cautionary period for most IT consultants and vendors, Capco aggressively hired new staff and expanded its geographical presence during this tough period.  The company maintained its three-year plan to rapidly increase revenue at 25 percent annual rate and establish itself as a major provider of consulting and technology services to the financial services sector.  The firm's quarterly revenue growth and headcount expansion in 2009 suggests, as the company believes, that it is well-positioned due to a number of factors: First, the company benefits from its privately held status with a supportive equity backer, Capco has been partially owned by Symphony Technology Group since 2006.  Second, the company has positioned itself specifically for domain/expertise-led business and IT consulting, focusing on complex transformation areas, where most mainstream IT service vendors are struggling.  Moreover, the firm has extended its capabilities and coverage in recent years by the acquisition of City Practitioners in 2007 thereby enabling its capability to provide IT advisory and delivery services in addition to its traditional business consulting side.  To meet the demand for access to improved financial information and predictive analytics, Capco took a big step in 2010 by introducing its North American Finance, Risk & Compliance Group, which will enable the expansion of its existing service expertise in Europe to North America to globally deliver finance, risk and compliance client services.  This dedicated group provides financial institutions access to critical financial information, reporting data and better analytics.

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The Capital Markets Company Inc.
120 Broadway, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10271
Phone: (212) 284-8600
Fax: (212) 284-8601


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman & CEO: Rob Heyvaert
  • 2010 Employees: 1,000

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