Press Release

Clients Are Taking a Cautious Approach To Finance Strategy Amid Pandemic-Generated Uncertainty

ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research finds that while there is hesitancy among clients to act before government intentions become more apparent, Pacesetters and Market Leaders are using the opportunity of the disruption caused by the pandemic to help position clients for a far more volatile, more regulatorily restrictive future

New York, NY – November 4th, 2021– 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 most prominent and intrusive forms of this interference manifested as stimulus efforts targeting macroeconomic factors and specific industries. Many governments (including the US) are now signaling these programs will be winding down soon. Coupled with the severe disruption the pandemic inflicted on economies last year, finance strategy has been rendered an excruciating exercise. 

“The two key elements clients are struggling with are crystal balling and planning,” described ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research Director Tomek Jankowski. “That may sound simple, but clients are struggling to understand and predict government behaviors and are seeking help to identify red flag events. But more importantly, they also need help building flexibility and agility into their strategies for both specific regulations and macro behaviors.”

Market Leaders and Pacesetters differentiated themselves in the pandemic less by building or acquiring new capabilities but more by effectively organizing their existing capabilities into specific client needs. Many have focused on specific regulations or stimulus programs, for instance. But while initially those services focused on crisis management, Market Leaders were able to telescope those offerings over 2020 and 2021 to evolve into long term, integrated finance strategy.

In ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research: Finance Strategy 2021-2022, the Pacesetter Advisory Council assessed seventeen 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 multi-service 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 vital 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 sell-side and opportunistic buy-side deals, but the flurry of restructuring is complicating the planning side of finance strategy 
  • The COVID crisis has accelerated digitization projects in finance, though now with a focus on outcomes rather than platformization or AI, with the emphasis shifting to making the most effective use of both human and machine resources  


ALM Intelligence evaluated the supply chain capabilities of the following providers: AlixPartners, Alvarez & Marsal, Bain & Company, Baker Tilly, Barclays, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, Dentons Global Advisors, Duane Morris; Duff & Phelps, a Kroll Business; EY, FTI Consulting, goetzpartners, KPMG, McKinsey & Company, PwC, Stout, UBS

ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research provides independent, objective research to providers and buyers of professional services, coupled with practical insights that inform the decision-making process for strategic planning and procurement professionals. 

To learn more about the Finance Strategy research or obtain the full version of the report to go:

For more information or to obtain the full version of the ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research series, visit:  or contact our Strategic Accounts Manager, James Doyle at [email protected].



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