What a Candidate Should Know About The Boston Consulting Group


The Boston Consulting Group is headquartered in Boston in the United States. It has just over 6,000 consultants worldwide distributed in 45 countries in 81 offices. Revenues generated by BCG almost reach the $4 billion per year.

The History of the Boston Consulting Group


The consulting firm Boston Consulting Group was founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson. The latter began his career as a salesman of Bibles (!) in Tennessee after studying engineering before being accepted at Harvard to lake his MBA. He was employed by a company in Boston, the Westinghouse Company, and joined Arthur D. Little before creating the Boston Consulting Group. Here is a video of interest concerning the history of this firm of excellence:



The profile of its founder gives interesting information on the profile of The Boston Consulting Group. B. Henderson was atypical in his approach to consulting. He really changed the practices of the consulting sector. For example, we can say that BCG gave its prestige to the “strategy” which is now the field which attracts so many students worldwide. In fact, Bruce Henderson was the first to attract students with the best profiles by offering them windfall wages that contributed to the reputation of excellence and attractiveness of strategy consulting. Similarly, if you look at the name of most of the competitors of the Boston Consulting Group, you will notice that most consulting firms bear the name of their founder, but not the BCG. This firm was not built on a model centered  on its famous founder, with career paths like “rakes.” You know, career paths where everything is open during the first five years of career but where, from the tenure just below partner, one’s career stagnates, generating lots of frustration.


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In 1964, the first BCG analyses were published in order to stimulate the creative thinking of senior managers. These articles form the basis of what would later become the magazine BCG Perspectives. Specifically, the first time BCG really gained luster was thanks to the publication of articles of its founder in the Harvard Business Review. In 1968, BCG was separated from its parent company, the Boston Company.

In 1969, the BCG passed McKinsey as a main recruiter of graduates from Harvard, which made big noise at the time. It was in 1970 that BCG exceeded the number of 100 consultants. In 1973, one of the most important vice-presidents of BCG decided to create his own company: Bill Bain then founded Bain & Company. The separation was not made without pain, but the BCG continued to grow during these years until 1985, the year of the retirement for its illustrious founder. Today BCG is part of the three largest strategy consulting firms in the world. Depending on the years and geographies it sometimes even soundly defeats McKinsey!


The Growth of the Boston Consulting Group


The firm grew by more than 15% per year for twenty years. In the past five years, BCG has opened 13 new offices around the world. In total, the network extends over 45 countries and 81 offices. The operating model of the BCG favors local staffing. In this sense, the firm differs from McKinsey, which uses a global staffing policy. This culture of the staffing of proximity with the clients is found also in Bain which, as we have seen, is a former spin-off of BCG. Nevertheless, according to the needs of the projects, consultants will be brought to travel to four continents if necessary. The culture of the firm is decidedly global.


Other Resources On The Boston Consulting Group


Links of interest - Boston Consulting Group Global

- Boston Consulting Group Asia
Videos on this topic - Boston Consulting Group 50th Anniversary

- Boston Consulting Group Presentation
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