At a Glance
Strong on official training
At the client site five days a week
About Alexander Proudfoot
Proud to get down and dirty
What sets Proudfoot Consulting apart from its competitors is that it is not afraid to get dirt under its fingernails, getting to the heart of a problem, rather than merely sitting back and dictating strategy from behind a desk. Well at least that's what Sir Ian McGregor claimed, as he tried to restructure British Steel back in the early 1980s. Almost 30 years later, the firm maintains that this is still the case, with Proudfoot’s CEO Luiz Carvalho insisting that “Proudfoot was never called a consulting company, because we don’t provide advice, we don’t consult really. Our strength is on the implementation of programs more than anything else.” So there you have it. Proudfoot’s consultants don’t advise their clients what to do, they come in and do it for them, designing and implementing performance-enhancing strategies for a range of international clients, including BP, Bank of America, Unilever, AEG, Volkswagen and Perrier.
Today, the consultancy is a mid-weight global player with offices in 14 countries and 480 employees scattered across the Americas, Europe, Australasia, Japan and South Africa. Proudfoot’s expertise covers asset management, call centers, energy, organizational effectiveness, process improvement, procurement, productivity, sales performance improvement and supply chain management, and it applies these services to a huge range of industries, from automotive to utilities and everything in between.
A money-making approach
Proudfoot's consultants come from a mixed bag of industries, as you would expect, with many having had managerial backgrounds before moving into consulting in their 30s. The firm states that its involvement with clients leads to one thing: increased returns on investment, with many seeing hikes as much as 200 and 300 per cent after the consultancy has worked its magic. Proudfoot achieves such numbers through what it calls its Co-Venture approach, which sees the firm utilize the clients’ own knowledge of their company to uncover ways of making it more profitable. The consultancy then goes on to implement changes in the company, as well as the necessary controls to make sure the alterations remain in place.
Another Chicago success story
Proudfoot’s lineage stretches back to 1946 when Chicago resident Alexander Proudfoot, disillusioned with the route he saw management consultancy taking, decided to set up his own firm. His aim? To produce results for the client that far exceeded the cost of getting them. To reach that goal, the Chicagoan insisted clients allow him to take charge and implement the company changes before he accepted assignments. And although Proudfoot skippered a steady ship, it wasn’t until his death in 1968 that the firm, then under the control of Fred Supper, went multinational, opening the first of its global offices in London and Brazil. A predictable course followed, including more international office openings, along with a number of acquisitions extending Proudfoot’s global reach. Its present incarnation came to fruition in 2001 when the group, which consisted of several consultancies, changed its name to Management Consulting Group, of which Proudfoot is a subsidiary.
Another three subsidiary consultancies come under London-based MCG’s control. Along with financial services specialist Parson Consulting, Proudfoot is joined by Kurt Salmon Associates, with a focus on retail, consumer products and health care, and Ineum Consulting, which works in both the commercial and public sectors. The group divides these consulting businesses into two spheres: consultancy and operational consulting. Proudfoot makes up the latter division on its own with the other three firms coming together under the consultancy banner.
10 Fleet Place
London EC4M 7RB
Phone: 44 (0)207 710 5100
Employer Type: Public
Stock Symbol: MMC
Stock Exchange: LSE
CEO: Luiz Carvalho
2009 Employees (All Locations): 480