Robert
Manager
EY-Parthenon
Office: Rotterdam
Year Joined: 2012
Undergraduate School: Delft University of Technology

What do you like about your home office’s location?

Rotterdam is booming: in 2015, it was crowned as the best city in which to live in Europe, and in 2016, it is one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit according to Lonely Planet. The city has been completely rebuilt since WWII, and is famous for its astonishing designs. As the only modern large city in the Netherlands, it has a vibrant multicultural scene and a great vibe thanks to the many young people that come to Rotterdam. Our office is right in the center of this, located in the city center alongside the Maas River, with great views of Rotterdam and the famous Erasmusbrug. The office is brand new – we moved into the completely renovated building around a year ago. It has very spacious, state-of-the-art working places, many relaxing areas and a very nice rooftop bar. Come and see for yourself!

What has been your favorite case to date and why?

My favorite case was a strategy review for a leading leisure company. Through thorough data analysis, we identified that its key customer group is aging. After this warning signal, we developed a proposition to “future-proof” the business in close collaboration with the client. We had a great impact on the direction of the company, and, although the message was tough, it was exciting from an analytical and social perspective. Not least because we did many “store-checks” in the recreational market to understand the true customer experience.

How do you feel EY-Parthenon stands out in the type of work that we do?

Among consultancies, EY-Parthenon is really positioned at the heart of strategy. We typically work for CEOs of large and middle-size clients, and on challenges that matter most to them. In our projects, we typically work in small teams (three to six people), preferably side by side with our clients. I have already seen about 20 companies in multiple industries in just over four years. Moreover, I enjoy our pragmatic and analytical working style, and the fact that we mostly work in “tangible” sectors (e.g., beer brewery, lingerie retailer, airline, electric car producer).

What are your thoughts on EY-Parthenon's culture and the people you work with?

I am very pleased with the actual work EY-Parthenon does, but our unique culture and my great colleagues really make the difference for me. As a challenger to the large consultancies, our practice is still compact but entrepreneurial and eager to grow further. Our organization is non-hierarchical – we often chit-chat or drink a Friday-afternoon-beer with our Partners – and though we are ambitious, we don’t begrudge one another. Of course, we organize many social activities but we often have spontaneous sporting and social get-togethers. In short, it is great fun to work with this special group of people – we laugh a lot.

What leadership opportunities have been given to you at EY-Parthenon?

Thanks to the growth pace of our practice and faith in our people, I was given the opportunity to lead my first case after only 2.5 years of consulting experience. It was a sell-side transaction support, with a highly demanding client and other stakeholders. All of a sudden, I wasn’t responsible for “just” an analysis or work stream, but for all the “ins and outs” of the project. I really enjoyed the dialogue with management, and the synthetization of relevant insights into the story we wanted to tell. I developed confidence and great support from both my team and the Partners on the case. In the end, the client was very happy with the result and successfully closed a deal.