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Ethan Franklin

Senior Managing Director

Photograph of Ethan Franklin

150 North Riverside Plaza, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60606

+1.312.255.1646 Direct
+1.312.543.1884 Mobile

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Ethan Franklin is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura, based in Chicago. With more than 25 years of experience, Ethan has focused the past two decades of his professional work on labor and operations strategies.


Ethan has successfully developed and implemented innovative labor strategies resulting in hundreds of millions in annual cost savings for well over 100 companies. His labor strategies not only improve business results but also dramatically increase employee morale by deliberately incorporating the needs of the workforce. His experience encompasses a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, food and beverage, automotive, chemical, electronics, pharmaceuticals, power, call centers, banking and insurance, distribution, telecommunications, mining, and government.

Prior to joining Ankura, Ethan was a founding partner of Core Practice LLC, a leading international labor strategy firm. He was responsible for the successful delivery of all services at the firm. Ethan led teams to analyze, identify, and deliver labor and operational cost savings. Working with clients’ employees, he uncovered opportunities to increase employee morale and reduce turnover. As general counsel for the firm, he also managed contract negotiations.

Before that, Ethan served as vice president of delivery for the Workforce Management Practice at Blue Pumpkin Software, now Verint. He recruited, trained, and directed a team of over 30 consultants to deliver successful cost-saving projects. His ability to engage employees while driving cost-saving initiatives is recognized throughout the industry.

Ethan has extensive experience in both union and nonunion environments. He has prepared numerous management teams for union negotiations, providing them with the required knowledge to understand all potential alternatives as well as their financial implications.

Ethan believes that a company’s labor process must be as strategic and well-planned as its manufacturing, supply chain or customer service processes. In addition, he knows that people are the most critical part of the labor process, as they will determine whether the entire enterprise will succeed in the long term.

Ethan’s professional experience includes:

  • Managing over a dozen projects for an international food manufacturer, delivering first-year return on investment of more than 550 percent.
  • Designing and implementing a new labor strategy for a luxury vehicle manufacturing company’s assembly facility, resulting in a capacity increase of 20 percent, lower unit cost, and capital deferment savings. The labor strategy employed a detailed employee feedback initiative that lowered turnover and helped the client achieve the status of employer of choice for the region.
  • Partnering with C-suite executives at a large academic healthcare system to define and execute strategy and governance of value-based care committees, focusing on balancing cost, safety, and quality, employee (including provider) engagement, and consumerism/patient access.
  • Leading a multistate call center project for a major US bank, resulting in lower costs while driving better customer service. The employee outcome was an ability to choose from a wider variety of scheduling options, which decreased turnover and allowed the client to expand its recruiting pool.
  • Creating a better labor operating strategy for a large Midwestern power utility that decreased costs while increasing service levels and shrinking outage windows.
  • Managing a $1.8 billion capital budget for an American multinational telecommunications conglomerate. The needs of 18 different subsidiaries were balanced with the overall corporate vision to modernize the network to cover expanding customer requirements.
  • JD, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • MS, Engineering, University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign
  • MBA, University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign
  • BS, Engineering, University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign
  • Licensed to practice in the state of Illinois

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