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Cornerstone Research Overview

Menlo Park, CA
501 to 1000 employees
1989
Company - Private
Consulting
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year

Cornerstone Research – Why Work For Us?


Cornerstone Research is one of the nation's leading economic and financial consulting firms. We specialize in the analysis of complex financial, economic, accounting, and marketing issues that arise in litigation. Our work with prominent academic and industry experts provides clients with state-of-the-art analysis and has earned us a reputation for excellence and effectiveness. We attribute our success to a unique combination of factors:

  • Talented, analytically oriented, and highly motivated staff
  • A corporate culture that respects and celebrates the diversity of our employees
  • A dynamic work environment that fosters and supports our core values
  • Cutting-edge economic and financial research
  • Innovative approaches to solving challenging problems
  • A team-based approach to casework, emphasizing a combination of collaboration and individual initiative


Office Locations:

Boston, MA

Chicago, IL

Los Angeles, CA

Silicon Valley, CA

New York, NY

San Francisco, CA

Washington, DC

London, UK


 

 

Clients consult with Cornerstone Research on a range of projects involving numerous industries. Cornerstone Research works on high-profile cases reported on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Our clients include nearly all major securities firms, financial institutions such as hedge funds and private equity firms, top consulting and other professional services firms, leading pharmaceutical companies, major participants in energy markets, Internet and other high-technology firms, large telecommunications providers, and others. A sample of the issues on which we work includes:

  • Securities valuation involving stocks, debt instruments, and derivatives
  • Competition issues related to mergers, joint ventures and cartels, and the behavior of market-leading firms
  • Intellectual property and the commercial value of innovation and technology
  • High-profile financial institution failures, including the role of risk management and the credit crisis
  • Healthcare and pharmaceutical disputes involving topics such as reimbursement issues and the dynamics of generic drug competition
  • The impact of cost and financial accounting practices

Cornerstone Research values the professional growth of consultants and recognizes their contributions. We believe that strong skills develop best through practical experience. To support consultants in building their skill set, our orientation training program introduces them to sophisticated analytical and statistical techniques used in our casework. Following orientation and training, consultants join case teams while continuing to learn new skills. They immediately interact with senior consultants, experts, and clients for tremendous learning and development opportunities.

Cornerstone Research also invests in professional development through focused and ongoing training programs, including:

  • Annual, tenure-based training
  • Cornerstone College, which offers self-directed courses on functional and practice area skills
  • Informal Brown Bag Lunch sessions on topics such as computer skills, practice areas, cases, and experience sharing
  • Mentoring by experienced analysts and senior consultants

The analyst position at Cornerstone Research typically spans three to five years and provides a strong foundation for building careers in finance, industry, consulting, or academia. From the start analysts play a central role on client engagements and on important firmwide initiatives. Analysts work on case teams that vary in size but typically include an academic or industry expert, senior consultants, and other analysts. Within case teams analysts make important contributions during all phases of a project, from developing case strategy, to conducting analyses submitted to the court, to preparing experts for testimony.

The analytical depth of our assignments, the breadth of industry exposure, and the experience working on case teams offer outstanding preparation for analysts applying to top graduate programs in business, economics, and law. Additionally Cornerstone Research offers programs to help prepare and assist analysts in applying to graduate school. In the past seven years, nearly three-quarters of analysts who left the firm chose to pursue a graduate degree, primarily in the fields of business, law, and economics.  Over 50 percent of these analysts who chose to pursue a graduate degree in business, law, or economics attended a top-five school, and more than 75 percent attended a top-ten school in their respective fields (as ranked by U.S. News and World Report). Those who chose not to pursue a graduate degree now work in a variety of fields, including academic research, finance, marketing, and technology.

CANDIDATE PROFILES

Analysts
Cornerstone Research seeks well-rounded, enthusiastic individuals who have demonstrated excellent academic performance in challenging undergraduate programs. We encourage candidates with strong analytical backgrounds, computer skills, communication skills, and an interest in business and economics to apply.

Summer Analysts
As an introduction to the analyst position, Cornerstone Research hires a small number of summer analysts for ten to twelve weeks, generally during the year prior to graduation. The summer analyst role and qualifications closely mirror those of the analyst position. Many summer analysts choose to join Cornerstone Research after graduation.

 

Cornerstone Research provides a dynamic work environment that offers an array of opportunities for associates to develop professionally. Case teams include consultants at all levels of experience, including those who have just completed their graduate education, recent graduates from top undergraduate programs, and senior staff with many years of consulting experience. Projects involve close collaboration with clients and academic and industry experts to research cutting-edge issues in industry and academia, develop case strategy, and determine how best to communicate findings. Associates participate actively in shaping the firm’s recruiting, training, and practice development strategies, as well as organizing social and community outreach events. Over time associates take on increasing levels of responsibility for the leadership and management of case teams, client and expert relationships, and firm development efforts.

CANDIDATE PROFILES

Overview
Associates at Cornerstone Research must have the ability to apply academic research to real-world issues and present concise explanations of complex analyses. The ideal candidate will possess a strong empirical background and excellent interpersonal skills. Cornerstone Research attracts individuals who are intellectually curious and want to work on a broad range of issues at the nexus of the academic and business worlds. 

Doctoral Candidates
We seek candidates who have pursued doctoral studies in finance, economics, accounting, or marketing, and who will be graduating in the upcoming year. We also seek candidates who have graduated and have academic or relevant industry experience. Several members of our consulting team have come to the firm with prior academic experience, from junior faculty to emeritus tenured faculty, and have transitioned successfully into our business.

M.B.A. Candidates
The ideal candidate will possess a strong academic background, an analytical orientation, excellent communication skills, and an interest in thinking creatively about complex economic and financial problems. Candidates also must have the ability and desire to take on increasing levels of managerial responsibility. Industry experience in finance, accounting, consulting, and other fields requiring sophisticated data analysis is also an asset.

Summer Associates
Summer associates join us for ten to twelve weeks during the year prior to graduation from their doctoral or M.B.A. programs. Cornerstone Research designed the summer associate program to mirror the experience of a first-year associate, including case assignments as well as formal training. As we do for all associates, we try our best to match summer associates with cases of interest to them. Many summer associates become associates at Cornerstone Research upon completing their graduate studies.

Finance

Cases involving corporate finance, asset pricing, market microstructure, and other finance issues arise in a variety of contexts. We apply sophisticated, state-of-the-art financial models developed in academia to complex business problems.

For example, cases involving business valuation often require developing sophisticated discounted cash flow models. Other cases may require an extensive analysis of market efficiency, complex derivative valuation, or bond default probabilities. Market manipulation cases may require an analysis and understanding of market microstructure. Accounting restatement cases may involve an analysis of how stock prices would have responded to alternative financial statements.

Our consultants apply and refine the latest academic models using the most detailed data available. We have access to many public and proprietary data sources.

Economics

Economic analysis and analytic tools are used in many of our assignments. For example, antitrust cases require theoretical and empirical analyses of the behavior of firms and the extent to which a firm’s strategies (e.g., contracting, pricing, tying, bundling, or mergers and acquisitions) enhance or harm consumer welfare. Antitrust analyses can include analyzing firm incentives within a particular market context and devising empirical and statistical models to test and predict firm behavior. Intellectual property cases often feature an analysis of the effect of innovation and property protection on competition and profitability.

The intellectual opportunities in our research are especially rich because most cases require analysis that embodies a clear theoretical framework and properly applies econometric models, as well as a broad institutional inquiry into the structure of the industry, the relevant production processes, and the nature of competition. As a result we work with data (e.g., customer and transaction data from the client) and qualitative information from internal marketing or strategy documents, written communications, and testimony by industry participants.

Accounting

Cornerstone Research has developed a deep expertise in addressing complex accounting issues, such as analyzing capital market responses to financial information, evaluating financial reporting in the context of the relevant authoritative guidance, and providing rigorous analysis of company economics to assess executive compensation and managerial accounting issues.

Our staff includes CPAs as well as individuals with advanced degrees in accounting. Our extensive experience supporting multiple experts on a range of issues enables us to provide effective analyses in accounting-related litigation.

Marketing

Cases at Cornerstone Research often involve complex issues in marketing. For example, in cases involving claims of false advertising for consumer products, we may estimate econometric models using scanner panel data. Marketing cases can also provide an opportunity to conduct original survey work, using conjoint analysis and other statistical methods to examine consumer preferences and choices. The nature of our work requires an excellent understanding of the consumer behavior literature and solid expertise in various quantitative and econometric methods used in marketing.

Cornerstone Research Reviews

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Cornerstone Research President and CEO Michael E. Burton
Michael E. Burton
29 Ratings
  • "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Private company vs. public - makes a difference. Excellent training programs and perks. Really trying to be the best place for developing people - and mostly successful. Lots of changes in last few years. Ethical and high-integrity client work.

    Cons

    Seems like it is not understood how much some people are working and others are working a lot less. Managers have too many responsibilities that are not related to client work and do not need to be done by any consultant who is busy - this stuff should be done by other people.

    Advice to Management

    Offices do things differently - it shouldn't be so hard to get things done but everyone has to check with other people and no one wants to just make a decision. Staffing teams is easier and better than it used to be in my office but still really hard with some offices that are not doing it the same way.

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Cornerstone Research Photos

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Cornerstone Research Interviews

Experience

Experience
67%
24%
9%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
73%
21%
3%
2
1
0

Difficulty

3.3
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    Two rounds of interviews. First round was a phone interview with two case studies. Second round was on-site interview with four case studies.

    Generally speaking, the case study is not easy, because you need to come up with reasonable answers (methods and economic intuitions) within a very short period of time. It's a good practice to review their online cases before the interview.

    The interviewers are very nice and smart.

    Interview Questions

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Cornerstone Research Awards & Accolades

  • Economic Consultancy Firm of the Year - USA, Acquisition International Magazine, 2014
  • Top 20 of World’s Competition Economics Practices, Global Competition Review, 2014

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