2009 Best Firms to Work For: Booz & Co. (No. 15)

Booz & Co Fresh off its split from Booz Allen Hamilton last year, Booz & Company, the commercial side of the pre-split business, certainly chose a challenging time to go it alone. Even so, the firm managed to land at No. 15 on our Best Firms to Work For ranking.

“We are honored to have been chosen as one of the Best Firms to Work For, says Cesare Mainardi, managing director of North America for Booz & Company. “This is a people business, and we believe we have a keen ability to engage not only with our clients, but with our people, as well.”

One way the firm is engaging its people is by helping them fuel their own personal growth and development. The firm, Mainardi says, works as a set of professional communities, each made up of people who aspire to be among the best in the world in their domain of focus. Employees stretch and motivate one another, and partners are able to focus intensely on developing the people who work on their teams.

That motivation translates to the work they do day in and day out. One key area in the survey where the firm excelled is The Job, which is the type of client work the consultants are doing. Mainardi says client work is the essence of the firm. “We put it front and center,” he says. “We’re making a difference for our clients and for the industries we serve, and our people are most passionate when they’ve had huge impact with clients, he says. “[Being a Best Firm to Work For] means we differentiate ourselves with clients in the way that we engage, work and collaborate with them to create a result that captures value.”

Cesare Mainardi Mainardi says Booz & Company has a real client partnership mentality. “Because our people care so much about the content of the work they do, it is only natural for us to roll up our sleeves and work alongside our clients to drive to results,” he says.

And now, more than ever, driving results is the name of the game no matter what market you’re working in. “Although the entire consulting industry has been impacted by the recession, we have been able to come together as a firm to make the right choices that will position ourselves for growth, despite the challenging environment,” Mainardi says.

Another area where the firm excelled was in the category of Leadership, which is, obviously, critical during the type of rebranding Booz & Company went through a little more than a year ago.

“We have extraordinary leaders who have come together to invent the future of Booz & Company together,” Mainardi says. “We have a ninety-year legacy of excellence, and at the same time, we have the sense of possibility that comes with just having celebrated the first anniversary of our ‘re-founding’ as Booz & Company. Leaders at all levels see the difference they can make in this next era of our evolution, and that generates excitement and commitment to our future.”

—Joe Kornik

Financial Services

A few years ago, Paul Hyde, Partner and co-leader of Booz & Company’s North American Financial Services practice, set three priorities for the practice. One was to attract great people; two was to accelerate their professional development; and third was to build a community beyond work.

Based on how the Financial Services practice area scored in the survey, it appears to be working. “I think we have made progress in all three aspects, and today we have a close knit team that does great things for our clients and also cares about each other’s collective and individual success,” he says. “Our people want to make a difference. They want to play their part in building our practice and firm.”

One way to keep the culture strong is through team-building events. During the height of the downturn, the team played paintball to blow off some steam, where Hyde guesses he was targeted for special treatment.

“I feel so privileged to be working with such a talented group of people. I’m also proud that they like working in the Financial Services team,” Hyde says. “It certainly didn’t feel that way in the heat of the paintball battle.”

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