The 2016 Fastest Growing Firms: Pace Harmon


43. Pace Harmon Growth Rate: 85% HQ: Vienna, Va.

Pace Harmon is an employee-owned business transformation and outsourcing advisory services firm providing guidance on complex transactions, process and operational optimization, and provider governance. Founded in 2003, Pace Harmon provides pragmatic and insightful advice that helps its client base of Fortune 500 and other large enterprises maximize the benefits achieved from their mission-critical supplier relationships, says Steve Martin, Executive Managing Director of the firm. Martin sat down with Consulting to discuss the firm’s success.

Consulting: What were the main factors that contributed to your firm’s exceptional growth? 

Martin: There are three things that have contributed to our growth: A commitment to our founding principles, which center on adhering to a “client first” philosophy; delivering a unique combination of highly qualified consulting and industry experience; and, working side by side with our clients, demonstrating a willingness to “roll up our sleeves” at all levels of the firm. Two, working directly with our clients’ CEOs, COOs, CFOs, and CIOs, we have increasingly been brought in to advise on their most strategic IT and operational initiatives, which has allowed us to deepen our existing relationships and grow our key accounts. Three, we’ve seen high growth in several of our target verticals—including healthcare/pharma and financial services where the dynamic IT landscape and need for operational transformation is driving significant change.

Consulting: How is this year shaping up for your firm?

Martin: Five months into our current fiscal year, we have continued our healthy growth trajectory, performing well ahead of plan. With the deepest project backlog in our firm’s history, including a strong balance of legacy and new clients, we expect continued strong performance throughout the year with a number of transformative projects across IT and business functions, as well as shared services and outsourcing/insourcing advisory services.

Consulting: How would you describe your firm’s outlook for 2017? Where do you see the most opportunities?

Martin: In a word, bullish. Our focus on improving operational efficiency and delivering bottom-line savings resonates with today’s C-suite so we are well positioned for future growth and expect demand for our service offerings to continue. We are investing heavily in human resources through recruitment, training, and career development at all levels.

Consulting: What are your firm’s biggest challenges in 2017?

Martin: Identifying and hiring top quality resources who can help us keep up with demand is always a challenge but our move to an employee-owned ESOP model in 2015 has positively impacted our recruiting pool and we expect it will continue to help us compete for top talent. At Pace Harmon, our employees operate under a “zero degrees of separation” model, where everyone recognizes that supporting their colleagues is synonymous with collectively supporting the firm’s clients.

Consulting: What does being named one of Consulting’s Fastest Growing Firms mean to your firm, your employees and your clients?

Martin: Since inception, our firm and our employees have consistently indexed towards high quality client service and client satisfaction above all else. We view this recognition of our growth as a direct by-product of the focus we place on serving our clients.