Brexpertise – July 18

Businesses in need of more Brexpertise. This was the headline in The Times relating to a report from our client, Source Global Research, that found less than 1% of the consultants (just 328) from the top 20 UK firms by revenue are dedicated Brexit specialists.

As a result, British business is expected to suffer in the lead-up to Brexit as the number of consultants required to deal with the expected wave of Brexit-related demand is woefully insufficient.

The Source report also stated that the Brexit contingency planning to date will have to quickly shift gear as clients kick off a variety of projects aimed at making necessary changes—to location, restructuring supply chains and operations, managing talent issues, or dealing with relationships with customers.

Fiona Czerniawska, director of Source Global Research, said:

“The shortage of Brexit specialists is not just an issue for those consulting firms in danger of missing out on an opportunity; the bigger issue is for UK businesses in general. Most large organisations only have the resources needed to deal with their existing workload, and therefore rely on consultants to deal with the unexpected. Without consultants with the right expertise to support them, there is a real danger that UK companies will struggle to address the complex and wide-ranging challenges of Brexit.”

Source’s research also revealed that the vast majority (85%) of Brexit specialists in the UK’s consulting industry work at accounting firms—a category that includes the Big Four.

However, while the Big Four firms are set to benefit most from Brexit because of their cross-disciplinary expertise and strong presence in financial services, Source’s report warned that even they will not be able to meet the expected volume of demand—particularly from the financial services sector.