Building the Professional Firm: McKinsey & Co.: 1939-1968

Front Cover
Division of Research, Harvard Business School, 1994 - 39 pages
This history describes how McKinsey & Co. became one of the world's leading management consulting firms. Marvin Bower and two partners founded McKinsey in 1939 to take over the failing East Coast practice of McKinsey, Wellington & Co., with the goal of building a firm that would last in perpetuity. Over the next two decades the firm secured an enviable national clientele and developed a distinctive system of professional norms, approach to serving clients, personnel policies, organization, governance and ownership which encouraged members to identify with the long-term interests of the institution. In the 1960s, the McKinsey system and Bower's leadership allowed the firm to replicate its success overseas and effect a smooth transfer of control to a new generation of partners.

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