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Overview

Introduction

Blue Matter is a firm that’s not afraid to tell it like it is. Built into its purpose statement is a staunch aversion to the “rigid processes,” “bloated deliverables,” and “mediocre answers” that stymy original thinking. Established by seasoned consultants, Blue Matter fosters innovation and creativity to bring meaningful impact to the life sciences industry. Those values seem to pay off in spades, considering this nimble boutique has expanded rapidly since it was founded in 2012—with European offices in London, Zurich, and Berlin.

Company Stats


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Employer Type


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Size


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Major Departments/Practice Areas

Product, portfolio and organizational strategy in oncology, rare......


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Major Office Locations

San Francisco, CA, US...


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Managing Partner



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Affiliated Companies

Blue Matter Consulting...

Firsthand Findings

 

With offices across five countries, Blue Matter is a boutique firm that has been doing some serious growing of late. With that growth has come challenges—particularly around maintaining the people-centric culture that is at the heart of its early success. While that is not unusual for firms that are growing—and tends to be less of an issue for newcomers than those who have been with the firm for a while—it is something that is worth considering when talking to current employees about their experiences at the firm.

On a day-to-day basis, the company appears to offer a terrific work-life balance to the majority of its employees, along with opportunities to do high-profile pharma consulting projects. As a result, career development and growt...

About the Company

Founded in 2012, Blue Matter is a specialized management consulting firm serving the life sciences industry. The firm maintains offices across the United States and Europe.

Blue Matter works to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies "maximize value at the product, portfolio, and company levels." The firm's services can be grouped into the following categories: New Product Planning, Launch Strategy and Management, Commercial Strategy for In-Line Products, and Organizational Design and Development.

While most of Blue Matter’s work involves pre-launch and launch products, the firm does not exclusively focus there. It works across a range of therapeutic areas but has developed specialized capabilities in oncology and rare diseases.

Employee Reviews


  • “Compared to other consulting firms, we offer one of the best work-life balances whilst still getting paid an attractive salary / bonus. Additionally, consultants can take on early responsibilities in terms of client interactions and get early exposure to clients.”
  • “Compete with the best strategy consultancies for the best projects in Pharma in a sustainable way.”
  • “Early responsibility and opportunity to make an impact.”
  • “If you are highly motivated and thrive on freedom to think and support from colleagues, you would feel very at home at Blue Matter. Our professional standards are incredibly high, but we achieve and exceed those by ensuring people are given the opportunities they need to grow and develop.”
  • “If you value solving interesting business questions and truly helping a pharma client successfully bring a product to market, then please get in touch to find out more!”
  • “People take care of each other and support the individual's growth. As Blue Matter is still growing, there are great opportunities to take ownership of internal projects and help develop the organisation. Especially for people starting at entry level, it is important to know that they will not just be stuck in the back office but will learn very fast to take ownership of and drive parts of the project, and have client contact very early on.”
  • “As with any consultancy, the hours are very flexible. You can have peaks, especially coming to a deadline. But the team are generally well aware of pinch points and will endeavour to give team members a lighter time after a key deliverable for balance. Team workload is also actively discussed every 2 weeks and if someone has been burning hot for a while, every effort is made to reduce their workload.”
  • “Best: Very limited amount of travel, quite easy to take time off, great team. Worst: Sometimes work hours can extend longer.”
  • “Blue Matter offers a wellness bonus that can be used for a gym membership, massages, any other wellness-related subscription. This year, this bonus was increased to cover for additional special needs that may arise during the pandemic (e.g., taxi rides to avoid public transport, noise canceling headphones, take-out food).”
  • “Company is very pro health & wellness; we have a £250 allowance per quarter to fund gym memberships etc. This was raised to £650 for a pandemic assistance benefit to help adjust to our new working situation.”
  • “I have never had any issues with vacation time. As long as you provide enough notice, work can be effectively handed over. The vacation time per year is pretty good and after 5 years at the company you are entitled to a 6 week sabbatical!”
  • “I receive 5 weeks of vacation, one more than required by law in Switzerland. Vacation time is highly respected and Managers only reach out to us if it is ABSOLUTELY vital.”
  • “Very accommodating. All employees in our office are encouraged to take their vacation as per their preference. There is no policy that requires employees to take vacation in slow times. Colleagues go out of their way to ensure my vacations are stress free. Leadership encourages and role models how to communicate time off to clients to ensure that the time off is respected.”
  • “We have a quarterly reimbursement for anything the team wishes to do regarding gym membership, individual classes, etc. to ensure that everyone takes the time they need for themselves.”
  • “Beside the wellness bonus, Blue Matter offers an educational bonus, paid phone subscription, and (potentially) increase in base salary + annual bonus based on career development.”
  • “I have had pay adjustments every 6 months at each review. I believe the company understands that pay is often the greatest cause for low morale and the aim is to never have that be a reason why a team member may be unhappy.”
  • “Our compensation policy is very transparent, at least in Switzerland. There are very clear base-salary bands for each level which allows totally equal opportunities to colleagues. Our relatively large percentage of variable compensation (bonus) allows us to gain additional monetary compensation for high performance. This performance is measured against a set of criteria focused around content and approach to work and the internal company culture. Compensation is not linked in any way to billability or hours worked, giving part-time working colleagues equal opportunities for career and pay advancement.”
  • “Best - ability to work on internal initiatives as well as project work, fast progress for those that work hard, up to £1000 of benefit for formal training outside the company, pay reviews every 6 months. Worst - sometimes unclear of promotion requirements into Manager+ level, differences between offices.”
  • “Blue Matter has an extremely transparent promotion process where everything from project work, internal initiatives, relationship with the team counts! This encourages entry-level employees like me to aim higher and try to excel in all possible ways, knowing that we will be fully appreciated for our efforts.”
  • “Despite being a relatively small firm, there is great transparency for career development and clear-cut expectations for each step to take. Feedback culture is very direct and constructive, focusing on colleague's strengths to drive the career path with sporadic in-depth trainings to develop skills further. A more systematic training approach geared towards on-demand content for the virtual setting is under development and is driven by contributors across all seniority levels from the whole company.”
  • “The internal training is led by a dedicated adult learning team, which is unlike many other consultancies and showcase how much the company cares about an individual's development. In addition, other reimbursement is provided for external learning and also health and wellbeing. The central culture of the company is about ‘putting people first’. We now also have a focused D&I team that aims to initially highlight our female leaders within the company and their individual journeys. The more negative side may be that individuals could become pigeon holed into specific project types, which sometimes may limit their promotion opportunities. I have not experienced that first-hand though.”
  • “As a woman, I never felt like I had limited promotion possibilities at Blue Matter. Although the percentage of women in leadership roles is still not equal to men, active efforts are put into improving this aspect (e.g. we now launched a series in which we interview our female leaders to learn more about their challenges and opportunities and overall experiences from their career paths). This being said, I am confident I have no barriers in my career development because of my gender.”
  • “Diversity is a common theme across all our offices. At Blue Matter, colleagues are hired and promoted purely according to their performance against the established indicators. We do have several internal initiatives to support anyone with diversity and inclusion topics, and to keep this item top of mind.”
  • “I have never experienced even the slightest hint of gender or diversity discrimination.”
  • “The majority of our leadership is male; however, currently the majority of our mid-level and junior members are female and are moving quickly through the ranks. I have not seen a particular trend for promoting males quicker so I am very hopeful that in the next few years, the mix at the more senior levels will even out a bit more.”
  • “Very diverse company across all offices and the company takes pride in that.”
  • “Although the past months have been difficult for most companies, Blue Matter managed to thrive in these challenging times. I personally believe this was possible because of the culture, the strong bonds between the people, and the great leadership. Besides the very encouraging emails full of tips of how to improve our working from home setups, the great training sessions (offered by Blue Matter Academy), carefully chosen industry updates and innovative learning platforms - Blue Matter is mindful of everyone's needs and is always open to feedback (always ready to make it better!). One kind detail aimed at boosting our morale was the 'care package' we got in July. This contained carefully chosen items like delicious cookies, chocolate and tea and a very touching note that just made us smile :)”
  • “We used to be a boutique agency, but now with over 100 people across our 5 offices, the people first culture may be harder to maintain. Otherwise, we are still busy and our leaders are excellent at driving new business, which lends the rest of the team more time to focus on the quality of delivering.”
  • “Whilst we do have several anchor accounts which could provide a clump-risk, we are very active in several fast-moving and developing fields in the industry. There is a constant stream of novel work to come in for colleagues to work on, and we are constantly encouraged to pursue ideas we may have on new opportunities.”

Getting Hired Here


  • “A great candidate experience is front and center. We offer feedback sessions after every failed phone screen and assessment center. Candidates typically hear back in under one week at each step of the assessment. Most team members interact with potential candidates and all feedback is considered for hiring decision.”
  • “Candidates need to be fully aligned with our values, be great team players, eager to learn, structured, self-starters, able and willing to shape our culture and organization.”
  • “At the entry level, someone who is motivated to work independently, but who enjoys being part of a larger team and vision. Someone strong in detail and evidence, but can think around the immediate problem / ask to understand what the client needs.”
  • “The ideal candidate: Authentic and well-prepared.”
  • “Usually 2 phone screens, then an in-person interview with case studies, presentations and behavioural interviews.”
  • “Role plays with clients—mimic client interactions. Abstract cases—‘if you were stranded in the desert, etc.’”
  • “Typical life science strategy case questions, behavioural/fit questions.”