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John Drzik

President of Mercer Oliver Wyman & Co

It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but New Jersey means a lot to financial consultant John Drzik.

Drzik, who is president of the recently merged Mercer Oliver Wyman operation freely admits: "I have never lived more than 30 miles from where I was born."

Born in Newark, with a Princeton education and a Manhattan working life, he's certainly stayed close to his roots, though of course, as with any high ranker in the world of finance, he spends a good part of his life flying around the world.

Consultants, particularly financial consultants, are often accused of being jargon junkies. Drzik certainly does not do anything to dispel this idea when he peppers his language with such words as "complementarities".

And he admits that the clichéd view of consultants as cloistered egghead graduates telling people in the real world how to go about their business from behind the shelter of their laptop computers is not grossly wide of the mark.

"I'm not sure that some [consultants] wouldn't deserve some of that criticism," he says, before adding that his own business has tried hard to get away from that approach.

Early commitment A career consultant, Drzik got into the business when he left Princeton in 1983 and hooked up with Bill Wyman and Alex Oliver at Booze Allen.

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