Jake Morris (Competition and Market Regulation '09) is an Associate at RBB Economics (The Hague, Netherlands). He is currently working on a merger in the pharmaceutical industry between two of the largest global players.
You were doing some consulting work before the master program – how is your new position different from your work in Cape Town?
Albeit very brief, my consulting work in Cape Town was focused on improving company performance with a particular focus on supply chain efficiency. My work at RBB takes a fundamentally different approach in that we mainly provide economic analysis and advice on the competitive conduct of firms. Therefore, although it is necessary to understand our client’s commercial strategy, the focus is on providing insight into the competitive dynamics of the market rather than enhancing the client’s performance.
Tell us about a project you are working on now.
I am currently working on a merger in the pharmaceutical industry between two of the largest global players. It basically involves defining relevant markets and determining how much market power would be held by the combined entity in each of them following the merger. This allows us to identify those markets that are likely to cause competition concerns, with the next step being to take a closer look at the validity of those concerns per market. As the analysis covers a broad spectrum of markets across a large number of countries, it is a highly data intensive project with a relatively long duration. A particular challenge here is being able to coordinate to collect sufficient data on a global scale and build up a reliable database as the foundation for further analysis.
What is the work culture like at RBB?
There is certainly a culture of hard work at RBB. You are expected to be relatively flexible in your working hours and this can be demanding at times. However, in return you are also granted considerable flexibility to accommodate your own needs where possible. What I find particularly appealing at RBB is the informal working environment and accessibility to senior staff. This is partly reflected in a relatively flat structure that contains only three levels: associate, senior associate and partner. The atmosphere in our office is thus very relaxed and you are always able to approach others for help and advice.
Have you met up with any GSE alumni over the past year?
I did manage to catch up with a few friends when I went to Brussels for an interview at RBB but, unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to see nearly as many fellow alumni as I would have liked. Many friendships were built over the year in Barcelona and I definitely plan on staying in touch. The silver lining of everyone dispersing at the end of the year is that you suddenly have a network of friends stationed around the world. This is something that I hope to take advantage of.
Since giving this interview, Jake has been promoted to Senior Associate at RBB's offices in Johannesburg, South Africa.