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Kepler Cannon

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Vault’s Verdict

Kepler Cannon offers a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment in a boutique-sized outfit. Insiders appreciate the challenging work, the opportunity for rapid responsibility and accountability, and a culture of mentorship.

In terms of compensation, while bonuses are frequently mentioned as a strong point by insiders, the base salary is perceived by some to be less competitive compared to industry standards.

Those salary concerns are offset somewhat by the pace of career development at the firm, which can be particularly rapid thanks to a merit-based progression system that sees consultants promoted when ready, rather than on a defined schedule—with the ability to increase compensation at each stage.

All told, this is a firm that will appeal to self-starters who are looking to blaze a trail in fintech consulting, and who don’t mind putting in the hours to get to where they want to be in their careers.

 

Employee Reviews

Firm Culture

  • “At Kepler, you don't get lost in the numbers like at larger firms, yet you solve the same challenging and intriguing problems with the same caliber of people.”
  • “If you want a small, innovative firm where you get a lot of exposure and a lot of responsibility very quickly, Kepler is a great place to work.”
  • “Learn how to be a prestigious, seasoned fintech consultant in a small powerhouse with highly intelligent peers.”
  • “We consistently deliver solutions that exceeds our clients' expectations, all while maintaining a positive, inclusive, and productive work environment.”
  • “We don't rely on prestige or name recognition given our size and exposure - our differentiator is our unique approach towards consulting. Kepler is a lean, innovative firm full of bright, young minds with great educational backgrounds - almost like a consulting start-up, and we're continuously winning away new work from the status-quo, more established players.”

Quality of Life

  • “Best aspects are the ability to travel to exciting locations and the flexibility afforded as to when that travel will occur. The worst aspect are sudden changes in directions from the client which need to be accounted for.”
  • “Best is the flexibility of travel requirements, with a goal of reaching in-person office hours 3 times a week, but no penalty if this is not met. The worst aspect is lack of visibility and control on staffing.”
  • “Extremely easy to take time off, travel is minimal at the moment, and there are significant efforts made to ensure that adequate work-life balance is achieved.”
  • “Hours are probably standard for consulting - it really varies from project to project and based on the type of engagement. Travel certainly isn't overburdening in any capacity - it isn't uncommon for consultants to travel to the client site once or twice for a given project, though some other projects have no travel at all. Typically trips to the client site aren't for more than 2-3 days; I haven't seen any week-over-week travel or anything like that. PTO policy is great, and it typically isn't hard to take time off; managers will generally allow it unless it's at a particularly bad time.”
  • “Really tough hours on some projects, project pipeline has really picked up with no room for more staff hiring.”

Career Development

  • “Almost no formal training as I was thrown right into a project. Upside is informal connections.”
  • “Best aspects: control over work direction and degree of challenge; clear playbook template laying out expectations and requirements for promotions, etc.
    Worst aspects: expectation for being proactive to receive external training courses; supported/funded by firm but not proactively 'pushed' upon consultants/managers unless they ask.”
  • “Given the mentorship program at the firm, mentors and mentees establish strong connections in order to facilitate goal-driven development. Mentors will often find additional opportunities for mentees to reach these development goals (the best aspect of the personalized development journey), though the worst aspect of this is sometimes it can be difficult to say no due to bandwidth constraints.”
  • “Project type can be very varied. High levels of responsibility within the firm.
    Promotions can sometimes be slow.”
  • “Small firm does not have as many resources for training but has more personal connections between different levels of employees.”

Compensation

  • “Below competitive starting salary at other top consulting firms in NYC.”
  • “Bonus opportunity is amazing, whereas the base salary is slightly less than competing firms.”
  • “Compensation is fair and aligned to performance at work. There are no downsides from my perspective.”
  • “The competitiveness of the firm's compensation comes in the form of bonus usually.”
  • “Worst is no 401(k) matching and being paid below market.”

Community Engagement

  • “Dedicated DEI program with social events and information session for employees; very proactive.”
  • “Firm is very adamant about having a gender-diverse office, and for the size of the firm, diversity is very good - we've definitely had a lot of LGB employees. All consultants absolutely have equal access.”
  • “Initiatives:
    - Monthly DEI Lunch & Learns to educate staff on pressing matters
    - Dedicated DEI Pod to spearhead diversity initiatives
    - Minority-owned business”
  • “There is a specific pod dedicated to DE&I efforts and we have Friday lunch and learn sessions dedicated to new DE&I initiatives a few times per quarter.”
  • “We have resources who as part of their day-to-day duties are responsible for DE&I efforts at the firm.”

Business Outlook

  • “Best: small and nimble; can navigate market trends easily with ~-100 people
    Worst: high-effort required to run the above strategy; however, it's recession-proof (e.g., can switch everyone to cost savings projects easily).”
  • “Financial services is a great space to be in, as it's one of the hubs of innovation at the moment, which always makes the work exciting. I would say that Kepler seems to be faring far better in terms of the engagement pipeline right now than the consulting industry in general, based off of what I hear from peers and from the news.”
  • “Kepler's client base is diversified and normally not lacking for projects. This creates the downside is that there are period with limited downtime between projects.”
  • “The firm is consistently outcompeting legacy consulting players (McKinsey, BCG), and we are well positioned to grow as a company.”
  • “We are uniquely positioned as a small powerhouse that gets things done for financial services firms.”

Hiring Process

  • “Interview process:
    - 3, 30 minute rounds with Keplerites of increasing seniority
    - Callback or rejection notice received in < 1 week
    - End-to-end process takes 2-4 weeks on average.”
  • “The ideal candidate exceeds not only academically, but also in terms of EQ and fits with the company values and environment.”
  • “Typically, the first round is a phone call with a consultant who asks a simple market sizing question, and then 2-3 rounds of fit and case interviews with principals or partners. It's hard to say what the ideal candidate looks like aside from hard workers who tend to be very personable - it's a small firm, so the social component / airport test piece definitely makes an impact.”
  • “We are seeking top performers from Ivy league schools with some interest and experience in finance and economics.”
  • “We look for smart, motivated, outgoing individuals who are able to quickly integrate into the Kepler and client environments.”

Interview Questions

  • “Typical case questions imitate those most commonly seen in the consulting industry.”
  • “We focus on cultural fit and career interests to ensure alignment with the firm's goals.”
  • “You have a client who is a payment processor who is struggling to adapt to lower payments volume during COVID--how would you approach this problem?”
Kepler Cannon

90 Broad Street
20th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Phone: (646) 480-9274

Firm Stats

Senior Partner: Sonny Ajmani
Managing Director: Lisa Caldwell

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
Guruguam, India

Major Departments & Practices

  • Fintech
  • Banking and Payments
  • Private Equity
  • Insurance
  • Asset and Wealth Management