An ascendant descendent

As a consultancy, A.T. Kearney has a rich heritage that takes it back to the setup of McKinsey & Company and the arrival of consulting as a profession in 1920s Chicago. When James Oscar McKinsey set up his original firm in the city in 1926, the first partner he hired three years later was a certain fellow by the name of Andrew Thomas Kearney. Following McKinsey's death in 1939, the firm's two offices-based in New York and Chicago-split, with Kearney taking the latter and focusing the company's attention on operations and manufacturing. 

Today, that office has become a monster of a firm, with a truly global reach; it has offices in 40 countries across the world, including 33 offices across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. And, of course, as it has grown over its nearly 90-year history, the company has diversified its operations. Now boasting a workforce of some 3,500 employees, it proudly focuses on what it calls "CEO-agenda concerns," a list that ranges from merger, growth and IT strategies, to supply chain management, innovation and complexity management, and enterprise services transformation. 

In June 2013, leaders of A.T. Kearney formally launched Vision 2020 to colleagues globally. Johan Aurik, managing partner and chairman of the board, introduced a new, bold, vision for the firm, with the ambition of being the industry's most admired firm, distinguished by "our culture and how we work." With this is the ambition to be the "first choice in providing immediate impact and growing advantage for our clients, our people, and the societies in which we live"; and to be a "global collaborative partnership, top three where we choose to compete, doubling in size by 2020." 

The firm also outlined four key promises, which are to: "be recognized for co-creation of innovative ideas and high-impact results with our clients and external partners; create lasting benefits for the societies in which we live, in collaboration with deep networks of external partnerships; provide unsurpassed personal growth and opportunities for our people in a collaborative and diverse culture; and realize above-market growth and value for our clients and stakeholders."


A failed romance

Looking at its more recent history, A.T. Kearney walked into what can only be described as a loveless marriage in 1995 with Texas-based tech monolith Electronic Data Services (EDS), now a unit of HP. Initial intentions seemed clear enough: EDS was looking to boost its flagging consulting arm, while giving A.T. Kearney's consultants access to some of its high-profile clients. The reality, however, failed to live up to the intentions, and the partnership lasted a mere 10 years. Various factors, including a drop in EDS' earnings, cultural differences at an executive level and a general dislike among A.T. Kearney's management of the notion of being a subsidiary of a publicly held company soon led to a parting of the ways. That officially occurred in January 2006, when more than 170 of the firm's leading consultants (from no less than 26 countries) participated in a management buyout to take the firm private.


Elite council

A key plank of A.T. Kearney's reputation is based on its Global Business Policy Council. The Council was established in 1992 by Paul Laudicina--who also served as the firm's managing partner from 2006-2012--as a forum for corporate, government and academic leaders to discuss relevant issues, focusing on global economic, political, social, and technological shifts. Its annual CEO Retreat, where the world's top CEOs and business-minded leaders gather for exclusive off-the-record discussions, has been recognized as one of the best such events in the world. The Council holds similar meetings at a regional level, including a European-focused retreat each fall in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, and leads various global initiatives, such the A.T. Kearney-Oxford University Scenario Programme. It also provides various strategic advisory services, with a particular emphasis on scenario planning to anticipate and plan for the future.


Retail details

In addition to the advice and implementation work the firm does for its clients, A.T. Kearney leverages its expertise by producing a wide variety of studies each year that track trends in a range of industries. Since 2001, for example, the firm has released an annual Global Retail Development Index, which details retail investment attractiveness in global markets.



September 2014

India Goes Low-Cost Mobile

Ajay Gupta, A.T. Kearney principal, appeared on the BBC to discuss the impact of low-priced smart phones in India and the opening of new online opportunities, as millions of people embrace the internet for the first time. Read more.


June 2014 

U.S. Grows More Attractive for Foreign Investment

"The U.S.  has grown more attractive as a destination for foreign investment, while Russia and some other emerging markets have faded, according to a survey by A.T. Kearney." Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal(subscription/login required). 


10 Best Emerging Markets for Retail

CNBC produced a slideshow featuring the 10 best emerging markets for retail, based on A.T. Kearney's annual Global Retail Development Index. The index "selects 30 out of 200 developing nations and scores them on criteria including political risk, population, saturation and retail sales. The rankings determine how important it is for retailers to plant their flag there." See the full slideshow here. 


Industry recognition 

For the fourth consecutive year, A.T. Kearney received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2014 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. 


The award was the latest in a series from around the industry for the firm: 

  • Consulting magazine's Top 25 Consultants list for 2014 featured A.T. Kearney's Beth Bovis. Previous A.T. Kearney employees to have featured on the list include: Joe Raudabaugh, 2012; Laura Gurski, 2011; Hana Ben-Shabat, 2010; Vance Scott, 2009; Daniel Mahler, 2008; Paul Laudicina, 2007. In addition, Johan Aurik, the firm's managing partner and chairman of the board, featured on the cover of the Top 25 Consultants issue in 2013. 

  • Number 3 on Diversity MBA's 50 Out Front for Diversity Leadership list, 2014, up from number 13 in 2013 

  • Working Mothers "100 Best Companies" list for 2013 and 2014 

  • Working Mums, recognized as a top employer in 2013

  • Consulting magazine's Best Firms to Work For list, 2007-2013


May 2014 

Leadership insight from Paul Laudicina

A.T. Kearney Chairman Emeritus Paul Laudicina began a regular column for Forbes, focusing on values-based and relationship-rich leadership. Find a full archive of his posts here.


January 2014 

To B or not to B

The Economist reported on an A.T. Kearney study of women as buyers of B2B services in the U.K. economy. According to the piece, "Nearly half the companies covered in the study reported an increase in female decision-makers among their B2B customers, but until now little attention has been paid to their likes and dislikes." Read the full article here.


May 2014 

Fracking Insiders See No End To Boom

A.T. Kearney Partner Vance Scott was quoted in Forbes article on the prospects for the future of the fracking industry in the U.S. "There is an estimated 5 to 6 trillion barrels of oil locked up in shale […] resources up to 15 times the size of the largest oil field in Saudi Arabia, he said. 'To date we've used as a species, depending on the source, 700 billion to a trillion in oil.'" Read the full article here.


March 2014 

Interview with Johan Aurik

In an interview with the London Business School's Business Strategy Review, A.T. Kearney Managing Partner Johan Aurik discussed the firm at length. Topics included elements of the firm's history, as well as his thoughts on Vision 2020, the firm's roadmap for the future. Read the full interview here. 


June 2013 

Vision 2020

A.T. Kearney introduced Vision 2020, with the ambition of being the industry's most admired firm, distinguished by its culture and how it works, doubling in size by 2020. 


January 2012 

Defining the Brand

The firm introduced a new look to further distinguish its 86-year-old brand in the global consulting marketplace. The updated visual identity and brand promise of, "immediate impact, growing advantage," followed a yearlong initiative to clarify the firm's distinctiveness in line with both its heritage and future ambitions. 

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A.T. Kearney Europe

227 West Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: +1 (312) 648-0111


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Global Managing Partner: Johan Aurik
  • 2014 Employees: 3,500

  • Employment Contact

  • Major Departments & Practices


    Aerospace & Defense



    Communications, Media & Technology

    Consumer Products & Retail

    Financial Institutions


    Metals & Mining

    Oil & Gas

    Private Equity

    Public Sector

    Transportation, Travel & Infrastructure





    Digital Business


    Marketing & Sales

    Mergers & Acquisitions


    Organization & Transformation


    Strategic IT

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL
    Offices in 40 countries

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