As a consultancy, A.T. Kearney has a rich heritage that dates
back to the 1920s, with the founding of McKinsey & Company and
the arrival of consulting as a profession. James Oscar McKinsey set
up his original firm in Chicago in 1926, and one of the first
partners hired three years later was a gentleman by the name of
Andrew Thomas Kearney. Following McKinsey's death in 1939, the
firm's two offices-one in New York and one in Chicago-split, with
Kearney taking the latter and focusing the company's attention on
operations and manufacturing.
Today, that one small Chicago office has grown into a monster of
a firm, with a truly global reach; it has offices in 40 countries
across the world. 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 3,600 employees, it proudly focuses on
what it calls "CEO-agenda concerns," a list that ranges from
M&A, growth, and IT strategies, to supply chain management,
technology, innovation, complexity, and transformation.
In June 2013, A.T. Kearney launched Vision 2020. Johan Aurik,
managing partner and chairman of the board, introduced the
initiative as the firm's global vision to become the industry's
most admired firm, distinguished by "our culture and how we work."
Our ambition, he said, is to be the first choice in providing
immediate impact and growing advantage for our clients, our people,
and the societies in which we live. "Working within a global
collaborative partnership," Aurik added, "we aim to be among the
top three where we choose to compete, and to double in size by
The firm also outlined four main promises: to be recognized for
co-creation of innovative ideas and high-impact results with our
clients and external partners; to create lasting benefits for the
societies in which we live, and do so in collaboration with deep
networks of external partnerships; to provide unsurpassed personal
growth and opportunities for our people in a collaborative and
diverse culture; and to realize above-market growth and value for
our clients and stakeholders.
Looking at its more recent history, in 1995 A.T. Kearney walked
into what can only be described as a loveless marriage 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, and A.T. Kearney would get
access to some of EDS' 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 partners of being a subsidiary of a publicly
held company soon led to a parting of the ways. The relationship
officially ended in January 2006, when more than 170 A.T. Kearney
consultants (from no less than 26 countries) participated in a
management buyout to take the firm private.
A key plank of A.T. Kearney's reputation is its Global Business
Policy Council. Established by Paul Laudicina as a forum for
corporate, government, and academic leaders to discuss relevant
issues, Council members include world leaders and CEOs of major
companies who meet regularly to anticipate and plan for the future,
discussing global economic, political, social, and technological
In addition to offering advice and implementing solutions for
clients, A.T. Kearney studies and tracks trends in a wide range of
industries. Since 2001, for example, the firm has released its
annual Global Retail Development Index, which details retail trends
and investment opportunities in developed and developing markets
IN THE NEWS
Zero-Based Budgeting Is Not a Wonder Diet for
A.T. Kearney Partner and Head of America Daniel Mahler
explains why, during a revival driven by powerful investors,
traditional zero-based budgeting implementations aren't ambitious
enough. Read more in Harvard Business Review.
Inventory Pullback a Drag on Logistics
A year-long pullback in U.S. business inventories will likely
continue through the rest of 2016 as retailers and manufacturers
remain cautious amid uncertain demand and the prospects for higher
interest rates, according to an A.T. Kearney report on U.S.
logistics. Read more in the Wall Street Journal.
The 10 Countries Global Corporations Love
A.T. Kearney's annual Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index
showed that 2016 will see companies place an even greater emphasis
on advanced economies than they did in 2015. Emerging markets, from
a corporate investment perspective, are undervalued and in many
cases, falling off radar. Read more in Forbes.
Low Crude Prices to Boost Oil & Gas Deals,
A.T. Kearney Says
Low oil prices will spur more mergers and acquisitions in the
oil and gas industry this year with some companies forced to sell
to avoid bankruptcy, according to consultants A.T. Kearney. Read
more in Bloomberg.
America At A Crossroads: Four Ways It Could
Will continued hyper-partisanship hijack the "American Dream,"
the guiding beacon that has fueled American ambition and can-do
optimism since the founding of the Republic? In the summer of 2026,
when America celebrates its 250th birthday, will the nation be
stable, confident, united and prosperous? A.T. Kearney
explores these questions in-depth. Read more in Forbes.
A.T. Kearney's Stephen Parker: Admiration Through
A.T. Kearney wants to be the most admired global consulting
firm. Chief Learning Officer Stephen Parker's flexibility and
global mindset might just get it there. Read more here, in CLO.