This article originally appeared on September 17th, 2013 in Consulting Magazine.
Short Takes: Trends, Views and Analysis — C.E. Andrews: MorganFranklin’s New CEO
In May, C.E. Andrews was appointed CEO of MorganFranklin where he will lead all operations of MorganFranklin Consulting and will play a critical role in planning and executing the firm’s growth strategy and vision. Andrews most recently served as President and CEO of RSM McGladrey. He also served in various positions at Sallie Mae, and he was with Arthur Andersen for nearly three decades. He sat down with Consulting to discuss his new role as the head of MorganFranklin.
Consulting: So, you joined MorganFranklin about three months ago. How’s it going?
Andrews: It’s going well. In the first 90 days I’ve spent my time getting to know our people, our clients, our organization and our capabilities so I’d be prepared to successfully lead the organization. I’m absorbing what we are and what we can do for clients.
Consulting: Why did you decide to join MorganFranklin?
Andrews: I wanted to join an enterprise that had a few of the characteristics I was looking for in a firm. First, I wanted to lead that enterprise, to be the CEO. Secondly, I have a background in professional services and I really wanted to be in professional services. I also wanted it to be in a subject matter and space that I had experience in and that I enjoy. Beyond that, the other important factors that I had were that it had to be an organization that shared my values, philosophy, culture and commitment to excellence. Finally, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t coming into something that wasn’t broken. Those were the criteria I was looking for, and I found them all in MorganFranklin. It’s almost too good to be true.
I made the decision largely on the quality and character of the people here. They reflect my values and their values are reflected in the organization. It’s creative, it’s adaptive, it’s nimble, it’s innovative, it’s responsive—much more so than a larger organization. That’s why I came here.
Consulting: Throughout your career, you’ve worked mostly at large companies. Has that been a big adjustment for you?
Andrews: I spent a lot of time with Arthur Andersen and Sallie Mae, very large organizations. Having been a buyer of professional services at Sallie Mae, I’ve been able to work both sides of the wall, and I have a pretty good perspective on what I think buyers are looking for in a firm. I feel like the perfect combination is a firm that is large enough to have the capabilities of a larger organization but small enough that it’s not restrained by the types of bureaucracy that often comes with a larger firm. Here, at MorganFranklin, I think we’re pretty close to the perfect model. Because of our size, I’ve been able to meet and spend significant time with all the firm leadership, and even most of our clients, in just the 90 days or so that I’ve been here thus far.
Consulting: Where do you see the firm over the next few years?
Andrews: We’re growing very rapidly. Our revenue year over year is up north of 35 percent. Numbers aren’t really a target for us, but we’re confident that we can grow at fairly significant double-digit rates for the foreseeable future. We’re finding that the marketplace is receiving what we do and how we do it quite well. I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re going to grow every year at 35 percent, but I would be shocked if our growth rate wasn’t at a very steady double-digit growth over the next several years.
Consulting: Where do you see those opportunities for growth?
Andrews: I think there’s huge pent up demand in what I’d call ‘growth companies’ that are looking to grow rapidly through some type of capital event—it could be an IPO or a sale. There’s demand for our services in that space, partly because companies are sitting on capital and partly because of the economy we’ve just been through. Secondly, I’d say there’s opportunity with small and mid-sized companies that want to grow, but they’ve gone through a lot of cost alignment over the last several years. Now they are looking to differentiate themselves and drive better margins. The third opportunity for us is in our public sector space. Despite what you may hear about government spending contracting, we’re very confident in the growth prospects in that space.
Consulting: How do you preserve the firm’s culture as you grow?
Andrews: It’s mission critical for us to maintain our culture. It defines us; it’s what we’re about; it’s why clients like us; it’s why consultants join us. I was with Arthur Andersen for many years, and I’d have to say that was the best culture I’ve ever been around. I have a huge respect for culture. I think with orderly organic growth it’s fairly easy to maintain your culture. It’s more difficult when you bring in people through mergers or acquisitions. The bulk of our growth is going to be organic, and I think we can maintain that culture as we grow and become twice, or even three times our size.
About MorganFranklin Consulting
MorganFranklin Consulting (www.morganfranklin.com) is a global management and technology consulting firm that works with leading businesses and government. The firm helps organizations solve their most pressing challenges and address critical finance, technology, and business objectives. MorganFranklin is headquartered in the Washington D.C. area with regional offices in Atlanta and San Francisco, and supports clients across the globe.
MorganFranklin Consulting is the brand name referring to the global organization of MorganFranklin, Inc. and its subsidiary MorganFranklin Consulting, LLC.