The secret to superior returns for alternative investment leaders
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California ● Information Technology ● High-Growth Startup ● Founded 2009
Mercatus is the leading SaaS provider of alternative asset and investment management solutions, helping investors maximize returns, accelerate growth, and mitigate risk. Mercatus is the only platform to systematically consolidate asset and portfolio data, automate and control financial, operational, and ESG analyses, and streamline decisions and collaboration across the entire investment lifecycle. Many of the largest alternative investors and asset owners leverage Mercatus to manage over $525B of assets and investments across 118 countries and 11 asset classes. Mercatus is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Austin, London, Rome, and India.
Departments Open for Collaboration
Growth StrategyFor your reference, we've included some sample project ideas below. We encourage educators to mix-and-match components from various departments so that the projects are cross functional in nature. In all cases, we customize the projects based on company goals and course teaching objectives.
Growth Plan and KPI Performance Assessment
- How has the business evolved over time? How does the team feel about the past, present, and future of the business?
- What key metrics does the company use to run the business and make key strategic decisions? How are these calculated? What does the company envision for the future for each metric? Does that seem to align with management expectations?
- What are some key concerns and areas of focus that the host company should consider when preparing for the future of the business?
Industry Benchmarking Assessment
- Who are the biggest competitors and how do they stack up against the company's model? Do a SWOT assessment.
- Do any companies present interesting opportunities for partnerships? What about potential mergers and acquisitions?
- Who are the key thought leaders and media outlets in the space? What are they publishing and how do they interact with companies like yours?
- Design a comprehensive industry overview report. Pay close attention to the key players, their growth trajectory, and the major regions where they find the most success.
Customer Retention & Growth
- How well does the company address customer needs from a product and service perspective? Do their customers seem happy with their purchase?
- What’s the general customer perception of the company’s brand?
- How large are the largest accounts compared to the smaller accounts? What makes the difference between these two contract-types?
- What percentage of accounts can scale to becoming 50-200% larger? Does the company seem positioned to scale?
Establish Company Goals & Projections
- Analyze the company’s growth plan. What areas of the business seem most opportunistic and/or concerning? Consider their growth plan and existing traction.
- How does the company today compare to the company months and/or years ago?
- What does the company want to look like in the future?
- What are the KPIs and how well well do they tie to your assessment of company performance in strategic areas?
- How do you think the KPIs will change as the business scales?
Product DevelopmentWe've included some sample project ideas below. We encourage users to mix-and-match components from various departments for the best cross functional project experience. In all cases, we customize the projects based on company goals and student learning objectives.
Design a New Product
- Become familiar with the company’s core competencies and current product offerings. How does the company categorize and organize their products? How do these products compare with competitors?
- Assess the company's product roadmap and goals for new product development. Who are the critical stakeholders (including internal and external)? Brainstorm and ideate product development ideas with the team. Identify the potential market opportunity and clearly define the problem. Propose 2-3 new product ideas given the company’s current product portfolio and desired goals.
- Select one product for further development. Is this a similar customer base to the company’s original product or is this product for a new market entirely? Collect user feedback on the idea and/or any prototypes/drawings.
- Develop official target audience personas for the new product. Explain why these personas are potential customers and why you feel these groups present a reasonable market opportunity. Write user stories to detail why users need the product to solve a problem or accomplish a goal.
- Create a product roadmap including assessment of time, budget, and resources required to get the product to market.
- Create a prototype of your design: the prototype could either be a drawing, digital asset, or physical mock-up.
Design New Packaging
- How is the packaging currently designed? What are the basic materials that go into the packaging? How does the packaging impact the manufacturing and distribution process? What does the packaging cost as-is? How does the packaging compare with industry peers?
- How do the current customers feel about the packaging (or unpacking) experience? What did they like about the experience? What do they feel could be improved?
- How does the company’s packaging compare to industry peers? What best practices can be adopted from similar companies to improve the unpackaging experience?
- Suggest 1-2 specific packaging improvements for the company’s product. Analyze the impact these changes would have on required materials, vendor relationships, the manufacturing and distribution process, and overall cost.
Design Product Extension
- Assess the company’s product portfolio over time.
- What products are ripe for new additions or complete reinventions?
- What product extensions can you think of with your group?
- Select one product for further assessment. Assess the potential cost, benefit, and impact of adding your proposed product extension.
Sales & Business DevelopmentFor your reference, we've included some sample project ideas below. We encourage educators to mix-and-match components from various departments so that the projects are cross functional in nature. In all cases, we customize the projects based on company goals and course teaching objectives.
Industry Sales Benchmarking Assessment
- Familiarize yourself with the company product and business model.
- Create a comprehensive list of key competitors and industry stakeholders that sell similar products and/or services. Compare your host company with competitors in the following areas: pricing, features, services, regionality, customer demographics, etc.
- Who are the biggest competitors and how do they stack up against the company's performance? What do the biggest competitors in the space tell you about the industry?
- Do any companies present interesting opportunities for partnerships?
- What additional channels can the company tap in order to scale more effectively?
Sales Process Assessment
- How has the company’s business model change over time? What has changed about the product, service, and team?
- What is the current status of the sales process within the company. Do you think this is more or less effective than previously? How does the team feel about the sales process and overall performance?
- Where does the company hope to be in 1-3-5 years from a sales perspective? How will the sales process, team, and structure need to change in order to address these changes?
- How satisfied are the current customers with the product or service?
- Craft a survey and administer customer interviews to help identify where the company can improve. Pay close attention to how the company may be able to provide additional value to existing customers.
Prioritizing Sales Initiatives
- What is the company’s sales strategy? How many different lines of business exist? Are they separated by different products and services or divisions?
- What lines if business are providing the most revenue for the company currently? How was this book of business built originally? How does the company expect for this to grow over time?
- What new sales opportunities are on the table? Is the company prioritizing this sales initiative? What do you think the potential is for this new line of business?
- Are there alternative ways to sell that the company hasn't considered? Would they be more effective? What data do you have to support your reasoning?
- How would you prioritize the sales team’s time and resources with regards to the sales plan?
Inside vs. Outside Sales Strategy Assessment
- What’s the difference between an inside and outside sales strategy? What has the company tried to-date? How effective was that process? What types of results did it yield? What resources were required? Can you measure the ROI and growth rate?
- How could you adapt the sales process to include either more inside OR outside sales tactics?
- How would you go about implementing this sales strategy? Do you think it would produce better results?
- What goals would you set for the new team over the next 3-6 months and/or 1-3 years? How would you measure success?