Promontory Financial; Scalene Capital Management; USPowergen; Recovery Partners; Schechter & Co; Van Oss
Gene Ludwig might just have created the perfect boutique. It sells a wonderful product in demand across the nation, nobody else sells it, and the barriers to entry are enormous, especially considering Ludwig's first-mover advantage. Its name is Promontory Interfinancial Network (PIN).
Ludwig is no stranger to setting up companies that cater to banks. Comptroller of the currency from 1993 to 1998, he founded Promontory Financial Group after a short stint at Bankers Trust during the period when it was taken over by Deutsche Bank.
Promontory Financial, based in Washington DC, is essentially a firm of bank doctors. Medium-to-large-size banks call it in to help provide expert strategic advice on everything from M&A to Basle capital-adequacy standards. Ludwig can rattle off an impressive list of clients and says that his services normally work wonders for their stock prices.
Two key selling points drive Promontory's consulting business. The company is packed with experts from all sides of the financial-services industry: its employees have been regulators, heads of risk-management departments, sometimes both.