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




  1. Investing

    Private Equity: Why Smaller is Better (APO, CG)

    Caesars Entertainment. Big private equity firms are now hunting smaller, less risky deals and hold more than $200 billion ...
  2. Stocks

    Why Are Stocks Falling Despite Good News? (GE, BHI)

    Despite generally positive corporate earnings reports, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been down for three straight ...
  3. Company Insights

    Is Airbnb’s Growth Hitting a Brick Wall?

    Airbnb rental: The spectacular growth of the home sharing website, valued at $30 billion, is threatened by restrictions in ...
  4. Investing Strategy

    What's the Next Big Thing for Venture Capital? (GOOG, FB)

    Flush with a huge inflow of funds, venture capital firms are cautious about what startups to back. What new technologies ...
  5. Stocks

    IPOs Are on the Rebound (COUP, NTNX)

    The U.S. IPO market is showing signs of life, especially in the tech sector. Post-offering prices are soaring
  6. Markets & Economy

    America's Startups Crisis: It's Hurting the Economy

    The declining number of startups is a major drag on the U.S. economy and employment
  7. Investing Strategy

    Passive Funds are Killing Active Money Managers (JNS)

    Investors are abandoning actively managed mutual funds, hedge funds, ETFs and other vehicles at an accelerating rate in favor ...
  8. Markets & Economy

    New York May Be Brexit's Big Winner (MS, JPM)

    New York is poised to become the financial capital of Europe when the UK - and London - separate from the EU as part of Brexit ...
  9. Investing Strategy

    Venture Capital's $1 Billion Club: How to Join It

    Abracadabra! Six firms have raised $1 billion or more each this year, a startling sign of how eager investors are to pour ...
  10. 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 ...
  11. 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 ...
  12. 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 ...
  13. 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. ...
  14. 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 ...
  15. 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