Avantage Capita was established in early 2004 by four founders, two Belgians (Gerald Ancia and Frederic Gielen) and two New Zealanders (Marty Clark and Andrew Nord).
The firm was headquartered from the outset in London; a location that the four founders agreed upon based on the significance of financial services in the United Kingdom and the central place played by the UK financial services industry in Europe. London was also as a common denominator for these well-travelled young professionals who began Avantage Capital with 60 years of combined experience in financial services and large consultancies.
At the point of creation, the founders of the firm were spread across the world with one based in Asia, another in the Netherlands, a third one in the United States and the fourth in London. The journey that these young entrepreneurs embarked on took them of from a team of four with laptops and international experience in financial services to what Avantage Reply is today: a pan-European risk and regulatory consultancy employing more than 300 risk and regulatory professionals across 11 cities in Europe.
The four founders shared a common vision for a value add consultancy having been on both sides of the fence – so to speak – as buyers and providers of consultancy services across Europe, Asia and the US.
The vision for a different kind of consultancy was built around that the insight that clients would want significant subject matter expertise combined with a deeply practical approach, helping clients to understand, address and embed change.
From the outset, Avantage focused on large change programmes within risk and finance functions, primarily concerned with capital management, regulatory change and reporting.
As Avantage expanded, its client base included corporates, banks, asset managers, insurance companies, leasing companies and wealth managers. This client base was developed and retained through an impeccable track record of delivering transformation programmes. As the global financial crisis shook the world, Avantage built on this experience and assisted clients with the fundamental and constant regulatory changes that followed.
2011 was a turning point in the history of Avantage, as it was acquired by the Reply Group, becoming Avantage Reply. This was an exciting adventure for the four founders and also the early employees among the firm, many of whom are still with the firm today.