Small but polished
With over 600 employees spread across six offices in the U.S.,
U.K. and India, Diamond Management & Technology Consultants is
not one of the largest players in the world of consulting.
That said, it does operate in a niche market and has an enviable
client list, having worked with the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan
Stanley, American Express, Allstate, Pfizer, Bayer, CIGNA, Kraft,
PepsiAmericas, the U.S. Department of Justice, Cadbury Schweppes,
Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland. The firm has
undergone a couple of shifts in identity and focus since its
founding in 1994. Starting out under founder Mel Bergstein as
Diamond Technology Partners, the firm also operated as
DiamondCluster International before settling on its current
identity in 2006, following the sale of one of its units.
Today's iteration works with Fortune 500 companies and covers
industry practices such as consumer packaged goods, financial
services, health care, insurance, logistics, manufacturing,
public-sector organizations, retail and distribution, travel and
transportation, and telecommunications.
Living the dot-com dream
The first of Diamond's incarnations came in 1994 when Mel
Bergstein, a former partner and 20-year veteran of Andersen
Consulting (now Accenture) set up a private company specializing in
computer solutions for blue-chip clients. Six years later, it
boasted annual revenue of $136 million and opened its first
international office in London. That same year, in September
2000, it greatly expanded its foothold in Europe by agreeing on a
$300 million merger with Barcelona-based Cluster Consulting.
The ensuing DiamondCluster, as the firm was renamed, had offices in
France, Germany, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.
Four years of sliding revenue from 2000 to 2004, as a result of
the dot-com boom going bust, added to the expense and complexities
of integrating two companies, meant this partnership was
short-lived and the firm split in August 2006. Mercer
Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) bought the company's
operations in France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and a new office in
Dubai for a mere $30 million. What was left of the firm after
the buyout was renamed Diamond Management & Technology
Consultants, the firm we know today. At the same time,
Bergstein stepped aside as CEO, clearing the way for co-founder
Adam Gutstein to take over.
Facets and settings
The firm's financial services practice has traditionally
been its biggest moneymaker, with clients including top investment
banks and credit card brands, plus other capital markets firms,
retail brokerages, asset managers, credit card issuers and
processors, payment system operators and full-service retail and
commercial banks. The practice addresses issues such as
adjustment to and assessment of new technology, information
management strategies, productivity through strategic sourcing,
profit improvement, compliance and risk management.
Diamond's insurance practice serves life, property and casualty,
reinsurance and brokerage firms. With the sector trending
toward convergence of insurance, financial services and health
care, Diamond advises insurance clients on a variety of issues
related to growth and profitability. It also addresses the
opportunities created by a growing retirement population.
Diamond's health care practice works with pharmaceutical,
biotech, device, health insurance, provider and disease management
companies on such business and technology issues as
consumer-directed health care strategy and execution, IT
optimization and value extraction, integrated business and
technology architecture, process and planning, and large
transformational program management. Marquee clients in this
segment include Pfizer, Bayer and Aetna Life Insurance.
The enterprise practice has served clients of the stature of
Kraft, Pepsi and Lowe's, and offers sales and operations planning,
pricing, transformational technology platforms and data analytics
to corporations in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, travel
and transportation, and consumer packaged goods
Finally, the firm maintains a public-sector practice, working
with U.S. local, state and federal government agencies to improve
operational efficiency, boost responsiveness and tighten up
security. One Diamond partner, for example, recently returned
to the firm after a one-year stint leading the development of the
Federal Communications Commission's National broadband
A passage to India
Although Diamond's global aspirations suffered a major
setback following the sell-off to Mercer Management, it hasn't
stopped the firm from investing in emerging markets. In 2006,
it opened the Diamond Information & Analytics Center in Mumbai,
designed to uncover areas of untapped growth and profitability for
companies. The firm also maintains an office there, opened in
2005, to serve local and international clients.
Drumming up business
As part of Diamond's efforts to keep its name in the
public sphere and in front of potential clients, the consultancy
regularly hosts events and conferences, and regularly publishes
reports and white papers, which it calls Perspectives.
Moreover, several Diamond partner and practices regularly
contribute to blogs, including the Harvard Business Review blog and
CIO.com, and Diamond experts are frequently quoted in the media on
a wide variety of business and technology issues.
Diamond also keeps its image shining brightly through its
DiamondExchange program for executives and business leaders.
The forum, whose members come through invite only, explores the
changing role of technology in business and helps member companies
exploit that change. The program includes workshops and
city-based events throughout the year.