Executive Mosaic is honored to present Pierre Chao, founding partner of Renaissance Strategic Advisors (RSAdvisors), as an inductee into the 2020 Wash100 Award for his expansive consulting services and IT insights.
This marks Chao’s third Wash100 Award. Chao secured his second Wash100 Award in 2017 for expanding the company’s portfolio and revenue. Under Chao’s leadership, his current company, Enlightenment, generated $147 million in capital commitments for its second fund and has invested in 11 firms across the aerospace, defense and government services sector such as Aurora Flight Sciences and Gleason Research Associates.
Chao has over three decades of aerospace and defense strategy management consulting, investment banking, equity analysis, investing and policy analysis expertise.
Prior to establishing RSAdvisors, Chao was the Director of Defense-Industrial Initiatives at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington D.C.-based, non-partisan defense and foreign policy think tank, from 2003-2007, where he currently serves as a Senior Associate.
At RSAdvisors, Chao has implemented his growth strategies and knowledge in the industry to expand the company’s influence within the GovCon sector. Most notably, he provided perspective on the Raytheon-UTC merger in June 2019.
The planned merger between Raytheon and United Technologies Corp. was announced as the aerospace-and-defense sector anticipate slower growth in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) spending and as DoD sets its sights on hypersonic missiles, space systems and other new priorities.
As the number of weapons platforms has dwindled, Chao noted policymakers should not be surprised about the consolidation in the acquisition and development industry. “We’ve let market forces create the ‘bigs,’” Chao said. He noted that the proposed Raytheon-UTC combination is likely within an acceptable degree since both companies do not produce the same lines of products.
Throughout the year, Chao has been recognized for his consulting services and analysis of government and industry trends. He has discussed the state of the US military and strategic challenges facing the US at the Bank of America Securities Defense Outlook and Commercial Aerospace Forum, providing insight on how to improve defense strategies to ensure security, in Jan. 2020.
In addition to his advice concerning defense strategies, Chao has also provided insight into IT services and offered his outlook. Chao presented on the government services and IT outlook at the Professional Services 2019 Vision Conference in Nov. 2019.
Chao and his colleague, Adam Harrison, who presented the PSC Vision Industry Outlook, pointed out that the dynamics were very different at the height of the market’s downturn over 2012 and 2013 with sequestration and spending declines.
The pair noted that human resources strategies at that time were centered around cost-cutting and reducing headcount. The two stated that the opposite is currently true, as companies are more aggressive on the recruiting front through employee referral programs and other initiatives to staff up as they win contracts.
Chao said human capital is “for sure an area where you’re seeing innovation and differentiation in a place where I think you start to separate the winners from the losers.”
He added that differentiation is more pronounced in the private markets than among publicly-traded companies that are larger in scale, but hinted it is becoming clear where businesses sit.
“If your entire business is based in premise on the fact that I can rebadge the loser’s work and therefore it could also happen to me, you’re probably more at the commodity end of the business and you’d better start figuring out how you’re gonna start to differentiate,” Chao said.
Executive Mosaic congratulates RSAdvisors and Pierre Chao for his 2020 Wash100 Award. Chao’s continued dedication to develop the RSAdvisors analysis and influence in the industry proves that he is a notable figure in the GovCon sector.
About The Wash100
This year represents our sixth annual Wash100 Award selection. The Wash100 is the premier group of private and public sector leaders selected by Executive Mosaic’s organizational and editorial leadership as the most influential leaders in the GovCon sector. These leaders demonstrate skills in leadership, innovation, achievement, and vision.
Visit the Wash100 site to learn about the other 99 winners of the 2020 Wash100 Award. On the site, you can submit your 10 votes for the GovCon executives of consequence that you believe will have the most significant impact in 2020.