2019 Vault Rankings
"Analysts gain significant responsibility very quickly."
"Super-smart people doing super-high-quality work."
"Challenging work, interesting projects, access to clients."
"Some projects require extensive travel."
"A lot of slide production."
Vienna, VA-based Dean & Company may be small, but the self described "value architects" pack a big punch. Since its founding in 1993 by former Mercer Management Consulting colleagues Dean Wilde and James Smist, the strategy consulting firm has realized over $20 billion in cumulative impact in added value for clients.
The firm’s clients fall into two main groups: large corporations, typically Fortune 500s, and small but high-potential businesses. For larger businesses, Dean focuses on corporate strategy, business creation, growth, M&A and business redirection. For smaller businesses, the firm helps prioritize goals to develop and implement strategies. Clients in both camps come from a number of different industries—including financial services, life sciences, private equity, telecommunications, media and entertainment, consumer products, retail management, new technology and energy.
Dean is selective about the clients it chooses to work with. The firm is the first to say it cannot solve every problem for every company. To solve problems for clients that fit the bill, Dean is also selective about the problem-solvers it hires. Accordingly, the firm's careers page is heavy on hints that the company is constantly seeking those who can bring the full package of analytical skills, business savvy, and the ability to work well in a small team to the table. Staff members have degrees that run the gamut from economics to engineering to biology, and a number of staffers have spent their entire consulting careers with the firm.
The firm helped to create the Delta Model, a management strategy philosophy developed by Dean CEO Dean Wilde and Arnoldo Hax of the MIT/Sloan School of Management, along with input from the CEOs of Siemens, Unilever and other major companies. The model revolves around the concept of "bonding," a mechanism for attracting and retaining the most profitable customers, and posits that traditional ways of competing—on price, quality or features—work, but not forever, ultimately leaving businesses prone to competitors who can imitate these product-based items of differentiation and can steal customers away. Instead, the Delta Model focuses on moving beyond product-based elements and focusing on "locking in" a customer and winning their allegiance. In 2001, Wilde, Hax and the other members of the Delta Project published The Delta Project: Discovering New Sources of Profitability in a Networked Economy, which outlined the Delta Model.
Dean has always been one to build up its professional networks. Since 1998, the firm's private equity team has worked with Lindsay Goldberg to evaluate investments for a $10 billion private equity fund. The unit has reviewed more than 700 deals since that time. Dean also works selectively with other private equity and venture capital funds when there is no potential conflict with Lindsay Goldberg.
Dean has also reached out to others to boost its profile in other industries. In 2002, a Dean & Co. team founded DC Energy, which is located at the same Vienna, VA, office. The group focuses on the competitive physical commodity markets and invests/trades using an analytical approach. In 2006, Dean & Co. developed an alliance with Corporate Value Associates, a London-based consulting firm that markets itself as a "global strategy boutique." Another affiliate Dean Ventures invests/trades in equities and securities also using an analytic approach.
8065 Leeburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
Phone: (703) 506-3900
Employer Type: Private
CEO: Dean L. Wilde II
2013 Employees (All Locations): 50
Vienna, VA (HQ)
Energy and Utilities
Media & Entertainment