Katzenbach Partners

  www.katzenbach.com
  www.katzenbach.com

Katzenbach Partners Reviews

Updated October 31, 2014
Updated October 31, 2014
11 Reviews
3.1
11 Reviews
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Katzenbach Partners Managing Partner and Founder Niko Canner
Niko Canner
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Smart people working on important business challenges...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at Katzenbach Partners full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people. 75% of the partners were hyper-smart and all of them were talented, very good compensation. Work-life balance was probably quite good for a top consulting shop. Good company values.

    Cons

    The negatives of this firm were generic to consulting...it's hard to just advise when you really care about client success; lots of travel; long hours; "emergencies", etc..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A as KPL was bought by Booz & Co.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Very focused on people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engagement Manager
    Former Employee - Engagement Manager

    I worked at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    - all internal resources built around you as a consultant, sometimes to a fault
    - until recently no up or out model
    - no offices

    Cons

    - too few rainmakers; principals can't sell
    - little attention to project economics
    - sometimes bend over too far backwards for clients

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - bring senior people on as partners
    - don't give away the project by extending jobs without more fees
    - hold people more accountable for underperformance

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Blundering firm with blundering partners

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal
    Former Employee - Principal

    I worked at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    this is a great place for junior consultants, students fresh out of undergrad programs. At higher levels promotions to principal level is quite questionable, external hiring is quite random as well. Some partners are good at what they do

    Cons

    Very territorial whereas one would expect a small firm to be more cohesive. most partners could not survive in larger tier 1 strategy firms. everyone works a level or two below their official title - most times!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    its one thing to talk about empathy and informal networks and quite another putting it in practice. most of the firm is pretty much on different pages, with some offices reading different books altogether. Boy has Booz inherited a mess

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A very difficult economy will test this firm's adaptability

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate

    I have been working at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    Small, intimate firm environment. Leadership will adjust on some levels to the needs of their people. Firm tries to be transparent as much as possible - good learning experience. Quirky, extremely intelligent people. Generally "nice" or thoughtful people. Core competencies often focus on "nice" things like empathy, pride, leadership, communication. A valiant attempt to merge the "soft" organizational focus with a "hard" quantitative and/or strategic capability. Because our firm is "different", many of our projects seem or feel slightly "different" - not just blindly applying frameworks, so lots of flexibility in problem solving and the consulting experience. Firm members work "nicely" with clients and clients tend to like us as people. Lots of development-focused feedback on performance. Staffing team is also a champion for your personal development. Entrepreneurial spirit still exists to some extent - there is freedom to participate in "extracurriculars". It is a challenging job in an extremely uncertain time.

    Cons

    Somewhat uncertain firm value proposition and strategy in terms of the type of work we want to provide. Partnership has tried to define what they want the firm to be, but it seems to be a continuous problem. A bit of a rift in the firm in culture, strategy, and working style, starting at the partnership level. Smaller firm means a less secure pipeline of work in an uncertain economy. Uncertainty yields discomfort in the ranks in terms of job security and opportunities at the firm going forward. Smaller firm also means there is a very strong "informal network" of gossip and info flow (and political positioning to some extent). Not a great example of how to create work life balance norms. Since every project feels so important to the future of the firm, there is not much impetus to create work life balance. People just dive in and try to over-deliver. In a cost cutting time, "one firm" ideal goes to the wayside as geographies isolate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to work to define what we want to be as a firm - there is work being done on this, but it needs to be a definitive tack. Strengthen formal business systems to avoid lavishness and lack of control that helped to create a difficult financial situation in 2008. Partnership did a good job of adjusting communications and increasing transparency. In late 2008, the firm was a firestorm of gossip because partners did not communicate consistently or clearly. Since then, they have learned that firm members are discontented and have tried to provide more intimate, honest, and open forums for communication, which has worked well for many employees. Make a decision quickly about how the firm plans to survive what seems like a difficult period of years ahead. Support satellite offices with senior leadership and tailored communications so they don't feel abandoned (there has also been an effort on this front).

    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Poor capability in adapting the firm strategy and improving the firms performance during tough times.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Poor Place for "Top Tier" MBA's - Stay Away in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Poor Place for "Top Tier" MBA's - Stay Away in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    The relative small size of the firm allows people to take on additional roles and responsibilities earlier than you would see at most firms. The transparency provided during firm wide calls does give individuals a good sense of the performance of the firm as well as what the future opportunities and changes are. Certain senior partners are extremely talented and the flat structure of the organization does allow for interaction and dialog between junior members and senior leadership. Most of the people are smart along some development and are fun to go have a drink with. the recruiting function is extremely well organized and has done a good job building the brand even if the equity isn't there.

    Cons

    Poor ability to leverage MBA's and people that have significant past work experience, reluctance to answer the tough questions and truly work on the most compelling issues for clients. Much of the work is still seen as discretionary by most clients. Too many young managers, that do not have fundamental business skills provided in most MBA programs, the lack of work experience also shows in many of their capabilities to manage teams and grow client relationships. Severe group thing exist when understanding how the firm is performing and how bad the problems are. The firm continues to be dominated by the New York office even though the office is only driving 1/3 of the firms revenue and 2/3 of the consultants. Offices like Texas should be given more power given the revenue they are driving. The focus of New York on only org based work is slowly killing the firm. Poor brand equity, most people will not know who it is until you mention the McKinsey link. Poor pay comparison from the manager level upward expect to take home 70%-80% of what you would take home at (BCG, McKinsey,Bain) the entry salary is a gimmick to entice top tier talent. There is not an active Alumni network to help place people when Up or Out occurs, most Alums want nothing to do with the firm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look for strategic partners to drive future growth, and growth at the next level. the current model is not scalable above 300 consultants given the amount of new entrants entering the space. The platform needs to be diversified geographically and from a work and sector standpoint. Selling to a strategic buyer could be advantageous. More analytical resources should be hired to improve the firms capability to serve clients.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    MBAs stay away!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Houston, TX

    I worked at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    It's a job in management consulting

    Cons

    Poor culture and little to no opportunity for learning, talented people leave within 1 year, work-life balance much worse than other firms with 80+ hr weeks typical, MBA-level skills not valued, too many 24-27 year olds with little business experience in senior positions of leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to retain MBAs--business capabilities not there for people who came in through undergraduate channels

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great firm for undergraduates who want to launch a career and get compensated well.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    Great people and projects with companies that are more befitting more established consulting firms. Very entrepreneurial and creative culture that is very collaborative. Allows its consultants to take leaves of absences which helps them build experiences outside of consulting. Pay is very competitive at the lower levels....in fact, junior consultants are treated very, very well financially.

    Cons

    Very little brand name recognition outside of undergraduate recruiting. Most people will never have heard of Katzenbach including recruiters, so if you ever want to pursue a career outside of consulting, you are on your own. Staffing can sometimes feel a little haphazard to some. There is wide variance in the quality of project managers from a problem solving and people management perspective.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to figure out the attrition issue. Too many great consultants leave the firm.

    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great place if you're a "fit"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    - culture
    - people
    - benefits

    Cons

    - exigencies of client demands
    - uneven middle managememt

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - improve middle/project management
    - reduce politics

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Excellent experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    Wonderful people
    Strong commitment to client impact

    Cons

    Business challenges must be addressed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on business challenges

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Not the best place - analysts empowered but dangerous (no real world/business skills)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate
    Former Employee - Senior Associate

    I worked at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    This is a great place for someone fresh out undergraduate program. It will teach you a lot and thrust immense responsibility on your shoulders. But its not a place for experience folks or those with an MBA

    Cons

    not rigorous in the practice. extremely stilted towards undergraduates. everyone works a level or two below their job title. managers are useless

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    there is a reason other consulting firms are successful. its not just about the icing. the cake needs to be meaningful as well. short on talent is not made up for through a one-trick informal management pony.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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