About

Yassir Ahmed is an experienced manager in Marakon’s European Oil and Gas Practice.

Yassir has advised senior executives on a range of strategy and organisational issues across the petroleum value-chains in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

He has also provided specific functional expertise to engagements with clients in the Chemicals, Defence, and Consumer Goods sectors.

 

Marina Belezina

Director, Financial Services

London

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About

Marina is a Director in Marakon’s Financial Services practice. She has nearly 15 years experience working with senior executives of leading banks and insurers in the UK, Europe and North America.

Marina’s area of expertise spans retail banking, business banking, commercial and wholesale banking and private clients and insurance. She has also served clients in the consumer goods and industrial sectors.

She has advised clients on a wide range of issues including:portfolio management, capital management, customer proposition and operating model design and implementation, growth and profitability improvement, organisational design and change management and transaction advisory and support.

Her past clients include Bank of Ireland, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Santander, KBC, ABN AMRO, AIG, Prudential and Aegon among others.

Maria Blanco

Director, Financial Services

New York

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About

María Teresa Blanco is a Director and leads Marakon’s work in the Banking space.

María has over 20 years of experience leading engagements for senior executives in topics across all aspects of Banking- Sales and Trading, Corporate and Investment Banking, Retail Banking, Transaction Banking, as well as Risk and Regulation. She has also worked in the industry as
Managing Director at Bank of America Securities, serving in a variety of roles, such as Chief Operating Officer for the platform, Head of New Product Development and banker responsible for FIG in Debt Capital Markets.

Examples of her recent work include conducting a balance sheet optimization exercise for the C-Suite of a global bank; creating a bank-wide collateral optimization model that decreased cost of funding;
creating a de novo performance management system for a major retail branch sales force; the strategic review of an FX platform.

In addition to client project work, Ms. Blanco twice co-authored “The Future of Wholesale Banking” report, a widely read and respected piece, and co-authored “Dangerous Markets”, a book on financial crises, with specific authorship of chapters on crises causes, banking in emerging markets, and technical appendices. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Hispanic College Fund. Ms. Blanco also served on Bank of America’s Diversity Council and founded the BAC’s Women’s Forum, a 10,000+ organization promulgating the attraction, promotion and retention of women across the wholesale bank.

About

Brian Burwell has recently transitioned to a senior advisor role at Marakon. In concert with this change in role, I, along with the global partner team, want to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate Brian’s truly exceptional and impactful career at Marakon.

There are few people who devote 37 years of their career to one company. Brian joined Marakon as a Stanford MBA in August 1979, just one year after the firm was founded.  Over the course of his career, he served as both CEO and COO of the firm, and has worked out of offices in San Francisco, London, New York, and Melbourne.

Brian’s work has spanned sectors including healthcare, consumer products, retail, hospitality, entertainment, and education. He has been critical to the success of many of Marakon’s biggest and most important flagship clients over three decades including: Diageo, Roche, Cadburys, Boots, IHG, Heineken and Prudential.  Brian can truly say he spent his career advising the CEOs of some of the world’s most admired companies.

On the firm front, Brian has always been passionate about our people and people development. ~10 years ago, Brian set an ambition to have a partner team with more gender diversity, and set the groundwork for a talent model that would support that ambition.  Perhaps one of his greatest legacies is the partner team he is leaving behind; one that is comprised of 35% women. 

As he embarks on his next chapter, Brian is continuing to pursue his passion for philanthropic consulting as a partner at Bridgespan, and as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at UC Davis. He will remain a senior advisor to Marakon, supporting us where his experience, expertise and relationships can be helpful.

Brian is also very much looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren, traveling with his wife Bieke, and drinking more Brunello (which as he describes, can be paired with anything or can stand on its own).

Please join me in giving our deepest appreciation and thanks to Brian for all he has done for Marakon over the past 37 years.

Mason Kissell and the Partner team

About

Randy is a Managing Director at Marakon and leads the firm’s operations in North America.

Randy has nearly 25 years of experience helping top management teams develop distinctive strategies and build organizational capabilities to drive a step-change in growth and performance.

His industry experience includes industrial products, metals & mining, oil & gas, medical devices, retail, and consumer products.  Randy has extensive experience working with clients in all regions of the world. He also spent three years working in Marakon’s London office.

Prior to joining Marakon, Randy worked for Goldman Sachs & Co. in their Real Estate investment banking division where he assisted in the sale and financing of several large office and retail properties.

Christine Delivanis

Director, Consumer, Health & Wellness

London

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About

Christine Delivanis has been a consultant and senior advisor for over 15 years, with a focus on the Consumer Goods industry and a geographic reach that has spanned Europe, Asia, Latin America, the US, Africa, and Australia.

She has served senior executives in the food, beverage, alcohol, and tobacco sectors, on topics including strategic transformation, organic growth, productivity improvement, pricing and revenue management, new business models, and brand development / premiumisation.

Christine is a recognised authority on helping low margin manufacturing businesses in the food sector drive performance improvement and value creation. She has authored and published numerous articles on this topic in leading industry publications, including Food Manufacture and the Grocer.

Prior to joining Marakon, Christine was a Partner at the Monitor Group’s London office.

About

Patrick Foley is a senior advisor in the financial services sector of Marakon. He has more than 30 years of experience advising on strategy, providing economic analysis, and forecasting in the financial services sector. His industry experience allows him to translate complex strategic and economic issues into clear actionable insights and advice for senior management.


Most recently, Mr. Foley was Chief Economist and Group Strategy Director for Lloyds Banking Group where he advised senior management and the Board on economic developments and strategic issues. This year, he led a major Board review of likely future financial services market trends and their impact on bank competitiveness and profitability. He designed the organic growth strategy that turned around Lloyds TSB from an ex-growth position in 2002 to a market leader five years later. Mr. Foley also led negotiations on several potential acquisitions and managed the successful divestment of Abbey Life and a number of overseas businesses.


Previously, Mr. Foley worked for Schroders and the Confederation of British Industry. He has written numerous articles for Lloyds Bank publications, outside journals, and contributed to a number of books on issues including on inflation and exchange rate economics.

About

Alex is a Principal in Marakon’s London office and has significant consulting experience across the banking, insurance, consumer healthcare and retail industries. 

During his time at Marakon he has advised senior clients on a broad range of issues including customer driven business unit strategies, corporate strategy, inorganic growth strategies, commercial due diligence and pre-merger strategic alignment.

Alex also leads Marakon’s recruiting in Europe.

About

Johann Franke has over 10 years of experience in strategy and organization advisory across Europe, Asia and North America.

The main sectors Johann focuses on are life & health insurance and oil & gas, but he has also served senior executives in industrials and petrochemicals. He has helped clients set the forward strategy for their businesses, shape corporate portfolios and develop their organisations to enable sustainable long term growth.

Johann’s recent work has included setting the long term strategic direction and investment programme for a integrated downstream and petrochemicals business in South Asia, designing a growth orientated
operating model for a mid-sized E&P company in Europe, and determining the future participation model for a global health insurance and healthcare company headquartered in the EU.

About

Garan is an Associate Principal in Marakon’s Chicago office. During his time at Marakon, he has advised senior management teams on a broad range of strategic issues, particularly around portfolio strategy, organic and inorganic growth strategy, and general competitive strategy. His experience has centered on the industrials, specialty chemicals, financial services, and oil & gas sectors.

Garan is also actively involved in Marakon’s recruiting efforts and maintaining social connectivity in the Chicago office.

About

Neal is a Managing Director at Marakon and leads the firm’s operations in the UK and Europe.

For over 20 years, Neal has been advising chief executives and board-level management in developed and emerging markets on strategic, operating and organizational changes needed to deliver superior shareholder returns. He has a particular interest in portfolio shaping and design through organic and inorganic means.

Neal is a recognized authority on improving corporate performance both in the customer and capital markets and has extensive experience in financial services, energy, and health care. His recent work has focused on developing and implementing new growth platforms in the accumulation rollover and de-commutation phases of the retirement markets.

In addition to his client work, Neal has been a guest lecturer at LBS, authored many articles and contributed to the FT and Sunday times on topics of management.

Prior to joining Marakon, Neal worked as an attorney and spent several years as a professional free-style skier in Aspen Co.

About

Mason Kissell is a Managing Director and leader of Marakon globally.  

In his 30 years of experience, Mason has worked with leadership teams to transform company performance through changes to portfolio and business strategies and organisational design – talent, management process, structure, and goals / measures / rewards.

Mason’s work has focused on B2B2C companies with extensive experience in OTC Medicines, Health & Wellness, Infant Nutrition, Personal & Small business P&C insurance, Wealth Management and Retail Banking.  

 

About

Reto J Kohler joined Marakon in January 2017 as a Director with close to 20 years of experience in Strategy Consulting and Banking.

 

Reto joined after a sabbatical which he used to fulfill long-held ambitions such as working as a ski instructor in Colorado. Prior to that, Reto was a senior Managing Director and Global Head of Strategy & Change at Barclays Investment Bank, based in New York. In this role, Reto and his team were advising senior management and the Board throughout the major developments at Barclays and in the wider investment banking industry since 2004.

 

Before his relocation to New York from London in 2007, Reto acted as the interim Head of Barclays Group Strategy in 2006 and held the role of COO for IBD EMEA at Barclays Capital during 2005. He joined the Barclays Capital Strategy team in London in spring 2004 after 6 years with the Boston Consulting Group in Zurich and London where he focused mainly on Financial Services with some experiences in Pharma and the Used Car Market.

 

He has lived and worked in several European countries and the US

About

Ron has advised senior executives on issues ranging from corporate and business unit growth strategies to organization design and leadership. His expertise spans an array of industries, including financial services, energy, chemicals, consumer products, telecommunications and technology.

Ron joined Marakon in 1980 and later relocated to the East Coast to help establish the firm’s presence in the region. In 2000, he joined the London office, where he oversaw global practice development and partner management. He has authored a number of articles on senior management issues, including how to fuel profitable growth through improved customer insight and investment, how to make M&A more consistently profitable and how to better link pay with performance.

Prior to joining Marakon, Ron worked for Security Pacific National Bank (now Bank of America) in marketing and for Applied Decision Analysis as a consultant.

About

Quan joined Marakon in 2009 in the Chicago office and relocated to London in 2014. He has worked closely with senior clients in N. America and Europe, providing strategy advisory in areas of customer value, portfolio shape, business model design, and organic and inorganic growth. 

His sector experience include consumer packaged goods, healthcare, industrials, and financial services. His recent projects include evaluating the synergy potential of value chain integration for a global health insurer and supporting the business transformation strategy for a food manufacturer.

 

Andrew Macpherson

Director, Financial Services

London

LinkedIn

About

Andrew has been a consultant and senior advisor to large corporations for more than 15 years working with senior executives across the UK, Europe and North America.


His main areas of expertise are in insurance, wealth and asset management, although he has also advised clients in banking and manufacturing sectors. He has worked with clients on a broad range of topics including corporate and business unit strategy, organic growth, new business launches, operational performance improvement and strategy implementation.

Prior to joining Marakon, Andrew worked in corporate finance and in strategy consulting at Mars & Co where he is experience included portfolio rationalisation, operational improvement and new market entry strategies for large corporations across Europe.

About

Sabrina McPherson has over 10 years’ experience in strategic advisory.

Sabrina has served senior executives in the Consumer, Health & Wellness industries across all five continents.

Her recent work has included engagements focused on portfolio strategy,  emerging market entry and expansion, M&A advisory, and strategic transformation.

Prior to joining Marakon, Sabrina worked at the Walt Disney Company in California where her experience included strategic and business planning for the Studio business unit.

Sabrina has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from UCLA and Master’s Degree in Finance from the London School of Economics.

About

Pappe joined Marakon’s New York office in September 2004 as a member of the Customer Value Group.

Since joining Marakon, Pappe has worked with clients in B2B and B2C industries.  His work has focused primarily on generating customer insights to inform business growth alternatives. In particular, Pappe is experienced in applying marketing science to develop winning customer segmentation, product or service innovation, offer optimization, competitive positioning assessment, pricing, branding, sales force effectiveness, etc.

Prior to joining Marakon, Pappe spent 7 years with the Marketing Sciences Unit of Mercer Management Consulting, Boston.

About

David Rajan is one of the founders of Marakon’s digital and innovation practice. He is a specialist in the development of new products, services and systems, blending exceptional strategic abilities with a passion for design and deep technical knowledge. His primary interest is the development of new commercial opportunities at the intersection of strategy, design and technology.

David has over 20 years of experience working with major corporations and start-ups on technology and digital transformation, product and service design. Recently, he worked as Chief Digital Officer of San Jose-based, Agile software product development company, GlobalLogic, and Chief Technology Officer of renowned San Francisco, experience design firm, Method, where among other things, he helped set up a new client’s design lab; spearheaded a project which resulted in a SxSW nomination for a healthcare wearable.

David spent most of his early career working for Oracle Corporation and then briefly with Infosys. He was involved in the development, architecture and strategy for highly scalable and available systems, large scale databases, data warehousing and data architectures, including business intelligence, internet, mobile, middleware, data integration and big data systems. He designed many early dot.com architectures, developed the worlds first mobile data applications over the trial GPRS network, created an early social collaboration tool.

David also set up the first corporate start-up incubator in the UK and established a pioneering inter-company open innovation project between 14 large corporations.

He is non-executive director at 100%Open, a leading pioneer of enterprise open innovation and an advisor to the Goodlab, a JV of the UK’s top 12 charities. Occasionally, David gives lectures at Hyperisland, the Digital University. 

David has experience starting his own companies, fund raising,and angel investing. He is a founder of the Union, a successful corporate venturing club.

In his spare time, David leads a team of ex-Ford designers and engineers, working to create the next generation of advanced personal mobility vehicle for individuals with physical mobility challenges.

David is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Royal Society of Arts and the Institute of Directors.

John Rolander

Director, Financial Services

New York

LinkedIn

About

John Rolander is a Director at Marakon.  He specializes in wealth and asset management, retirement, and sales effectiveness. 

Some examples of John’s client work include:

  • designing the end-to-end digital transformation of a wealth manager
  • developing an innovative retirement planning tool for advisors and mass affluent clients
  • identifying and supporting execution of revenue growth and profit improvement initiatives for a global private bank
  • working with leaders in the wealth management business of a large US bank to increase pre-tax profits over 15% through improved price realization

Over the past three decades, John has lived and worked in New York, London, and Tokyo, working with many of the world’s leading global financial institutions.  Before joining Marakon, he was a Partner at Booz & Company, where he led the Wealth Management practice area.

John’s passions outside work include his wife and five children, yoga, and running marathons.  He holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.Div. from Harvard, and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Srini Venkateswaran

Director, Financial Services

New York

LinkedIn

About

Srini Venkateswaran is a Director at Marakon. He specializes in advising investment management and consumer finance firms on strategy, operations, M&A, and organizational effectiveness.  He has focused on fintech and digital applications for most of his career.

Representative consulting engagements include developing a money center bank’s digital strategy, designing the end-to-end transformation of a wealth manager using new technologies, benchmarking the customer experience of a discount brokerage firm, developing the business plan for an online securities lending exchange, and due diligence for M&A opportunities in credit cards and merchant acquiring. Srini has also authored white papers on digital financial services, asset and wealth management, and has been quoted in trade publications, including the Financial Times and American Banker.  

Prior to joining Marakon, Srini was a Partner and global leader of the digital financial services practice at Booz & Company.  He also founded the social network startover.com, before it quietly ceased operations during the 2008 crisis.  Srini was also a Director of Corporate Strategy at Citi Cards in New York, and served Citibank in various locations in Europe and Asia.

Srini holds an MBA in Finance & Strategy from Columbia Business School.  He resides in New York City.

Lauren Yarbrough

Director, Consumer, Health & Wellness

Chicago

LinkedIn

About

Lauren Yarbrough has over 15 years’ experience in strategic advisory with deep expertise in customer insight and customer-centric strategy development.

Lauren has advised a wide range of branded consumer goods companies, as well as regional and global retailers, helping them develop actionable consumer/customer insight, tightly linked to economics, to drive both growth and productivity improvements.

More recently, Lauren has focused on helping companies outside the traditional B2C space to embed customer-centric tools and capabilities to unlock profitable growth. This includes industrials with distribution /dealer networks (B2B2C), financial services, and education.

Lauren has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

About

Anish Shah is a Principal at Marakon. He focuses on strategy and operating model work at wealth and asset management firms. Before joining Marakon, he held multiple leadership roles at E*TRADE Financial

As Head of Customer Engagement at E*TRADE, Anish led acquisition, cross-sell and retention efforts for existing customers. Further, he led the customer experience function for the firm, focused on improving digital and live customer experience across critical touch-points

Before heading Customer Engagement, Anish was COO and Head of Transformation for the Retirement, Investing & Savings and Asia-Pacific businesses. Additionally, he led several cross-functional efforts, including redefining the Financial Consultant role, introducing the role of Client Development Associates, and developing a value and potential driven segmentation of E*TRADE’s customer base

Prior to joining E*TRADE, Anish was a Principal in the Financial Services practice at Booz & Company (now Strategy& PwC), with a focus on Wealth Management and Capital Markets

Anish holds an MBA in Strategy and Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business; an MS in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA; and a BS in Engineering from Delhi University.

About

Tyler Smith is a Principal in Marakon’s Banking practice.  He has nearly 20 years of experience in financial services, leading strategy development, M&A, and restructuring internationally and across business lines for global financial institutions.

Prior to Marakon, Tyler was an MD and Management Committee member of the Capital Resolution division at the Royal Bank of Scotland in London, heading strategy and analytics for three industry leading restructurings involving the exit of £350bn assets and downsizing the global network by ~35 countries to transform capital and operational efficiency.  He also served as Head of Strategy and Executive Committee member of a £20bn asset / 300 branch private equity-sponsored UK challenger bank, developing a stand-alone competitive strategy and shaping its financial profile for a viable spin-off.  

Tyler’s earlier experience spanned organic and inorganic strategy development and execution for ABN AMRO in Chicago and Amsterdam, including in Corporate Development at ABN AMRO during its break-up.  He began his career as a relationship manager in private and commercial banking at JPMorgan and LaSalle Bank in Chicago.

About

Click Here to views Todd's profile at Heidrick & Struggles

About

 

Click here to view Ryan's profile at Heidrick & Struggles

About

Roland Foxcroft is an Associate Principal in Marakon’s London office with over 8 years’ experience in strategy advisory across Europe, North America and Asia.

Roland has supported senior executives at group, business unit and functional leadership levels as they define and shape their corporate portfolios; launch new businesses and accelerate the organic growth of existing ones; design and execute transactions and alliances; and enhance their operational performance. He has worked with clients across the consumer goods, healthcare and financial services sectors for both major listed and private equity owned clients.

Roland has previously published articles on building new commercial models using analytics capabilities; developing digital alliances; and building stakeholders’ trust in new data-driven business models. He led a programme to build an innovative cross-sector healthcare transformation alliance that was selected as finalist for the prestigious Prix Galien UK prize.

Prior to joining Marakon, Roland worked at Barclays Wealth and at Monitor Group.

About

Sussy is an Associate Principal in Marakon’s Chicago office. Prior, she also worked at Marakon’s New York office. Sussy has worked with senior clients across a wide range of engagements, including corporate and BU strategy development, salesforce effectiveness, and new product launch strategy.

Some of Sussy’s most interesting engagements include developing a salesforce expansion plan and predictive analytics capabilities for a wealth management company in Canada. Additionally, her experience also spans across on a few international strategy projects in Russia and China.

 

About

 

Keith is an Associate Principal in Marakon’s Chicago office.

He has advised senior executives on topics including resource allocation, portfolio shape, vertical integration, channel strategy, and strategic pricing. Keith has experience across industrials, financial services, and consumer products.

Recently, Keith has led engagements including evaluating M&A opportunities for a board-level strategy review, helping a diversified manufacturer prioritize its capital budget across business units and assets, and identifying growth opportunities for a Canadian asset manager.

 

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From start to finish Marakon is personally invested in the partnership and relentlessly pursues the right answers and optimal outcomes. From Marakon you will get robust and leading strategic thinking, and a roadmap to implementation. They have set themselves apart within their industry, and we are a better company for having partnered with them.

Philip Yuzpe, President and COO - Sentry Investments

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Marakon applied a disciplined approach to help us navigate our complex questions. They employ a good blend of classic strategy approaches, advanced analytics and a much welcomed sense of pragmatism.

Head of Strategy - Large online brokerage

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The partnership is unparalleled. Marakon helped us to develop the right strategic priorities and build-out the capabilities to deliver against them. In that way we were able to create significant value in the business in a relatively short time — disciplined value creation.

Bridgette Heller – Former EVP and President of Merck Consumer Care

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Marakon’s strategic thinking, organisational insights and personal dedication to our success is the best I have experienced in the strategy space.

CEO - Aviva UK

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A consultancy that has advised some of the world’s most consistently successful companies.

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An absolutely top notch consultancy, among the half-dozen firms that form the elite in strategy consulting.

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