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Derek Santana

Senior Associate, Knowledge + Insights

To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.

— Lao Tzu

The Amplifier

An amplifier converts often barely audible sounds into clear audio. Similarly, as senior associate of knowledge + insights, Derek leans on his creativity, drive, and a keen eye for detail to convert unstructured data into clear insights for smart decision-making. You can count on him to pore through heaps of data to zero in on the patterns and trends that solve any problem at hand. He goes above and beyond, like when he created a market entry strategy into Brazil and learned Portuguese so he could lead meetings in the native language. Or, on the personal front, when he went down the rabbit hole of collecting audio equipment and researched his way to custom-building a Fender Stratocaster. His passion for research-driven problem solving is beyond compare.

As senior associate of knowledge + insights, Derek conducts deep-dive research that produces meaningful, commercially insightful findings. He helps our project teams think strategically about how to approach highly competitive business development pursuits, analyze companies, and synthesize industry information. His work is central to the primary commitment we make to our clients – to deeply understand their businesses. 

Derek brings nearly a decade of strategy, business development, and product innovation experience. Most recently, he launched and led his own consulting firm, catering to a diverse pool of industry-disrupting clientele in the medical and technology spaces. Prior, he was promoted through the strategy consulting ranks at a leading global asset manager. There, he launched over twenty investment products and led an exciting global expansion strategy into Brazil, developing the firm’s first investment fund there. 

Derek, his fiancé Sandy, and their dog Morton live on a charming hilly street in Los Angeles and enjoy exploring the beaches and restaurants along the California coast. He is an active member of UNICEF, helping provide resources and support for disadvantaged children all over the world. When he’s not spending quality time with family or supporting causes meaningful to him, you can find Derek tinkering on the piano, dabbling in audio engineering, and reading nonfiction to learn new things in sciences, business, history, or personal health.


Education

Northwestern University, B.A., Economics