Doug Haynes is the Managing Partner at Council Advisors and has spent the latter part of his career as an advisor to top executives of private and public enterprises.
Before joining Council Advisors, Doug served as President of the Point72 Asset Management, one of the United States’ premier equity hedge funds. Prior to his time at Point72, Doug was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, leading the Northeast Region of the United States and the Global Operations practice. Doug was one of the leaders for McKinsey’s High-Tech industry practice and co-founded the Firm’s practice in technology-based services. Before going to business school and attaining his MBA, Doug worked as an engineer for GE’s Plastics Business Group and a software developer for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Doug is an active philanthropist and focuses a lot of his philanthropic work on organizations that focus on fighting poverty, supporting veterans, and making education more accessible. He is a founding board member of the Cohen Veteran’s Network, Cohen Veteran’s Bioscience, and The Center for Global Enterprise. He is a board member of the Robin Hood Foundation in New York and Camp Southern Ground in Georgia.
Doug graduated summa cum laude in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University and was a Shermet Scholar at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virgina.
How did you get started in this business?
When I was in business school at the University of Virginia I was exposed to a completely different side of the business world. My background was in engineering but looking into different industries, explore different ways of problem solving, and really just learn a new way of thinking sparked my interest in the world of consulting.
The crazy thing is, when I started down that path I could never have anticipated the opportunities and experiences that came my way. All of a sudden I was working with amazing colleagues, brilliant clients, and a new challenge every day. I didn’t know it at the time but it was everything I could have asked for.
How did you work your way up in this business?
Kind of like everyone else in this business, slowly, methodically, and unrelentingly. When I ended my tenure at McKinsey, I did so because I wanted to focus on the incredibly challenging job of the CEO. You never really learn what goes into a certain job or activity until you do it yourself and taking on the role of leading a company gave me such a massive appreciation for the job that CEOs have. After spending a few years in their shoes, I went back into a consultancy role, only this time I was consulting CEOs with years of experience backing me up.
What made you want to work in this industry
Consulting is part of my DNA. I was with McKinsey for over two decades and that skill set, that mindframe never left me. Once I had gained the experience of leading a company I wanted to merge those two skillsets together and off what I had learned in the way I knew best, through consulting.
What is it that you feel makes you good at your job?
Faith in myself. I remember the moment when Steve Cohen asked me to go from advising him to running his investment business like it was yesterday. It was a big leap of faith to join him full-time and take on those responsibilities. Steve and the experience of leading his firm taught me an enormous amount about public markets and the ecosystem of businesses around them.
What are the perks of working in this type of business?
The relationships I have been able to build and foster, and the fulfillment of knowing I have worked very hard to get where I am. My father instilled this principle in me as a kid: “Don’t work with people or organizations that lack integrity.”
I’m fortunate enough to have been surrounded by some incredible people during my time in this industry and it’s part of what keeps me going. I am given an opportunity to do impactful work with some amazing people and organizations every day. There is really nothing more I could ask for in a career.
What are the disadvantages of working in this field?
Doubt. The level of doubt we can experience in this field can be all consuming and suffocating. I just do my very best to focus my energy on the work and give my clients the very best of myself. We’ll never be able to eradicate doubt, or self-doubt for that matter, but we can work to combat it with dedication, perseverance, and a very short memory.
What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
One of the most rewarding parts of my work is that it has afforded me the opportunity to give back. Becoming involved in not-for-profit organizations was another “door” that opened for me when I left McKinsey. My work with The Robin Hood Foundation, Camp Southern Ground, Cohen Veterans Network, and several other great organizations inspires and challenges me. It is a blessing to be able to use some of the skills I have learned in my “day jobs” to give back to others.
Where is your industry headed? What excites you about the future in this line of work?
I believe that objective advice and counsel, particularly for enterprise leaders, has never been more important or harder to find. Leveraged business models and the pursuit of “scale” are seductive. Many firms have been drawn down a path that treats relationships and trust as a means to an end, fueling a business model. We believe that personal relationships and earned trust are the end. I am excited to see how clients are responding to objective, informed, and experienced counsel, delivered personally by senior advisers.
What advice do you give people who want to get into your field of work?
Do the work that is in front of you to the best of your ability, every day.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Not at this time, my plate is full.