News room

In the news 2010

"Snow sends a shiver through shops"

On 10 December 2010, Principal Jason Gordon spoke to the Financial Times on how "retailers face a nail-biting fortnight in the run-up to Christmas, amid continuing bad weather and impending austerity measures." Gordon suggests that once one retailer "loses their nerve and goes (for significant discounting), there will be a whole stream of people who will have to follow in immediate succession.”


"Three leaders on business execution"

On 5 December 2010, Partner Paul Leinwand was interviewed by The Sunday Telegraph on the subject of corporate strategies. On why corporate strategy often fails, Leinwand proposes that companies should ask themselves basic questions such as "what are we good at?" rather than focusing on growth, new markets and other external factors. He suggests that "the role of capabilities are almost always behind why some companies win and others do not". Coherent companies "build a capability system: 3-6 interconnected capabilities that work together to support the way the company competes".


"Christmas bargains to win over pay packets"

On 26 November, The Daily Telegraph quotes Principal Jason Gordon on the subject of seasonal discounting: "this weekend, I suspect, there will be many discounts on large items where VAT really affects the price: furniture, large televisions and cars. The problem is that next year the amount of money in the consumer pot will be considerably smaller".


"Difficult times spur wave of change"

On 15 November, Partner Richard Rawlinson discussed the "business of consulting" with The Financial Times, specifically that whilst demand from the public sector has fallen in the difficult economic climate, private sector demand has rebounded. In particular, Rawlinson predicts "a rise in healthcare consulting overall" as "pharmaceutical and healthcare industries are big growth areas worldwide".


"Firms bank on growth as demand revives"

Also talking on the "business of consulting" on 15 November 2010, Partner Gagan Bhatnagar discusses financial services with The Financial Times. He proposes that "the outlook is much more positive" and that "financial services are once again looking for expansion opportunities". Furthermore, Bhatnagar suggests that cross-industry is useful, for example, "a retail bank might learn about customer relationship management from the consumer goods industry". Finally, Bhatnagar mentions opportunities in new regulations which will aid "faster time-to-market and easier entry into new regional markets".


"Old customs swept away by strong new currents"

On 10 November 2010, Senior Partner Alan Gemes, spoke to The Financial Times about changes in the private banking sector. Citing Booz & Company's Private Banking Report, Gemes suggests that private banks need to "fundamentally alter both their value proposition and strategy". Furthermore, wealth generation in the future is likely to come from emerging markets; "almost one-third of the world's high net worth individuals will live in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of 2011".


"Research and development spending drops"

On 3 November 2010, Partner Michael Knott was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Discussing the launch of Booz & Company's annual Global Innovation study, Knott explains that the overall global spending on R&D has declined yet, as a proportion of revenues globally, "it has actually still continued to rise, and within Europe and the UK, the decline is not there."


"Big oil's big shift"

In the October 2010 issue of Petroleum Review, Senior Partner Viren Doshi, Principal Hege Nordahl and Adrian del Maestro write about the changes the oil industry face following the spill on the Gulf of Mexico; "not the management of environmental risks, but every aspect of its business".


"Promoted to death"

On 24 September 2010, Principal Jason Gordon spoke to Retail Week about promotions in the retail sector: as retailers rely increasingly on promotions, customers appear to be less willing to pay full price. Gordon points out that "there are large areas of retail that are over-promoted. How do you step back from that?". He suggests "the real differentiator is the ability of retailers to distinguish themselves from rivals and ensure shoppers feel they are getting value, whether through promotions or in other ways".


"China feels the wind of change"

On 5 September 2010, Partner Nick Pennell discusses China's renewable energy plan in The Sunday Times. "The Chinese are doing what any responsible government is doing: they are pulling all the levers they can both on the supply and demand side”, says Pennell, “with both wind and solar, there is the potential for market disruption because the scale of what they are doing is so great. From the Chinese government’s point of view this is an opportunity to develop a new industrial sector." The article mentions that "the one advantage Britain has is in wind power offshore, where most of the large projects are being built. China has just one of these. The government nonetheless faces heavy odds against bringing its visions of hundreds of thousands of green-collar jobs to fruition." Pennell concludes that, "if you have a domestic renewable energy target the size of China’s, it is much easier to imagine building an industrial base round it.”


"My kingdom for a chairman"

On 5 September 2010, Partner Ashley Harshak talks to the The Sunday Times on the subject of foreign CEOs in Britain. Confirming the trend for overseas bosses, the article cites Booz & Company's annual CEO Succession Study which found that, in 2009, 33% of CEOs in Britain were foreign and across Europe, the average was 25%. Harshak comments, "there are some countries where the proportion of foreign chief executives is much higher — for example, Switzerland, which we suspect is due to a small local talent pool and a large number of multinational headquarters." He also suggests "the trend for searching out chairmen in a variety of channels may even have positive consequences. The study found that chief executives 'apprenticed' by chairmen who were once chief executives themselves have a tendency to perform less well in terms of generating shareholder returns."


"Debenhams: all about the bottom line"

In the 9 July 2010 issue of Retail Week Principal Jason Gordon commented on retailers taking measures to "establish and maintain the credentials of own-brands" and ensuring that they put "oomph into their brands through more than just one product." Gordon states that, "marketing, price perception, where you put the product in the stores, freshness of display - it all impacts brand equity".


"Gas glut hastens the demise of coal"

On 27 June 2010 The Sunday Times cited Booz & Company's gas markets study, The next cycle: Gas markets beyond the Recession, noting that "last year was the first time since the 1960s that gas demand fell in Europe, Asia and North America simultaneously". The article highlights that a "five year gas glut could speed the end of coal-fired power in Britain and aid the economic recovery by keeping down household energy bills".


"iPad fever wraps world in wire"

On May 30 2010 The Telegraph quoted Partner Michael Knott on the topic of the consequences of increased data traffic for the telecoms sector. He states that the "cost of bandwidth is not expected to increase, but operators and internet service providers are still spending a great deal of money to increase their overall capacity" and "unless they find a way to change the pricing they are going to be left holding the can for this data explosion".


"Fewer CEOs Getting the Sack"

In the May 19, 2010 issue of City A.M, Booz & Company Partner Richard Rawlinson is quoted talking about this year's CEO Succession Study: "Companies that turn to outsiders tend to do worse than those that promote internally, reflecting the fact that strong companies promote from within, and recruiting an outsider isn't a panacea for turning a company around."


"UK Makes its Mark on CEO Role"

An article published in the May 18, 2010 issue of the FT references Booz & Company's annual CEO Succession Study, and highlights how the UK model of splitting the roles of chairman and chief executive is taking hold globally, even as chief executive turnover seems to have stabilised at a new higher level of about 14 per cent at the world's largest listed companies.


"Booz & Company Sets Up Virtual Climate Change Team to Serve Industry Practices"

In the January 2010 issue of Climate Change Business Journal, Booz & Company Partner Nick Pennell (Europe) detailed development of the firm’s “low-carbon sustainability” practice that supports the climate change and sustainability programs of all its clients. “We’re historically organized by industry practice but over time, each of those teams has had clients that have been increasingly interested in climate change, carbon reduction, and sustainability issues,” said Pennell, who leads the practice. “That interest has now reached critical mass, so we’ve established this formal coordinating mechanism.” The practice consists of a “virtual” team of 35 to 40 people from each of the industry-oriented groups who can connect their industry knowledge to sustainability and carbon management, and a smaller team of specialists and subject matter experts in areas such as carbon finance and the Clean Development Mechanism. “Given the slight uncertainty of the Copenhagen outcome in terms of price-setting mechanisms for carbon, for many companies, you’ll see a reversion to bread-and-butter CO2 reduction and energy-efficiency opportunities leading to tangible value creation,” Pennell said. “For companies in the renewable energy space, many of the U.S. states and European countries have renewable energy targets, so there will be continuing interest in helping companies meet those targets.”