iBe Acquires LOC Consulting to Extend Financial Services Offering in the UK

London - 18 February 2016

Acquisition a core part of Be Group’s 2016 growth strategy

Be Group, the pan-European financial services and IT consultancy listed on the STAR segment of the Borsa Italiana, today announced that it has acquired LOC Consulting through its UK operation, iBe TSE Ltd. The acquisition, effective immediately, is a core part of iBe TSE Ltd’s UK growth strategy to focus on establishing itself as the consultancy for UK financial services firms seeking to thrive in the digital economy.

Francesco Scarnera, CEO, iBe TSE: “It’s no secret that the world in which banks operate has changed exponentially. They need a partner that can provide them with the insight and innovation to help them re-engineer their business model at a time when their core services are being eroded and they are in danger of becoming ‘the plumbing’. Those institutions that get it right will find new ways of adding value to customers, those that get it wrong will be obsolete in three years’ time.

“The acquisition of LOC Consulting makes us perfectly placed to be that partner. Bringing on board their experienced team rounds out our offering, extends our reach within the UK financial services market and underlines our commitment to this strategically important market.”

LOC Consulting, established in 2005, is a specialist management consultancy that works in the consumer, public and financial services sectors, including a number of key financial services organisations: Credit Suisse, Royal Mail, Post Office, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Travelex. LOC Consulting’s three directors, Peter Osborne, Paul Crowe and Tim Kempster, will remain with the business operating at a senior level to support the overall growth strategy.

Peter Osborne, Managing Director, LOC Consulting: “A key priority for organisations in 2016 and beyond is to integrate digital, customer-centric technologies and services into their offering in a way that it becomes a part of their customers everyday lives. Meeting this requirement would not have been possible via organic growth and in assessing the market, we concluded that we needed to partner with a larger consultancy specialising in digital, big data and regulation expertise across Europe. iBe provides us with the perfect platform to achieve our longer term goals of providing specialist client support underpinned by a regional capability.”

The key digital challenges that iBe is supporting its clients, such as MasterCard and UniCredit, include: bank creation, card portfolio acquisition, fostering a culture of innovation, customer experience and the development of loyalty/affinity programmes. At the heart of delivering these programmes is a process that helps banks to transform their legacy systems, reduce operational costs, strategic alliances and utilising new technologies such as advanced analytics.

Stefano Achermann, Group CEO, Be Group: “iBe is unique within the marketplace because not only does it have the skills and capabilities to help banks formulate their strategies, but it has the partnerships with FinTechs to turn that vision into reality at a low risk. 2016 is set to be a year of significant growth for iBe and LOC Consulting gives us real momentum.”

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