Mitchell Madison Group
|Key people||Hans Dau, Curt Andersson|
|Products||Performance Improvement, Cost Reduction, Strategy|
The Mitchell Madison Group (MMG) is a global management consulting firm that focuses on improving financial and operating performance for major corporations. Originally founded in 1994 and re-launched in 2003, it is today widely recognized as a leader in the areas of Strategic Sourcing, Performance Improvement, and Big Data Analysis. Unlike most traditional management consulting firms, the majority of Mitchell Madison’s revenue is derived from success fees rather than time-based billing.
In 1992, a group of McKinsey partners in New York left the firm to start a Financial Services Group at A.T. Kearney, a Chicago-based competitor. The relationship soon soured as A.T. Kearney was in the process of selling itself to EDS, an IT outsourcing conglomerate. As a result, the original Mitchell Madison Group was created in a management buy-out with about 120 professionals in 1994.
The firm experienced rapid growth in the 1990s, primarily on the back of its successful Strategic Sourcing practice, serving many of world’s largest Financial Institutions. With a global footprint of 16 offices and almost 1,000 employees, Fortune magazine named it one of the top 50 firms to work for in 1999. The firm was sold in late 1999 for about $300MM to USWeb a Web design company which expanded during the dot-com boom into management consulting. Subsequently, USWeb merged with Whitman-Hart, another consulting firm based in Chicago. The combined company, a merger of equals, had over 10,000 employees with annual revenues exceeding $1BN and soon renamed itself to marchFIRST. With the burst of the dot-com bubble, marchFIRST went into bankruptcy in April 2001 and its assets were liquidated.
In 2003, Hans Dau with other partners, who were running the successful West Coast offices of the original Mitchell Madison Group, joined forces and decided to re-launch the firm by acquiring the brand name in bankruptcy court. Recognizing a need for new consulting model, where the client and the consulting firm share financially in the success of a project, they were able to build a high-end boutique firm with global capabilities that serves large brand name clients globally. By 2008, the firm had grown to about 150 employees with main offices on New York, Los Angeles and Manila and several satellite offices in Europe and Asia.
The firm is featured, although not by name, in Matthew Stewart's book "The Management Myth". Stewart takes care not to state the name of the firm, but he does say that it was bought out by an Internet company whose CEO was named "Joe" and believed in UFOs.
Mitchell Madison Group is formally organized as a Corporation and functions as a partnership in its day-to-day operations. It is the firm’s policy to only serve one client in a specific industry or around a specific issue as to avoid any perception of potential client conflict. Due to the firm’s orientation towards client success delivery and contingency compensation, its senior partners are much more involved in executing consulting work than is typical for other consulting firms. The organizational pyramid tends to be more “hour-glass” shaped with senior partners and consultants working directly with junior staff. Mitchell Madison also leverages its large Manila office heavily for analytical work and most of its offshore consultants work side by side with the firm’s US and European staff on client projects. According to Vault, the culture at MMG is that of a small, entrepreneurial firm: "As such, consultants are given more responsibility and hands-on experience than they would receive at other consultancies. Consultants work in small, high-powered teams and receive direct feedback from managers, partners and clients".
Mitchell Madison Group provides Strategy and Performance Improvement consulting services to large corporations (over $1BN in revenue), primarily in the financial services, manufacturing, telecom, technology and media/publishing sectors. Since its founding in 1994, the firm has completed well over 1,000 projects, improving their clients’ financials by over $10 billion annually.
Mitchell Madison is best known for its capabilities in Strategic Sourcing and Transformational Outsourcing where it works with clients to improve their cost structure by restructuring and re-negotiating complex supplier relationships. The firm has accumulated significant intellectual property in a wide range of expense categories and leverages that expertise to accelerate client projects. Consulting Magazine recognized MMG's Rolf Thrane, as one of the Top 25 consultants in 2007.
Mitchell Madison Group recruits both experienced consultants and entry-level staff from leading universities. Campus recruiting is a mix of MBAs and exceptional candidates with non-traditional backgrounds. In addition to the top MBA schools, the firm has historically recruited heavily at Caltech and MIT. Vault has recognized Mitchell Madison as an employer with competitive compensation where consultants have “the opportunity to move up and shine”, but cautions that the "Small, entrepreneurial environment does not satisfy everyone with a corporate America background".
- NY Times "EDS Resumes Purchase Talks with AT Kearney"
- Channel Web "Next In Line: USWeb/CKS To Buy Mitchell Madison Group"
- CNET "USWeb to merge with Whitman Hart
- NY Times: MarchFirst to Liquidate
- Matthew Stewart, The Management Myth - Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong - ISBN 0393065537
- Vault Mitchell Madison Profile
- Consulting Magazine Top 25 Consultants
- Vault Mitchell Madison Company Snapshot