David Sykes About the Managing Partner: David Sykes

AB, University of California, Berkeley; MA, Cornell University (Cognitive Science); Program Director, Harvard Business School. Following research stints at Walter Gropius' Cambridge-based planning firm TAC and BTA (Boston's Faneuil Hall, New York's South Street Seaport, and Baltimore's waterfront), Mr. Sykes began his career in strategic planning and turnarounds by working with a prominent New England family on portfolio companies that included Aston Martin, MG, Advent and Design Research (an innovative, national retail chain sold to Crate & Barrel).

Mr. Sykes' first entrepreneurial venture, Passport Ltd., pioneered the soft luggage movement that redefined the travel equipment market. It succeeded rapidly and was sold to an offshore strategic investor within three years. Mr. Sykes was profiled by the Christian Science Monitor and other media and also served as strategic advisor to Boston-area companies including Cyrk, a brand management startup that went public in the mid-'80s and reached $1B in sales.

Mr. Sykes was then invited to found and co-lead the Project for Interdisciplinary Research in Information (PIRI) to conduct and publish research for the U.S. Congress. He accepted a faculty appointment at Boston University where he taught graduate seminars on technological innovation and social change, and consulted with companies such as Agfa and Apple Computer on the launch of the Macintosh and creation of "desktop publishing".

He also advised and invested in numerous ventures including a "disruptive" method for marketing musical recordings through major concert venues and national public broadcasting.. This venture was backed by Harvard Business School strategy guru, Michael Porter who along with Mr. Sykes and the company's founder were profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Harvard Magazine.

Mr. Sykes has served as an activist board member of several prominent, national non-profit institutions where he designed and implemented turnaround strategies. Two widely-regarded success stories led by Mr. Sykes were Jacobs Pillow, where a dramatic turnaround provided a successful model for other arts organizations, and Boston University's nationally recognized Program in Artisanry which was spun out and merged into the University of Massachusetts, preserving a notable institution and its programs and faculty. Both efforts were widely reported in national media including the New York Times and others.

a fork in the road

During the 1980's, Mr. Sykes met and advised the founder of nanotechnology, K. Eric Drexler and is credited in Drexler's book, Engines of Creation. He also turned around a Cambridge-based graphics software firm, led turnarounds of the U.S. divisions of two publicly-traded consulting companies based in the U.K. and led re-engineering and market strategy assignments on their behalf for Xerox, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Fleet Bank and others.

Over a period of five years during the mid-90s, for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts' Primedia (publisher of 120 leading trade magazines) Mr. Sykes wrote a column on business trends and appeared on CNBC. He also led several environmental technology company turnarounds and participated in a roll-up in this industry.

Sykes joined Remington in 1990. Remington has two units: Remington Advisors LLC provides research and advisory services to top-tier investment companies, top-tier law firms, and other groups. Remington Partners LLC is a strategic advisor to Fortune 500 and Global 100 companies and is a stakeholder in early and mid-stage technology ventures.

Mr. Sykes serves on the CEO Council of Puretech Ventures, is a member of the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Nanotechnology Initiative, is lead manager of NanoCon'06 (with the MIT Enterprise Forum) and is Executive Secretary of the Joint Committee on Privacy of the ASA, INCE and NCAC, three international engineering societies affiliated with the American Institute of Physics. He currently leads an international initiative advocating and developing policy for the implementation of federal legislation to protect privacy and security.

Mr. Sykes is a member of several professional societies including the IEEE, AAAS, AIA, CoreNet, ASA, INCE, IAPP and HFES.

 

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