Antoine Ducher, Founder and CEO of Quanteam UK is telling us about his company, from the beginning of the story to his vision for the future...
Tell us about your background & Quanteam story?
I started my career as a Consultant working for Altran, a leader in Technology and Consultancy whose headquarters are in Paris. I was a young Aeronautics Engineer, freshly graduated from a Master in Nuclear Physics, a Master in Mechanics and a Master in Corporate Finance.
My first project there was in the Telecoms Industry for which I helped a US company deploy optical fiber broadband In Switzerland, East West, North South. But the internet bubble crashed in 2001, I then came back to Paris and I had the chance to start working in Capital Markets on a Trading floor for a major French investment bank.
Across 8 years I occupied various positions from Tactical Developer to Front Office Support, Market Making and Risk across all business lines. This experience would become key in developing Quanteam UK.
In 2007, my Paris Partner asked me to join him in Paris to develop a Consultancy. This same year I founded Quanteam UK, I continued working for BNP Paris until 2009 where I decided to fully commit to the development of Quanteam UK.
Why did you decide to develop this Business, back in 2009?
I decided to develop Quanteam UK in the midst of the crisis for 3 main reasons.
The first was probably the most common one for every entrepreneur… To get the freedom of running my own company! It was something I had in mind for years, and I thought it was the good time to try this adventure but I have to say that I didn’t not imagine at that time how difficult it was going to take the business off in such a crisis and such a saturated market!
Despite the crisis and the panic in the industry I felt there was a gap in the market to address the challenges of the crisis, especially through the Consultancy approach, and especially in a time where long time established competitors would feel down and would potentially focus on other industries.
Finally, I saw that this enterprise would benefit greatly of my long experience in the Finance Industry but also in the Consultancy industry, exactly 8 years on the Investment Bank side.
It is not coincidence that the areas and functions I had experience with are the areas in which Quanteam UK is today specialising, except for the Quantitative expertise.
What are the main challenges that you and Quanteam face?
Since the start, we have been facing various types of challenges and at different stages of the company’s growth, but I would like to stress in particular the market challenges that we have been facing until now.
The main challenge I would highlight is the fact that the Consultancy market is highly competitive and saturated, which was developed in the 90s.
The market is also mostly driven by Preferred Suppliers Lists generally owned by employees who don’t belong to the business and for whom the main objectives are cost control if not reduction. Therefore we have to develop our services meeting the objectives of different stakeholders.
The last challenging point is that our historical indirect competitor, the Recruitment industry have been lately trying to move to the Consultancy space.
But besides these fantastic challenges we also see some positive trends in the market as for example a clear appetite for Consultancies that deliver the right expertise, stay close to their consultants and candidates and which simply gets things done for their clients.
Whilst growing we still think that it is crucial to offer bespoke services to our clients and manage our consultants career in the most clever way possible for them and for the company. We value high quality approach as a key factor in our growth.
What is your vision of Quanteam?
Our short term vision is to be a 120 consultants company in the next 24 months and to be recognized as the key Consultancy expert in London within the Quantitative areas. That includes Front Office, Risk, Model Validation and Artificial Intelligence areas.
In terms of projects, our vision is to deliver hands on and also advisory work for small to large scale projects in the City, projects for which we can clear give evidence of what value Quanteam UK has added.
In the long run we see ourselves competing against the Majors on Advising the Business areas from FO to Risk and Managing Projects for our clients from End to End.