As a specialist in governance, risk, compliance and restructurings, Ankura Consulting Group often works with private equity firms. The firm has plenty to offer private equity, especially in certain challenged sectors, according to Kevin Lavin, co-president.
“There’s restructuring work that has to be done in sectors such as natural gas, retail, shipping, mining, and parts of healthcare,” he said. “For the private equity firms that have those kinds of companies, there’s a need for strategic advice. With that comes valuation work.”
Ankura Consulting finds itself in a quick growth mode after receiving a $100 million commitment from Madison Dearborn Partners in March to fund its continued development.
All this adds up to a busy year for Lavin, 54, who’s continuing the hiring and expansion phase for Ankura Consulting from his office in New York City.
He’s looking for talent to join the firm for some of the same reasons he chose Ankura. “I want to be where I can do challenging work, where I can make a decent buck and where it’s fun, which I define as working with good people that I can trust,” Lavin said in a phone interview. “That’s our view. We want to recruit people that believe the same thing.”
Lavin started at the Washington firm in January after more than 12 years at FTI Consulting, where he was global co-leader of its corporate finance and restructuring practice, managing more than 1,000 people and $400 million in revenue.
Prior to Ankura, Lavin spent about a year as emergency manager of Atlantic City via an appointment by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Lavin hopes to bring his Atlantic City experience to bear on other municipalities around the U.S. facing financial challenges.
Launched as a firm in 2014 by founder and CEO Roger Carlile, Ankura Consulting now employs about 135 people. Lavin works alongside co-President Philip Daddona.
Lavin said it wouldn’t surprise him if Ankura employs as many as 500 people in the next three or four years as it considers enhancing its offerings in turnaround restructuring, forensic accounting, valuations, and geopolitical risk.
“We’re not looking to be everything,” he said. “We don’t want to be known just as a commodity consulting firm. We want to be really good at any field we’re in.”
Ankura also offers business intelligence in markets outside the U.S. For example, Michelle DiGruttolo, hired by the firm last year to lead its geopolitical consulting practice, provided daily briefings to President Barack Obama while she worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
With the hiring that Ankura Consulting has already done, it’s seeing more job candidates and prospective clients reaching out to contact the firm, he said.
Photo of Kevin Lavin courtesy of Ankura Consulting.