Our History

For the past 30 years, JMW has partnered some of the world’s most successful businesses. This timeline provides a brief insight into that legacy.


A Radical Idea

JMW was born in 1982 when President and Founder Maurice Cohen launched a consulting division of the accountancy firm, J. Manning and Winnikis.














Jerry, David and Maurice


The journey begins

Jerry Straus and David Spiwack joined Maurice in 1984 establishing their own firm – JMW. All three had first-hand experience of the impact of the breakthrough methodology of Werner Erhard and were keen to explore what contribution the ideas could make to the world of business.




First Productivity Breakthrough Projects

JMW’s first major client was IBM. The very first breakthrough project delivered a software product with half the people in half the time. Over the next year and a half, nineteen further projects were delivered at a saving to IBM of $100m. Recognizing the impact of breakthrough methodology on individuals, the trio created JMW’s ground-breaking leadership program, The Leader of the Future®


Business grows as word spreads

JMW initially earned a reputation with software clients in insurance and banking, such as Chase and other New York-based banks. But interest soon spread to other industries as JMW took on clients in the pharmaceutical industry, defense, food industry and telecommunications.

The Department of Defense needed a field radar system that a soldier could carry and set up for use in combat. JMW worked with a skilled team of experts to design, test, build and deliver a breakthrough system to support non-traditional warfare in the South Pacific. As the work progressed, there was a realization that whilst breakthrough projects and leadership development were successful as one-time events, transforming performance required a change in culture that starts at the very top of an organization. So began JMW’s work on organizational and executive alignment.

Since that time, the three pillars of breakthrough projects, leadership development and organizational alignment have been adapted to meet the needs of clients around the globe.




First entry into Oil

Based on considerable success with many high profile projects, JMW was invited to participate in a consortium of 11 consultants tasked with helping BP transform oil exploration. After the first round of work, JMW was one of only 2 firms from the consortium that were retained. JMW was invited to work closely with the Exploration and Production team of BP based in Glasgow. Two consultants made the permanent move to Scotland and so began JMW’s work in Europe. The first project was to deliver cost savings on six offshore platforms in the North Sea. Over the course of 12 weeks, the consultants worked with BP leadership to enroll everyone on the platforms in identifying cost savings. £35m was saved before the project had even completed and JMW’s relationship with BP was cemented.

When the E&P business moved to Aberdeen a few years later, so too did JMW’s Consultants. JMW helped BP’s E&P business to move from zero profit to $900m. In addition to the results produced, new technologies were tried and developed. The Wytch Farm project on the Southern Cost of England proved the success of “horizontal drilling”. The drilling team envisioned the possibility and JMW helped to realize it. That success produced many more successful drilling efforts across the U.K.

Case Study: Leadership Development Has Stunning Impact on Organization


Alliance Delivers First Oil Six Months Early


The birth of Alliances

How do you find oil in fields where traditional cost structures do not apply? The answer, bring companies together as partners and rid the bankrupt “man-hour mentality.” The Hyde project to upgrade an oil platform involved 5 companies, all of whom had once been competitors and adversarial in their historical ways of working. JMW worked with the companies to figure out what could be possible when companies work together and put their company agenda in the background and their common business concerns in the foreground. The project was a big success and JMW was then invited to work on the Andrew Project—a major new oil platform being developed by BP in an alliance with several other companies. The Andrew Project broke all historic references for platform development coming in six months early and 22% under budget. BP was so impressed it became a sponsor of the Leader of the Future® program. It also published a book called ‘No business as usual’ which referenced JMW’s work. JMW developed a global reputation for producing record-breaking results in the oil and gas industry in production, safety and cost reduction. Word soon spread to other oil companies and service companies including Amoco, Shell, Conoco and Haliburton.

Case Study: Alliance Delivers Oil Six Months Early


JMW International Growth and Presence

JMW’s roots were in the US, but thanks to the work with BP, JMW became international. When its work diversified out of oil and gas, JMW’s UK Office was established in London.

During the same time period, JMW started working on the Alaska Pipeline Project (Alyeska) – a project to move oil from above the Arctic Circle to the Gulf. Over a 5 year period, a team of 8 JMW consultants made Anchorage their home to support the project in meeting demanding compliance and leadership issues.

Word about JMW’s expertise in alliances had now spread to Australia too. JMW was invited to support the Wandoo B Oil Platform on Australia’s North West Shelf—the country’s first alliance. JMW helped unify the five companies of the alliance into a ‘virtual corporation’ and enabled it to deliver impressive returns despite limited oil reserves and a very challenging geology. The alliance delivered first oil 20 days early, brought field development costs in at $16m below estimates, realized zero lost time injuries in more than a million man hours, installed the first ever sub-sea oil storage facility in Australia and set a new world speed record for concrete production! The project won the Australian Construction Industry Achievement Award in 1999. With JMW’s reputation taking hold in the region, JMW Consultants Australia Ltd. was launched in 1997.

Back in the States, JMW opened its new HQ in Stamford, Connecticut in August 1994.


1998 - 2000

Growth in the United States and Canada

In the late nineties, JMW began work with the leaders of Gulf Canada to formulate a bold new strategy that would create a huge shift in culture, and elevate performance. The result was a 20% increase in share value, a 10% increase in production and a 20% decrease in costs. The company was bought back from the brink of sale and following a year-long breakthrough project – ended up being bought by Conoco some three years later for four times the initial value of the business.

During the same period, JMW worked on a number of large capital projects in Canada including Oil Sands and the Millennium Mine.

JMW also helped a global transport and service provider to fully redesign its planning, budgeting and financial monitoring processes. Work with the company continues today.

As a consequence of the growing business in the region, JMW Canada was established. The Canadian business team continues to work on a number of high profile projects and engagements in the region.

In the States, JMW helped reposition the 100 year old Whiting refinery into a high performing, leading downstream business unit. The refinery went on to post record revenues, increase production by 30% and meet stringent safety and environmental targets.


Caribbean business launches

When BP took on a huge natural gas asset in the Caribbean, one of the key priorities was to develop strong relations with the Government. JMW worked with the leadership team to create a mission and charter that focussed on maintaining a clean environment and the company’s unwavering commitment to the betterment of every citizen. The business initiatives were a big success. All the key roles were filled by nationals, targets were delivered and the Prime Minister was on board.

Since that time, JMW’s presence in the region has gone from strength to strength and it continues to deliver engagements and leadership development programs across the region.

2000 - 2005

At the turn of the new Millennium, JMW worked with the Grangemouth chemical processing and refining site in Scotland  to create a new site and identity and a turnaround in performance which included a 300% improvement in safety metrics, as well as its lowest costs on record and the first profit in a decade.

JMW also helped the integrated supply and trading function of one multinational company to double its profit in two years and quadruple its size. The engagement involved four years working in Singapore.

The Texas City incident in 2005 was one of the worst industrial accidents in 20th Century North America, resulting in a number of deaths and injuries. Following the accident, JMW was hired to work with the leaders of the plant to help improve the safety culture and create a future that the company could get behind.

On August 1, 2005, JMW’s HQ moved into 1 Landmark Square, Stamford.



A growing expertise in Oil and Gas

Project support and the development of leaders within BP continued into the new millennium. Nearly 700 global BP employees participated in JMW’s Manager of the Future® program.

Oil companies looking for breakthroughs in drilling performance sought out JMW’s expertise all around the world, with a heavy concentration in Houston, Texas. Companies such as Shell, Conoco, Helmerick and Payne, to name a few, set record-breaking results in oil delivery, cost savings and safety.

In Australia, JMW supported the successful delivery of the Queensland Clean Fuels Project in Brisbane which won the 2001 Australian Construction Industry Achievement Award.

From 2005 – 2009, the team supported Australian’s second largest defense project, a $6bn program to build three state-of-the-art naval warships

When one of the world’s largest E&P companies acquired another company of equal size, the stakes were high. JMW worked with the leaders of newly formed Burlington Resources to integrate the two companies, increase production, reduce costs and net a $93m increase in value.

JMW also helped the integrated supply and trading function of BP to double its profit in two years and quadruple its size. The engagement involved four years working in Singapore.



BHP Billiton


JMW’s Global Impact

BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, sought JMW’s support to develop new leadership capabilities to weather various economic challenges. The work required extensive global co-ordination with the Asia-Pacific, UK and Canadian JMW teams

Talisman, one of the world’s largest privately-owned energy groups, expanded JMW’s support to develop a sustainable culture of accountability, performance and excellence in execution and delivery in Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Work with both of these global organizations continues today.

In the UK, JMW worked with the country’s largest air traffic organization to achieve breakthrough results including a 90% reduction in delays per flight, a first-ever profit of over £530m and an award as one of the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK.

In Australia, the team supported the development of a number of LNG projects each in excess of $25bn.

On August 3 2010, JMW Consultants Canada Ltd. was launched.

Case Study: Anything is Possible



Award-winning performance

In 2013, JMW received an international award for consulting excellence for its work on the Ballina Bypass in Australia, a $620 million alliance project to construct a massive highway bypass. The project was complete 7 months ahead of schedule and received numerous national and regional awards for excellence in safety, innovation, workplace health and safety, alliance implementation, and engineering and environmental management.

Case Study: Alliance Builds History

In 2014, JMW once again received an award for consulting excellence, this time for its breakthrough work in the Australian Water industry with Goulburn-Murray Water. Results of the first phase of work included $24 million in cost savings.


Case Study: Today Rural Australia: Tomorrow the World



In 2015, JMW was once again honored as a finalist for consulting excellence for its work with the New Zealand energy company Z Energy. During initial phases on the work, Z increased its book value from NZD $700 to $1.6 billion. JMW also supported the launch of the energy company’s IPO in 2013 that raised over NZD $840. Z Energy was named one of three ‘Top Companies for Leaders’ in New Zealand and Australia.

Case Study: Z Energy



September 2015: JMW launches its new look and moves into new Headquarters at 262 Harbor Drive, Stamford, CT.


JMW received the AMCF Spotlight Award in the Human Capital category. The award marks the third time in four years that JMW has been honored by the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF). This year’s award recognizes JMW’s efforts with Yarra Valley Water of Melbourne, Australia.

Case Study: Yarra Valley Water