The 2016 Seven Small Jewels: AArete

AArete_LorenTrimbleLoren Trimble, Co-Founder, President & Managing Director of AArete, worked at Arthur Andersen for 16 years and then was one of the co-founders of Huron Consulting Group. In 2008, Trimble says he saw an opportunity in the future of Big Data and Analytics and a coming together of the provider and the payer space in healthcare so he split off from Huron and launched AArete.

“We took the wonderful things we learned from Andersen and the wonderful things that we learned from Huron and we set out to build AArete to last,” Trimble says. “We wanted to do things better than what we’ve seen in the past. We felt like there was a gap in what firms were offering and what clients needed. We felt like they needed to react faster in the marketplace than what the big firms were able to do. So we set out to bring that solution to the market, and I think we did.”

And the numbers back it up. AArete was named one of Consulting magazine’s Fastest Growing Firms last year with a three-year growth rate of 25 percent. The firm upped the ante in 2015 and accelerated its growth to 58 percent. This year, Trimble is forecasting 28 percent growth.

“I believe that we’ve built the foundation to have very strong growth here for several years. I wouldn’t say we’ll be able to keep up 50 or 60 percent growth because that’s hard to maintain,” he says. “It’ll probably be more like 25 percent.”

Trimble says in early 2014 the firm put a five-year plan in place to be a $50 million firm by 2018. Assuming the firm maintains modest 25 percent growth, it will hit that number. “We’re ahead of schedule and we’re actually redoing the five-year plan that will take us out to 2020. But my expectation is that we’ll have made a few acquisitions, some group hires and have some new offices in the U.S. and even an international location by 2017 or 2018.”

The name AArete came from the Greek “Arete,” which means “excellence, goodness and virtue” where each person tries to reach their optimal human potential. The second A was added for Andersen alumni, Trimble says. That focus on people reaching their full potential ripples through everything the firm does, including its exceptional and sustained growth.

“People need to see growth and people need to see opportunities,” Trimble says. “We want employees for their careers,

and that’s not easy: One, you have to be committed to invest in them; and two, they need opportunities that will continue to satisfy them throughout their entire career.”

An absolute key, he says, is to be able to recruit, but more importantly develop and retain AArete’s people. “A lot of business is based on trust and the relationships, and we have people here that clients respect and want to work with to improve,” Trimble says. “And we deliver.”

How they deliver, Trimble says, is by bringing more experienced leaders to the table at all points of the process as well as extraordinary expertise, highlighted by a Knowledge Management Center, an internal intellectual property repository rich with benchmarking data and industry focused studies.

“We also guarantee our work,” he says. “We accomplish whatever we say we’re going to do—generally, that’s either improving profits or saving money. That’s a big deal. And clients know it.”


Headquarters: Chicago

Additional Offices: New York, Los Angeles

Service Lines: Financial Consulting

Client Industries: Healthcare, Financial Services

Billable Consultants:
2014: 61
2015: 89
2016: 125 (projected)

Revenue (in millions):
2014: $15.8
2015: $25
2016: $32 (projected)

Service Line: