Yawar Murad is a Managing Director in Alvarez & Marsal’s (A&M) Private Equity Performance Improvement practice in London. Yawar earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Michigan. He later earned his MBA at Cass Business School. In his spare time, Yawar enjoys traveling with his family, spending time with his sons and a good cup of coffee.
In the Q&A below, Yawar shares how he developed good relationship-building and management skills, what he missed most about A&M during his time away, and what differentiates A&M from other consulting firms.
You studied electrical engineering on the undergrad and graduate levels, yet decided to pursue consulting. Were there any notable ah-ha moments that led you to that decision?
I started my career at GE as part of the graduate program in technology and stayed with the company for about 12 years. I then moved into consulting. I spent much of my time at GE as Chief Information Officer (CIO) integrating and carving out businesses, so I had extensive IT experience. During my Executive MBA program, I developed a deep interest in the private equity business model.
Those experiences put together made it easy for me to make the leap into consulting with A&M eight years ago.
Can you tell us about your experiences with A&M’s Private Equity Services practice and the skills you have developed working with the team?
When you are in a corporate C-level role, you need to develop very good relationship-building and management skills. I cultivated those skills deeply while at GE. At A&M, I learned how to work effectively with internal stakeholders. I’ve also learned how to act as a trusted advisor who has the clients’ best interests at heart.
You recently re-joined A&M in March 2018. What were some of your reasons for returning? What would you tell someone who has left and is contemplating coming back?
At the heart of why I contemplated returning to A&M was that I missed working with the great people and I missed the outstanding work we were getting done for our clients. In my last role, I eventually realized I was basically trying to re-create the culture and ethos that I had enjoyed during my first stint with A&M. The great caliber of people, the speed, the sense of urgency with how we get things done, and of course some of the regulatory challenges that come with working in a Big Four firm, led me back.
What do you enjoy most about working at A&M? Do you feel that our core values – quality, personal reward, objectivity, integrity and fun - stand true? How so?
It all starts with the team and the people. We make an impact on our clients, delivering high quality work – and if you want to do the best for them – you want the best people working next to you. Most people I have come across at A&M live and breathe the values, in what they do every day and in the actions that they take. In my opinion, life is too short not to enjoy what you do and who you do it with.
How does A&M differ from other consulting firms?
I firmly believe the key difference between A&M and other consulting firms is that at A&M, everyone is very hands-on – even the most senior Managing Directors.
You currently hold two patents. Can you share with us a bit more?
When I first joined GE, I was a software engineer working with a team that was building software which drives GE’s MRI scanners. We came up with a couple of interesting new innovations to support how the software drove the scanners, hence the patents!
What are some of your hobbies and passions outside of work?
I have two energetic young boys, and most of my spare time goes towards hanging out with them and having fun. We also love travelling the world as a family and have been privileged to travel extensively. I also love good coffee!