Spotlight on the Dallas Team: Why They Joined Accordion
Expansion in the Lone Star State
They say everything is bigger in Texas.
That expression certainly rings true for the Texas-based Accordion team. It’s been a few months since Accordion opened our new Uptown Dallas office, and our expanding presence in the Lone Star State shows no signs of slowing down.
In this Q&A with Accordion Dallas’ Keith Maib (Senior Managing Director, Turnaround & Restructuring), Ian McCracken (Managing Director, Head of Dallas Office, Transformation), Junaid Samnani (Managing Director, Co-Head of Transformation) and Marie McLean (Director, Transaction Execution), we unpack their Accordion experience: what attracted them to the firm, why now is an ideal time to join, advice to candidates, and more.
Q: What initially drew you to Accordion, and what excited you most about the opportunity?
After my very first conversation, I knew I wanted to join the team. The genuine emphasis that the firm puts on its people was clear throughout the entire interview process, evidenced in ways I’d never seen before. The Accordion “North Star” of a “better way to work in finance” was front and center at every touchpoint — from my interactions with the recruiting team, to the onboarding process, on my first day in the office, and ever since. ”
I joined Accordion because leadership is obsessed with the front lines. Every strategic decision is centered around both our clients and our people; our financial results are a byproduct of delivering on the firm’s true commitment to providing Accordionites with “a better way to work in finance."”
At the time that Accordion approached Mackinac [financial advisory, restructuring, and operational turnaround firm, acquired by Accordion in 2021], we weren’t looking to sell unless it was the ideal cultural fit. But it was clear from day one of our interactions with the Accordion team that we had found our match: a firm with shared values and a family-like environment. The cultural fit has been everything we could have hoped for and more.”
The culture is what drew me to Accordion: the culture of collaboration, our core values, and the genuine people-first attitude. As I was interviewing, it was really clear that the people here exhibited the core values in their everyday work — they weren’t just empty words on a poster in the office. And now, I see the way that we pour into our people. Our people come first every single day, and that human commitment is what translates into financial results.”
Q: Why is right now a particularly exciting time to join Accordion in Dallas?
We recently expanded into a brand-new office location in Uptown Dallas, and we’re just getting started. We’re hiring folks across our practices and bringing a special “Texas twist” to what has made Accordion so great in other parts of the country. The culture in the office is vibrant and collaborative: the ideal place for someone who is looking to own their career and accelerate their development (and have fun while doing it).”
Dallas is growing substantially; not only are we now the second-largest office at the firm, but the city is ripe with opportunity as more and more private equity-backed companies move to Texas. These companies need our PE-focused services; they need providers to help them. We already have several clients within the Dallas area, and now we need more top-tier practitioners to service those clients.”
Texas’ favorable business climate has brought capital providers, professional services, law firms, and more into the area. We like to think that we are at the forefront of that with our growing team and relevant local expertise. There is just so much going on in Dallas right now, and it’s exciting to be part of it.”
Q: How does working at Accordion compare to other firms? What is Accordion’s differentiator?
At other firms, you can get siloed into specific capabilities. I’ve never seen that at Accordion, as our cross-functional structure ensures that there are no boundaries. Everyone’s door is always open; we not only share ideas and resources, but we work together to help problem solve. At Accordion, you’ll find someone with the capabilities and skills to not only meet but exceed every client need.”
The biggest differentiator is our culture. We have fun working together and delivering for clients, but we also have fun outside of work. At our firm-wide offsite in Austin, for example, there was one night when a group of about 40 of us went to a karaoke bar; the bar was full of Accordionites across all levels and practice areas. It’s probably my favorite Accordion memory and goes to show that we really can work hard and play hard together. ”
It’s clear that senior leadership is thinking two, three, four steps ahead to ensure that our core values resonate with every employee, regardless of scale. As we continue to rapidly expand, we haven’t sacrificed what makes this firm such a great place to work: the relentless focus on our people.”
Q: What does “a better way to work in finance” mean to you? How does Accordion deliver on that promise?
A “better way to work in finance” means checking your ego at the door. It goes without saying that every single person here has incredible experience and knowledge. But despite that, there are no egos. We roll up our sleeves and deliver high-caliber work for our clients, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Our culture of collaboration is what opens the door for a first-rate experience at all levels.”
A “better way to work in finance” means working smarter. So many firms in our space look to put bodies to work; they don’t take a step back to think holistically about how to build a bespoke team that’s equipped with the skills necessary to best solve the issues the client is facing. Accordion does.”
We bring a unique perspective to our portfolio company clients. We’re focused not only on what their sponsors require and desire, but also on how to help our clients be more productive and improve their day-to-day work experience (whether that be streamlining a financial close, automating monotonous tasks, etc.). That way, we’re helping the portfolio companies perform better and improve EBITDA, which drives better valuations for their sponsors. Everybody wins; we win, the portfolio company wins, and the sponsor wins. It’s rewarding for our teams to be part of the process. ”
Accordion delivers on the promise that you can integrate your professional life and personal life. You have the ability to work on challenging and fulfilling engagements while having every opportunity to spend quality time with your family and friends. Leadership supports working hard but also taking the time off when you need to recharge. It’s a breath of fresh air; people’s personal lives matter, people’s happiness matters. We are humans first and consultants second.”
Q: What would you say to someone thinking about joining Accordion?
Accordion offers a unique opportunity that you truly won’t find anywhere else. During the interview process, my now manager told me that he hasn’t once regretted his decision to join the firm. It seemed like a bold statement at the time, but you’ll quickly see for yourself why it adds up. ”
If you’re thinking about joining Accordion, my best advice would be to get to know the people here before you make your final decision. The relationships are a big part of what Accordion offers. It's the cultural fit — the family attitude and approach to our work — that makes Accordion such a great place to work.”
Get ready for the experience of a lifetime, as this is a firm where the core values are actioned and practiced each and every day. You’ll get the opportunity to grow on both a professional and a personal level, all while making an everlasting impact on a truly great organization.”