Kearney (consulting firm)

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IndustryManagement consulting
Founded1926; 96 years ago (1926)
FounderAndrew Thomas Kearney
HeadquartersFranklin Center, Chicago, United States
Number of locations
60+ offices
  • Increase $1.4 billion (2019)
Number of employees
4,200+ employees

Kearney is a global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries worldwide.[1] Kearney has consistently earned top places among global management consulting firm rankings, such as Vault's Consulting 50[2] and Consulting magazine's "Best Firms to Work For."[3]

Kearney's predecessor firm was founded in Chicago by James 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.[4]

In January 2020, the firm underwent a major rebranding and changed its name from A.T. Kearney to Kearney.[5]

Practice areas[edit]

Kearney has offices in 40 countries and has more than 3,600 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.[6][7]

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.[8] Major service lines are in strategy, analytics, mergers and acquisitions, innovation, operations, technology strategy, organization and transformation, marketing and sales, procurement, and sustainability.[9] The firm is particularly well known for its operations, supply chain and transformation expertise, ranking among the top firms in these areas.[10]

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.[11][12]


In 1926, James O. McKinsey founded his eponymous firm of "accountants and management engineers"; three years later he hired Tom Kearney as the first partner at McKinsey & Company.[4][13][14] 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.[15] 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.[16] In 1972, the name was shortened to A.T. Kearney.[17]

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.[18]

Kearney established its Global Business Policy Council in 1992. The Council is a specialized foresight and strategic analysis unit that 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.[19] The Council also hosts and an annual CEO Retreat, whose attendees include prominent academic, corporate, and government thought leaders. Membership is by invitation only, and current members may veto the invitation of competitors.[20]

In 1995, A.T. Kearney was acquired by the American information technology company EDS for $569 million. The purchase of a successful management consultancy by an IT services group was unprecedented, but initially financially successful, with Kearney's revenue tripling in five years to reach an industry-leading $1.3 billion by 2000. However, the firms experienced some culture clash: 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, impacting both companies results.[21] 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.[22] 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.[22]

In 2019, Kearney acquired Cervello, a business analytics and data management consultancy that had offices in Boston, Dallas, New York, London and Bangalore. Cervello's focus areas include enterprise performance management, data management, business intelligence and CRM.[23][24]

Recruitment and alumni[edit]

In 2012, the career review site Glassdoor ranked Kearney as the 4th most difficult company to interview with.[25] In Australia, this is underscored by the hiring of just 10 business analysts out of 1,200 applicants in 2021.[26] The firm primarily operates in a generalist model, where consultants can be staffed on a variety of industry and functional projects.[27] There is a fixed training curriculum beginning with an “experience week” to introduce staff to consulting and meet colleagues globally.[27] Kearney also has a global mobility program that enables its consultants to live and work abroad.[28] In 2016 and 2017, the career review site Glassdoor ranked Kearney as the highest-paying company for employees in the United States.[29]

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.[30]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Kearney consistently ranks among the top management consulting firms globally. The firm has been listed in Consulting magazine's "Best Firms to Work For" list seven times in eight years.[31] The firm is also regularly listed on the Vault Guide's ranking of the most prestigious firms to work for; it was ranked 9th in 2020.[32] Working Mother magazine also ranks Kearney in its "Best Companies" list.[33] In 2020, Forbes named Kearney as one of the best management consulting firms.

In 2015, 2016, and 2017 Kearney was awarded the "Excellence in Social & Community Investment" award by Consulting magazine.[34] The same magazine has recognized Kearney partners for the past seven years as one of the top 25 consultants.[35]

Besides achievements of professional excellence, Kearney has been recognized for its supportive and collegial culture, inclusive programs and networks, and diverse talent. Since 2015, the firm has been recognized as one of the "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" every year.[36] Working Mother has not only recognized Kearney as one of the "Top 100 Firms for Working Families and Women,"[37] but also awarded five working mothers from Kearney since 2013 as "Working Mothers of the Year."[38] In 2020, many of Kearney's diversity networks and consultants were ranked among the top networks and consultants for diversity and inclusion on the Guardian's Global Diversity List.[39] In 2021, the firm celebrated 10 years of being carbon neutral, and is part of several initiatives for diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability.[40]


  1. ^ a b "Kearney | Global Management Consulting Firm - Kearney". Retrieved 2022-10-03.
  2. ^ "Vault Consulting 50". Vault. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  3. ^ Kornik, Joseph (September 14, 2015). "The 2015 Best Firms to Work For: A.T. Kearney". Consulting Magazine. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Our story - Kearney". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  5. ^ Cameron, Nadia. "Why this professional services firm is using crowdsourcing and consumer marketing tactics".
  6. ^ Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew (2018-10-07). "AT Kearney's Alex Liu: taking on the big league". Financial Times. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  7. ^ "Read @Kearney: Kearney's Alex Liu: Taking on the big league". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  8. ^ "Industries". Kearney. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  9. ^ "Services". Kearney. Retrieved April 20, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Top Supply Chain consulting firms in the US in 2021". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  11. ^ "World Economic Forum: The First 40 Years" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Kearney". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  13. ^ L. Urwick. "History of Consulting. Retrieved". The Elements of Administration. Archived from the original on April 30, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  14. ^ "History of our firm | McKinsey & Company". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  15. ^ Martin, Douglas (2003-01-24). "Marvin Bower, 99; Built McKinsey & Co". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  16. ^ "A.T. Kearney en McKinsey vieren 50 jaar in Duitsland". Consultancy Netherlands (in Dutch). 2014-05-12.
  17. ^ "Kearney Case Interviews & Culture". Management Consulted. 2015-01-19.
  18. ^ "A.T. Kearney & McKinsey celebrate 50 years in Germany". 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  19. ^ "2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Ruiz, Rebecca (May 5, 2008). "How CEOs Stay On Top Of Their Game". Forbes. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  21. ^ Reingold, Jennifer (1999-05-09). "What's Dragging Down A.T. Kearney?". Bloomberg.
  22. ^ a b Velamuri, Vivek (2013-07-01). "EDS's merger with AT Kearney: A promising union that fell apart". Financial Times.
  23. ^ "Cervello | Win With Data". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  24. ^ "Read @ATKearney: A.T. Kearney Acquires Business Analytics Consultancy Cervello". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  25. ^ Giang, Vivian (July 27, 2012). "The 25 Hardest Companies For Job Interviews." Business Insider. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  26. ^ "Kearney hires ten business analysts out of 1,200 applicants". 2021-03-07. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  27. ^ a b "Working in strategy consulting at Kearney's Amsterdam office". 2021-09-17. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  28. ^ "Kearney Interviews & Culture". Management Consulted. 2015-01-19. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  29. ^ Verhage, Julie (April 12, 2017). "These Are the Highest-Paying Companies in America". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  30. ^ "Worldwide Kearney Day - Worldwide Kearney Day - Kearney". Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  31. ^ Kornik, Joseph (September 14, 2015). "The 2015 Best Firms to Work For: A.T. Kearney". Consulting Magazine. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  32. ^ Stott, Phil (August 20, 2013). "Vault's 2014 Consulting Rankings are Here!" Vault Blogs. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  33. ^ "Best Companies: A.T. Kearney" (September 3, 2013). Working Mother. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  34. ^ "The 2017 Social & Community Investment Awards". Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  35. ^ "2019 Winners: Consulting Top 25 Consultants 2020". Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  36. ^ Campaign, Human Rights. "Best Places to Work 2020". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  37. ^ "2019 Working Mother 100 Best Companies". Working Mother. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  38. ^ "Working Mothers Of The Year". Working Mother. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  39. ^ "D&I Specialists | Global Diversity List 2020". GlobalDiversityList. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  40. ^ "Read @Kearney: Diversity, equity, and inclusion". Retrieved 2021-11-20.

External links[edit]