With 108 offices across the globe McKinsey & Co. is a multinational management consulting firm.
It is one of the most prestigious management consulting firms and serves nearly 80 % of the world’s largest corporations. The consulting practice of McKinsey has established many business norms and contributed to many of the major successes and failures in the modern era of business.
The history of this company dates back to 1926 when James McKinsey formed this company in his name. James O. McKinsey was a professor in accounting at the University of Chicago. The main aim of formation of this firm was the application of accounting principles to management. The first partners of McKinsey were Tom Kearney and Marvin Bower who were hired in 1926 and 1933 respectively. McKinsey was later merged with Scovell, Wellington & company, an accounting firm in 1935. This merger led to the two main divisions of the firm- The New York based McKinsey, Wellington & Co. and the Chicago based McKinsey Wellington & Co. Kearney and Bowen had a number of disagreements about the way of running the firm. While Kearney wanted to stay back in Chicago and hire experienced accountants, Bower was interested in national expansion and wanted to hire fresh young business school graduates. This difference of opinion led to the split of the McKinsey, Wellington & Co. in 1939. Scovell Wellington & Company Moved out with the accounting practice while the management engineering practice was further split up into two- McKinsey & Co. and McKinsey Kearney & Company. Later ‘McKinsey was dropped off from McKinsey, Kearney & Co. and there remained only one McKinsey & Co. The credit of establishment of the McKinsey’s culture and practice goes to Marvin Bower. It was also because of him that the McKinsey became the first management consultancy to hire recent college graduates instead of well experienced managers.
The firm expanded internationally and many new practices were established in during 1980s and 1990s. As a result the number of staff grew from 88 in 1951 to around 7700 in the early 2000s.