Over the last eighteen years, we have successfully completed a diverse group of challenging projects, many with demanding deadlines.

Financial Services

Our clients are typically significant business units of major financial institutions, such as leading U.S. and international banks and investment banking firms, and specialized mid-sized players.

Representative projects include:

  • Examining a competitor threat to a leading derivatives firm. A major derivatives market-maker (the hedging of its options book regularly accounted for 5% of NYSE trading volume) had recently launched a customer business to enhance profitability. Its traders were hearing about substantial trades that were being done away from them, when they were the natural counterparty, and hence were very concerned about their loss of market share.

    It turned out that multiple (as many as 10) firms would take credit for a single major trade, creating an illusory impression of overall activity and of volume being done away from our client. The investigation also uncovered a significant transaction type that the sales force was not pursuing that was a strong fit with the firm's capabilities, and a redirection of effort led to a considerable increase in sales profits (over $1 million for a single deal).

  • Managing a product launch. Our client had developed an industry-leading risk management tool that it wanted to release to clients in an ASP mode. We managed the non-technology aspects of the start-up, including negotiating with prospective clients; overseeing the development of the contracts; resolving back office issues; determining client training and support needs; assessing pricing and likely financial results. The fully loaded cost of the product launch was $1 million, and first month revenues were $5 million, well ahead of plan.

  • For a Japanese bank, investigating a prospective holding in an LBO firm. This bank had made a large investment in a merchant-banking boutique. The boutique was approached by a LBO firm which wanted to buy the boutique using the LBO firm's equity as consideration. The Japanese firm wanted to get as much intelligence about the buyer as possible on a quick turnaround basis to guide their negotiations. Their request included an assessment of the firm and its principals, its current business performance and prospects, including financial information.

    Our brief included extensive information on the firm's principals, its strategy and organization, its deals to date and their likely performance, and a preliminary profit and loss statement and highlighted key issues for due diligence. The bank used this information to extract a considerable improvement in terms.