Management & Technology Consultants
|Industry||Management consulting, technology services|
(as a business unit of KPMG)
(KPMG Consulting, LLC)
(BearingPoint Europe Holdings B.V.)
|Peter Mockler (Managing Partner)|
|Revenue||€622 million (2016)|
Number of employees
BearingPoint (parent company: BearingPoint Europe Holdings B.V.) is a multinational management and technology consulting firm headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It has operations in 22 countries with around 3,901 employees and is one of the largest management consultancies in Europe.
BearingPoint's origins lie in the consulting services operations of KPMG, which became a distinct business unit in 1997. Following demerger from KPMG in 2000 and an IPO in 2001, the company was renamed BearingPoint Inc. in October 2002. BearingPoint became one of the world’s largest providers of management and technology consulting services, with operations in more than 60 countries and approximately 17,100 employees. In February 2009 the company's US unit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Following restructuring and a management buyout in August 2009, BearingPoint's continuing operations were organized as a Netherlands-based partnership.
1997 to August 2009
BearingPoint's origins lie in the consulting services operations of KPMG, which were established as a distinct business unit in 1997. KPMG had been providing consulting services to clients since its first contract with the US Navy prior to World War I. On 31 January 2000, KPMG formally spun off the consulting unit as KPMG Consulting, LLC. On 8 February 2001, the company went public on the NASDAQ market at $18 a share under the ticker "KCIN."
Over the next year and a half, the company acquired some of KPMG’s country consulting practices, plus country practices and hiring from Arthur Andersen’s business consulting unit. On 2 October 2002, the company was re-named BearingPoint and the next day began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "BE."
BearingPoint was late in filing its financial reports through 2007. The Company said its net loss for the first quarter ended 31 March 2007 narrowed as revenue grew and costs declined. The company recorded a net loss of $61.7 million, or 29 cents per share for the first quarter, compared with a loss of $72.7 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. The company recorded a net loss of $64.0 million, or 30 cents per share for the second quarter, compared with a loss of $2.85 million, or 1 cent per share, in the same period a year earlier. BearingPoint's shareholders' deficit was $365 million as of the close of the second quarter 2007 with a total accumulated deficit of $1.9 billion. On 11 August 2008, the company reported its first net income in three years and, as of the third quarter of 2008, had reported operating income for three consecutive quarters. During the third quarter of 2008, BearingPoint said its net loss was $30.5 million or $0.14 a share, an improvement of $37.5 million compared to the third quarter of 2007. BearingPoint's shareholders' deficit was $469.2 million as of the close of the third quarter 2008.
BearingPoint had difficulties with several major clients, including an outsourcing arrangement with Hawaiian Telcom. On 7 February 2007, BearingPoint announced that it had reached a settlement with Hawaiian Telcom due to issues with an IT system contract, paying the Hawaii telco $52 million and erasing an additional $30 million in previously submitted invoices. In exchange, Hawaiian Telcom released BearingPoint from any further liability. A day later, Hawaiian Telcom announced that it had signed a contract with Accenture to take over BearingPoint's role in their systems development.
In June 2007, in a surprising and perhaps foreboding move, BearingPoint changed its corporate logo from black to red. Signage, business cards and letterheads were replaced to reflect this new "aggressive" color scheme. 
On 10 December 2008, BearingPoint filed a Certificate of Amendment to the Certificate of Incorporation of the company with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware to effect a previously approved reverse stock split of the Company's outstanding common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a ratio of one-for-fifty. The reverse stock split became effective at 6:01 p.m., Eastern Time, on 10 December 2008, at which time every fifty shares of Common Stock that were issued and outstanding automatically combined into one issued and outstanding share of Common Stock. On 13 November 2008, BearingPoint received notice from NYSE Regulation, Inc. (NYSE) that the NYSE had decided to suspend BearingPoint's common stock from trading prior to the market opening on 17 November 2008.
The company filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York on 18 February 2009, with $2.23 billion in total debt and $1.76 billion in total assets as of 30 September. The filing included only the company's U.S. operations. Unable to sustain the heavy debt load resulting from ill-advised expansion moves, costly management errors and audit fees associated with the bankruptcy process, the company negotiated debt for equity swaps with its creditors and zeroed the value of its common shares, wiping out existing investors.
By May 2009, the company's Japan business unit and North American Commercial Services practice had been sold to PwC and its North American Public Services practice had been sold to Deloitte. Its Brazil unit was sold to CSC in July 2009 and its China unit was sold to Perot Systems in October of the same year.
August 2009 to present
On 28 August 2009, control of BearingPoint was transferred to its European management team, with continuing operations owned by about 150 partners in 21 countries throughout Europe. Peter Mockler, who had been serving as the EMEA leader for BearingPoint since 2006, and his management team continued to lead the organisation, providing leadership stability and continuity. Employing 3,709 people in the European region, the independent company kept the BearingPoint brand.
In Australia, BearingPoint completed a local management buy-out in September 2009. The China-based information technology company HiSoft acquired BearingPoint Australia for an undisclosed sum in July 2012.
BearingPoint is organized into four industries - Consumer Industries, Production Industries, Financial Services, and Public Services.
Each industry group breaks out into segments.
- Consumer Industries consists of Communication, Media & Entertainment, Consumer Goods & Retail and Utilities
- Production Industries consists of Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Manufacturing and Chemicals, Life Science & Resources
- Financial Services consists of Banking & Capital Markets and Insurance
- Public Services consists of Government & Defense, Healthcare & Social Welfare and Postal & Transportation
While many of company’s offerings have emerged from the industry teams, it now has dedicated organizations for developing, launching and delivering them. The Management Consulting unit works on business strategy and related issues; customer relationship management; supply chain management; financial management; mergers and integration; human capital management; business process and performance improvement; growth and innovation; and business transformation. The Solutions unit focuses on Advanced Analytics, Digital Ecosystem Management, Regulatory Technology, and Incubators.
Economic development projects
To help obtain mandates in the emerging markets sector, the firm in 2000 retained the Barents Group in its separation from KPMG. The Barents Group specialized in economic consulting in developing countries, usually through contracts awarded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Barents Group was also the leading Privatization Advisory firm in Emerging Markets of Eastern Europe and CIS, including privatizations of gold mines in Uzbekistan through its offices in Tashkent, in 1995-97.
Once incorporated into BearingPoint’s Public Services industry organization, Barents Group evolved into BearingPoint’s Emerging Markets segment and gained a reputation for doing economic project work in post-conflict regions.
BearingPoint arrived in Afghanistan after the collapse of the Taliban to advise the government in 2003 on economic restructuring. The multi-year $170 million USAID contract provided technical staff to the Afghan Ministries of Finance, Telecommunications, Economy, Commerce, and the Central Bank, Parliament and office of the President. Deliverables included bank licensing and supervision, creation of the capital notes market, monetary policy to limit inflation, privatization of the telecom sector, creation of a telecom independent regulator, modernization of customs and taxes, and the introduction of the commercial framework and laws.
On 5 January 2005, BearingPoint employee Tracy Hushin (among others) was killed by a suicide bomber on her way home from Baghdad International Airport. Her death occurred between the protected Green Zone and the airport. On 14 January 2008, BearingPoint employee Thor Hesla was killed, along with seven others, in the 2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack in the Green Zone.
On May 29, 2007, BearingPoint IT consultant Peter Moore and his four security guards (from Canadian security company GardaWorld) were abducted from the finance ministry in Baghdad, Iraq. All five men were British. The kidnappers wore Iraqi police uniforms, and arrived in police vehicles.
Three of the security guards were shot dead; the bodies of Jason Swindlehurst and Jason Creswell were handed over to local authorities in June 2009 with Alec MacLachlan's body following in September that year. Moore himself was released in December 2009, after two and a half years in captivity, the longest British hostage situation since the Lebanon hostage crisis. The body of the remaining security guard, Alan McMenemy, was released on 20 January 2012.
Open source initiatives
BearingPoint plays an active role in the open source community. MIKE2.0 (Method for an Integrated Knowledge Environment) is an open source delivery methodology for enterprise information management that was started by BearingPoint and released to the open source community in December, 2006 under the Creative Commons Attribution License. The technology platform that supports MIKE2.0 (omCollab) uses a foundation of open source technologies with a number of extensions and customizations. The overall product is referred to as "omCollab" and is released in its entirety to the open source community as part of the project.
Since its release to the open source community, MIKE2.0 has been referenced a number of times as a case study on Web 2.0 communities, including the book Groundswell. The content has also been taught through a number of online webinars and as a part of a Melbourne University lecture series on Data Warehousing. of which some of the training materials are available on the MIKE2.0 site. AIIM based their Enterprise 2.0 specialist certification program around the MIKE2.0 Solution Offering and use the overall approach as a training case study.
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