Small fish in a big pond

Small, efficient and practical are words that you might use to describe London-based consultancy Candesic.  The privately owned company is a boutique practice in every sense of the word, anchored around just fifteen experienced consultants.  This number doesn't limit its expertise, however, as the firm is able to draw on the experience of an pool of around 150 independent experts and consultants from an affiliate of companies across 21 different cities in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.  Not a bad way to cut down on your overhead, especially when times are tough economically.  Candesic only pays these consultants when it needs them, either on a part-time or full-time basis, and tries to optimize the use of its office space.

With a decade of experience, the firm specialises in health care, aerospace, defence and security, technology and telecoms and private equity, .  It also provides its services in the financial services, luxury consumer goods, energy and utilities and fine and specialty chemicals industries.


Punching above its weight 
Candesic came into being in 2002 after the dot-com bubble had well and truly burst.  Seeing the financial bleed that was occurring throughout the markets, Dr Leonid Shapiro realized, while working for McKinsey, that consultancies that could provide their services at a lower cost would ultimately benefit from the instability in the economy.  Along with a crew of other McKinsey defectors, Shapiro set about the task of creating a firm that would provide services at one-third of the cost of conventional consultancies, thus appealing to smaller companies that might not have previously considered using the services of an outside party.  Today, Candesic has two partners who worked previously for McKinsey: Shapiro, who is both a medical doctor as well as a management consultant with experience in health care and technology; and Marc Kitten who leads the firm's continental development. Candesic works with a range of companies, from small independents to the bigger hitters in the Fortune 500.

The company quickly picked up an impressive array of international clients, and after two years of operation, it expanded its services further.  The first stage of this expansion was the opening of a branch in Paris to meet the demands of Candesic's increasingly large European client base, while the second stage saw the creation of a health care due diligence unit in London, aimed at companies involved in the medical sector.  By 2007, business was doing so well that it was time once again to expand Candesic's foothold in Europe, with the firm opening its third office, this time in Madrid.


A healthy dose of consultancy

Since opening its health care due diligence unit, Candesic has become an expert in the field.  The partners work alongside several medical doctors.  The consultancy looks at investments of between €10 million and €15 billion-typically in healthcare services medical devices, later-stage biotech, and pharmaceutical spinoffs-and gives advice on acquisition strategy, European and US market entry strategy, research strategy and marketing to physicians.  

Candesic's knowledge of the aerospace & defence industry isn't to be sniffed, at either, with its consultants in this area boasting a combined working experience with half of the top-10 world players.  In addition, it works with a number of smaller private companies with international reach.


Everyone benefits
Candesic keeps costs down for its clients through its performance-based remuneration structure for consultants, in addition to only paying its affiliate experts if and when they work.  This not only benefits Candesic, but frees consultants to pick and choose jobs as they like, leading to a completely flexible working structure.  Plus, if clients aren't completely satisfied with a job, the consultants simply don't get paid.  This explains the firm's eagerness to evaluate the extent to which it feels it can help a client before agreeing to take on a project.  Candesic's partners and practice leaders oversee every potential engagement, along with a team of consultants from the relevant sectors, (both in-house and affiliate) and talk through the possible scenarios with the client.  If it is felt that the consultancy can benefit the client, then Candesic will press ahead with a proposed plan.  If not, the consultancy makes sure the process continues no further.



July 2013 

Privatisation of Plasma Resources UK

Candesic advised the UK Department of Health on the sale of its Plasma Operations. Bain Capital subsequently acquired an 80 per cent share in the blood products company for £200m, with Department of Health retaining the remainder.


April 2012 

Acquisition of Four Seasons Healthcare

Candesic advised private equity firm Terrafirma on the £825 million acquisition of the largest operator of nursing homes in the UK.  The transaction was high profile due to the previous demise of a competing operator, Southern Cross.


New cancer services in North West of England

Mater Private Hospital in Dublin was named preferred bidder to run private cancer services at a major tertiary cancer centre in the North West of England. Candesic worked with Mater executives on the formal bid.


March 2012

Creation of a new hospital in Kent

Candesic authored the Commercial and Operational Due Diligence on the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery, which raised £80m (£30 debt and £50m equity/mezzanine) in March 2012 on the basis of the market analysis and consultant commitments detailed in the report, and based on the operational benchmarking with hospital groups performed by Candesic. 


February 2012

New cancer strategy at leading London hospital

Candesic was hired by a London teaching hospital charity to advise on cancer strategy, in particular the assumptions of improved patient experience and cancer survival underpinning the business plan for a proposed new £200m cancer centre.


June 2011

New leader for the Aerospace, Defence & Security practice

After several years of collaboration, Octagon Partners, a boutique strategy consultancy, became the Aerospace, Defence & Security practice of Candesic. Antoine Gelain, founder, was named practice leader. Antoine was formerly a senior consultant at Booz & Co and a sales manager at EADS. He graduated from ESSEC Business School and holds an MBA from Harvard.



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New Zealand House
80 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4TQ
Phone: +44 (0)20 7096 7680
Fax: +44 (0)20 7206 9383


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Founder: Dr. Leonid Shapiro
  • Founder: Marc Kitten
  • 2013 Employees: 15

  • Employment Contact

    Applicants can submit their CV to


  • Major Departments & Practices

    Aerospace, Defence and Security

    Financial Services

    Health Care

    Private Equity

    Technology and Telecom

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Madrid
    Affiliate network in 21 countries

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