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University of Chicago accounting professor James "Mac" McKinsey founds the firm. First client: meatpacker Armour & Co.1933
Marvin Bower, a lawyer and Harvard MBA, joins the New York office and essentially invents the discipline of modern management consulting.1935
Marshall Field & Co. becomes the firm's first big client and eventually hires James McKinsey to be CEO.1959
Opens first non-U.S. office in London and wins landmark assignment with Bank of England.1960s
Successful expansion overseas throughout Europe and Australia.1964
Launches The McKinsey Quarterly, which remains the foremost journal of management ideas produced by a consulting firm.MID-1970s
New strategy consulting boutiques Boston Consulting Group and Bain offer first intense competition in high-level strategy consulting.1978
McKinsey partner Louis Gerstner departs firm for American Express and later becomes CEO of RJR Nabisco and IBM. Other alums head some of the world's biggest companies.1982
McKinsey consultants Tom Peters and Bob Waterman publish In Search of Excellence.1985
Director Kenichi Ohmae's Triad Power helps to establish the firm's early lead on globalization.1990
McKinsey partner Jeffrey Skilling joins one of the firm's major clients, Enron.1994
Rajat Gupta becomes the first foreign-born managing partner.1994-97
Gupta accelerates global expansion, opening offices in Shanghai, Bogotá, Moscow, Beijing, Perth, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.1999-2001
Three of the most recent books by McKinsey consultants sang the praises of Enron just before its collapse.2000
The high-tech boom helps to drive annual revenues over $3 billion for first time, making McKinsey twice as big as its nearest competitor in general management consulting.2002
McKinsey assists Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on HP's controversial Compaq acquisition. McKinsey earns $9 million on deal.