2019 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Unparalleled international and development opportunities”
“Hard choice to be made for work/life balance”
"Pinnacle of the industry."
"One of the classic top management consultancies."
"Prestigious, interesting work, but poor work-life balance."
About McKinsey & Company Europe
McKinsey & Company is a privately owned management consulting firm. Roundly considered the most prestigious company of its kind, it has achieved a near-universal level of renown, despite a decades-long commitment to confidentiality that shrouds details of McKinsey’s work-and its client list-in secrecy. In its practice areas, it addresses strategic, organizational, operational and technological issues, always with a focus of doing what is right for the client's business, not what is best for McKinsey's bottom line.
The range of those specialties encompasses everything from commodities and natural resources to media, entertainment, and high tech. While it doesn't share the names of its clients, the firm does claim to serve roughly 90 of the top-100 corporations worldwide and more than 80 of the 100 largest U.S.-based companies. On the public/social sector side, McKinsey has completed almost 4,000 projects for social-sector organizations (foundations and nonprofits), local, regional, national, and international governments and public-sector bodies over the last five years.
The early days
In 1926, James O. McKinsey, founded the business to give local companies financial and accounting advice. Before long, he realized that clients' financial data could be interpreted to help make better management decisions. Thanks to this innovation, McKinsey is credited with the idea of using consultants, or "management engineers", for the first time. Although the firm is his namesake, it was one of his protégés, Marvin Bower, who is most remembered for shaping the direction of the firm.
Most notably, Bower is known for molding the McKinsey culture, mainly through a three-part code of conduct outlining certain ideals consultants were to uphold—something that remains in place today. Among these values are putting client interests ahead of those of the firm, giving superior service and maintaining the highest ethical standards. Bower, who joined the firm in 1933 and later served as managing director, first articulated the consultant's obligation to advocate for what he or she believes to be true.
Degrees of success
McKinsey’s historic reputation for concentrating hiring efforts on recent MBAs from top schools—becoming the MBA employer of choice—still persists, though it does not reflect the realities of the firm's modern composition. Not because MBA students no longer want to work for the firm, but because McKinsey seeks exceptional people, regardless of where that talent may be. JDs, MDs and PhDs are just as likely to be found wandering McKinsey’s halls as B-school grads or undergrads. As McKinsey's client needs have evolved, it also hires more specialized and experienced profiles such as people with change management expertise or digital design and development experience.
Those who choose to move beyond the firm—regardless of their tenure when they depart—tend to have a better-than-average chance of finding success. More than a quarter of the firm's former consultants have gone on to found their own businesses, while 450+ ex-McKinseyites are leading $1 billion enterprises worldwide, including almost 50 leaders in equivalent public and social sector organizations.
As a single, global entity, McKinsey has no headquarters office. Instead, the firm operates what it calls a "one-firm" partnership model, with offices across the world sharing values and cultural norms. This allows the firm to assemble teams of experts in ways that best serve their clients. Consultants are attached to a particular office and quickly build a local community, and they also work with colleagues from other locations. Individuals may choose to transfer to other offices for engagements or for the long term.
The firm is committed to social impact and uses its intellectual, financial and convening power to help address issues such as disease, poverty, climate change, and natural disasters. The firm invests its resources in research on topics such as education, and in extensive pro bono and volunteer work. It recently published its Social Responsibility Report, to capture in one place some of the ways it strives to have a broader impact on society.
The firm also invests to advance an understanding of and resource productivity issues, including carbon abatement. Also, as of 2018, McKinsey is carbon neutral and achieved Climate Neutral Company status, certified by South Pole.
Through McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the firm publishes research on pressing socio-economic issues which it hopes helps to build a better society by providing business and political leaders with the insights they need to make good decisions.
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Managing Director: Kevin Sneader
2019 Employees (All Locations): 30,000
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