Our History

It all started with a single Washington, D.C. apartment...

Founded in 1979 by David Bradley with only five employees, The Advisory Board Company has grown into a global firm employing more than 2,800 people in 12 offices on three continents.

And while our inherent values haven't changed, the Advisory Board's impact on health care and education has grown exponentially.

Take a look back at our dramatic growth












David Bradley founded the company in Washington, D.C., as the Research Counsel of Washington with five employees. Mission: to answer "any question for any company for any industry."

After initially operating out of David Bradley's mother's Watergate building condominium, the firm moves to a townhouse on Capitol Hill. The very first logo for the company is inspired by that town house.


The firm begins to specialize in financial services research and changes its name to The Advisory Board Company.


The firm creates a health care focused strategic research division and launches its first membership, the Health Care Advisory Board.


With more than 500 health care members and 150 employees, the Advisory Board publishes 15 major reports and 200 research briefs yearly.

David Bradley commissions a new logo that takes inspiration from Thomas Jefferson... the force of his ideas, the power of his intellect, and the passion he displayed for innovation. The logo is an interpretation of the Jefferson Memorial, overlaid with Thomas Jefferson's initials and surrounded by the firm's name. The pillars represented in the logo inspire the firm's mission and values.


The firm launches a strategic research membership for large companies, bringing on almost half of the Fortune 500 within 18 months.


The firm creates its first clinically based program, the Cardiology Roundtable (which has since evolved to become the Cardiovascular Roundtable), providing best practices for cardiac programs.


The firm spins off its corporate membership group, the Corporate Executive Board, as an independent company. The Advisory Board focuses on health care, serving 1,500+ organizations.

In addition, it launches H*Works, a consulting business offering best practices implementation support--the start of our Consulting and Management Services.


The Advisory Board Company completes an initial public offering.


The firm tops 2,100 memberships and 500 employees.

Seeking to address health care's leadership gap, the firm launches Advisory Board Academies (now our Talent Development division).


The Advisory Board Company is named to Washingtonian magazine's "Great Places to Work."

The firm launches Compass, providing memberships anchored by business intelligence and analytics tools.


The firm is named to Forbes' "Top 200 High-Growth Companies" list and is again honored as one of Washingtonian's "Great Places to Work."

See how the Advisory Board continues to be recognized.


Extending its reach to serve student and academic affairs executives at U.S. research universities, the firm launches its first higher education membership programs.


The firm acquires Crimson, a data, analytics, and business intelligence software provider focused on physician performance, quality metrics, and cost-of-care outcomes.


The firm acquires Southwind, expanding its physician management capabilities.


The Advisory Board collaborates with HIMSS Analytics on business-oriented IT research (now our Health Care IT Advisor) and acquires Concuity, provider of revenue management software and services, which powers our Payment Integrity Compass initiative.

The Advisory Board is named Modern Healthcare's "Best Places to Work."

In addition, the firm opens a San Francisco office and has a presence in Washington, D.C.; Austin; Chicago; Nashville; Chennai; and London. Learn more about our locations across the globe.


The firm partners with Milliman MedInsight to offer population-risk analytics. It also acquires Cielo MedSolutions, a provider of ambulatory patient registry software, and PivotHealth, a leading physician practice management firm. Advisory Board performance technologies now account for one in three U.S. inpatient admissions.

The Advisory Board adopts a new logo. It reflects the firm's dramatic transformation to a provider of technology solutions, consulting, and management services while maintaining a connection to the firm's Jeffersonian legacy.

The logo is an abstract version of a revolving bookstand, likely a Jefferson design from 1810. In addition to signaling our continued evolution and commitment to thought leadership and innovation, the new logo design suggests the letter A.


The Advisory board acquires ActiveStrategy, a performance improvement technology firm, and 360Fresh, a leading provider of clinical data analytics.

The firm is named to Healthcare Informatics' top 100 health care IT firms and Modern Healthcare's top 40 fastest-growing health care firms and best places to work list. The Advisory Board provides $1M in benefit to non-profit organizations through its Community Impact program.


The firm is named the “#1 Best Large Company to Work For” by Modern Healthcare magazine. In addition, the Advisory Board acquires Care Team Connect, a care management workflow platform that has helped coordinate care for over 2 million patients nationwide.

The firm launches the Student Success Collaborative, a software-based program that helps colleges and universities improve outcomes for at-risk and off-path students.

With 2,800 employees across 11 global offices, the firm serves 200,000 leaders in health care and higher education. It is the first for-profit company of its size to achieve 100% participation in community service. (The U.S. corporate average: 30%.)


2014 brought the acquisitions of HealthPost, which helps health systems reduce referral leakage and attract new patients, and Royall & Company, which provides the higher education industry with data-driven student engagement and enrollment management solutions.

The firm's Community Impact program, meanwhile, received the 2014 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence from Points of Light. The firm also partnered with the de Beaumont Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to launch the BUILD Health Challenge to identify and support health partnerships that improve health in low-income, urban communities.


As of 2015, the firm has grown to more than 2,800 employees, with 12 offices on three continents and more than 5,000 member organizations in the health care and higher education fields. It also announced the acquisition of Clinovations, an EMR optimization firm serving providers at the intersection of clinician workflows and information technology, and GradesFirst, a student success technology company with workflow software that enables colleges and universities to identify, engage, and support at-risk students.


Advisory Board is acquired by Optum.