Cortus Overview



Cortus Advisors partners with organizations to identify, develop, and pursue new sources of significant long-term growth in revenue, profitability, and entity value.  


To enable dramatic performance improvement, we collaborate with organizations to develop new market actions and positioning that leverage unique organizational assets and limit competitive response. The foundation of this approach is a deep understanding of customer needs, relative attractiveness, market dynamics, and competitive positioning. 


Cortus has extensive global expertise in financial services markets, including asset/wealth management, insurance, banking, capital markets, fintech, and affiliated financial services sectors. The unique methods, market insights, and strategies developed by Cortus also have broader relevance for other industry sectors, including digital technologies, emerging media, healthcare, and shared distribution platforms.

Sample Services


Growth Strategy

Comprehensive new growth strategies for existing businesses that identify most profitable directions of growth by customer, product set, geography, and competitive positioning.


Business Model Design

Development of superior business models that identify unmet customer needs, design user-driven products, target most valuable customers, and employ pricing models and competitive positioning that establish self-reinforcing success.


Go-to-Market Strategy

Comprehensive go-to-market strategies and business plans to deliver new products & services, enter new geographic markets, win new target customers, 

Growth Initiatives

Growth Initiatives

Growth Initiatives


Market entry strategies, product development and design, dynamic pricing strategies, customer selection, product platform dynamics, first-mover advantages. 

Market Development

Growth Initiatives

Growth Initiatives


Mapping and navigation of market ecosystems, creation of self-sustaining profitability loops, optimizing strategic position in platform markets.

Executive Team Leadership

Executive Team Leadership

Executive Team Leadership


Collaborative engagement of leadership  teams to design & implement new growth strategies and initiatives. 

Thought Leadership

Executive Team Leadership

Executive Team Leadership


Design & implementation of thought leadership capabilities, creation of insight-driven market research, public policy engagement in financial services. 

Sample Projects

Product Design & Customer Selection for Bank Card Company

Product Value & Pricing Strategy Using Large Sample Survey

Product Design & Customer Selection for Bank Card Company


Issue: Established bank card company seeking best strategic position in market of proliferating providers and product features. 

Objective: Identify product set, product features, and target customer segments offering the greatest long-term sustainable profitability.

Approach: Develop matching model of product features, customer types, and competitor product sets to determine likely market responses. Use model to Identify client market positioning that attracts most lucrative customer types and blunts competitive response.

Outcome: Client modified its product set and features, improving profitability dramatically by product type and customer segment. 

Growth Strategy for Institutional Asset Manager

Product Value & Pricing Strategy Using Large Sample Survey

Product Design & Customer Selection for Bank Card Company


Issue: Mid-tier institutional asset manager seeking to grow assets and profitability aggressively over 5-year time horizon.

Objective: Identify greatest growth opportunities and best fit by geographic market, target client segment, and product set.

Approach: Assess market attractiveness and success factors by country, client type, product category. Map to existing business footprint and strategic capabilities. Develop outcomes model for range of client market entry, development, positioning. Build implementation plan for 5-year growth plan, including operational build and financial outcomes.

Outcome: Client realized 12% CAGRs in AUM over five years, achieving 75% cumulative growth. 

Product Value & Pricing Strategy Using Large Sample Survey

Product Value & Pricing Strategy Using Large Sample Survey

Product Value & Pricing Strategy Using Large Sample Survey


Issue: Retail asset manager in international market contemplating long-term strategic value of dramatic price reductions and distribution model changes.  Action could achieve break-through growth through disruption of traditional market structures, but could be risky if premature.

Objective: Identify financial and strategic value of contemplated disruptive changes in pricing and distribution. Anticipate consumer and competitor responses. Determine optimal timing, magnitude, nature of disruptive moves. Identify long-term sustainable outcomes by competitor type.

Approach: Using large sample consumer surveys, identify customer preferences and tradeoffs across product features and distribution channel attributes. Identify power of price reductions to motivate changes in consumer buying/service behaviors.

Outcome: Advised client not to engage in dramatic disruptive action immediately, but to defer action until market had evolved closer to a tipping point that could enable a successful disruptive first-mover action. 

Design/Build Thought Leadership Unit

Design Equity Participation & Succession Plan for Asset Manager

Product Value & Pricing Strategy Using Large Sample Survey


Issue: Large diversified asset manager wanted to lead thinking on financial security issues to influence market structures, outcomes, and enabling policies.

Objective: Identify greatest opportunities to achieve business goals through thought leadership market engagement. Design and build new thought leadership strategic business unit.

Approach: Design and build new thought leadership organization, including organizational structure, staffing, governance, external advisory & collaboration, policy-leadership engagement, top priority financial security topics.

Outcome: Moved from idea to design to early-stage build within six months. Full build completed within 15 months, culminating in national press debut. Client significantly influenced markets and policies in top priority areas, contributing to market leadership positioning.

Advise on Policy Landscape Navigation

Design Equity Participation & Succession Plan for Asset Manager

Design Equity Participation & Succession Plan for Asset Manager


Issue: Global insurance sector seeking to engage policy makers as a collaborating group regarding the design and implementation of emerging new capital standards.

Objective: Convene critical mass of the largest global insurers along with top global policymakers to engage in structured industry discussions regarding benefits and challenges of emerging global capital standards and implementation.

Approach: Engaged and recruited top leadership of global insurance sector and policy organizations to participate in short series of peer dialogues, sharing perspectives and identifying best paths forward. Conducted pre-meeting research and interviews to structure peer dialogues. Led peer discussions over several meetings, guiding participants in the engagement. Synthesized and published results as means of unifying and leading the insurance sector in the development of new global standards.

Outcome: A more informed and inclusive crafting of global capital standards, achieving important policy objectives while minimizing unintended collateral effects. 

Design Equity Participation & Succession Plan for Asset Manager

Design Equity Participation & Succession Plan for Asset Manager

Design Equity Participation & Succession Plan for Asset Manager


Issue: Founders of asset manager want to expand equity ownership among leadership team and plan for succession.

Objective: Design equity participation plan that rewards emerging leaders fairly and ensures long-term success of the firm.

Approach: Engage CEOs and top leaders of comparable firms to assess opportunities & risks inherent in transition, identify best practices, and design optimal transition plan for client.

Outcome: client is embarking on designed solution.

Featured Sectors


Wealth & Asset Management

  • Traditional Asset Classes, Alternative Investments
  • Retail, Intermediary, Institutional
  • Distribution Structures including Direct, Employer, Advisor, Financial Marketplaces, Fintech
  • Retirement Security
  • Thought Leadership
  • Regulatory Engagement
  • Asset Owners: high net worth, pensions, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, endowments/foundations
  • Global Markets
  • Governance & Board Engagement


  • Life & Retirement Security
  • Property / Casualty
  • Personal, Commercial
  • General
  • Reinsurance
  • Thought Leadership
  • Regulatory Engagement
  • Global Markets
  • Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS)
  • Governance & Board Engagement


  • Retail, Commercial
  • Lending / Credit / Transaction Support
  • Regulatory Engagement
  • Global Markets
  • Governance & Board Engagement


  • Payments
  • Banking
  • Wealth & Asset management
  • Insurance
  • Brokerage
  • Financial Planning
  • Advisory
  • Cryptocurrency Market Development

Private Equity / Venture Capital

  • Due diligence
  • Growth strategies
  • Business Model Design
  • Business planning
  • Go-to market strategies
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Organization design


  • Navigating generational innovations in environments of compatibility requirements, feedback effects, and platform-based market structures

Engagement Models


Flexible Working Models

Cortus can engage with your organization through a variety of flexible models designed to meet your needs and deliver highest value. Under every model we will engage frequently and collaboratively throughout the effort with project sponsors and key business leaders on your business strategy and business development goals. Whether you're looking to outsource key elements of an initiative, assemble a composite working team of in-house and outsourced resources, or engage top leadership in an initiative, we can design the model for you.  Professional fees can be negotiated based on project duration, resources required, and client needs. Engagement models clients have used frequently include:

Lead Client Teams

We can assemble and lead a collaborative, ad hoc client team with the necessary mix of expertise, experience, and organizational standing to be effective. These frequently span multiple functional areas and business units.

Engage Senior Leaders in Collaboration

We can engage a group of peer leaders across the client organization by business unit, function, geography to collaborate and focus as a unified team on developing and implementing new growth initiatives. 

Deliver Independent Results

We can take on key elements of the broader effort to deliver a more outsourced model. This is particularly appropriate for research-intensive initiatives. 

Design Bespoke Model

We can design the engagement specifically for your situation and organization.

Why Choose Cortus



We have extensive expertise and experience in critical elements of successful growth initiatives across financial services and other sectors. 


We focus on distilling actionable insights from data and expertise to drive business results. We help generate high quality, informed decisions and actions. The effort will be guided by decades of business experience, not junior teams.

High Value & Cost Effectiveness

We will focus directly on your organization’s key objectives and needs throughout the effort with a lean, experienced team. We will not deploy large, expensive teams for extended periods beyond what is required to meet your needs, make high-quality decisions, and drive implementation.