Impact through client work
Two of our focus sectors, Oil and Gas and Mining, are especially prone to commodity price cycles. This can create dramatic swings in emphasis within our client base in terms of the volume and type of services they need. We adapt to this in two primary ways: redeploying our human capital across our focus sectors in accordance with the ups and downs of demand, and shifting the emphasis in services from between those that are Capex-driven and those that are more Opex-driven.
During FY15, we demonstrated our agility in responding to market conditions by completing three acquisitions. Combined with our existing talent, these acquisitions put our company in a position to serve the needs of clients facing complex challenges across the globe.
In September 2014, we completed the acquisition of Natural Resource Group, an environmental consultancy based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, focused on the energy sector that provides high-caliber advice, along with health, safety and environmental compliance monitoring to oil, gas and power companies. ERM has a leading position in providing advice in the upstream and downstream segments of the oil and gas sector, and has a strong and growing reputation in the power industry. The acquisition of Natural Resource Group improves ERM’s credentials for the midstream oil and gas sector, and strengthens our capability in the energy sector in North America.
In October, we acquired Safety Design A.S., a Norwegian risk management consultancy. Safety Design is a leading provider of technical safety engineering, with a particularly strong reputation in the area of fire water design. Safety Design’s main market is the Norwegian-based oil field services, and exploration and production companies. Globally, ERM has around 200 safety engineers based in key oil and gas centers, including Houston, Aberdeen, Seoul, Perth and Kuala Lumpur. Safety Design will enable ERM to build its business in Norway and broaden the environmental and sustainability offerings available in this geography.
In late FY15, ERM acquired ReachCentrum from the European chemical industry body, Cefic. ReachCentrum is a leading player in the registration market for REACH, the European Community’s regulation on chemicals and their safe use The acquisition is an important part of ERM’s growth strategy which strengthens our position in the chemical sector.
Global Key Clients
The first target was for sales to Global Key Clients (GKCs) to increase from the prior year; our relationships with these clients are an essential element of our business strategy. We fell short of the goal in FY15, largely due to the changing spending patterns on health, safety and environmental issues within oil and gas and mining clients in this portfolio. The second target was to sell our core services to more than half of our GKCs, which we achieved. This goal measures our ability to support clients across the full spectrum of their sustainability-related needs.
The third target was to increase the value of large projects delivered from FY14 to FY15 as a measure of how much of an impact we had the potential to make in our engagements. On this third target, we maintained a consistent number of large projects and proportion of total sales this year, which is a strong result given the contraction in the market.