Consultants materialise in cyberspace

`The recession has been no kinder to the large consulting practices than it has to their clients'

MANAGEMENT consultants are constantly extolling the virtues of information technology, so it is perhaps appropriate to find some stars of the game setting up a virtual practice.

Geoffrey Kitt, immediate past president of the Institute of Management Consultants, is one of the four principals behind Minerva Management Consulting, which has just begun operating in three British cities as well as the cyberspace, as it puts it.

Mr Kitt, who is based in Glasgow, previously worked for the consultancy arm of the large accountancy firm Touche Ross. He and his colleagues between them have 55 years' experience with the regional offices of that firm and KPMG. But they say they believe that the future is in smaller organisations.

"The overheads are so high that clients, particularly out of London, are put off by the fee rates. We're building Minerva on that," said Mr Kitt.

But the new firm is also designed to make the most of the opportunities provided by recent developments in technology. "The next few years are going to be frightening for large, conventionally structured enterprises that are unwilling to em- brace the opportunities offered by information technology and networking," he added.

Pointing out that he and his colleagues were working from "well-equipped home offices with communications between us" in Glasgow, Leeds and London, he said that Minerva was designed to be "a model of what is possible".

Fellow director John Scarisbrick added: "The recession has been no kinder to large consulting practices than it has to their clients. The demand for consulting services is moving towards smaller but experienced and imaginative operations.

"They have always been less expensive than big firms but now, through the medium of electronic networks such as the Internet, they can access the diversity of skills and experience which clients demand."

For instance, it is possible to link up with other small organisations offering such services as occupational psychology to market to a wide variety of people in a cost-effective way.

Although only established earlier this year, Minerva has - says its founders - already won a significant volume of work. Among the assignments is an IT project designed to bring a Leeds-based firm of solicitors into the 21st century.

Drawing on this experience, it is planning a seminar for later this year on running professional businesses.

Mr Kitt said: "Our business is concerned with assisting organisations to achieve dramatically improved performance by helping them to invent the futures they want rather than projecting forward the mistakes and missed opportunities of their pasts."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions