March 26, 2014

Strategy Consulting Leader A.T. Kearney – Yes, that A.T. Kearney!

A.T. Kearney (“ATK”) recently announced it is bringing on three senior leaders from Kurt Salmon’s Private Equity practice. ATK has been through its ups and downs over the past 20 years, but with the changing landscape in the management consulting sector, ATK is once again well positioned for future growth.

ATK is best known in M&A circles for its disastrous acquisition by EDS in the mid 1990’s and its subsequent management buyout from EDS a decade later at a small fraction of the original price. Since then, ATK has re-established itself in as a leading management consulting firm. With former competitors such as Monitor Group (Deloitte), Booz & Co (PwC) and PRTM (PwC) having been acquired and ATK investing in its global expansion, particularly in emerging markets, ATK is well positioned in this new market landscape. ATK learned a hard lesson with its failed EDS deal two decades ago, but M&A will need to be an important prong in its continued growth strategy. While some may view ATK as an attractive M&A target today, given the recent deals with its aforementioned competitors, we believe ATK is more likely a buyer in this market as it continues to scale and aims to re-assert itself as one of the leading pure-play management consulting firms hoping to one day challenge McKinsey, Bain, and BCG as a market leader.