Monitor Group, founded by Harvard’s Michael Porter, files for bankruptcy and plans merger

Monitor Group, a Cambridge consulting firm founded by Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter that rose to prominence in the 1980s, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday as part of a deal to be acquired by Deloitte Consulting.

Monitor last year was involved in controversy over a $3 million-a-year fee it accepted to between 2006 and 2008 help to improve the image of Libyan dictator Muammar Khadafy. In 2011, the firm apologized for working with Khadafy, who died in October of that year after being captured by rebel forces in Libya.

In its Chapter 11 filing in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, Monitor listed assets and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million. It reported having between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors, including RBS Citizens Bank, Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ, and various real estate, consulting and audit firms.


Under the asset purchase agreement with Deloitte, one of four major US professional services firms, the New York firm will take over Monitor’s US practice. Foreign arms of Deloitte will pick up the foreign offices of Monitor.

“We have long admired Monitor for its excellence in strategy consulting and we are excited about the fit and compatibility of our practices,’’ said Michael Canning, a national managing director of Deloitte, in a statement.

It appears the company intends to keep Monitor’s employees.

Bansi Nagji, President of Monitor, attempted to downplay the dramatic reversal of fortunes at a firm that once competed with the likes of big-name consultants such as Bain & Co. and Boston Consulting Group.


“Monitor has built a unique brand in the field of strategy consulting over 30 years, renowned for highly customized client solutions and world class intellectual property and thought leadership,’’ Nagji said in a statement. “Our talent base – from partners to employees – is of the highest quality.’’ He called the acquisition by Deloitte “hugely motivating.’’

Founded in 1983 by Porter and a group of Harvard-linked entrepreneurs, Monitor has specialized in strategy consulting to senior officials of businesses and governments. Porter, a competitive strategy specialist, has been less involved with the firm in recent years, though just last month spoke on health care reform for Monitor at a New York event.


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