Lessons Learned: Insights and Trends from a Record-Breaking 2021 and Predictions for What’s Coming Next

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The uncertainty of the pandemic in 2020 allowed us to reprioritize several key aspects of our organization in 2021 to put what matters most first: the people who make us what we are. Our employees and clients enabled us to be more flexible as we weathered the changes that this past year brought together.

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to highlight a few notable moments from a year of remarkable achievements, as well as our expectations for what the new year will bring for the consulting industry.

Continuation of an Active Market

In 2021, we witnessed organizations transition in distinct ways. It was a record year for the number of private equity transactions that took place in the U.S., with many organizations merging or acquiring others, so we expect an even higher demand for management consulting services as this trend continues in 2022.

“Private equity is not going away – there will continue to be huge investments in private equity because of the opportunities available.” – Michael Johnson, Managing Principal

Additionally, the capital markets continued to grow, so we saw many companies working to be IPO ready – have the right valuation, the proper processes, and an equipped team in place— in the case of going public when the markets are correct. Many companies also moved their operations to a continuous planning process: moving from an annual to a weekly or monthly planning cycle – allowing them to look forward rather than dwell on the past. In 2021, the “SPAC craze” from 2020 cooled off. We believe this is a result of more holding companies searching for the right deal, not any deal.

Building a Strong and Scalable Organization

This year, we prioritized finding the right individuals who could both strengthen our internal team and meet the needs of our clients, while also expressing a keen desire to grow professionally. We expanded our search for talent to be based on skills and fit, rather than proximity to one of our physical offices.

Instead of having narrowed criteria based primarily on geographic location, this shift in focus allowed us to become a dynamic and scalable organization. The flexible work environment also helped to build a company culture that keeps our consultants and clients invested and connected – even when they’re spread across the country – in addition to grow an ever-expanding talent pool and reach new clients.

“We hire talent where we find it – we’re not afraid to hire talent in one state that will get deployed in another.” – Manuel Azuara

The remote work environment enabled us to be more intentional and communicative than ever, and in 2021, we saw people engagement increase from all levels of the organization. We fostered a culture of cross-collaboration between practice areas – such as finance, technology, and risk & compliance – by often combining teams in one all-encompassing higher value service package to meet unique client needs. Internally, we consistently held virtual and in-person company-wide events to encourage further collaboration and community.   A company that is preparing for an IPO requires a holistic approach to organization maturity that includes improving processes, enhancing systems, and strengthening controls.  We have developed a cohesive approach for this effort that include all of these disciplines and we are leveraging it on multiple clients.  Our Bridgepoint culture is stronger now than ever.

Preparing for the Challenges Ahead

We implemented weekly senior leadership calls with our partner company, Addison Group, over the past year and a half to frequently touch base between companies and discuss current affairs regarding the markets in which we work. Not only did this strengthen our awareness of market trends and allow us to strategize accordingly, but we also cultivated a consistent community that supports its members across challenges and successes.

2022 surely poses a few headwinds that we’re aware of, such as continued inflation, possible tax law changes, federal regulations regarding vaccinations, and persisting supply chain backlogs. Organizations are going to continue to deal with a fluid, dynamic environment as the financial, technological, and economic world changed drastically over the past year, and we foresee a higher demand for our services to accommodate changes in the industries. We believe all the challenges are nothing greater than what we’re prepared to endure.

We Wouldn’t Be Here Without Our People

To our consultants and clients, we couldn’t do great work without you as integral parts of the equation!  In 2021, each member of the Bridgepoint community played a key role in leading our organization to success, overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles, and contributing to its remarkable growth.

There’s no limit to what we can accomplish together in 2022. If your organization is looking for support next year with transactions, transitions, or other operational efficiencies, Bridgepoint Consulting is ready to help. Reach out today to connect with our team of business, technology, and finance experts.

Have a safe and joyful holiday season. We’ll see you in the New Year!