About Our Firm
Beginning in 1971…
Matthews, Young & Associates, Inc. was conceived by two gentlemen with the same names after finishing MBA degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Quantitative Management Science was emerging as a discipline in business schools and board rooms at that time, so the founders were immediately retained by a number of companies for helping to formulate strategies, develop methods improvements, and tie reward systems to achievement of strategies.
As the Firm grew, it was purposely focused on functional practices providing service to a diverse client base across many industries. While Matthews, Young & Associates’ office remained in Chapel Hill, its clients were scattered across the eastern half of the U.S. The Firm emphasized being responsive to clients’ needs, regardless of when or where those needs were evident. Consultants routinely traveled by night, so that they could report to client CEO’s first thing on the morning of an assignment. When a call from a client came in, consultants dropped whatever else they were doing and responded. The Firm remains client focused today, aided by new electronic means of collaborating on client issues across many miles. This philosophy of responsiveness develops relationships with client executives that last for years. We have worked with some of our clients for almost 20 years.
Ten years later…
In 1981, the Firm recognized a need in the Financial Services Industry for better information with which to manage compensation, the largest category of controllable expense on their income statement. We worked with the North Carolina Bankers Association to develop a state-of-the-art approach to compensation surveys and have conducted their annual survey ever since. Next, we added annual compensation surveys for five Bankers Associations throughout the southeastern states, and a variety of specialized compensation surveys in other industries. This survey experience led to the demand for our expertise in conducting employee opinion and customer satisfaction surveys. Today, we have a special support staff devoted to survey work for most of the year. The name exposure that these surveys have provided means that Compensation is one of our better-known Practices today.
In the mid-1980’s, the University of North Carolina’s new Kenan Center for Entrepreneurial Development was searching for a niche in the business school “business.” Due to the economic downturn that dominated those years, the School was being contacted by owners and executives of distressed companies looking for help with turning their businesses around. “Turnaround” science seemed like a timely niche, and as the School looked for curriculum material, it quickly became apparent that nowhere was there a collection of all that had been written on the subject. Matthews, Young had been helping clients acquire and turn around distressed companies, so we worked with the Kenan Center to compile the material we already had with material from every source we could find. The Firm used its resource base to refine its turnaround practice and became known for a while as a turnaround Firm. During this era, we turned around manufacturing Firms, service businesses and financial institutions and developed expertise in the unique aspects of each type of turnaround. Banks asked us to conduct seminars for their loan officers to help them recognize the early warning indicators in business downturns. We were featured in national magazines and helped form the Turnaround Management Association. As the 1980’s waned, the longest economic boom in history began and business was no longer distressed. So, Matthews, Young returned to its roots helping companies grow profits and expand in size, with a new perspective of what can happen when times get tough. Four of the consultants that worked on turnarounds are still with the Firm today, poised for the next downturn.
By the mid-1990’s, the Firm had refocused on practicing strategy for profitable growth and executive compensation tied to strategy. Working closely with Boards and CEO’s over long periods of time led to numerous requests for assistance with management succession. Boards felt that we knew their organizations so well we were positioned to find new leadership that fit their unique needs. This trend led to the development of our Executive Search Practice. Word spread about our success rate with these exclusive, retained searches and we began to be contacted by companies solely for search, leading to the critical mass so necessary in this practice. Today, our “Executive Talent” specialists work with Boards and CEO’s to align organizations’ governance for change in leadership, conduct numerous top executive searches and stay involved during the transitions, as well as developing management teams and outplacing executives when desirable.
In 1997, the founder retired and the leadership of Matthews, Young & Associates, Inc. passed to J. Timothy “Tim” O’Rourke, who was at that time a 16-year veteran of the Firm with a banking background. Our offices moved that same year to Hillsborough, North Carolina, just a few miles north of Chapel Hill on the western edge of the famous Research Triangle. Since then, the Firm’s billings and consulting staff have grown threefold. Today, the Strategy, Organization and Executive Talent, and Compensation practices are applied in Financial Services, Health Care, Manufacturing, Distribution and other industries.
The next 47 years…
The outlook is bright for continued growth and expansion of the Firm. Over 90% of our new clients come from referrals from satisfied clients, and the base has grown dramatically in recent years. We are attracting talented young consultants to provide the leverage necessary to spread the expertise and experience of the senior staff. At the same time, we are installing new technology that promises to enable Senior Management to stay even more in touch with progress on client issues as we grow. We are looking forward to our next 46 years with great anticipation based on our experiences over the last 46+ years!
Our Client-Centered Approach
We work with clients’ management and boards to develop and implement successful strategies. We help clients design organizations, locate and develop qualified people to fill organizational slots, clarify accountabilities and attract, retain and motivate a sufficient number of people to achieve the clients’ strategies. Policies, practices and systems are established to allow clients to plan and control their costs and revenues within affordable budgets, and track performance to correct problems before they result in failure.
These issues are directly related to an organization’s condition, culture and objectives. Each client is unique and there is no standard answer to an organization’s needs. Solutions must be designed, implemented and internalized.
Our consultants are held accountable for achieving results, not making recommendations. We pursue results, and work hard to ensure that you get the benefits that you seek. As a result, our clients maintain relationships with us for years.