It’s just as well then that this sizeable market keeps on driving large volumes of consulting work. Granted, we did see one major market experience a drop in financial services consulting revenue last year, but given that it was the deeply troubled Russian market, we wouldn’t suggest reading too much into that.

Aside from its massive size and seemingly unstoppable growth, what’s most striking about the market is that the drivers of demand have, at least at headline level, stayed the same for the last few years. Take for example regulation, which has provided work for armies of consultants the world over for a very long time, especially since the 2008 financial crisis provided a major boost to the workload. Digitisation is a newer source of demand, but still one that has been around for some time, with financial services clients occupying first-mover status in this space in many markets. Even better, these clients remain adopters even as the trends change: Whilst the imperative a few years ago was to provide mobile and web-based services to customers, this has now evolved into front-to-back digitisation with financial services clients continuing to lead the way. They’re also at the very forefront of robotic process automation, and dipping an exploratory toe into artificial intelligence initiatives.

Perhaps the key question is how well this demand will hold up. Pretty well, we think, at least for the foreseeable future. Things that could have thrown the market off-kilter—the election of President Trump (no fan of regulation) and the destabilising impact of the Brexit vote—do not appear to have led to a fall-off in demand. It’s early days, but the conversations we are having with senior consultants globally as we approach the end of 2017 indicate that financial services consulting is having yet another good year. “The market is just exploding,” one senior consultant tells us. Long may it continue.



Zoë Stumpf is a leading commentator on the consulting industry and a co-Founder of Source who provide specialist research on the management consulting market to consultants and their clients.