Joseph Sponholz joins L.E.K. Consulting as partner in Sydney

04 February 2019

Joseph Sponholz has joined L.E.K. Consulting as a partner in the firm’s Organisation & Performance practice, based in the Sydney office.

“We are delighted to welcome Joseph to L.E.K’s Sydney office,” said Nicholas Holder, who leads L.E.K. Consulting’s Asia Pacific region. Headquartered in the UK, where the consultancy was founded in 1983, L.E.K. Consulting has 21 offices globally, of which eight are in Asia Pacific. The firm’s Australian arm operates from locales in Melbourne and Sydney. 

Sponholz brings more than two decades of experience to the firm, including roughly a decade in professional services. After working for two law firms – Sponholz holds a doctorate in Law – he joined Mitchell Madison Group, a consulting firm that launched in 1994 following a management buy-out of 120 professionals from A.T. Kearney in 1994, as a result of the firm’s sale to IT conglomerate EDS. Sponholz then worked for Booz Allen & Hamilton as a management consultant, and most recently he worked five years at international consultancy Partners in Performance. From the firm’s base in Sydney, he was a principal, leading a team of managers and consultants delivering business improvements across industries.

Joseph Sponholz, Partner, L.E.K. Consulting

In between his consulting roles, Sponholz was Chief Operating Officer at RF Capital (the family office of property and investment tycoon Andrew Roberts), Director at industrials company Textron and Vice President at Keystone Automotive Operations. He moved to Australia from the US in 2012, and has since been working and living in the Sydney region.

Across his career, Sponholz has built a track record delivering financial, market and operational results across a broad spectrum of business and industries including industrials, transport, consumer and sport management in Australia, Asia Pacific, the United States and Europe. He specialises in organisational strategy and performance improvement. “Joe’s arrival strengthens our Organisation & Performance practice, increasing our capability to deliver impact for clients in the region on top of our established strategic offerings,” said Holder. 

Alongside his consulting work, Sponholz is an author. He previously penned two books – ‘The College Companion’ and ‘The Student Athlete’s Guide To Winning Athletic Scholarships’ – and is currently working on his third book ‘Improve for Business’ to be published later this year.

The news comes one month after L.E.K. Consulting promoted Philip Wheeler to its partner team in Australia, based in Melbourne. The firm’s Australian business is led by Holder, who reports into Stuart Jackson, the firm’s global boss. 

According to a recent analysis by L.E.K. Consulting in collaboration with EY Sweeney, commissioned by HiPages, Australia's $73 billion residential tradie economy is up for digital disruption. 

Related: L.E.K. Consulting named a top 15 strategy consulting firm in Asia-Pacific.

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Ian Watt leads Energy & Environment arm of L.E.K Consulting Australia

15 April 2019

Ian Watt has joined L.E.K Consulting’s as a partner and leader of the firm’s Australian Energy & Environment practice. Watt is based in Sydney.

“We are delighted to welcome Ian Watt to L.E.K Consulting,” said Nick Holder, who leads the firm’s operations in the Asia Pacific region and is country leader of the Australia business. “His experience working with utilities to successfully address waves of market disruption and regulatory complexity bolsters our ability to drive value creation for clients.” 

Watt joins from Strategy&, where he worked since 2010, initially with Booz & Company before transitioning to Strategy& through PwC's $1 billion acquisition of Booz in 2014. He brings over a decade of experience advising clients in the energy, utilities, mining and industrials sectors across Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. His experiences span the utility value chain, and comprise a mix of growth strategy (strategic planning, go-to-market models), operational transformation (cost, business model, and performance optimisation) and innovation (design of new products and services). 

During his career at Strategy&, Watt worked from the firm’s offices in London, Sydney, and most recently Calgary – he relocated to Canada in 2016 to help launch and build the Strategy& firm in the country. Prior to his consulting spell, he held several technical an economic consulting roles in the engineering industry, having started his career in Mott MacDonald’s consultancy team in the UK.

Ian Watt leads Energy & Environment arm of L.E.K ConsultingAt L.E.K Consulting, which has over 1,400 professionals globally, Watt will lead the Australian Energy & Environment practice. His appointment comes at a time when the energy & utilities sector is facing major change, with market disruption and regulatory complexity taking hold. According to L.E.K. Consulting, “Primary energy suppliers, OEMs and utilities, among others, turn to L.E.K. to benefit from its experience gathered over decades of tackling major strategic and operational issues in the sector.”

The presence of large energy conglomerates and mining giants means Australia's energy & resources consulting industry is the 2nd largest globally, trailing just the massive market of the United States. Government data shows that the resources sector comprise 15% to 20% of the national economy and up to 60% of Australia’s exports. BHP Billiton (the fourth largest company by revenue in Australia) and Rio Tinto (revenue of $40 billion) are major players in the space, meanwhile beyond mining & resources, companies such as energy retailers (e.g. Alinta Energy, BlueNRG, Click Energy, etc) and energy generators (e.g. AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia) are ramping up their spending on external consultants in a bid to successfully position themselves for future sustainable growth. 

Watt’s move brings the total of new partners at L.E.K. in Australia to three this year. Previously, Joe Sponholtz joined the Sydney office from rival consultancy Partners In Performance, while Melbourne-based Philip Wheeler was promoted internally to partner.

Last week, Bain & Company named a new leader for its Australia and New Zealand division: company veteran Peter Stumbles.