Lessons learned in a data consulting company

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How do you go into a market and serve clients successfully? In this episode of the DATAcated on Air podcast, host Kate Strachnyi talks with David Anderson and Fred Hefer, both Managing Partners at Pomerol Partners, about the lessons they’ve learned in a data consulting company. David and Fred share their insights into starting and running a consulting company, including the highs and lows of their journey. Listen to learn from their experiences.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • The start of Pomerol Partners [04:53]
  • Pomerol’s first infrastructure setup [16:46]
  • Restructuring and new partners [20:35]
  • Retaining and attracting talent [25:41]
  • The next challenge [29:33]
  • Tips for uncertain times [42:50]
  • Next steps for Pomerol [56:48]

The start of Pomerol

Pomerol Partners evolved from some of Fred’s work with Deutsche Bank producing management information packs for his traders and distribution teams. Getting all that information out of the trading systems, moving it into Access, running queries, moving it into Excel, and finally moving it into PowerPoint format took a long time. Eventually, Fred was introduced to QlikView, which saved days in producing those reports. Then Fred could spend the rest of his time looking at the numbers and being an analyst.

Thankfully, Fred was given a budget for a developer to help create something. They went from the finance department to working closely with the teams they were supporting. During that work, they uncovered a funding opportunity cost savings of three million dollars annually. This process happened just after the financial services crisis, so no bonuses or promotions were available, and prospects were limited. That’s when they decided to start their own consulting company.

Initial infrastructure

Pomerol Partners was initially set up as a limited company in the UK when it started and won a contract with Bank of America. Over the next couple of years, the company added on a few more US clients and developed a strong US client base. So in 2016, Fred decided to go to the US and set up operations serving the underserved territories of the Midwest.

Like other growing consultancies, Pomerol had some time of split focus when it went to the US. Moving into a new territory, much of the company's focus went there as it grew. In those situations, mini silos begin to appear. These misalignments of interest can lead to massive issues. The idea of becoming a partnership was to help everyone globally have the same interest and alignment. Regardless of what territory someone was in, everyone had the same goals when it came to growth and servicing clients.

Becoming a partnership

Bringing new people into the organization caused a lot of friction in making specific deals because they had to negotiate everything on a case-by-case basis. Pomerol was looking for a mechanism to take the conflict out of that process to show people exactly what they’ll be getting if they joined. The decision to go to a partnership was made the hard way by going through a few iterations and learning through experiences.

Everyone has signed the same agreement in a partnership, and there’s no secondary person involved. At the end of the day, everyone wins or loses together. Pomerol made the transition months ago, and the cultural change within the partners in the company has been immense. David attributes Pomerol’s growth to partners being aligned without regional barriers. That alignment grows into wanting to bring in more people with the same values. It’s also a vehicle to attract the right type of talent.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with David Anderson

Connect with Fred Hefer

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