Best consultants

Julia Harrison, Senior Managing Director

FTI Consulting

Julia.harrison@fticonsulting.com

My Job

Having founded FTI Brussels as an all-women’s business, I now lead our global public affairs efforts and focus on working with my colleagues across the globe on building the practice, spending as much time as ever with clients whilst fostering more cross market interconnectivity and collaboration. I also sit on the firm’s global Strat Comms steering committee and the cross-segment European Leadership Team. My job is really to use the wider perspective to help clients and our team and to ensure our business keeps growing.

My Experience

Early on I worked in a D.C. think tank with a brief stint in the European Parliament as an assistant. I have run consultancies since the age of 23, moving to Brussels in 1989 to establish one of our competitor companies, going on to be CEO PA Europe before founding Blueprint – the current day FTI – on 16 January 2003.

Set up as an all-female business, it grew rapidly based on a simple philosophy which holds true today: understanding clients’ businesses rather than looking at the European project in isolation; keeping senior people working for clients and being international rather than EU only.

Blueprint sold to FTI Consulting in 2008. The idea was to work with colleagues from diverse disciplines (economic, business transformation, technology, forensic litigation specialists). We scaled well and have grown to become market leaders so I count my experience as an entrepreneur beyond the day to day of my PA, GR, and comms work in Financial Services, Energy & Industrials, TMT, and Healthcare.

I have various Non-Executive, Board and Fundraising experience in academia, sustainability, and gender parity.

My Proudest Achievements

The number of brilliant former colleagues now working throughout many organisations with whom I have had the pleasure of working and learning.  They have become recognised professionals able to build fantastic careers. The team at FTI in Brussels has grown considerably and it’s wonderful to constantly be impressed and challenged by smart and ambitious people.

My Education

Downing College, Cambridge – MA Hons Cantab (English Literature).

My Languages

English and French, smattering of Dutch.

My Interests outside work

Women’s issues including being a founding board member of the Women’s Forum (www.womens-forum.org), various board and fundraising positions; theatre and the arts – drawing (badly) and photography; walking; travelling and horse-riding.

My Favourite Brussels anecdote

Back in pre-Covid (and in fact Blueprint) times when we could still host in-person gatherings, we used a rather unconventional invitation process. A Lego artist came in to do portraits of the Commissioners and build a model European Parliament. We mailed out Lego figurines to attendees, inviting them to place them on the steps of the Lego Parliament and for every figure we would make a charitable donation. In the end, the attendees showed up with baskets full of Lego figures from their kids, nephews, nieces, neighbours – you name it. We were caught off guard but the cause was all the better for it and we raised a lot of money. The ex-President’s Lego head still takes pride of place in the Brussels office.

Best in Brussels 2021 Report

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