Gary Mandelblatt, NextGen Strategic Advisors

Gary Mandelblatt

A Trusted Advisor

Editors’ Note

Gary Mandelblatt is a Managing Partner at NextGen Strategic Advisors with 33 years of experience working with financial institutions in managing market, credit and operational risks, managing regulatory relations, implementing regulatory requirements, defining strategies and building businesses. Mandelblatt was the Chief Risk Officer for Nomura Americas and Chairman of Nomura’s Global Dodd-Frank Implementation program. Prior to Nomura, he was a Managing Director at the Lehman Brothers Estate after having served as the Global Head of Fixed Income Strategy at Lehman Brothers. Before joining Lehman, Mandelblatt was Managing Director at Smith Barney, Salomon Smith Barney and Citigroup. He was also a consultant with Coopers & Lybrand and First Manhattan Consulting Group.

Company Brief

NextGen Strategic Advisors (nextgensa.com) provides clients with demonstrated financial services industry experience, deep expertise in strategy, governance, risk management, regulatory implementations, IT and operations issues, and proven insight into their biggest challenges and greatest opportunities. NextGen Strategic Advisors’ mission is to assist financial services industry clients to thrive in the post-2008 crisis, next generation regulatory environment.

What was the vision for creating NextGen Strategic Advisors (NGSA) and how do you differentiate the company from its competitors?

We created our company to provide our clients with executive management level experience, expertise and insight based upon the partners’ collective experience in the financial services industry as both C-Suite managers and senior level management consultants. Our primary objective and key differentiator is that the NGSA partners are always highly engaged in the client projects.

The partners are truly in this business to work with our clients. We have all seen and hired other firms where the partners sell the project and then evaporate. Each of our partners are committed to ensuring that we deliver our best work to the client every day. We only bring in our junior staff to leverage the partner efforts, not to inflate projects. We know from our experience that our approach is working and is effective. Our clients have been telling us that we deliver significantly more value at lower costs than our competition.

We also provide pragmatic, real world recommendations and actionable solutions. Our staff is highly experienced with more years of experience at each level than our competitors. In addition, we work to right-size staffing to meet our client’s objectives and provide a compelling alternative to large, highly-leveraged consulting firms.

Will you provide an overview of the services and solutions that NextGen Strategic Advisors offers?

NGSA only provides services directly consistent with the partners’ areas of expertise and experience. We provide management consulting services to financial institutions in business strategy development, regulatory compliance, risk management implementations, operations efficiency, technology design and expense reduction.

Where so you see the greatest growth opportunities for NextGen Strategic Advisors?

Over the long-term, our experience with our clients shows that our greatest opportunities will come from C-Suite and Senior Managers who have worked with us and who, based upon the quality of our work, ask us to solve or address their most pressing problems. We have had very positive experiences with our clients starting with one project and then watching the engagement grow to address numerous complex topics. While we have a long list of services and solutions, for the most part we see these specific services as a way to prove our value and to position the firm as the trusted advisor with senior management. This positions NextGen to expand our services to our clients because they know that we will deliver thorough pragmatic solutions to the most complex and difficult issues that need to be resolved.

In the short-term, NextGen has a strategic advantage in working with firms to implement the Securities and Exchange Commission’s upcoming security-based swap dealer requirements. After the 2008 crisis, Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act was designed to enhance the regulatory oversight of derivatives trading. The SEC has indicated that it will finalize its rule set in the coming months. NextGen is the only consulting firm that has worked with a G-SIB client to prepare to implement the SEC requirements. NextGen has broken down the SEC’s 2,535 final and proposed rules and developed an implementation plan for every single rule. We can help our clients implement these rules efficiently and cost effectively. In the process, we will work our hardest to build our relationships with our clients to position us to provide solutions to their most pressing issues.

How do you define the target market for NextGen Strategic Advisors?

The target market for NextGen includes the largest U.S. banks and U.S.-based foreign banks. Our partners have extensive experience working with the largest commercial banks, investment banks and capital markets firms.

How important has it been to build the team at NextGen Strategic Advisors and what do you look for when bringing in talent?

In consulting, the single most critical key to success is our people. My partners each have more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Doug Butler ran IBM’s Global Financial Services Consulting Practice and Willem van Rijn was a Senior Partner at PwC. They are the best consultants I have ever met. As a team, we strive to hire only very highly experienced, extremely knowledgeable and personable individuals that can deliver insights and solutions to our clients.

What has made the partnership with your co-founders work so well and how do you each focus your efforts in the business?

The strength of our partnership is based upon the complete respect we have in each other’s expertise and capabilities, the trust we have in each other and our mutual desires to build a successful management consulting firm. Willem is the best business strategist I have ever worked with and Doug’s expertise in systems and operations is highly respected in the industry as indicated by the senior management roles he played at IBM. My expertise is in risk management, regulatory, and financial institution strategy. Our core skills are highly complementary, and our expertise combines to provide the full suite of services needed to compete at the largest banks.