April 26, 2007

European Business Leaders Assemble for The Hackett Group's Third Annual Best Practices Conference

Conference to Highlight Leveraging Synergies from Merger and Acquisition Growth; Speakers Include Executives from Allianz, Britvic, Dow Chemical and More

London, 26 April 2007 - The Hackett Group, a research-based advisory firm and an Answerthink company (NASDAQ: ANSR), today announced that it will preview findings from its 2007 Book of Numbers™ research at its Third Annual European Best Practices Conference, "Leveraging Synergies: Myth or Reality," in London 10 and 11 May.

The research, which quantifies costs, productivity, cash flow, and other key efficiency and effectiveness metrics of world-class performance in finance, IT, HR, procurement and other back-office areas, will be one of several conference highlights. The two-day invitation-only event will also feature presentations by senior executives from 13 of the world's most successful global companies including: Allianz, Britvic, Dow Chemical, and Network Rail.

The past year has been one of record-setting mergers and acquisitions, putting company growth at the top of the enterprise planning agenda. To address this, the conference will explore whether synergy across back-office functions is a fleeting myth or an untapped growth opportunity. The two-day event aims to provide top-level executives opportunities for exchanging ideas on best practices and proven solutions for achieving world-class status.

Joel Roques, Head of European Finance Advisory for The Hackett Group explained, "Mergers and acquisitions are just one method of managing company growth. Our research proves that world-class organisations strengthen their businesses and achieve cost savings through efficiencies to their internal processes. One technique being implemented by many of Europe's leading companies is the Shared Service Centre, which can be best described as a form of internal outsourcing."

According to Hackett President of Global Enterprise Solutions Richard T. Roth, "In the business world, synergy is often the anticipated benefit of corporate reorganizations, cooperation between business functions, or mergers and acquisitions. The expectation is that the combined organization will be greater than the sum of its individual parts. But in reality, many actions aimed at achieving synergy fail to deliver the expected gains. How is it that some companies use synergy to successfully and repeatedly improve both efficiency and effectiveness? What are world-class companies doing differently to make synergy work? These are the topics we'll be exploring in this year's European Best Practices Conference."

Earlier this year, The Hackett Group published findings from its study on European Finance Shared Services, which yielded two primary trends: first and foremost that European companies are very successfully using shared services in finance, and are seeing reduced costs as well as improved quality, productivity, and customer service as a result. And secondly that companies have begun the process of globalising their shared services operations, and are expected to make significantly greater use of offshore resources in the next few years to take advantage of labour arbitrage opportunities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

This study was a follow-up from November 2006 research which stated that Europe's Top 500 companies could save £32 billion if they offshore their back-office activities. The following is a partial lineup of speakers at Hackett's Third Annual European Best Practice Conference:


ABB Group Senior Vice President, Head of Shared Services Lars-Gran Lemelius
"One Simple ABB - Simplifying Back Office Structures"

Allianz AG Head of Global Reporting and Group Financial Data Management Dr. Juergen Ott
"Achieving Global Synergies at Allianz - The Role of Financial Best Practices"

Britvic Plc Director of Procurement Andrew Boyd
"Aligning Procurement with Corporate Strategy to Enable Growth"

Deutsche Bank AG Former Chairman of the Supervisory Board Dr. Rolf-E. Breuer
"Conference Keynote: Effective Corporate Governance: How Should the Growing External Influence be Handled?

The Dow Chemical Company Global Director, Purchasing Paula Tolliver
"Reducing Supply Disruption Risks and Improving Strategic Sourcing Synergies at Dow "

Genpact President and CEO Patrick Cogny
Director of Global Strategy and Marketing SAP AG Gianni Giacomelli
Director of Financial Operations, International Paper (Europe) Harry Wauters
"Why Outsourcing Is Here to Stay... The Suppliers and Buyers Perspective"

The Hackett Group VP Business Transformation Tom O. Bangemann
"Effects of Globalisation on European Shared Services"

The Hackett Group President Global Enterprise Solutions Richard T. Roth
"Leveraging Synergies: Myth or Reality?"

HTS International GmbH CFO Dr. Volker Hues
"Fuelling Growth in Eastern Europe through Working Capital Management"

Linklaters Director of Finance Nick Heywood-Waddington
"Linklaters Transformation Journey - Effectiveness Before Efficiency"

Network Rail Director of Strategic Change Caroline Donaldson
"Transforming Network Rail - From 'Stopping the Rot' to 'Being the Best'"

Milupa Austria Finance Director Ludwig Gold
"Planning Dynamic and Profitable Growth at Milupa"


About The Hackett Group

The Hackett Group, a strategic advisory firm, is a global leader in best practice research, benchmarking, and business transformation services that enable world-class performance across selling, general & administrative (SG&A) and supply chain activities. Hackett provides strategic insight, best practice advice and implementation services grounded in performance metrics obtained through 15 years and 3,500 benchmark studies at 2,100 of the world's leading companies. Through its sister company REL, a world leader in implementing cash flow improvement, Hackett also offers tailored solutions that generate cash flow from operations in addition to process cost savings.

Executives use Hackett's unique, empirically-based approach to prioritize initiatives, execute faster, reduce risk and deliver sustainable results. Our clients comprise 97% of the Dow Jones Industrials, 50% of the FTSE 100 and 70% of the DAX 30.

More information on The Hackett Group is available: by phone at +44 207 003 8150; by e-mail at info@thehackettgroup.com; or on the web at www.thehackettgroup.com.