Which T2 is the best

Which T2 firm is likely or the closest to becoming an equal with MBB firms over the next 10 years? Is there any chance a firm like Kearney could have as good corporate exits as BCG or EYP have as good PE exits as Bain? 

Essentially which T2 firms are growing the fastest and are best places to target if not making it through to MBB? 

Comments (17)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 9, 2022 - 3:18pm

I have faith in Kearney to get to that level for sure. I also really like the trajectory of EY-P as well, holistically.

  • Senior Consultant in Consulting
Aug 9, 2022 - 4:46pm

What's the rationale for either choice?

Kearney hasn't grown very much relative to strategy consulting as an industry over the last few decades. I don't see a reason to believe their trajectory now is any different. They're excellent at certain things but are nowhere near as broad in strategy expertise as MBB

EY is likely going to spin off their consulting arm and go public in a few years. Turmoil following this type of action is not uncommon. Also EY-P again doesn't have close to the same breadth of strategy work as MBB -- nobody does

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 9, 2022 - 5:08pm

Good points! However, with Kearney I see them having a close edge to MBB coming in the future. My reasoning is exactly as you stated they are excellent in certain areas and as any firm that is expanding they would most likely focus on getting to that level. Do I think it'll be soon? Probably not. Are they doing great and would be top among T-2? Absolutely.

  • Associate 1 in Consulting
Aug 9, 2022 - 3:25pm

This answer has been asked so many times over the years. Unless you already have an idea of what industry/type of work you want to do, there really isn't too much of a difference between working at any of the T2 firms, as any of them will pay you well and set you up well for most exits that MBB can give you.

Aug 10, 2022 - 5:21am
S.L., what's your opinion? Comment below:

European perspective: We consider mostly four firms as T2. They differ in terms of industry/functional expertise and geographies. It is therefore hard to rank them. My best try for the EU market would be the following:

1) Roland Berger: Strong in Automotive, Industrials and Restructuring. 3rd largest strategy consultancy (even before Bain) in DACH, BeNeLux and France but only a small player in Southern Europe and Nordics

2) Oliver Wyman: Strong in Banking and Insurance. 4th or 5th largest player in most EU countries

3) Kearney: Focus on Operations and Industrials. Weak growth in recent years but still a very respected player

4) Strategy&: Strong in FS, Deals and Public Sector. Many Partners left S& this year and joined competitors

Not really considered T2 in EU:

- LEK: Established player for PE clients, but they do not offer much else than DDs

- EY Parthenon: Theoretically the 4th largest player behind MBB but their brand became diluted as they moved hundreds of Conultans from EY Advisory / EY TAS to EYP

  • 2
  • 2
Aug 17, 2022 - 8:02am
Winnfield, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I worked in MBB in Europe and I don't consider Roland Berger to be the next in line.  They're strong in Germany, and Germany is a big market, true, but after that there's a very steep drop-off.  In Southern Europe, they're at the EYP level (nothing against EYP but by your own admission, they're on the weaker end).

OW is the usual candidate for best of T2.

ATK went through a rough patch for quite a while.  Glad to see they seem to be coming back. 

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
  • 1
Aug 10, 2022 - 7:03am
S.L., what's your opinion? Comment below:

I admit the list might be a little biased since I am based in Switzerland. However, bear in mind that the DACH consulting market represents >50% of the total EU market. Therefore, I believe that the ranking can be applied to the entire EU (explicitly excludes the UK).

To the best of my knowledge, the UK market:

- Large T2 players: LEK, OC&C, Oliver Wyman, Strategy&

- Smaller T2 players: Kearney, Roland Berger

Aug 14, 2022 - 8:33am
zzfishstick, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly, who cares? Why are you trying to predict which firm will be marginally ahead of other firms in 10 years - this shouldn't be something that sways your decision to join Kearney. The question itself is redundant. How do you define "becoming an equal with MBB"? Are you talking about revenue? If so, which region or markets? What type of projects strategy, CDD? What sectors specifically? Such a ridiculous question and one that gets asked far too often in this forum.

Aug 14, 2022 - 11:34pm
flippingnailclippers, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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