Waterland establishes new growth platform for consulting with Horn & Company
Munich / Düsseldorf — The market for top management consulting has been characterized by increasing consolidation trends in recent years. In this dynamic environment, Waterland Private Equity and top management consultancy Horn & Company have entered into a 50/50 partnership to create a new growth platform for mid-market consulting firms.
Horn & Company is one of the leading consulting firms in the DACH region in the areas of strategy, digitization and earnings enhancement for financial service providers as well as industrial and retail companies. The shareholders of Horn & Company will remain with the company in their usual capacity and will continue to assume the entrepreneurial lead responsibility for the operational consulting business in their role as shareholders.
Founded in 2009 by Dr. Christian Horn and Dr. Alexander Bethke-Jaenicke, among others, Horn & Company is a top management consultancy specializing in financial service providers and industrial companies with headquarters in Düsseldorf. Horn’s focus is on the design and effective implementation of strategy processes and the digital transformation of financial service providers and industrial and retail companies with a clear focus on measurable P&L improvement, including through data-driven analytics. Building on the high standards of expertise and seniority of Horn & Company’s consulting teams, the consulting firm has repeatedly been named Hidden Champion of top management consulting for banks and insurance companies by Management and Science. Since its founding, Horn & Company has consistently achieved double-digit growth rates per year and today employs over 100 people at six locations in Germany and Austria. The entire Horn & Company leadership team remains active with the company.
Focus on strengthening core competencies and inorganic growth
Building on the company’s strong organic growth, Horn & Company is expected to become an even stronger brand in the DACH consulting market through industry consolidation as a result of its partnership with Waterland. To this end, the partners plan to expand Horn & Company’s range of services in the areas of digital transformation, asset-based consulting, and data analytics, among others, as well as in other functional subject areas, in order to be able to offer customers a holistic consulting ecosystem. By further dovetailing and integrating the current core competence fields, the further expansion of the Industry and Trade business area in particular is to be accelerated. From the recently opened branch office in Vienna, the successive internationalization into neighboring European countries is also planned.
“In recent years, we have firmly established ourselves in the market and convinced a high-caliber client base of our unique value proposition. Now we have to continue our growth path and develop new opportunities through strategic steps, especially in the area of inorganic growth. We see potential for this both vertically and horizontally as well as with regard to our internationalization strategy,” says Dr. Horn, Managing Partner at Horn & Company. Dr. Bethke-Jaenicke, also Managing Partner, adds: “Waterland has absolutely convinced us in our search for a strong growth partner. Waterland shares our vision of a high-growth consolidation platform for medium-sized consulting firms and the idea of an ecosystem for digital transformation established by Horn & Company in recent years, has the necessary operational understanding in the field of professional services and the necessary industry expertise to open a new chapter in the Horn & Company success story together with us. We look forward to working together.”
“From the very beginning, we were convinced of Horn & Company’s clear strategic profile and unique positioning. The consulting industry has proven to be extremely resilient during the challenging last months and is still highly fragmented, especially in Germany. We see promising growth potential in the market, especially through inorganic value levers. We look forward to supporting Horn & Company’s experienced management team on this development path,” says Dr. Gregor Hengst (photo), Partner at Waterland Private Equity.
Waterland has extensive experience in the professional services sector through corresponding investments in several European countries. Waterland currently already has investments in companies such as First Consulting (process consulting), Moore (accounting & auditing), 9altitudes (Microsoft Dynamics service provider), Skaylink (managed cloud services), and Intracto and Sideshow (digital agencies).
Waterland is an independent private equity investment firm that helps companies realize their growth plans. With substantial financial support and industry expertise, Waterland enables its portfolio companies to accelerate growth both organically and through acquisitions. Waterland has offices in the Netherlands (Bussum), Belgium (Antwerp), France (Paris), Germany (Hamburg, Munich), Poland (Warsaw), the UK (London, Manchester), Ireland (Dublin), Denmark (Copenhagen) and Switzerland (Zurich). Nine billion euros in equity funds are currently under management.
Waterland has consistently outperformed with its investments since its inception in 1999. The company ranks fifth globally in the current HEC/Dow Jones Private Equity Performance Ranking (January 2021).