A global consulting firm with 12,000 employees and over 40 locations — including offices in New York, Tokyo and London — plans to open one in Maine.
Seattle-based Slalom LLC, which focuses on strategic management, technology and business transformation, said it will expand to Portland and hire 100 people for the office over the next 12-18 months.
“We look across New England and we see Portland as just a wonderful market for the things we do,” Chris Harding, a managing director of the firm’s Boston office, told Mainebiz Thursday. “We couldn’t be any more excited to be entering the Maine marketplace.”
He said the company plans to pursue engagements with Maine businesses in fields including finance and insurance, manufacturing, technology, life sciences and the public sector.
Slalom has already had preliminary conversations with state government officials about potential work, noted Harding, who joined Slalom in January 2020 after serving as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
He’s not the only recent hire at Slalom.
The firm, co-founded in 2001 by CEO Brad Jackson, had about 7,000 employees when Harding came onboard. In the two years since then, Slalom has added nearly 5,000.
Courtesy / GreatPlacetoWork.com
Brad Jackson, CEO of Slalom LLC
And the growth hasn’t been the result of acquisitions, he said. “We hire organically. We believe that’s important for our culture.”
Compared to other international consulting firms such as Accenture or PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm is relatively small. Annual revenues are about $2.6 billion, and the firm is employee-owned. Slalom been named one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” six times and regularly appears on other such lists.
‘Spawning’ in Maine
Slalom expects to begin considering office space in Portland this spring and then to staff up initially with sales and technology delivery employees, according to Harding. Some job openings have already been posted.
The firm provides a range of services, from strategic advising to tech enablement to “Slalom Build,” an outsourcer of IT engineering. In Boston, where Slalom opened in 2012, there are about 530 staff across the three functions.
The company sees the Portland branch as a natural extension of the Boston one.
Boston General Manager Russell Norris said in a press release, “The New England area is a growing market, and our research has shown Portland aligns closely with our existing businesses both within the Boston market and the global Slalom market.”
Harding said the Boston office will help “spawn” the Portland one.
“We tend to be very nurturing when we expand, and we think of Portland as part of the Boston marketplace.”
In addition to Boston, Slalom has a New England office in Hartford, Conn. Other U.S. offices are located from the World Trade Center in New York to the (other) Portland, in Oregon.
While the pandemic and the work-from-home trend are wild cards, Slalom believes there’s still a need for bricks and mortar.
“We hire in what we call hyperlocal markets,” said Harding, “and the idea is to do business in those markets and build deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients there.”