Roland Berger AG has been a tenant at the Prime Tower since the beginning of January 2021. We talked to the managing partners Sven Siepen (on the left) and Matthias Hanke (on the right) about their new location in Zurich.
1. In a few words: who is Roland Berger AG?
Matthias Hanke: international strategy consultants who have been advising clients from various industries on their business problems for over 50 years.
Sven Siepen: what also makes Roland Berger special is that we have our roots in Europe, unlike other strategy consultants, and we are very proud of that, not just because of our origins, but also because of our cultural understanding. It’s actually a very broad spectrum from an Italian business culture to a Scandinavian one; the Germans are very different from the French. We can handle that and adapt to our clients very well.
2. Why did you choose the Prime Tower location?
Matthias Hanke: we were previously in Seefeld, a beautiful location, in a very attractive area. The tenancy was up for renewal and we decided on a change. The Prime Tower is very conveniently situated for transport links and what we especially like is that we are all on one floor. In Seefeld the offices were spread over five floors.
Sven Siepen: we are looking forward to enjoying an attractive, creative working environment and spacious, bright offices that will encourage greater productivity and innovation, and help us develop winning strategies together with our clients. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait a little longer to do this at Prime Tower due to the current lockdown and the work from home rules.
3. What makes the Prime Tower special for you?
Sven Siepen: it’s modern, bright and has a great view of the mountains. Very nice people downstairs at reception, where we are greeted with a friendly smile every morning. Of course, it’s also a great neighbourhood and has changed a lot in the past 15, 20 years. I live in Zumikon in Oberland so you don’t come to this area very often, it’s very impressive how the neighbourhood has developed. A lot of work has been done here.
4. What were the biggest challenges this year?
Matthias Hanke: consulting is a people business, especially strategy consulting. Our strategy consulting is custom-made for our clients and adapted to their needs. Normally we work on site at the client and get new business through personal contacts. That is a challenge at the moment, of course. But it is has worked significantly better than we thought. Our business has developed well. The second challenge was with the teams. Our teams work very hard, and sometimes very long hours as well, so the team spirit is also important on a personal level. Arranging this while working from home has been a strain for the consultants.
Sven Siepen: yes, that’s exactly right, I’ve just had a long conversation with an employee who was complaining about only going from his bedroom to his home office every morning and then sitting in front of the team monitor. It sometimes feels very claustrophobic.
5. Personal contact with clients and colleagues is lacking. But have you been able to make up for that with digital solutions?
Matthias Hanke: technically yes, it has worked very well for us, only at some point I see a time limit to that. Whether it takes a year or eighteen months, it won’t work for ever. To those who are now saying we actually need a lot less office space, I’d say I am totally opposed to that. I still see the office as a place for meeting people, for inspiration, interaction and team building.
Sven Siepen: but that also means offices are changing. We now have an office concept here which is different from before: more open with more communication and meeting spaces. And I believe we will benefit a great deal from that. All the more so in the period after the coronavirus.
About Roland Berger AG
Roland Berger established the small consultancy firm “Roland Berger International Marketing Consultants” in 1967 in Munich, with two staff: Roland Berger and his assistant. Today, the management consulting firm has global operations, with around 2,400 staff at 50 locations in 34 countries. At the Prime Tower they employ around 70 staff.