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Founder & CEO

Kris Safarova, Founder & CEO

Kris Safarova is FIRMSconsulting’s Founder & CEO. She was a management consultant, corporate banker and master classical concert pianist. She was voted as one of the Top 30 Business Guru’s in 2023 alongside Tom Peters, Jim Collins, Gary Hamel, W. Chan Kim, and Joseph Stiglitz.

Kris developed FIRMSconsulting’s intellectual capital investment model. She advises on business strategy and leadership, and runs most of the firm’s programs. She is the author of over 20 books on strategy, and is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Kris is a champion of female empowerment and shares her
life story.

[email protected]

MBA, Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, 2012, Deans list with distinction.
B.Comm., UNISA, 2011, Cum laude with highest distinction.
Dipl. Music conc. Classical Piano., DG Shatalov Music College, 1997.

Kris Safarova has extensive experience across many industry sectors, including significant depth in emerging markets, financial services and media. Notable matters include advising:

  • A Chinese state-funded electric auto start-up to develop their business, operating and funding model, and brand strategy.
  • A Central Asian family-owned financial services conglomerate to diversify into non-invasive non-surgical medical care.
  • An Indonesian family-owned hotel and hospitality chain seeking to diversify into downstream precious metals in Asia.
  • A Polish family-owned financial services conglomerate seeking to enter the short-term insurance market with a new business model.
  • An Eastern European family-owned financial institutions group company seeking to acquire distressed power generation assets.
  • On the corporate strategy and transformation operating model and business plan for a Top-10 Power Utility by electricity generated.
  • On the financial diversification strategy and business model for a Top-10 market cap. resources company and Top-10 Power Utility by electricity generated.
  • As a corporate banker Kris managed a portfolio of 37 corporate clients, across 34 industries, with total authorization of C$885M, and borrower’s revenue of up to $3.1B. Annual portfolio revenue generation of approximately $11M.
  • Regional VP in all activities to develop performance metrics for >300 people across division, which resulted in more equitable and better aligned performance metrics across 8 lines of business.
  • Initial due diligence in acquisition of film/television media lending and advisory company, to expand Top-3 Canadian Banks’ market share in media lending segment.
  • On banking products to the <18 yr. old market at one of Africa’s big four banks in a crisis situation after the client dismissed 10-person strategy team due to erroneous analyses.
  • On a financial model, strategy, prospectus and implementation plan for a >US$50M venture capital investment to launch a short-term direct insurer in Russia.
  • On a US$10M cost avoidance underwriting partnership business case, screened potential partners, conducted preliminary negotiations and concluded an in-principle agreement between the client and underwriter.
  • Senior executives of major banks, insurance companies, and high-net-worth-individuals in Johannesburg and Moscow, during financial services road-show.
  • >USD1B revenue precious metals company not to diversify its operating portfolio.
  • Kris received a Dipl. in Music with a concentration in Classical Piano from DG Shatalov Music College, a B.Comm from UNISA, cum laude with highest distinction and an MBA from Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, on the deans list with highest distinction, where she was President of the Public Sector Club and Editor of the Public Sector Journal. Prior to obtaining her business degrees she worked in management consulting and post-MBA she was a banker and consulting engagement manager in Toronto. Prior to consulting Kris was a master classical concert pianist and official representative of the Russian Federation who toured Europe.
  • Kris Safarova is based in Los Angeles. For investment, partnership or business development opportunities she may be reached by email at [email protected].
Prior Work Experience

Director, Corporate Finance
Business Analyst, Associate, Senior Associate and Manager at 2 major international professional service firms
Classical concert pianist touring internationally

Business Books

The Strategy Journal, Author
Succeeding as a Management Consultant, Author
The Strategy Engagement, Author
Turquoise Eyes, Author
Mavis, Author


Ivey Business Journal feature, Ten Ways for CEOs to Turnaround SOEs, March/April 2013

Ivey Intouch Magazine Profile, Sep 2019