Emsie Kensie – one of the most prestigious consulting firms?

09 June 2023 Consultancy.eu 2 min. read
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At some point of their lives, everyone has got out of an important meeting only to realise they had been referring to someone by completely the wrong name – but most people don’t have the misfortune to have the error televised as part of a parliamentary hearing. A Belgian MP Nathalie Dewulf has recently attracted the mirth of commentators, after repeatedly referring to one of the world’s most famous consultancies as ‘Emsie Kensie’.

McKinsey & Company is one of the biggest names in the global consulting industry. As the world’s most prominent strategy advisory alongside peers such as Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group, the firm works with some of the planet’s largest corporate and government entities, on many of the most pressing issues they face.

One of the firm’s most infamous recent engagements in that regard saw it named, or almost named, in Belgium’s national parliament. Nathalie Dewulf, a representative of the right-wing nationalist Vlaams Belang party, was attempting to call into question alleged ties between the country’s recently privatised postal services Bpost, and consultants from McKinsey.

While she might have hoped that her angry 10-minute speech would be heard in households across the country, however, the reason why that actually occurred is probably not what she would have wanted. Assuming the ‘Mc’ at the start of McKinsey’s name was to be read as in ‘MC Hammer’ rather than the Scottish prefix meaning ‘son of’, Dewulf proceeded to lambast “Emsie Kensie” on no fewer than 10 occasions.

Soon after, the MP found herself trending on Twitter, where a ‘covfefe’ style scramble had ensued to memeify Dewulf’s mistake. Even large corporations got in on the act, McDonald’s jokingly attempted to cash in by announcing in honour of Emsie Kensie, it would launch an ‘Emsie Flurry’, distributed “at Emsie Donald’s this weekend!

A day later, Dewulf herself responded to her error, “I deeply regret what happened. Everyone can miss once in a while, right?”

English-speaking commentators deriving mirth from the scenario might want to take a step back first though. Pronouncing names from other languages remains a notorious blindside – with many English speakers’ first instincts to call Big Four consultancy Deloitte ‘del-wah’, rather than its preferred pronunciation of ‘del-oy-t’.

It might also be interesting to see how many English MPs could get their head around the names of Flemish consulting firms at the first time of asking.