Summer is usually a slow time in the business world. But just to prove that consultants haven't spent all of their time over the past few months buried in the sand, pina coladas in hand, here's a sampling of the major headlines coming over the airwaves:
—In early July, Aon Corporation announced its acquisition of Hewitt Associates. Hewitt will be combined (under the Aon Corporation umbrella) with Aon's current consulting and outsourcing operations Aon Consulting. Together, the two will operate under the new Aon Hewitt brand, to be rolled out at the start of 2011. The acquisition will expand Aon's footprint in the HR consulting space, and will expand its ability to serve large employers (the company current caters to a largely middle-market clientele).
—A.T. Kearney met its goal (set in 2007) of becoming carbon neutral across its global operations by 2010. It accomplished this goal by changing the way it operates, buying carbon offsets and establishing "sustainability czars" in offices around the world to lead local initiatives related to the cause. The firm also implemented stringent measurement of its travel, as 80 percent of its carbon emissions derived from project-related travel.
—KPMG acquired the supply chain advisory services practice of Grant Thornton LLP in an effort to expand its restructuring services practice—specifically in the areas of automotive, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and defense, and other manufacturing industries.
—Last week, Capgemini announced a plan to hire 17,000 more people in India in 2010, on top of the 26,000 it already has in the country. The firm has experienced strong recovery in the region, and has seen significant growth in industry verticals, innovation and client engagement. The firm expects 3 to 5 percent revenue growth in India for the second half of 2010.
—And, of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't touch upon the latest controversy at HP. While it has no direct bearing on the consulting arm of the business, it's an interesting story nonetheless. On Friday, August 6, HP CEO Mark Hurd resigned suddenly after it was discovered that he had misused corporate expense accounts amidst allegations of sexual harassment toward actress-turned-corporate-event planner Jodie Fisher, hired by the firm as a contractor. (You can catch her in such wholesome films as Body of Influence 2, Sheer Passion and Silk Stockings. Yikes…) As of yet, there is no succession plan in place in Hurd's absence, though speculation abounds.
Stay tuned as Vault will be releasing its 2011 Strategy Consulting Rankings in the next few weeks!
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