Fresh off its best year since 2008, Protiviti CEO ‘cautiously optimistic’ about future
This year, Protiviti will celebrate its 10th Anniversary. The firm was founded in 2002 “as a place to build a new firm that was unique in the marketplace where we could serve clients and solve problems,” says Joseph Tarantino, President & CEO of Protiviti. He, like most of Protiviti’s first employees, came from Andersen’s Internal Audit & Risk Practice who “were looking for a new home.” From humble beginnings, the firm has grown to more than 70 offices in 20 countries. “I think we’ve fulfilled the vision we had back when we started, but we all believe there’s a lot more we can achieve. As we look back on our beginnings, I think we’re all pretty excited about our future.”
Consulting: How is Protiviti celebrating its 10th Anniversary?
Tarantino: We have many things planned to celebrate our anniversary. We’ve actually reached out to former employees, and we’re inviting alumni back to participate in anniversary events. As you might imagine, we’re using it as a chance to thank our clients for their business and their loyalty, particularly the ones that have been with us since the beginning.
We’re also using it as a way to enhance our brand with our people. We’ve established a company store where employees can purchase branded apparel and gifts. We’re also tying it to some community activities as a way to give back to the communities where we work.
Consulting: What strikes you most as you look back on the last ten years?
Tarantino: I would say the amount of change we’ve experienced, both in terms of the audit and risk markets and us as a firm. Early on, what sort of put us on the map was Sarbanes-Oxley and the internal audit requirements that came from the New York Stock Exchange.
It was a concentration of those services that sustained us early on. But as the business climate changed and companies became more self sufficient in those areas, we also transformed as a firm into a broader business consulting firm focused on helping companies solve problems in a number of areas.
Consulting: Where is the firm today?
Tarantino: Last year was the best year we’ve had in three years. We experienced double- digit growth last year and ended the year with over $400 million in revenue. In some solution areas—financial services and technology—we grew almost 30 percent.
The U.S. had the strongest growth. Internationally, we’re still feeling some of the effects of what’s going on in Europe. We also have a sizable practice in Japan and that’s suffered by what went on over there.
Overall, I would say I’m cautiously optimistic about this year, especially here in the United States. We’ve had a great start to the year and the business conditions continue to be favorable, particularly in those areas I mentioned before, financial services and technology.