New analysis from ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research shows that the pandemic prompted an almost unprecedented level of government interference in markets and economies, drastically changing financial dynamics for organizations. The largest and most intrusive forms of this interference manifested as stimulus efforts targeting both macroeconomic factors and specific industries, and many governments (including the US) have been giving indications that these programs will be winding down soon. This, coupled with the severe disruption the pandemic inflicted on economies last year, has rendered finance strategy an excruciating exercise.

This research assesses eighteen providers’ strategies and service offerings identified as Market Leaders for their ability to deliver client impact in today’s ever-shifting supply chain environment. Additionally, the research and analysis provide insights into the competitive dynamics and service delivery trends, driving convergence across financial advisory, legal, management consulting, and multiservice providers.

Research Highlights

  • Concern about post-pandemic government behavior (via legislation, courts and regulatory agencies) spans tax, supply chains, mobility, cash flows, data and delivery, leading to an intense focus on building flexibility into finance strategy, with data-driven scenario planning a particularly important area of growth
  • Regulatory and compliance risk are top of mind for clients, opening the door for those providers able to address the GRC, legal, operational and market components effectively for clients
  • Few clients are hitting the panic button yet, but the threat of government wind-down of pandemic stimulus aid and pullback from markets (matched with likely increased public sector interference in the form of taxes, interest rates, greater controls on borders and attempts to encourage reshoring of supply chains) is making finance strategy a fraught exercise
  • The pandemic has added fuel to already robust M&A markets in terms of both distressed sellside and opportunistic buyside deals, but the flurry of restructuring is complicating the planning side of finance strategy
  • The COVID crisis has accelerated digitalization projects in finance, though now with a focus on outcomes rather than platformization or AI, with the emphasis shifting to making most effective use of both human and machine resources

What Makes An ALM Intelligence Finance Strategy Pacesetter & Market Leader?

Market Leaders and Pacesetters differentiated themselves in the pandemic less by building or acquiring new capabilities than by effectively organizing and funneling their existing capabilities into specific client needs such as specific regulations or stimulus programs, while also telescoping those offerings over 2020 and 2021 to evolve from crisis management to long term, integrated finance strategy.

The 2021-2022 Legal Department – Legal Operations Market Leaders & Pacesetters

  • AlixPartners
  • Alvarez & Marsal
  • Bain & Company
  • Baker Tilly
  • Barclays
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Deloitte
  • Dentons Global Advisors
  • Duane Morris
  • EY
  • FTI Consulting
  • goetzpartners
  • KPMG
  • McKinsey & Company
  • PwC
  • Stout
  • UBS

the methodology

The goal of ALM Pacesetter Research is to help buyers of professional services navigate an increasingly complex landscape with confidence. We use a multidisciplinary perspective to identify best-in-class providers of legal, consulting, financial, insurance, employee benefits, and other professional services and analyze how they are evolving as an ecosystem of interdisciplinary service providers. Our research is grounded in over 50 years of accumulated market insights and qualitative research models that combine knowledge of management science with case studies and other sources of knowledge to understand patterns of market supply, demand, behavior, and ways of doing business. Our research also includes voices/perspectives from both the sellside and buyside, as well as knowledgeable people working in industry associations, academia, etc.

  • The ALM Pacesetter Advisory Council (PAC) convenes in advance of the research project kick-off; members include ALM journalists and editors, and external experts such as consultants, general counsel, and industry thought leaders

  • The PAC selects the set of Market Leaders that will be covered in the research topic from a larger group of providers that members have identified in the normal course of their work

  • PAC members also provide expert knowledge and insights to the ALM Pacesetter team throughout the research and analysis process

  • The ALM Pacesetter Team within ALM Intelligence conducts primary and secondary research

  • Primary research includes in-depth interviews with practice leaders at the provider firms covered in the research; satisfaction interviews with clients referred by those providers; and in-depth interviews with thought leaders, recruiting professionals, and other sources

  • Secondary research includes data gathered from annual reports and earnings calls, management presentations, public filings, case studies, press releases, journals and publications, online information databases and other publicly available resources

  • Market Leaders that achieve a Pacesetter Impact Score equal to or over 85 are designated as ALM Pacesetters

  • Pacesetter analysts map markets and stakeholders and write market trends

  • Market segment overviews are peer reviewed by the appropriate PAC member

Service providers are evaluated and scored based on five core criteria

Business Model

Provider’s ability to reposition core competencies around new products, services, and business models to adapt to shifting patterns of market supply, demand, behavior, and ways of doing business.

Value Proposition

Provider’s ability to deliver on its value proposition, i.e., the positioning statement that communicates the benefits and economic value a prospect will receive by purchasing the provider’s products and services over a competitor’s.

Service Delivery

Provider’s ability to mobilize resources and configure assets to serve clients.

Client Impact

Provider’s ability to help clients affect continuous, sustainable change, mitigate risk, improve performance, and achieve growth.

Brand Eminence

Provider’s ability to leverage brand and marketing strategies to differentiate in its marketplace as an expert practitioner and thought leader.

About The Analyst

Headshot of Tomek Jankowski, Senior Analyst, Consulting, ALM Intelligence

Tomek’s focus is on finance management consulting, which includes finance operations, balance sheet strategy & investor relations, portfolio & capital strategy, and transaction advisory services.

Before joining ALM Intelligence, Tomek led the European asset-backed securities (ABS) and global collateralized debt obligation (CDO) report sourcing and research efforts for the asset-backed securities market intelligence firm Lewtan Technologies. Before that he spent five years with Capital Access International, a fixed-income market intelligence firm responsible for bringing the widely known fixed-income investment professional and securities profile tool eMAXX™ to the investment world. He was Director of North American data research when that firm was acquired by Lipper (a Reuters company) in 2002.

Tomek earned a B.A. in History magna cum laude, with a minor in Cultural Anthropology, from SUNY at Buffalo (New York). In 2017 Tomek earned his Masters of Science degree in Applied Economics from Southern New Hampshire University. He also spent several years living and studying in Poland, Hungary, and other regions of Eastern Europe and has authored a successful book (published in late 2013) on Eastern Europe, which is going into its second edition in 2018.

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