Aug 9, 2013

How McKinsey went from white-shoe firm to criminal incubator

The cream of the crop of management consulting firms used to be McKinsey. But the recent alumni of the firm have had a less than sparkling record of late.

Adam Schwab — Business director and commentator

Adam Schwab

Business director and commentator

There is generally a pecking order for top university graduates with law and business degrees. The cream will work up from accounting to law to investment banking to the ultimate — a job at an elite management consulting firm. And they don’t get any more elite than McKinsey. The firm has almost 10,000 consultants worldwide and revenues of more than $5 billion, and perhaps more critically, the esteem has led to McKinsey becoming one the world’s major executive launching pads.

But it seems the shine is rapidly wearing off the McKinsey brand, with the performances of McKinsey alumni across the world turning the once great consultancy firm into an incubator of criminals and corporate disgrace.

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3 thoughts on “How McKinsey went from white-shoe firm to criminal incubator

  1. ric lagasca

    Missed the infamous Nigel Dews. Clocked up whopping losses at Fairfax, then put “3” into a ditch before the merger that almost sank two businesses. Comes from white shoe land (FNQ) and is notoriously nasty.

  2. Liamj

    It was easy for McKinseys economic hitmen to look good while the neoliberal empire was expanding, leaner times are just revealing their true dishonesty & lack of real world competence.

  3. Dogs breakfast

    I have been at 3 or 4 organisations that have called in McKinsey Consultants.

    It seemed to me, and of course this must be wrong, that they then wrote a report which came out of the same cookie cutter for very different organisations, basically saying ‘outsource’ and ‘shared services’.

    They then sent in a huge bill and walked away, without, to my mind, having added any value.

    To this day I am yet to see an outsourcing that didn’t cost more money for less service (although that can be justified by other reasons sometimes) and there is currently zero examples of where shared services hasn’t enraged the service receivers, doubled the wages bill and left the staff with morale somewhere around the bottom of the Pacific ocean.


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