07/12/2011 - 10:13

Azure makes consulting play

07/12/2011 - 10:13

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Azure makes consulting play

THE increasingly crowded management consulting space in Western Australia has yet another new player, with investment adviser Azure Capital launching its own business, led by former SAS commanding officer James McMahon.

Mr McMahon, who is Azure’s chief operating officer, will be joined by another former SAS solider, Bob Hunter, who was a founder of risk management group OAM 13 years ago, and Don Johnston, who comes over from global firm Bain & Co.

The consulting business is likely to have a different brand from Azure.

While Azure has not been directly involved in management consulting, it is something of full-circle move for the founders, especially managing director Geoff Rasmussen, who started his career with McKinsey & Co before establishing both GEM Consulting and Poynton & Partners with fellow management consultant Mark Barnaba and stockbroker John Poynton in the mid-1990s.

Those two firms were sold in 2000 to South African IT consulting group OST for a reported $40 million.  

PwC bought GEM, the consulting firm, in 2007 when it sought to return to the consulting arena. It was led by Robert Radley, who recently left to establish Bain’s Perth office.

Mr Rasmussen said that, although the WA consulting sector had become more competitive with the arrival of global players such as Bain and Boston Consulting Group, the Azure strategy offered unique advice in areas such as leadership, change management and risk management, as well as more traditional consulting.

He said Mr McMahon, who will take a significant equity position in the business, had been involved in consulting for most of his four years at Azure but had become more focused on this market for the past six months.

Besides his military experience, Mr McMahon was also involved in developing and implementing the Australian Defence Force’s capability management and human resources strategies. 

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