Horváth again achieves double-digit growth

Helmut Ahr

The chairman of the board wants to lead Horváth to more growth – but he also has to finally make the management bodies more female.

(Photo: Horváth AG / Thomas Koenig)

Dusseldorf The Horváth consulting group continues to grow at a record level. The international management consultancy with headquarters in Stuttgart increased sales in the past financial year by 21 percent to 265 million euros. The company also increased its workforce by more than 20 percent from 1,080 to over 1,275 employees.

“Our strategy of focusing on our core competencies of performance management and transformation is proving to be successful, especially in these economically uncertain times,” explains Helmut Ahr, CEO of Horváth, in an interview with the Handelsblatt. Ahr is also confident for the new financial year. He expects “further double-digit growth of around 17 percent and 200 new hires”.

Horváth is growing significantly faster than the market. According to a current industry study by the Federal Association of German Management Consultancies (BDU), the number of consultants in Germany increased by 15 percent in 2022. For the current year 2023, they expect an increase of twelve percent to a total business volume of 49 billion euros.

The company, founded in 1981 by Peter Horváth, who passed away last year, is number four among German management consultancies. The number one is Roland Berger with a recent turnover of 745 million euros (2021). In second and third place are Simon Kucher from Bonn with a turnover of 535 million euros (2022) and QPerior from Munich with a turnover of 286 million euros (2022).

However, the German market is dominated by the three major international providers. McKinsey and Boston Consulting each account for around one billion euros in sales in Germany, Bain for around 400 million.

Growth while McKinsey and Accenture want to downsize

Internationally, the boom in the industry has recently stalled. Possible job cuts at McKinsey, the number one strategy consultancy, and the world’s largest IT consultancy Accenture had recently caused negative headlines. McKinsey is even reviewing its own business model.

Horváth wants to continue growing organically and through internationalization. Large projects such as the reorganization of the household appliance manufacturer BSH and the transformation of Südzucker recently drove the business of the Stuttgart-based company.

In the course of the past financial year, Horváth also opened an office in Copenhagen and strengthened locations in the USA and the Middle East. 30 percent of employees now work outside of Germany. In addition, the management team was strengthened on April 1, 2023. The partnership appointed eight new members.

>> Read also: Boston Consulting Group is still growing by eleven percent worldwide

For the industry expert Jörg Hossenfelder from the market analyst Lünendonk, the Horváth consultancy is both a driver and a driven person in their expansion: Horváth left the focus on controlling years ago and dedicated himself to digital transformation projects. Internationalization has also been gradually expanded. This path is not over yet.

Horváth has been managed by Helmut Ahr since April last year. He came to Horváth in 2002 from the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg as a consultant. In addition to the expansion, there is another special challenge for him: the board has so far been exclusively male.

Since the end of September, Emese Weissenbacher, chief financial officer at the filter technology group Mann + Hummel, has had a woman on the supervisory board.

More: How the consultants repositioned themselves after the death of the founder

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