Mark Kolakowski

Mark Kolakowski


Mark Kolakowski has had a long multidisciplinary career. His higher education includes an A.B. magna cum laude in economics from Harvard and an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

At AT&T, he developed a comprehensive system of econometric models to forecast the impact of the 1984 Bell System breakup on telecom equipment sales. He later worked in project analysis.

At Touche Ross, which later merged with Deloitte, he was a management consultant with engagements in mutual fund accounting, systems design and implementation, bank operations, retailing, forensic accounting and merger analysis.

During a 14-year career at Merrill Lynch, Mark had a number of roles and responsibilities in the financial organization. These included: the estimation and implementation of new transfer pricing methodologies to enhance management reporting, profitability analysis (at product, client segment and individual client levels), business forecasting, product pricing, IT liaison and the design of sales force compensation schemes.  As controller and chief of staff for the high net worth client marketing department, he also led efforts in market research and data mining.

Since 2001, Mark has been self-employed as a consultant, first to JPMorgan Chase and since then to an Internet entrepreneur.  His book Career Confidential: An Insider’s Guide to Business uses case studies from his own experiences as lessons in career management, corporate culture and organizational politics. He has edited books in both fiction and nonfiction genres, as well as academic papers in economics. From 2008 to 2016 he was the Financial Careers Expert for




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  1. Investing

    Harvard's Luster Is Tarnished by Rate Swaps

    Harvard is among scores of colleges and universities spaying the price for investing in interest-rate swaps that imploded ...
  2. Investing Strategy

    Fading Bull: Why the Private Equity Boom Is Over

    Private equity funds that once gushed fat profits now face leaner times, prompting big investors to reassess their allocations ...
  3. Stocks

    A Trump Victory Would Fuel Defense Stocks (GD, RTN, LLL)

    A Trump White House's focus on bolstering America's defense could lead to tens of billions in added spending, bolstering ...
  4. Laws & Regulations

    Will the “Nickel Tick” Help or Hurt Investors? (SCA, RATE)

    With SEC approval, up to 1,200 U.S. stocks will now have their prices quoted in increments of 5 cents, rather than 1 cent. ...
  5. Investing

    Why China Stocks Are Banned From Global Indices

    FTSE Russell, a leading provider of global market indices, has joined MSCI in barring Chinese stocks from inclusion until ...
  6. Company Insights

    Why JPMorgan's Boss Wants to Save Italy's Big Banks (JPM)

    The question is how much Dimon can deepen JPMorgan's ties with Italy's troubled banks without risking large losses
  7. Investing

    Fracking Meltdown: Funds Seek Investor Bailouts

    Profit sunset: private equity funds in the fracking sector are asking investors to fork over millions of dollars in new money ...
  8. Markets & Economy

    Greenspan Fires a Salvo at Dodd-Frank Reforms

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, saying that it has not ...
  9. Markets & Economy

    How the Fed Profits From Bolstering the Economy

    Central Banks including the U.S. Federal Reserve are making rich profits from stimulative measures such as Quantitative Easing ...
  10. ETFs

    It's Goldman vs. JPMorgan in ETF Battle (GS, JPM)

    Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are battling for supremacy in the $3 trillion market for exchange traded ...
  11. Personal Finance

    7 Employee Benefit Plan Best Practices (BAC)

    Merrill Lynch offers seven best practices for increasing participation in and contributions to savings-oriented employee ...
  12. Managing Wealth

    Morgan Stanley's New Identity Theft Protection (MS)

    Morgan Stanley now offers identity theft protection to high net worth clients, pursuant to a poll in which they cited this ...
  13. Investing Strategy

    Top-down vs. Bottom-up

    Top-down and bottom-up methods are alternative approaches to solving a wide variety of analytic problems in business, finance ...
  14. Asset Allocation

    Return on Brokerage Client Assets: A Look at Morgan Stanley

    Revenues and profits in securities brokerage and wealth management are driven by the return on client's assets. We explain ...
  15. Stocks

    Stock and Flow Variables Explained: A Closer Look at Apple

    The difference between stock and flow variables is an essential concept in finance and economics. We illustrate with financial ...
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