Mark Wakefield is an AlixPartners Managing Director in the Enterprise Improvement practice where he leads the Americas automotive group. He joined the firm’s Detroit office in 2006, bringing deep experience in helping automotive and industrial companies improve operations, acquire companies, and grow. He has also worked extensively with private-equity investors in the areas of due diligence, preparing companies for sales, strategic reviews, and operational turnarounds. Mark’s primary focus is on operational improvements, top-line growth, and strategy for the auto industry’s automakers, dealership groups, automobile finance companies, suppliers, and the aftermarket. Prior to AlixPartners, Mark led business development at HSBC Auto Finance, buying loan portfolios and setting up private-label subprime ventures with automakers’ captive financing arms; and he was a consultant at McKinsey. He began his career as an engineer and program manager at automotive supplier Magna International.
In his professional engagements with AlixPartners, Mark:
- Advised leading private-equity firms and automotive companies on acquisitions in the areas of both due diligence and integration.
- Advised automotive suppliers on strategic issues, including cost reductions, postmerger integrations, expansion to new segments, dealing with market shifts, and the creation of new business approaches for electronics or alternative powertrains.
- Developed and implemented a multiyear globalization plan for a $5-billion automotive supplier to improve competitiveness in all aspects of the business.
- Drove a marketing function improvement at an automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM), which included changing advertising agencies, processes, budgets, and the internal organization.
- Led a project to reduce working capital at an automotive OEM by $40 million and annual spending by $30 million in the company’s exhaust systems category.
- Supported top management on the restructuring of General Motors’ North American brands and product portfolio, parts operation, marketing spend, and dealer body, leading up to and through the largest successful industrial bankruptcy in history.
- Led a project to prepare a vehicle brand for a carve-out acquisition by planning pricing, product, and operating improvements equal to a 300-basis-point profit margin increase.
Mark holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a member of Professional Engineers Ontario, a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor and member of the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, a certified internal auditor for ISO/TS 16949, and an associate member of SAE International. Mark is coauthor of AlixPartners’ Global Automotive Industry Outlook and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.