How Europe's fastest-growing companies stay ahead of the pack

Europe's fastest-growing companies power the engine rooms of their respective economies. As they scale at pace, these businesses drive job creation, generate additional tax receipts and provide new opportunities for a broad range of stakeholders. In short, they are crucial for any economy or society focusing on wealth creation.

However, despite playing this vital role, we know comparatively little about the make-up of our fastest-growing businesses - specifically, the skills and qualities that enable them to leave the rest of the pack behind. Pinsent Masons' Pacesetters, published in association with Mergermarket, seeks to investigate that knowledge shortfall.

Based on exclusive interviews with 400 senior executives of European fast-growing companies, this research identifies a series of characteristics that are shared by many of the businesses posting the highest growth rates in Europe. For even though these businesses are pursuing a huge range of different business models and operating in disparate geographies or industry sectors, they have much in common. As advisers to fast-growth companies, we are increasingly seeing collaboration and innovation as key traits among this section of our client base. Indeed, on the latter factor, respondents feel that the next three years will be dominated by the need to invest in technology and utilise it effectively. 

Many of them will see similar behaviours in their fast-growth peers or identify with the pervading culture of other businesses that are achieving accelerated expansion. 

In identifying these shared characteristics, we offer food for thought to other businesses now plotting a growth strategy for the years ahead. By understanding what has enabled other fast-growth businesses to succeed, companies may be better placed to improve their own prospects. The report also provides valuable insights for mature companies looking for growth through acquisitions of these fast-growing, often disruptive, companies.

Pacesetters also outlines the financing preferences of fast-growth businesses and identifies the barriers that they feel they must overcome to continue their growth.

And, in the closing section of the report, we provide insights from the investors' perspective as we talk exclusively to four executives who discuss why these fast growing companies are outperforming their peers.

The companies we have surveyed are vital to the future prosperity of Europe and it is hugely encouraging that the obstacles they perceive do not dent this optimism about their future growth capabilities.

Report - key areas examined

  • Three factors for fast-growth success

  • Barriers to growth 

  • Financing fast growth

  • The investor vision

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