Next chief executive plots growth plan for ManTech

December 29, 2017

By Marjorie Censer

Tapped to serve as chief executive of ManTech International beginning next week, Kevin Phillips is pursuing growth that would increase the company's revenues to at least $2.5 billion in 2020.

In an interview with Inside Defense this week, Phillips, who has served as the contractor's president since 2016 and previously was its chief financial officer, said ManTech will remain focused on national security, including homeland security, cybersecurity and big data work with what Phillips described as a “security bent.”

“It's a good framework for us for the next three years,” he said. “It's very clear to the leadership team. We know what our path is.”

ManTech posted $1.6 billion in sales in 2016, up from $1.55 billion in 2015, but down from a recent high of nearly $2.9 billion in 2011.

The company saw its sales decline after 2011, driven by a decline in overseas contingency operations work as U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan. To grow over the next three years, Phillips said the contractor will focus on technology, including cybersecurity, enterprise IT, software development, software engineering and big data.

ManTech will pursue targeted acquisitions, he said, to build out key capabilities. In recent years, the company has made several small purchases, including buying InfoZen in October.

ManTech paid $180 million for InfoZen, which specializes in modernization, agile software development and cloud migration, among other areas. The deal, the company said, bolstered ManTech's work with DHS and NASA.

Phillips said ManTech is not seeking to make a large transaction, even as competitors like Leidos and CACI International have made sizeable acquisitions in recent years.

“We made a conscious decision over the last four or five years that we were not going to focus on size,” Phillips said. “Our size doesn't restrict us.”

InfoZen, he said, remains a “good example of the type of business that we're looking for.” ManTech, Phillips added, is seeking acquisitions that help it address emerging IT areas as well as key customers.

He said the company has seen significant recent growth in its work with federal civilian agencies, including homeland security work with the State Department and Customs and Border Protection.

“I think [federal civilian work] will grow incrementally because homeland security is as important as national security,” Phillips said.

He said he expects 2017 sales to reflect growth over 2016. Phillips said ManTech is also readying for revenue growth in 2018.

“I'm bullish,” he said of Pentagon spending. “We generally think that the budget's going to increase and the prioritization of national need will be in areas we support.”

Tobey Sommer of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey told Inside Defense the company's approach is starting to yield results.

“The prospects are looking up at ManTech,” he said. “The move to cyber and, I think, the push into IT . . . and small capability acquisitions seem to be a strategy that works for this company.”