Joel Muckett 8 Nov 2017 09:49am

Brexit hurting UK's £7bn consulting sector

The UK’s consulting sector has dropped a place in industry rankings amid concerns of a post-Brexit talent drain

The £7bn sector was ranked fourth – behind the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region, Australia and the United States – in the Source Global Research’s global market attractiveness index.

Although the impending split from the European Union was expected to increase work for consultants, the report believed a heavy reliance on foreign talent had left the industry susceptible to interruptions in the supply of talent.

There were also concerns that consulting firms may become unable to continue attracting enough talent to keep up with market demands.

“Such is London’s reliance on a flow of talent across its borders—one leader of a global strategy firm recently told us that ‘100%’ of internal applications for positions came from outside the UK—that any interruption to that flow is likely to have a significant impact,” says Source Global Research director Edward Haigh.

Haigh added that the UK was still a place that showed “remarkable propensity” for using consultants.

BearingPoint partner Robert Bosch said Brexit was driving global players away from London to the likes of Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin.

“On the one hand it’s positive that the local consulting market is expanding but it’s also causing them a headache. In order to expand somewhere, they need new talent, and they’re doing this by headhunting the best talent from consulting firms,” he said.

The DACH region topped the index’s rankings for the third year in a row, despite not growing at the rate of the markets in the US and the UK.

This was, in part, due to strong levels of growth, better access to talent, very high average revenues and clients willing to do business with them.