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Kearney (consulting firm)

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Company typeIncorporated
IndustryManagement consulting
Founded1926; 98 years ago (1926)
FounderAndrew Thomas Kearney
HeadquartersFranklin Center, Chicago, United States
Number of locations
60+ offices
  • Increase $1.6 billion (2022)
Number of employees
5,300+ employees

Kearney is an American global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries worldwide.[1] Kearney's predecessor firm was founded in Chicago by James O. McKinsey in 1926; he hired Andrew Thomas "Tom" Kearney as his first partner in 1929. After James McKinsey died in 1937, the Chicago office split into its own company, led by Tom Kearney and called McKinsey, A.T. Kearney, and Company. In 1947, it was renamed A.T. Kearney and Company.[2]

In January 2020, the firm underwent a major rebranding and changed its name from A.T. Kearney to Kearney.[3]

Practice areas[edit]

Kearney has offices in 40 countries and has more than 5,300 employees.[1] It operates under a unique "one-partner, one-vote" structure, by which each of the company's 300+ partners has an equal vote on governance matters.[4][5]

Industries and capabilities[edit]

Kearney covers a wide range of industries and capabilities. Industry specialties include aerospace and defense, automotive, chemicals, communications media and technology, consumer products and retail, financial institutions, healthcare, metals and mining, oil and gas, private equity, public sector, transportation, and infrastructure and utilities.[6] Major service lines are in strategy, analytics, mergers and acquisitions, innovation, operations, technology strategy, organization and transformation, marketing and sales, procurement, and sustainability.[7] The firm is particularly well known for its operations, supply chain and transformation expertise, ranking among the top firms in these areas.[8]

Institutional partnership[edit]

Kearney is a longstanding partner of the World Economic Forum, attending Forum events and advising on global platforms and regional agendas and serving as a member of the Alliance of CEO Climate Members, and Racial Justice in Business. Kearney began its relationship with the European Management Forum in 1971, and it became an institutional partner in 1997.[9][10]

Pro-bono engagements[edit]

Kearney provides pro-bono engagements with organizations that support social and racial justice.[11] For example, in 2023, they conducted an impact analysis of the first AAPI-entered Speaker Expo in North America that presented topics about culture, leadership, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.[12][13]


In 1926, James O. McKinsey founded his firm of "accountants and management engineers"; three years later he hired Tom Kearney as the first partner at McKinsey & Company.[2][14][15] Upon McKinsey's sudden death in 1937, the remaining partners disagreed on how to best run the firm and by 1939, they had split into three organizations: Scovell, Wellington & Company, the accounting practice run by Oliver Wellington that McKinsey & Company had purchased before McKinsey's death; McKinsey, A.T. Kearney & Company, the Chicago consulting office run by Tom Kearney; and McKinsey & Company, run by Marvin Bower.[16] In 1947, when Bower purchased the rights to the McKinsey name from Kearney, Tom renamed the firm after himself, creating A.T. Kearney and Company.[17] In 1972, the name was shortened to A.T. Kearney.[18]

- United States Present A.T. Kearney Headquarters and its predecessor firm McKinsey's Chicago Office established in 1926
- Germany Office established in 1964
- Japan ATK's First Asian Branch Tokyo Office established in 1972
- China Office established in 1985
- South Korea Kearney Korea's Seoul Office established in 1995

A.T. Kearney opened its first international office in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1964. Its first office in Asia was opened in 1972, in Tokyo, Japan.[19]

Kearney established its Global Business Policy Council in 1992. This is a specialized foresight and strategic analysis unit which conducts research and analysis. It regularly ranks near the top of the University of Pennsylvania's list of best for-profit private-sector think tanks; it was ranked fourth globally in 2020.[20] The Council also hosts and an annual CEO Retreat, whose attendees include academic, corporate, and government "thought leaders". Membership is by invitation only, and current members may veto the invitation of competitors.[21]

In 1995, A.T. Kearney established its Seoul, Korea office (A.T. Kearney Korea LLC)[22][23] and was acquired by the American information technology company EDS for $569 million. However, the Financial Times later described a clash between "A.T. Kearney's individualistic, entrepreneurial style and the more bureaucratic approach of EDS." These tensions peaked when the dotcom bubble burst, affectin both companies results.[24] EDS eventually shed hundreds of jobs at A.T. Kearney, reduced compensation, consolidated back-office functions, and eventually relocated A.T. Kearney's headquarters from Chicago to Plano, Texas.[25] By mid-2005, A.T. Kearney had experienced 11 straight quarters of shrinking revenues, including being unprofitable the final three quarters. In 2006, A.T. Kearney CEO Henner Klein and the consultancy's management struck a deal with EDS CEO Michael Jordan to buy the firm back, and A.T. Kearney was once again an independent firm.[25]

In 2019, Kearney bought Cervello, a business analytics and data management consultancy which had offices in Boston, Dallas, New York, London and Bangalore.[26][27]

In November 2022, Kearney acquired Optano, a Germany-based software firm which worked on supply chain planning.[28]

Recruitment and alumni[edit]

In 2012, the career review site Glassdoor ranked Kearney as the 4th most difficult company to interview with.[29] In Australia, this is underscored by the hiring of just 10 business analysts out of 1,200 applicants in 2021.[30] The firm primarily operates in a generalist model, where consultants can be staffed on a variety of industry and functional projects.[31] There is a fixed training curriculum beginning with an “experience week” to introduce staff to consulting and meet colleagues globally.[31] Kearney also has a global mobility program that enables its consultants to live and work abroad.[32] In 2016 and 2017, the career review site Glassdoor ranked Kearney as the highest-paying company for employees in the United States.[33]

The company says it has 23,000 alumni, who are invited to participate in the company's Kearney Week, held in September of each year.[34]


  1. ^ a b "Kearney | Global Management Consulting Firm - Kearney". www.kearney.com/locations. Retrieved 2022-10-03.
  2. ^ a b "Our story - Kearney". www.kearney.com. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  3. ^ Cameron, Nadia. "Why this professional services firm is using crowdsourcing and consumer marketing tactics". www.cmo.com.au.
  4. ^ Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew (2018-10-07). "AT Kearney's Alex Liu: taking on the big league". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2022-12-11. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  5. ^ "Read @Kearney: Kearney's Alex Liu: Taking on the big league". www.kearney.com. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  6. ^ "Industries". Kearney. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  7. ^ "Services". Kearney. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  8. ^ "Top Supply Chain consulting firms in the US in 2021". www.consulting.us. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  9. ^ "World Economic Forum: The First 40 Years" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Kearney". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  11. ^ "Sustainability and Social Impact". Kearney.
  12. ^ Sha, Mandy. "Speaker Expo | Speakers Bureau". National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP). Retrieved 2024-02-22.
  13. ^ Sha, Mandy. "PublicSpeaking4Everyone". PublicSpeaking4everyone.com. Retrieved 2024-02-27.
  14. ^ L. Urwick. "History of Consulting. Retrieved". The Elements of Administration. Archived from the original on April 30, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  15. ^ "History of our firm | McKinsey & Company". www.mckinsey.com. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  16. ^ Martin, Douglas (2003-01-24). "Marvin Bower, 99; Built McKinsey & Co". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  17. ^ "A.T. Kearney en McKinsey vieren 50 jaar in Duitsland". Consultancy Netherlands (in Dutch). 2014-05-12.
  18. ^ "Kearney Case Interviews & Culture". Management Consulted. 2015-01-19.
  19. ^ "A.T. Kearney & McKinsey celebrate 50 years in Germany". www.consultancy.uk. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  20. ^ "2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report".
  21. ^ Ruiz, Rebecca (May 5, 2008). "How CEOs Stay On Top Of Their Game". Forbes. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  22. ^ 매거진한경 (2006-09-02). "이성용-신종원 AT커니 한국지사 대표". magazine.hankyung.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  23. ^ "인터뷰 이성용 AT커니 한국지사장". 매일경제 (in Korean). 1995-10-03. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  24. ^ Reingold, Jennifer (1999-05-09). "What's Dragging Down A.T. Kearney?". Bloomberg.
  25. ^ a b Velamuri, Vivek (2013-07-01). "EDS's merger with AT Kearney: A promising union that fell apart". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2022-12-11. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  26. ^ "Cervello | Win With Data". mycervello.com. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  27. ^ "Read @ATKearney: A.T. Kearney Acquires Business Analytics Consultancy Cervello". www.atkearney.com. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  28. ^ "Kearney deepens supply chain offerings with Optano acquisition". www.consultancy.eu. 2022-11-10. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  29. ^ Giang, Vivian (July 27, 2012). "The 25 Hardest Companies For Job Interviews." Business Insider. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  30. ^ "Kearney hires ten business analysts out of 1,200 applicants". www.consultancy.com.au. 2021-03-07. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  31. ^ a b "Working in strategy consulting at Kearney's Amsterdam office". www.consultancy.eu. 2021-09-17. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  32. ^ "Kearney Interviews & Culture". Management Consulted. 2015-01-19. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  33. ^ Verhage, Julie (April 12, 2017). "These Are the Highest-Paying Companies in America". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  34. ^ "Worldwide Kearney Day - Worldwide Kearney Day - Kearney". www.kearney.com. Retrieved 2021-11-20.

External links[edit]