Four into one – What will be the major effects of recession on the consultancy profession?.

“Clients hit by Asian and Russian crises are stalling expansion, as cash flows and earnings reduce. European and North American growth continues, though forecasts are lowering. Consultants will find growth harder in 1999.”

Philip Banks, vice president, AT Kearney

“Though it is difficult to say whether there will be a recession, I think consultancies are almost recession-proof. That is because companies need help to work through the effects of recession. Firms that can provide such services will not suffer.”

Rob Baldock, senior partner, Andersen Consulting

“The MCA third-quarter 1998 figures indicate continual strong growth in most member firm incomes. For 1999 we still expect some overall growth although some members and some markets will clearly be more adversely affected than others.”

Bruce Petter, executive director, Management Consultancies Association

“In the last recession, some organisations found that efforts to strip costs in order to survive left them with too few staff to provide an effective service. In a downturn, I’d expect demand to rise for services such as KPMG’s restructuring consultancy. The effect will be both more varied and muted than the more lurid headlines would have you believe.”

Eddie Oliver, chairman, KPMG Management Consulting.

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