THE 2014 EXECUTIVE
MESIROW FINANCIAL CONSULTING
Q: Where is the firm right now?
A: Clients are increasingly seeking
a partner in business transformation,
not simply a consultant. That has
played to Cognizant’s strengths,
which combine deep technology
capabilities with extensive domain
expertise and the ability to provide
end-to-end solutions. Clients realize
they face a dual mandate. They need
to “run better” by improving the
efficiency of their existing operations,
while at the same time they must “run
different” by challenging established
models and investing in innovations
that will drive future success. They
need to partner with a firm that can
help them achieve both parts of this
The result is that we’ve had strong
growth for the sixth consecutive year,
across virtually all sectors and aspects
of our practice, and we have a full
pipeline of work that should continue
to fuel our growth. Cognizant
Business Consulting, our consulting
practice, is strongly integrated with
the rest of Cognizant, and many
Q: Where is the firm today?
A: Our firm is proud to have played
a significant role in the restructuring
of American Airlines and its recently
approved merger with US Airways.
As financial advisors to the Unsecured
Creditors Committee of AMR, we
were able to have a significant impact
on this historic merger. In addition,
we completed our work as financial
advisors to the court appointed
Examiner of Residential Capital.
Q: How would you describe your
firm’s outlook for 2014?
A: Despite a soft restructuring market,
we expect to grow. Specifically,
we are looking to grow our debtor
and middle-market restructuring
capabilities. And we expect to see
continued opportunities in our
core areas, including restructuring,
forensics, litigation support, valuation
and technology consulting services.
Q: What signs are you seeing that
suggest an increase in demand?
A: Historically low interest rates are
symptomatic of significant challenges
within the broader economy. However,
as long as interest rates remain low and
liquidity remains readily available, we
do not expect a significant increase
in bankruptcy filings. We do expect
that quantitative easing will begin to
taper in the coming year, which may
have a dramatic impact on liquidity,
significantly increasing demand for
Q: How do you see the consulting
profession evolving in 2014?
A: In the restructuring world, we are
seeing that clients and their counsel
value highly specialized, experienced
financial advisors. When the stakes
are high, they turn to the best talent
they can find.
Q: What do you see as the biggest opportunities for the firm in 2014?
A: We were fortunate to have worked
with an array of top-tier clients in
2013. We believe our work speaks
for itself and the relationships we
built over the past year will continue
to bear fruit in 2014.
Q: What are the biggest challenges?
A: Employee growth and satisfaction
is a continuing challenge. While we
continually strive to be an employer
of choice, when everyone is busy
working on client engagements, it’s
sometimes challenging to remain
focused on providing appropriate
career advancement opportunities.
One of our primary goals is to find
ways to enhance training, mentoring
and career advancement opportunities
Executive Vice-President, Consulting