Cate Kalson, Director, Oliver Wyman
Invest North East England

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Global consulting firm chooses North East England to continue its expansion

Oliver Wyman is a global strategy consulting firm with offices in 60 cities across 31 countries.

In 2018, the firm set up a new base for its data and analytics team in Newcastle city centre. Cate Kalson, Director, explains why the firm chose to ‘move on up’ to North East England for its latest expansion.


Why did Oliver Wyman choose to locate and grow in North East England?

We saw the opportunity to set up a team of data and analytics specialists in a location that could offer great value for money for our clients and also a really good quality of life and high access to talent.

Other places were also being considered internationally, however, our HQ is in London and Newcastle is only three hours away by train. It was also critical that, wherever we set up, we had access to really good graduates, which usually means choosing a vibrant city location. Newcastle fitted the bill.

How important was access to skills and talent in your decision to expand in North East England?

Oliver Wyman primarily hires graduates and Durham and Newcastle universities have strong analytical disciplines like maths, physics and engineering, which we typically recruit from. Being here means we can leverage the recruitment brand we’ve spent time and energy building, and recruit in a place where we have really good access to talent.

Oliver Wyman has offices all across the world. What are the benefits of having a base in North East England?

Real estate costs were a primary cost driver and Newcastle compares really well against the other locations we were looking at.

The transport connections are also important. Post-COVID, we’ve seen a massive shift in what clients expect and the whole company has been working remotely for the last 18 months, but as we go back to normal there will still be the opportunity for our teams to travel and work with clients in different parts of the world, and Newcastle Airport makes that possible.

Having relocated to the region, do you think North East England provides employees with a good work/life balance?

I have two kids and, for me, Newcastle makes it possible to have a balance. You can choose to work all day in the city centre and still be able to take the kids to school. It can be hard to juggle the consulting lifestyle but I think we’re forging a path here, especially compared with bigger cities where you have to travel further.

Newcastle also offers more options for our employees in terms of building their lives, being able to save money, and having choices about where to live.

People are also much more able to enjoy the outdoors and pursue sports and hobbies outside work, and we’re making the most of the beaches as well - we had a volleyball tournament happening with all our interns on the beach in South Shields this summer.

Has moving here met your expectations (for yourself and for the business)?

I’d say it’s exceeded our expectations, particularly in terms of the talent we’ve been able to attract. We’ve not struggled to sell the region, particularly to graduates, regardless of where they are graduating from.

Why should other business services companies consider relocating or expanding in North East England?

Think about how you build a community, and choose a place where people will really enjoy being.

Setting up in a place where you can afford a good office in a good location makes this easier, and Newcastle is a great option if you want the vibrancy of city life, combined with a size that’s conducive to having a community of people that can get together.


To find out why more and more businesses are making the move from the congested and over-heated South East of England to set up their global operations in North East England, visit investnortheastengland.co.uk/moveonup.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Invest North East England .

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