Booz (Strategy&) vs Roland Berger

Which firm would offer better career prospects in terms of exit opportunities, remuneration, MBA applications, etc...?

I live in Brazil, so I don't want you guys to offer advice specifically to my location (as probably no one really have it), I want to know your opinion in your own area (US, Europe, Rest of World).

I got an offer to the final round on both companies, and I'll have to decline one of them.

Comments (31)

saconsult3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

RB is a great shop in Europe in particular, but I think it would be a great place to be at in the US. In the US they focus primarily on Oil & Gas, Chemical, Retail and Automotive industries, and have a team of about 60 consultants. From talking to one or two guys at the firm, it seems like a great spot to be.

All in all, they are a strong international firm, and I think top performers get the chance to hop around international offices pretty early on. From what I hear that kind of mobility is easier at RB than it is at other firms.

Admittedly, I haven't followed the whole "What's going to happen to Booze now that it's been bought?" discussion too closely, so don't want to weigh in on that too much. Although there's plenty of forums on that topic, so I'd check those out.

Both strong offers - congrats OP.

BigPicture, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My thoughts:

  • I'd say that pre-acquisition, overall Booz was the stronger name and firm, at least in the US where I operate

  • I've heard rumors that RB isn't doing well and their balance sheet is struggling

  • My guess would be that growth at Strategy& will be stronger than at RB

  • Strategy& has some risk of moving down market, similar to the rest of PwC, although for now it is a separate legal entity from the rest of PwC, and will supposedly stay this way

My $0.02

Vox_71, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not sure what Strategy&'s future looks like. A bunch of people left the firm after the merger and now they're trying to recruit new people.

Roland Berger has not been doing that well. They've been trying to find a buyer for a while now (see BCGCEO'S letter regarding Booz acquisition). The German business has declined a bit, a bunch of partners in Asia left, there's a huge amount of upheaval within the firm, lots of fragmentation and political infighting. The US business is struggling; they recently let go of a bunch of people from juniors to partners, and the retail business is no longer there. The Brazil office hasn't been faring well.

slduprsf, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Being an ex-RB, I can say that a lot of negative buzz is actually pretty far-fetched.

  • New offices are opening again
  • China has seen some departures due to a variety of reasons (but mainly poaching by McK), yet in Europe, I'd say that most of the partners who left were actually fired due to below-average performance.
  • In fact, the firm has changed its leadership a few months ago, and the benefits of this were seen on the ground at the time I left.

I felt a growing confidence - and many offices are actually pretty profitable (including Brazil).

Vox_71, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Being a current RB, I can say that the negative buzz is not nearly as bad as it chould be. There's so much upheaval going on right now. Many Chinese partners left due to fighting with German partners over direction of firm (according to a PM there). Perhaps we've just had different experiences.

Maltinho, what's your opinion? Comment below:

cara, vai com RB. RB no Brasil é muito forte, tenho varios amigo trabalhando lá! Tb conheco uns caras na Booz e eles nao estao gostando tanto. E com a booz, ninguem sabe como vai ser no futuro...

luizeba, what's your opinion? Comment below:

cara, vai com RB. RB no Brasil é muito forte, tenho varios amigo trabalhando lá! Tb conheco uns caras na Booz e eles nao estao gostando tanto. E com a booz, ninguem sabe como vai ser no futuro...

Thanks, brazilian brother :)
Best Response
Hugo Stiglitz, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is my experience from the US:

Legacy Booz was a better brand name that RB; Strategy& vs RB on the other hand it think it will be debatable. I think it depends at what point in time youre refering to.

I've heard mixed things about RB, some say there are signs of them struggling, others state that's not true, so I have no idea how they really stand. I just know from a prestige stand point Booz > RB. But overtime, RB > Strategy&

The main question is, how long do you plan on staying in consulting. The reason I ask is because Strategy& will be run independently for the time being (they did the same thing with Diamond). Its own by PwC, but has its on leadership board until they fully merge/integrate the firm within PwC. Until its fuly integrated, you will only be working with legacy Booz people, working on the same type of projects. So I would think currently Strategy& > RB.

However, after Strategy& is fully integrated, then I think that's when things will start getting downhill for legacy Booz and its rep. The major issue is the significant increase in size. Since PwC will be so massive, every stop/request must go through a formal process (i,e, doing a work-abroad required an application process that can easily take over a year to draft and review), so the flexibility and agility that one might be accustom to with a small firm all goes out the window. In addition, you'll also be exposed to do a lot more of PwC-type projects, i.e. IT strategy, execution, project management, etc.


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ExConsultant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I strong advise you not to join RB Brazil.

I worked at the SAO office for the last 3 years and things got pretty crappy last year.

Some 30 consultants left during the last 6 months, including principals and senior managers, as long hours got longer and longer and meritocracy became non existant with Portuguese partners protecting Portuguese consultants - some very shitty ones - while top consultants from Brazil got promotions denied.

The SAO office has never been a successful one due to very poor leadership by the Portuguse partners Antonio Farinha and Antonio Bernardo. No key accounts, no strong recurring clients.

Chances are you'll get sucked into the few available projects or slave for nites away writing proposals that will not closed.

Alt-Ctr-Left, what's your opinion? Comment below:

All these Brazilians popping up! Who said we couldn't have a São Paulo happy hour?!

"I don't know how to explain to you that you should care about other people."

neopolitan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If this helps: I have friends who are currently applying for consulting jobs in Europe (London + Continent), and they don't even consider applying at Strategy& but would happily accept an offer at RB (not top choice, though). I don't know how exactly they arrived at that conclusion, but I trust that they have done their due diligence. My own (pure gut feeling) advise would be the same, btw.

slduprsf, what's your opinion? Comment below:

RB has gone through some tough internal political infighting, for sure...Looks that this phase is now over.

Interestingly, out of 51 offices, only 1 was closed during an internal cost optimization project...

MatthaeusP, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can contribute some facts from the German (DACH) market, Strategy& here pays much more than Berger (base in the range of 83 excluding bonus - Berger in contrast pays 65 excluding bonus, which is similar at both companies).

In one of Germany's most important business journals (ManagerMagazin) the league table recently placed S& 4th after MBB followed by Berger, OW and ATK (ranking was based on client satisfaction, which is a more objective measure than interviewing consultants and ask for their opinion = Vault).

Based on the people I know at the company the culture is relatively good and the work seems interesting, cannot contribute precise insights about Berger, but have heard lots of mixed things.

All in all, Berger was probably a bit higher in Germany, but in total I guess they are still struggling and it's hard to predict how they will develop. Same for Strategy&, if PwC keeps them independently like OW, then they will most likely outperform RB.

My perception currently in Germany: MBB > RB > S& >= OW > ATK. Outside Germany I guess S& is on par with Berger or even ahead (Americas).

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Il Cavaliere, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey man, I am from Germany. I'm not sure about the swiss consulting market, but if it's similar to Germany, you should go for Roland Berger. I think that in the German-speaking world the top three are clearly McKinsey, Roland Berger and BCG. Then you maybe have Bain, then Booz and Wyman. Who the fuck needs Booz, seriously? They are a runner-up in all markets. If your focus is working in the US somewhere in the horizon, then Booz might be a better choice though.

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F. Ro Jo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

RB is really strong in Europe. Deloitte tried to buy them last year and RB basically gave them the middle finger.

donkeykong00, what's your opinion? Comment below:

would you agree that Booz is more international when it comes to staffing? Does anyone have experience with RB project staffing?

skydiving83, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Booz is a much stronger global brand and will afford better exit opportunities. The firm grew by over 10% in 2011 and is a maket leader in energy and health.

RB entertained talks of being acquired by Deloitte in 2010. No prestige firm would even consider that.

RB will demise with the Euro.

Karot, what's your opinion? Comment below:


The act of entertaining an acquisition bid isn't a proxy for weakness. It's the financial responsibility of the shareholders (in this case, the officers of the firm) to give consideration to any serious offer and weigh the potential benefits.

I think it is true that a higher % of RB's billings are tied to eurozone countries, but it really is ambiguous how this affects their long term business outlook. Depending on the kind of work they specialize in, RB may find an increase in demand for their work as companies look inwards under more intense cost pressures.

donkey, to give you a good perspective, I think you need to answer three questions.

What kind of work would you like to do (industry and function)? Where would you like to do it (short term and long term)? What do you want to get out of your consulting experience?

gregorysp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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24837, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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