A group of consultants from First Manhattan Consulting Group have defected to form their own firm specializing in customer retention and profitability.

The firm, Novation Associates, will be based in New York. The founding managing directors include Seamus McMahon, former executive vice president at First Manhattan, and Richard W. Spitler, James L. Bramlett, and David Kaytes, all former managing vice presidents. Another former managing vice president, Wayne I. Cutler, will be affiliated with the firm. All five left First Manhattan last week.

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