Kea & Partners - Partners for transformation
Philippe Auther, Kea & Partners

Kea & Partners, a model of Responsible Capitalism


Philippe Auther, Director


intented growth of the French management consulting market for 2014

What about doing consulting business at Kea?


Culture is stronger than strategy


Partnership as a vehicle to transmit our DNA


Business transformation combines strategy and culture 


Our clients recognize "The Kea Touch"


We are experts in Transformation


Discussion between Philippe Auther, Director at Kea & Partners and Arnaud Gangloff, President.

Arnaud Gangloff: Philippe, you have been working at Kea for a few months now. What convinced you to leave your previous firm to join us?

Philippe Auther: When I discovered Kea, I was impressed by the overall consistency of its model :  firm size , positioning, capital structure, openness towards young consultants, age limit transmission principle  - where 57 year-old partners leave the partnership and transmit their shares to younger consultants rather than selling them on the market -… This is inspiring for many...

Arnaud Gangloff: This consistency has always been one of the Partners’ priorities.
Indeed, the intention of the firm’s founders was twofold: open the capital and enable its transmission. Today, more than half of our consultants are shareholders.  To foster a collective entrepreneurial mindset, we have designed a reward system with   reasonable spread between partners. We do believe that the fact that Partners exit the capital at the age of 57 is a good way to maintain a balance in the firm.

You also mentioned the size of the firm. At Kea & Partners:  we are convinced that if we focus too much on size and growth we lose sight of our core value which is to dedicate time to managing our consultants. We value strategic execution as much as strategies. We therefore always stick to this rule 1 Senior Partner for 8 consultants. We are convinced that the management lever is a key element in a learning process because it guarantees the team’s level of experience and the firm’s consistent positioning. Our pyramid of consultants more or less looks like a “tube” with 50% of managers and more and 50% of junior consultants, which sets us apart from other strategic consulting firms

We strongly believe that the sustainability of our relationship-based model relies on the expertise of experienced consultants as well as on the energy and intelligence of our junior ones.

Philippe Auther: Controlled growth’ has helped Kea succeeding in maintaining the integrity of its model and bringing strong added value to its clients, which is obviously crucial.  C Nowadays, clients have become experts on how to buy consulting and they only pay for proven value. Hence consulting firms have to innovate constantly and not rest on their laurels!  Kea has understood that being always on the innovative edge to does prevents ‘commoditization’. This is what makes Kea so attractive

Arnaud Gangloff: Being different is in our DNA, and to achieve this we rely on three pillars   

1.    Know-how: we advocate excellence in the way we conduct transformation projects: we call it the “art of transformation”. Innovation in this area has always been a strategic priority. We want our consultants to become transformation agents, to be analytical on one hand and emotional on the other, to be able to combine strategic approaches with cultural ones.

2.    Value creation: we also want our consultants to develop their critical thinking, to be assertive, creative, and to challenge their clients.

3.    Kea’s touch: in our way of doing transformation: Our consultants are not arrogant and act with humility. They do not claim ownership of their clients’ success and are interacting successfully with top management as well as with operational teams who are at the heart of the transformation processes.

Philippe Auther: The way the firm is being managed is a living proof of your difference. Today, the whole firm is involved in building the firm’s vision and strategy for the next ten years.
Your managers are to become future partners, and they carry real responsibilities. Support functions are optimized and responsibilities are shared between partners. You believe in collective responsibility… Even bonuses are based on both individual and collective management KPI’s, which clearly sets you apart from other consulting firms in strategy and management.

Arnaud Gangloff: Our Company’s reward retribution scheme system is unique because it values all of those who contributed to the firm’s success and not only individual performance. Consultants, therefore, have a strong incentive to interest working together and mix regardless of their expertise. And every year we can demonstrate prove that the collective success brings more of the group benefits everyone more than individual successes measurement would does!
Philippe, speaking you speak of proof. I am convinced that we must keep on communicating on what sets us apart: capital, transmission, positioning …because this is they constitute our DNA and eventually the real added value of our company.

We can state with pride that we are "top management consultants" as we bring experience and expertise to our clients making sure that our partners are strongly involved in every project.

We also claim to be a "consulting school»; We are training our consultants on each of our three pillars By doing so, we make sure that they master the art of transformation, embody the Kea touch, and become inspired and creative in generating new ideas. This is why we keep staffing rates at a level which is compatible with our training ambitions.

We actually dedicate 15% to 20% of a consultant’s time to development and investment activities.
We also support an internal team in charge of developing innovative transformation approaches and publish their work in La Revue.

Consistency means our model is balanced and values individual performance/effort only when supporting collective dynamics. Independence is our key motivation since the beginning. We are convinced that there are different ways to provide consulting services, and we want to be a major driving force in new ways of doing Consulting.

This ambition is now embedded in our daily work. The way we conduct transformation projects for our clients is consistent with whom we are. One of our Senior Partners, Hervé Baculard, is President of the French main Consultant’s association, Syntec Conseil en Management, and we belong to networks that spread best consulting practices. We strive to promote the added value consulting brings into business. .

Philippe Auther: I am convinced that Responsible Capitalism does attract and seduce our clients. The very fact that you are genuinely authentic convinced me to join Kea & Partners