The 2017 Executive Outlook: What Impact Will a Trump Presidency Have on 2017?

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Consulting asked firm leaders what impact they thought the new administration would have on business, and, if they had made any specific strategic changes since Nov. 8. Most seemed to think it was a little too early to make any concrete assumptions,  but some were willing to make some predictions. Here’s what they said:

Russ Hagey Partner & Worldwide Chief Talent Officer, Bain & Company 

“The overall impact remains to be seen as it’s far too early to gauge what influences a Trump presidency will have on the broader U.S. economy. However, the new administration’s decisions do have the potential to significantly affect specific industry sectors—particularly healthcare, energy, financial services and technology. As long-term partners for business, Bain thinks less about specific administrations.  Instead, we focus more on secular trends and gaining a competitive advantage in an increasingly complex global marketplace. We help our clients navigate turbulence, uncertainty and new market conditions—whatever the source.  In many ways, that remains our original core mission so we concentrate on multi-year successes, not just short-term results.”

Gary Sturisky Managing Partner, Consulting, RSM US

“Based on our analysis of policies proposed to-date by the administration and Congress, we believe there will be a business uptick in 2017 resulting from deregulation early in the year followed by tax reform and infrastructure spending. We’re prepared to assist clients in addressing regulatory changes, particularly in the financial services industry with possible Dodd-Frank and other reforms, and in health care with the Affordable Care Act, to mention just two. Additionally, we anticipate more buy/sell transactions, and with major tax reform on the horizon, we expect organizations will have more capital to invest in systems and processes that increase efficiency and fuel performance. The new administration is also looking at multi-year infrastructure spending, which will provide opportunities for our middle market clients in the manufacturing, energy and technology sectors.”

Janet Foutty Chairman and CEO, Deloitte Consulting

“Our Consulting business works with both commercial and government clients, so in 2017 we are poised to help support change on a variety of fronts. From the conversations I’ve had, most CEOs are focused on the business climate that will be created by the new administration and the new Congress. Policy changes could present new opportunities, but the core work business leaders do every day—optimizing talent, driving innovation, determining where to invest, focusing on customers, driving growth—remains a priority regardless of who is president.”

Carroll Ross CEO, Collaborative Solutions

“The finance and HR cloud consulting industry is typically insulated from the political world; however, we know that many of our customers are affected by federal policies which may change with a new administration. We will focus on optimizing their finance and HR operations in the cloud and managing their deployments smoothly so they can confidently focus on navigating any changing directives or policy shifts that come with a new administration.”

Yong-Gon Chon CEO, Cyber Risk Management

“Cyber risk is a non-partisan field as seen by the consensus to investigate the recent hacks of the DNC; we envision continued escalating stakes and a wealth of opportunity to manage risks to data, reputation and people—regardless of who won last November. However, we are watching the election’s effects play out in certain areas. We hope a more business-friendly climate will help our own company continue to invest, hire and grow. When you look at the data breaches that figured prominently in the election, itself—particularly the embarrassing leaks of confidential e-mails—it helped raise even greater awareness of how costly and far-reaching these compromises can be.”

James H. Roth CEO and President, Huron

“The full impact of the U.S. presidential election remains to be seen, but we know our clients in the healthcare, higher education and other sectors have a keen interest in the new administration’s agenda in terms of significant shifts in policies or legislation that impact the services they offer, the economic environment in which they must operate, and the evolving challenges to their business models. We will help our clients tackle these challenges and we will enhance our service offerings to reflect their rapidly changing needs.”

Kevin McCarty CEO, West Monroe Partners

“I believe it is too early to assess the impact of the election on our business in 2017. We will, of course, monitor developments and economic conditions closely. Change of any sort drives consulting needs, particularly in key industries where we are strong, such as healthcare, banking, private equity, and energy and utilities. If changes do materialize, we will be ready to help our clients to adapt. That said, we have made no changes in our strategy based on the election results. We are very confident that the core business strategy we set several years ago is sustainable, and our business is healthy. We will continue to sharpen our focus and strive to increase our impact relative to our people, clients, communities and owners. We’ll also continue to pursue our mission of building the next generation of leaders.”

Teresa Bozzelli President, Sapient Government Services

“Strategically, Sapient made decisions in 2016 to ensure our growth is not only successfull but independent of the election. We will reap the rewards of our investments in our positioning and strategic initiatives that align with the new administration. With every change in administration, our public sector clients see changes in priorities, budgets and policy both in the short and long term. As they prepare to embrace new leadership, we provide consulting services for organizational impact analysis and strategic planning to ensure they are best-prepared to deliver the strongest impact during a time of change.”

Chuck Ritter President of Consulting, Point B

“We don’t plan to make any strategic shifts based on the election outcome. In our 22-year history, we’ve always led the firm with our mission and values—and that won’t change. Our belief is you have to look at the world with eyes that are open for opportunity, regardless of how clear or cloudy the horizon. This is as true now for our clients and our firm as it has ever been. Yes, the geo-political environment is more fluid, more rapidly moving than in any other point in recent history. That said, we believe our responsibility as an employee-owned company extends beyond any single moment. We want to create great jobs, help companies thrive and grow, and find abundant ways to contribute to the global economy. Thus, we look for unique, sustainable ways to grow our business and help others grow theirs…always.”

James Pajakowski EVP, Global Solutions, Protiviti

“At the moment, the positive market reaction since the election signals greater optimism about the economy, and that is having a positive impact. Further, the prospect of tax relief and the potential for repatriation of cash reserves held overseas has increased the prospect of investments, acquisitions and public offerings. All those factors lead to greater demand for our services. On the flip side, we have a strong presence in the regulatory consulting space and there is uncertainty about what changes a new administration will put in place. From a positive perspective, most times change occurs, it’s good for consultants.  Further, most organizations desperately are looking to comply with regulations more effectively and more efficiently. No matter what happens in the regulatory landscape, the desire for more efficient regulatory functions will continue to drive demand for our services.”

Dan Reardon CEO, North Highland

“Since the election, we have seen a significant increase in demand. It appears that all of the delay in decision making for investments have now been opened up and our clients and potential clients are calling on us to help them achieve their growth goals.  One area we expect to see a significant increase in demand is our Healthcare Practice as the industry gets their arms around the potential changes to the Affordable Care Act.”

Kevin McQueen CEO, CapTech Ventures, Inc.

“Our focus is on taking care of our clients and making CapTech a great place to work. We feel if we do that, we will be successful regardless of the political environment. As such, we have not focused much time adjusting our strategy based on the results of the election. However, CapTech has always felt strongly that domestic consulting firms are better capable of delivering the types of services that we provide. Obviously bringing jobs back to the country was a key theme of the campaign. We anticipate the new administration being more friendly to doing work domestically rather than overseas which supports our onshore business model.”

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