2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Colleagues who are supportive and understanding of individuals working within the firm and interacting with it.”
“I enjoy the subject matter of our analysis and the clients we work with.”
“The amount of knowledge that I have gathered in such a short time and the feeling of improvement in my work as time goes by.”
“Sometimes internal processes, but COO got hired to fix them.”
“The unpredictable hours.”
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 a pool of around 150 independent experts and consultants from affiliate companies across 18 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 additional 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 education, financial services, food, 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 more economically than conventional top 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. In 2017, Candesic opened representation offices in Milan and Frankfurt.
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 technologies, later-stage biotech, and pharmaceutical spinoffs-and gives advice on acquisition strategy, European and U.S. market entry strategy, research strategy and marketing to physicians. In 2017, for the second time in three years, Candesic was awarded "strategy consultancy of the year" by HealthInvestor. In 2018, the firm was awarded both Real Deals’ “commercial due diligence provider of the year” and LaingBuisson’s Management Consultant of the year. In 2020, for the second time, Candesic won HealthInvestor’s “Consultants of the year - Transactional”.
While the main vertical is healthcare, Candesic operates in most areas of technology across many sectors. In particular, 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.
Candesic keeps costs down for its clients through its performance-based remuneration structure for its most senior consultants, in addition to only paying its affiliate experts if and when they work. This not only benefits Candesic, but frees those 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 affiliated experts) 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.
New Zealand House
London SW1Y 4TQ
Phone: +44 (0)20 7096 7680
Employer Type: Private
Founder & Partner: Dr. Leonid Shapiro
Founder & Partner: Marc Kitten
Partner: Dr. Michelle Tempest
2020 Employees (All Locations): 30
Affiliate network in 15 countries
Aerospace, Defence and Security
Technology and Telecom