On to bigger and brighter things this decade
As we celebrate the first month of the new decade, I want to take the chance to look back on the Delta Partners 2019 great achievements.
In 2019, we achieved top line growth for a third consecutive year, coupled with continued progress in executing a number of our strategic internal initiatives that allow us to redefine our culture, provide incentives to drive better behaviors and, in short, become a better firm. Achievements in critical HR areas such as learning and development are valuable, tangible examples. Moreover, we made substantial progress in the areas that were set as priority this time last year, including:
Pushing our Practices’ proprietary propositions.
We remain focused on pushing our practices-driven model, as >85% of our consulting business in 2019 continued to come from our Practices. We successfully launched our ‘Media, Sports & Entertainment’ practice and we refocused our former ‘Digital’ practice by breaking it into two new practices: ‘Customer Experience (CEX)’ and ‘Industry 4.0’. As a result of these efforts, key propositions designed by our practices remained at the forefront of CEO agendas in top TMT players.
Growing our US business.
In 2019, we managed to cement our position in this vast market, reconfirming how competitive and differential our consulting proposition is. All this, prior to launching our investment banking activities in such prevalent geography. We now have a more diversified client base (including several ‘Fortune 500’ platforms) and a large consulting team on the ground. Our NYC office is now our second largest office and we expect to expand our team in San Francisco and open a third hub in the market this coming year.
Diversifying of our telecoms-focused consulting business.
Building on successes of 2018, new platforms outside telecoms were built on last year. We are now serving media companies and investment companies with relevant media assets across regions. A recent win in the intersection of Sports and 5G for one of the top US telecom players is a good example of what we can do in the years to come. In fact, the advent of 5G opens up key opportunities for us to expand our addressable market. Our specialization in the intersection of infrastructure, tech, businesses and consumers positions us uniquely. We are close to announcing a strategic agreement to partner with an Asian operator to serve clients globally in their push to leverage 5G to transform their businesses.
Scaling our Investment Banking business.
Our IB business also grew in 2019, with a significant amount of advisory work done for a large roaster of TMT clients. Also, the team managed to close double the amount of transactions we had closed in the previous year. The IB team keeps improving the amount of deals managed every year as well as the quality and size of the mandates we secure competing head to head with bulge brackets.
Continue developing Ventures Investing.
On the investments side, while we continue to manage and exit the portfolio we had built over the years in our fund business, we proactively continue to build and manage our portfolio of early stage opportunities in parallel. In 2019 we participated in a couple of follow-on investments in our portfolio and invested in diverse areas that complement our advisory activities such as eSports, marketplaces, and alternative telecom plays.
All of that could only be achieved with an A-team in place. On one hand, we strengthened our leadership team with the internal promotion and hiring of new Partners. On the other, we remained committed to continue making Delta Partners a ‘Great Place to Work’ for the broader team by investing in work-life-balance, team development & training initiatives. While we keep growing, it is essential that we remain loyal to who we are and our ‘Delta Family’ DNA. This year we relaunched our CSR program, Delta Cares, and pushed more Gender Diversity initiatives across the firm.
As we enter a new decade, we have set additional priorities for the recently started New Year:
- Opening of our seventh office in Sydney, Australia. Australia is one of the four largest strategy consulting markets/regions in the world (together with the US, the GCC and the central European German speaking markets) and we now have the right visibility to build a diversified business as we have done in other regions.
- Build-up of a Due Diligence business. From now onwards we will set up a dedicated team to go after the relevant DD business in Europe and in the US. Focused effort is being made to become a relevant player in this space and leverage the synergy with our existing consulting and IB activities to build a differentiated proposition.
- Renewed efforts in Europe with a potential presence in London. Our European plan has two distinct priority areas: the first one is the DD business explained in the previous point, and the second one will be to continue a selective, product-based push in corporate accounts. All this will require the beef up of our Barcelona based team and at some point this year, the need to open a hub in London.
- New TMT thought leadership forums. After successfully hosting CEO Summit for the last several years, we decided to launch a new model in 2020. A few TMT Thought Leadership forums with the participation of top industry executives will be run in parallel to discuss, debate and develop theses around trends and topics that are shaping the future of our industry. The initial themes to cover will be ‘Customer Experience’, ‘Infrastructure business models’ and ‘5G’. We expect to select another theme in the area of Sports and Entertainment this year.
Let us continue shaping the future of the TMT industry while accelerating its transformation!!