Haas in New York City and Boston: Haas Alumni Make
Peter Kontes, MBA 74
Chairman Emeritus & Co-Founder
Peter Kontes first learned about business by hanging
around his family's glassware company, which produced
instruments for every science lab in the world. Focusing
on finance at Berkeley, Kontes developed the seeds of
a methodology for helping organizations conduct more
rigorous decision-making. Putting his ideas to work
as a VP in corporate finance at Wells Fargo, he later
went on to co-found Marakon Associates, which has carved
something of a niche for itself in the consultancy world.
"We help clients look at their companies as 'portfolios'
of businesses," he explains. "That means they determine
where the value is and allocate resources accordingly,
the way an investor would." The method has worked: the
New York-based firm now boasts 300 employees and 5 international
After spending 14 years in California, Kontes moved
back east in 1984 when he realized he was flying out
frequently to handle business for his new firm. "There's
greater demand for consulting east of the Mississippi,"
he says. What's more, Marakon's unique methodology appeals
particularly to the large, more established corporations
that tend to cluster along the Atlantic.
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