Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the news round-up. We've been struck by an ice storm here in New York but no freezing rain, however how cool-looking or fun to play with, can hold back this spectacular dose of consulting news.
First spot goes to top dog McKinsey, in the news this week as a witness to corporate corruption. One Raj Rajaratnam, founder of Galleon Group, recently served a subpoena on the firm, demanding that McKinsey turns over documents regarding fellow Raj and former McKinsey partner Rajat Gupta. Gupta, also formerly on the payroll at Goldman Sachs, is under investigation for leaking insider information regarding a deal between the bank and Berkshire Hathaway. Galleon Group was the alleged recipient of Gupta's inside information on the deal, making Rajaratnam and Gupta partners in crime. That partnership appears broken now, as Rajaratnam demands to know anything that McKinsey might have discovered after the firm launched an internal investigation into any possible wrongdoing by Gupta. Pundits suggest that the Galleon man could be trying to discredit any testimony Gupta might make against him.
Navigant Consulting has continued a brutal year-long slide, slipping to new financial lows today when it announced weak profits and forecast a similar 2011. The firm reported a fourth-quarter profit of just $559,000, down from $4.8 million in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year. Navigant's stock now goes for a measly 1 cent per share, down from 10 cents in 2009. CEO William Goodyear was predictably business-like: "While we are disappointed in 2010's financial results, we do believe that the strategic actions implemented and capital invested over the past 18 months have materially strengthened the company." The good news is that it couldn't get much worse--they aren't going to give their shares away for free, are they?
In slightly less intriguing news, Capgemini is now peddling an Intel product that provides consumers with an easier way to track their use of home utilities. That product is the Home Energy Dashboard, an in-home digital interface that allows users easier access to utilities; consumers can now track and change levels of consumption from the comfort of the couch. This is a total no-brainer. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that it's completely absurd that something like this hadn't previously existed in every home. Capgemini, of course, didn't build the hardware itself, though the French tech consultancy will design applications to support it and provide users with deployment and management services.
Over the hump!
For more information:
Bloomberg: Galleon's Raj Rajaratnam Seeks McKinsey Files
Navigant Sees Q4 Below Street, Forecasts Weak 2011
Capgemini Supports the Utilities Sector
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