Fact Sheet, Fall 1999

Mitchell Madison Group (MMG)


Year Founded: MMG: 1994; USWeb/CKS: 1995
Headquarters: MMG: New York, NY; USWeb: San Francisco, CA
1998 Consulting  Revenues: MMG: $257 million; USWeb/CKS: $229 million (total revenues)
Key Players: Tom Steiner, President and COO, USWeb/CKS
Number of Consultants: 634 (MMG)
Web Page:


United States Recruiting Contact: Carol Labi, Recruiting Manager (graduate programs)
Trisha Iglesias, Recruiting Coordinator (under- graduate)
Address: 520 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone, Fx: Ph: 212-372-9100
Fx: 212-372-4408
E-mail: recruiting@mmgnet.com



Now and again, a rock band out of nowhere will appear on the top 40 charts and rocket up the list, establish a reputation and make millions in sales. Mitchell Madison Group (MMG) was formed when it split off from A.T. Kearney a few years ago and rocketed to the Consultants News' Largest 40 list in 1997 with revenues of $100 million for 1996, which doubled the following year without a significant acquisition.

But as with some music sensations, they fall to earth, and with Mitchell Madison Group, it was a fast fall.

In 1994, on a street named Mitchell in upstate New York, ATK's financial services practice head Tom Steiner and other partners developed the plan to bolt from ATK. Steiner, along with 22 of the 25 founding partners of MMG, are ex-ATK and ex-McKinsey. Including the founding partners, Steiner took 135 consultants with him to form MMG, giving the start-up instant critical mass. The Manhattan address was on Madison Avenue, hence the name, Mitchell Madison Group. The firm now has 15 offices worldwide; 7 in North America, 6 in Europe, 1 in Africa, and 2 in Australia.

But disaster struck in early 1999, when the firm couldn't keep up with its own unbelievable growth. The firm began recruiting MBA's, undergrads, and industry experts faster than the firm could find work for them. The result? MMG was paying many consultants who were "beached"-as in hanging around the office like anxious firefighters waiting for the call-and thus not billable. The firm cut 7% to 10% of its consulting staff (typical of a firm in a cash crunch, according to Consultants News) and retained the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to help evaluate options. Rumors of a number of partners leaving the firm erupted around the same time as well. Among the partners known to have fled the firm included Will Riordan, who was a top recruiter at MMG and was described as "charismatic" by more than one consultant. Riordan is widely credited for making the firm a favorite on B-school campuses. The firm also rescinded-then reinstated-15 offers made to undergraduates at six schools in the spring. It was widely believed MMG was up for sale.

On the morning of July 30th, 1999 Internet services firm USWeb/CKS announced its intent to acquire the firm. The deal has received favorable marks by some analysts. Part of the rationale for the acquisition of MMG by USWeb/CKS was MMG's financial services sector focus. The financial services industry is undergoing significant changes in the face of the e-commerce boom. The acquisition was also meant to bolster USWeb/CKS's presense in other regions of the world, including Asia, where MMG has a healthy business. (USWeb/CKS has experienced some fast growth itself, doubling its revenues in 1998.) At this point, it is unclear if USWeb/CKS intends to fold the MMG name to its own, but USWeb/CKS may still exploit the MMG name, which is almost synonymous with "strategy."

Source: http://www.consultingcentral.com/career/firms/mmg.html