Roland Berger is repositioning itself

Sasha Haghani

Roland Berger manager Sascha Haghani says: “Customers expect us to help implement new concepts in a responsible position”.

Dusseldorf In the future, Roland Berger consultants will also be able to take on transitional management positions in particularly demanding restructuring cases. This includes, for example, the position of Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO).

Roland Berger is thus entering into a procedure that is common in restructuring: interim management. Strategically, according to information from the Handelsblatt, the consulting firm is taking over the team from the Munich-based management consultancy Candidus, thus expanding its traditionally strong position in restructuring and strengthening earnings.

Interim management is a service that consultancies specializing in restructuring and avoiding insolvency, such as Alvarez & Marsal, Alix Partners and FTI/Andersch, as well as boutique consultancies such as those of Hans-Joachim Ziems, Ralf Schmitz and Rüdiger Tibbe, have been offering for a long time.

Sascha Haghani, Managing Director Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Roland Berger, says: “In the future, our consultants will take on more entrepreneurial responsibility in special and crisis situations and take on board positions.”

This is a commitment that is very much in demand on the market, especially from investors. “They expect us not only to develop new concepts, but also to help implement them in a responsible position,” adds Haghani, who is also the head of global restructuring.

>> Also read: Companies are starting nationwide austerity programs – some are already calling for reorganizers

The integration of the Candidus team around founder and managing director Stefan Driver with twelve other consultants is scheduled to take place on February 1, 2023. As a partner at Roland Berger, the 52-year-old driver will be responsible for and further develop the interim management offer, especially for CROs.

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Million Euros

was the operating result (Ebitda) of Roland Berger in 2021. It was the best financial year since the company was founded.

According to their own statements, one in three of the approximately 3,000 employees at Roland Berger has experience in the field of interim management. According to a recent study by Dietmar Fink by the Scientific Society for Management Consulting (WGMB), the consultants at Roland Berger in Germany enjoy the best reputation as restructuring consultants among the major strategy consultants.

The 704 corporations, banks and insolvency administrators surveyed for the analysis last year certify that the “Bergers” have the highest level of competence in terms of reorganization and restructuring, leading the ranking ahead of the specialized restructuring consultants from Alix Partners and Alvarez & Marsal. McKinsey, BCG and Bain follow in fourth, fifth and sixth place. Dietmar Fink analyses: “The competition between the consultants is intensifying in this area. This is a whole new competitive situation.”

Future management assignments at companies with sales of up to one billion euros

Manager Haghani himself estimates the size of the market for interim management in crisis situations: CROs are in demand for almost all restructurings managed by Roland Berger in German-speaking countries. So far, in such situations, external experts from their own network have been relied on. Especially for companies with a turnover of up to one billion euros, they want to take on these items themselves in the future.

With the expansion in the restructuring, Roland Berger takes flight to the front. The consultancy has had a few difficult crisis years, but has been back on a growth course since 2020.

>> Also read: What management strategies will you use to get through the multi-crisis

With an increase in sales of 27 percent to 745 million euros and an operating result of 117 million euros (Ebitda), 2021 was the best financial year since the company was founded.

And according to Roland Berger CEO Stefan Schaible, that was only the beginning. In 2022, the business of the consultancy, founded in Munich in 1967, is said to have grown by around 15 percent to 850 million euros.

That’s not enough for Schaible and the other 320 or so partners of the consulting company: “We want to play even more globally. For that we need annual sales of one to two billion euros.” The faster you grow, the better, explained Schaible in September 2022 in an interview with the Handelsblatt.


In addition to organic growth, takeovers should drive the expansion. Candidus is the second acquisition in Germany for a long time. In August 2022, the “Bergers” were reinforced with the 30-strong team from Polarix, a consultancy specializing in cost optimization.

In September 2019, the team from Enovation Partners in the USA was added, specializing in the energy sector and energy-intensive industrial sectors.

With the entry into interim management, Roland Berger is now also structurally broader and is thus following a trend in the industry. While the strategy consultants (Roland Berger, McKinsey, Boston Consulting, Bain) go more from theory into practice and thus into implementation, the previously focused consulting firms such as Accenture (IT) are trying to establish themselves more firmly in strategy and in key issues such as sustainability .

“The large and well-funded companies that are more likely to take over competitors or buy expertise are benefiting from this trend in particular,” says Mario Zillmann, partner at market analyst Lünendonk. The small and medium-sized consulting firms must be careful not to lose influence and defend their niches with excellence.

More: McKinsey, BCG, Bain: Restructuring is becoming a hot topic for consultants

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