WASHINGTON: FTI Consulting’s strategic communications segment revenue grew 8.9% organically in Q3 to $60 million.
The numbers were up on FTI’s Q3 2018 revenue increase of 14.3% to $55.1 million, though the pace of growth slowed.
The revenue increase came primarily from corporate reputation projects in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the firm said in its earnings statement.
Mark McCall, global segment leader for strategic communications, noted that the growth took place "on the heels of very solid growth last year." He said that while retainers are growing business for FTI, reputation and regulatory issue projects were a more significant part of the Q3 revenue increase.
"There continues to be that [work with] highly regulated industries like energy, financial services and healthcare companies that are trying to operate across multiple jurisdictions and geographies, and the way they need to operate in a moment with political discussions, that are driving businesses," McCall said.
FTI is also benefiting from lawmakers and regulators in Washington, DC, and Brussels looking more closely at how businesses manage data and operations, "and they are holding companies accountable," he added.
For the company as a whole, Q3 revenue rose 15.6% to $593.1 million. The forensic and litigation consulting’s segment was up 12.6% to $142.7 million; technology increased 0.7% to $57.1 million; and economic consulting grew by 1.8% to $141.7 million. The company’s net income increased by 36.3% to $60.4 million.
McCall declined to disclose specific numbers, but said an increasing amount of strategic communications assignments come from work his group does alongside FTI’s corporate finance and restructuring segment. That unit’s Q3 revenue increased by 41.6% to $191.7 million.
"For the business transformation side of the business, meaning large corporate transformations like company-wide cost reductions, revenue enhancements or changing the business model, more and more frequently we are using the strategic comms people," said Carlyn Taylor, global coleader of FTI’s corporate finance and restructuring segment.
For corporate restructurings, FTI offers employee engagement and communications, external comms, change management and human resources consulting capabilities, she said.
"On the transaction side, we’re growing our merger integration and carve out practice really fast," she added. "The comms element to that is really critical. We almost always use comms in those kinds of engagements unless the company already has experts internally which isn’t really common, and on the restructuring side, we’ve always used strategic comms."