The magic of long-term growth

Strategic theory has always differentiated between high-growth and low-growth businesses. It is a useful perspective, especially to anticipate investment needs as well as the ability to gain market shares and to change competitive structures. However, the most discriminating perspective as to value creation is not the magnitude of growth, but its duration.

Strategic acquisition or merger, what value?

Large external growth deals are back: AB InBev’s public bid to take-over SABMiller in the beer industry, the acquisition of EMC by Dell in technology, the merger of Holcim and Lafarge in
cement, … These major acquisitions and mergers are often criticised for both the high price and the low probability of success of their synergies. Why pursue such strategies? What is their value?

Where does value come from?

Over the past ten years and despite two economic and financial crises, the average annual TSR of the Western Stock markets was 8% per year (with an average inflation of 2%). A sample of 250 major Western corporations reached a TSR of 10% per year. How was value created overthis period? Where will it come from in the next five, ten and twenty years?

Published in Challenges, October 2015

The new barbarians are attacking the core of the market: what should be done?

Successful classical mass market models based on innovation, brands and volumes are attacked by new players that focus on a part of market, resegment it and that bypass the traditionnal retailers and distributors. Facing a risk of losing valuable customers and crucial operational leverage, what can established players do to avoid value outflow?

Do pure players still have a future?

No industry can grow faster than 8-12% per year in the long term. All products, technologies, business models, uses, etc. follow lifecycles of different lengths, sometimes as long as decades. After having grown strongly, their growth stabilises and then reverses, even disappearing to the gain of other products, technologies, business models and uses.

Published in La Jaune et la Rouge, November 2015

Organizations and growth

Companies cannot create long-term value without growth. More than ever, growth depends on speed. Today, it has become the key element of strategy. An analysis of companies with a long track record of success shows that these companies not only move in the right direction but, more importantly, do so faster than their competitors. It is also observed that they succeed in this because of, or rather in spite of, their organization. How can an organization become a driver for growth?

Zero growth

What is a “cash cow”? It is a business area that has experienced strong growth over a period of ten to twenty years, or even more, by innovating regularly to develop its market, breaking into new countries and customer segments, concentrating its target market and securing a leadership position within it, and, in doing so, making a critical contribution to value creation for the group.

German Mittelstand: what next?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (Mittelstand) from the German-speaking region have made skilful use of the opportunities offered by developing markets. Thanks to successful business models, they have been able to achieve above-average growth in recent years and develop into niche market leaders.

Growing in Retail: what German retailers can do

After a long period of strong development, German retail “champions” are currently experiencing low rates of growth. How to resume strong and long-term growth, without diluting profits? Which growth initiatives are to be pursued and how to fund them? How to gear the organization for growth?

Growing in Retail – Thrive Against “New Barbarians”

Amazon, Asos, Kiko, Fressnapf, La Plateforme du Bâtiment … are all retailers that barely existed in Europe ten years ago and now are threatening incumbents that were once considered unbeatable. How best to detect new “barbarians” when they are not yet at the gate? How to react to their disruptive business models and how to win?