Boston Consulting Group

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Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is an American management consulting firm founded in 1963, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.[4] The firm is the second largest consulting firm by revenue.[5] It is one of the Big Three (management consultancies), along with Bain & Company and McKinsey & Company.

Boston Consulting Group
IndustryManagement consulting
Founded1963; 58 years ago (1963)
FounderBruce Henderson
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts, United States
Number of locations
More than 90 offices[1]
Area served
Key people
Rich Lesser (CEO)[2]
Revenue$8.6 billion (2020)[3]
Number of employees
22,000 worldwide[3]


The firm was founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson as part of The Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company. Henderson had been recruited from Arthur D. Little to establish the consulting arm operating as a subsidiary under the name Management and Consulting Division of the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company. Initially the division only advised clients of the bank, with billings for the first month at just US$500. Henderson hired his second consultant, Arthur P. Contas, in December 1963.[6] In 1966, BCG opened its second office in Tokyo, Japan.[7]

In 1967, Henderson met Bill Bain and offered him a role at the firm. Bain agreed and joined in 1967 at a starting salary of $17,000 per year.[8][9][10] In the early 1970s, Bain was considered internally to be Henderson's eventual successor. However, in 1973 Bain resigned from BCG to start his own strategy consulting firm, Bain & Company, hiring away six of BCG's employees.[8][9]

In 1974, Henderson arranged an employee stock ownership plan so that the employees could make the company independent from The Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company. The buyout of all shares was completed in 1979.[11]


BCG typically hires for an associate or a consultant position, recruiting from top undergraduate colleges and business schools.[12] The firm also offers summer internships.[13][14]

Insiders estimate that BCG North American offices receive around 10,000 resumes every year for the associate position.[15]

Senior associates have the opportunity to work abroad through BCG's exchange program.[16][17] Many associates are also sponsored by the firm to attend business school.[18][19] As is typical for the top strategy consultancies, BCG practices an "up or out," or forced attrition, system, in which employees must leave the company if they fail to achieve a promotion within a fixed time frame.[20]

Interview processEdit

BCG uses the case method to conduct interviews. This technique is designed to simulate the types of problems inherent in management consulting and to test the qualitative and quantitative skills deemed important for abstract thinking in a business setting.[21] Generally, the interview process consists of two rounds.[22]

BCG growth-share matrixEdit

In the 1970s, BCG created and popularized the "growth–share matrix," a chart to help large corporations decide how to allocate cash among their business units. The corporation would categorize its business units as "Stars," "Cash Cows," "Question Marks," or "Dogs," and then allocate cash accordingly, moving money from Cash Cows toward Stars and Question Marks, which have higher market growth rates and hence greater upside potential.[23][24]

BCG extended business unitsEdit

BCG Digital VenturesEdit

BCG Digital Ventures partners with companies to research, design, and launch new products and services.[25] Ware2Go (a logistics platform developed with United Parcel Service), Tracr (a blockchain-based supply chain tracker developed with De Beers) and OpenSC (a supply chain tracker developed with the World Wide Fund for Nature) are projects backed by BCGDV.[26][27][28][29]


BCG GAMMA builds and applies data science, analytics, and artificial intelligence to identify competitive advantages.[30]

BCG PlatinionEdit

BCG Platinion covers the tech, architecture, implementation, and human-centered design side of digital transformations.[31][32]

BCG OmniaEdit


BCG BrightHouseEdit

BrightHouse was founded in 1995, and acquired by BCG in 2015. BrightHouse is a creative consultancy specializing in corporate purpose.[34]

Expand, a BCG CompanyEdit

Expand, founded in 2001, offers advice for executives, as well as research and syndicated benchmarking for financial institutions.[35]

INVERTO, a BCG CompanyEdit

INVERTO is an international management consultancy and one of the specialists for strategic purchasing and supply chain management in Europe.[36]



An article published by The New York Times on January 19, 2020 identified the Boston Consulting Group as having worked with Isabel dos Santos, who exploited Angola's natural resources while the country suffers from poverty, illiteracy, and infant mortality.[37] According to the article, BCG was contracted by the Angolan state-owned petroleum company Sonangol, as well as the jewelry company De Grisogono, owned by her husband through shell companies in Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands; the firm was reportedly paid through offshore companies in tax havens such as Malta.[37]

Saudi ArabiaEdit

The New York Times also reported that Boston Consulting Group is one of the consulting firms, along with McKinsey and Booz Allen, helping Prince Mohammed bin Salman consolidate power in Saudi Arabia.[38] While a BCG spokesperson said the firm turns down projects involving military and intelligence strategy, BCG is involved in designing the economic blueprint for the country, a plan called Vision 2030.[38]


Boston Consulting Group has received substantial criticism for their involvement in the construction of the The New Karolinska Solna University Hospital after an investigation by Dagens Nyheter. Specifically the potential conflict of interest where a former BCG employee and then hospital executive approved numerous expenses without proper receipts and the high cost paid for external consultants including BCG.[39] In the investigative journalism book Konsulterna - Kampen om Karolinska (roughly The Consultants - The Struggle for the Karolinska University Hospital), the authors and Dagens Nyheter journalists Anna Gustavsson and Lisa Röstlund argue that the value-based health care model as recommended by BCG had not been properly investigated and have resulted in an exponential growth in administration and lack of responsibility for patients.[40]

Notable current and former employeesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Boston Consulting Group Hits $6.3 Billion in Sales". March 8, 2018.
  2. ^ "Rich Lesser".
  3. ^ a b "Boston Consulting Group Posts Solid Growth in Challenged Global Economy". March 24, 2020.
  4. ^ "BCG History - The History of Boston Consulting Group". Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Szczerba, Marta (March 5, 2014). "The Big Three: meet the world's top consulting firms" (72). The Gateway. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "Bruce Henderson, 77, Consultant And Writer on Business Strategy". Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  7. ^ "Tokyo 2020 welcomes Boston Consulting Group K.K. as Official Supporter". Tokyo 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Gallese, Liz Roman (September 24, 1989). "Counselor To The King". The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Wine Festival 2008: McNulty/Bain". Naples Daily News. January 28, 2008. Archived from the original on October 30, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Hagerty, James R. (January 17, 2018). "William Bain Jr. Founded Consulting and Private-Equity Firms, and Groomed Mitt Romney". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  11. ^ Gant, Tina (December 2003). International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. ISBN 978-1-55862-503-7. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  12. ^ "Interview Insider: How to Get Hired at the Boston Consulting Group". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  13. ^ "Through the Revolving Doors: My Experience as a BCG Summer Associate". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  14. ^ "Internships". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Four Things You Gain When You Leave Your Comfort Zone". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  17. ^ "Lotte Is an Imaginative Visionary". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  18. ^ "BCG Fellows MBA Scholarship Program". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  19. ^ "BCG Company Guide". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  20. ^ Perlow, Leslie (2012). Sleeping With Your Smartphone: How to Break the 24/7 Habit and Change the Way You Work. p. 228. ISBN 9781422144046.
  21. ^ "Consultant Interview Preparation and Practice Cases". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  22. ^ "What's Different Between a First Round and Final Round Interview at Bain, BCG or McKinsey". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  23. ^ "How to use the BCG Matrix model". Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  24. ^ "What Is a BCG Matrix?". Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  25. ^ "BCG DV".
  26. ^ Chhabra, Esha (January 31, 2019). "The WWF backs blockchain to unpick messy food supply chains". Wired. Retrieved January 17, 2020. Funded by BCG Digital Ventures, an investment and incubation arm of Boston Consulting Group, OpenSC is designed as a self-sustaining “profit-for-purpose” venture.
  27. ^ Redmayne, James (January 23, 2019). "From bait to plate: Blockchain platform tracks food's journey". Reuters. Retrieved January 17, 2020. OpenSC evolved from a WWF-led project that used blockchain to track tuna caught in the Pacific Ocean. BCG Digital Ventures was brought in to help build the platform.
  28. ^ Kilian, Annie (May 24, 2018). "Signet joins De Beers' Tracr blockchain platform pilot". Mining Weekly. Retrieved January 17, 2020. It is being developed by De Beers, with support from BCG Digital Ventures, and is expected to launch later this year.
  29. ^ Brennan, Morgan (August 28, 2018). "UPS launches Ware2Go, a platform aimed at helping small- and mid-sized businesses expand". CNBC. Retrieved January 17, 2020. Ware2Go will be based in Atlanta and is partially owned by BCG Digital Ventures.
  30. ^ "BCG Gamma".
  31. ^ "BCG Platinion".
  32. ^ [ "What Is The Future of Consulting?"] Check |url= value (help).
  33. ^ "Accelerating Insights with Data and Software Solutions". Boston Consulting Group. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  34. ^ "BCG - BrightHouse". Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  35. ^ "Expand Research - About Us". Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  36. ^ "INVERTO, a BCG Company".
  37. ^ a b Forsythe, Michael; Gurney, Kyra; Alecci, Scilla; Hallman, Ben (January 19, 2020). "How U.S. Firms Helped Africa's Richest Woman Exploit Her Country's Wealth". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  38. ^ a b Forsythe, Michael; Mazzetti, Mark; Hubbard, Ben; Bogdanich, Walt (November 4, 2018). "Consulting Firms Keep Lucrative Saudi Alliance, Shaping Crown Prince's Vision". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  39. ^ Knoxborn, Ellinor (September 4, 2018). "Skandalerna som kantat Nya Karolinska". Sveriges Television (in Swedish). Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  40. ^ Gustafsson, Anna; Röstlund, Lisa (2019). "1. Kapningen". Konsulterna : Kampen om Karolinska (in Swedish). Mondial. p. 20. ISBN 9789189061217.