Dubai-based professional services firm Cresco expands into Philippines

18 July 2018

Dubai-based professional services firm Cresco has expanded its operations into the Philippines, with a new office launched in Cebu marking its first entry into Asia.

Established in 2010 and based in Dubai, Cresco offers lines in accounting, legal and compliance, and has derived its name the Latin word ‘crescere’, meaning to grow or expand. Now, the firm is doing just that, with a newly launched office in the Philippines’ second most populous city of Cebu – a base which has been expanding itself in recent years with a growing volume of investment.

Beyond its increasing business opportunities, the selection of Cebu for the firm’s launch of its Cresco Shared Services offering was twofold; due to the city’s less relative density as compared to the congestion of Manila offering a better quality of life and working conditions for employees, and for the sourcing of those employees to begin with – with future plans to operate 24/7.

“When plans to expand in Asia came about, Cebu was first on the list,” Cresco president Maricar Gonzaga told the SunStar media outlet in Cebu. “Cresco wanted to tap the highly educated, English-speaking, and proven talent pool of Cebu.” The sentiment was echoed by Cresco Holding managing director Michael Waechter, who noted more broadly that the available stream of qualified local professionals was a major factor in the group’s expansion to the country.Dubai-based professional services firm Cresco expands into Philippines

The firm will look to hire a number of certified public accountants in its initial year of trading, expanding its staff pool from six employees at present, before potentially branching out into other lines in the future, including the firm’s offerings in legal services and cloud solutions. “Our global expansion will begin in Cebu,” Willem Smit, managing partner of CRESCO Legal said, although the division currently has outlets in the Netherlands, Singapore, India, Costa Rica, and the US.

With preliminary offshore support provisions in the areas of accounting, finance and customer support, the firm intends for its new Philippines’ branch to leverage its established overseas network, with Gonzaga saying; “We have a deep technical bench under one roof. The team we offer to our clients will be working as if they’re part of the clients’ organisation. When you choose Cresco, you don’t just hire an accountant but instead you hire the whole team.”

Other entities under the Cresco Holding banner include SME Middle East market entry and business consulting firm Sadiqa, and Hensley&Cook, a corporate service provider specialised in the incorporation and administration of companies in the UAE and other jurisdictions. Meanwhile, Cresco Legal earlier this year announced a deal for the use of artificial intelligence software Luminance, claiming in doing so to be first law firm in the Middle East to embrace such technology for the benefit of its clients.

Global strategy consultancy CVA launches first Middle East office in Dubai

10 April 2019

The boutique global strategy consultancy Corporate Value Associates has launched an office in Dubai – to be led by 20-year consulting veteran Olivier Staub.

Global strategy consulting firm Corporate Value Associates (CVA) has launched its first Middle East office in Dubai, adding to its existing network of 17 offices across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific. The new office will be led by Olivier Staub, a strategy consulting veteran with over 20 years of international consulting and business development experience – the last 14 of those based out of Dubai.

Established in 1987, CVA has grown to a team of more than 250 advisors worldwide, serving  clients with strategy needs across multiple sectors, including energy & utilities, financial services, mining & materials, TMT, transportation and defence. Recently, the consultancy was named by Decideurs Magazine as among the top strategy consulting firms to the industrials segment in France.

The launch of its first Middle East office is a significant step for CVA, which places a particular emphasis on its global network. “We ensure that learnings from work in one country are quickly disseminated to others – best practices are transferred not just between industry practices, but also across geographies. Global staffing and training guarantee there is one global standard: the CVA standard,” the firm states.Global strategy consultancy CVA launches first Middle East office in DubaiJoined by CVA founder Paul-Andre Rabate and Paris-based partner Carole Ott for its inauguration, Staub will head up the Dubai office after a brief stint at fellow boutique consultancy Emerton, before which he served for four years as a partner with local strategy firm Novo Management Partners. Earlier in his career, Staub spent seven years with Oliver Wyman, and initially started out as a consultant with Deloitte in Paris.

Over the course of his career, Staub has amassed experience in over 20 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with functional expertise in corporate and growth strategy, M&A and due diligence, turnaround programmes and programme management, organisational design, and corporate governance among other areas. He also co-founded e-commerce company Neodirect in Paris, serving as its business development director for three years.

Staub joins Sami Grouz in the broader MENA region, who has led the firm’s Casablanca office since the middle of last year, and will be supported in the new UAE venture by Thomas Fabbes, an Oxford graduate in Materials Science who has been with CVA’s London office since September. According to the firm, its junior consultants are ‘hand-picked’ from the only the top universities and schools around the world – with the firm currently in the middle of a recruitment drive.

CVA founder and Managing Partner Paul-Andre Rabate himself received a doctoral degree in Business Economics from Harvard University, joining BCG in 1978 before co-founding strategy consultancy Mars & Company in France the following year prior to establishing CVA. “CVA has always been a global boutique and this new office opens the door to exciting challenges in the Middle-East,” the firm stated on LinkedIn. “Olivier, we wish you the best of luck in this central region.”