Big 4 above Bain and BCG?

city_north's picture
Rank: Monkey | 40

eFinancialcareers published an article where they surveyed 6,500 consulting professionals globally on the ideal professional services firms to work for and the Big 4 surpass both Bain and BCG.

The Big 4 consulting practices have gained a lot of prestige in the last couple of years, does anyone think there is any truth to this ranking? I still hold MBB way above Big 4 consulting.

EDIT: Realized the picture is too small to see the rankings

1, McKinsey
2. PwC
3. Deloitte
4. EY
6. BCG
7. Bain
8. Accenture
9. Grant Thornton
10. Oliver Wyman

United States - Northeast

Comments (11)

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Feb 26, 2016

This is just ridiculuos and does not reflect reality, so wouldn't care about such a ranking.

Feb 26, 2016

BCG and Bain still charge double what the big 4 charge per hour and cross offerees still choose BCG/Bain over big four. Until that changes, I have a tough time believing those rankings.

What metrics does the rankings use? How many of those surveyed were big 4 vs. MBB?

Those are some questions I have.

    • 1
Feb 26, 2016

I can't post the link to the article but to be honest its is extremely vague and doesn't give much detail.

Feb 26, 2016

Professional services extend beyond consulting. I would imagine a large portion of the people surveyed come from an accounting and tech consulting backgrounds.

If you don't think Big4 over Bain & Boston Consulting is implausible then take a look at Grant Thornton over Oliver Wyman (or even Accenture over Oliver Wyman). Anyone in consulting would laugh at you for suggesting Grant Thornton is a better consulting firm than OW.

Feb 26, 2016

They do say in the article that they surveyed "consulting professionals", however like you say that probably includes things like tech and IT consulting.

I wouldn't knock GT in the consulting front too much. They took home project of the year at last years MCA awards for work they did for Kodak Alaris. Pretty sure they won some other awards as well. I think the consulting practice at GT is making considerable moves in the UK.

Feb 26, 2016

Hmmm interesting. Regardless I would agree with your OP that MBB is still more highly regarded than anywhere else. I'm sure GT is a great firm and I realize my last post might have been a bit condescending, but in terms of prestige and exit opps OW > GT.

Feb 26, 2016

They surveyed a bunch of people who overrated their own firms. The sheer number of people at Big4 then prop up their rankings. There's a reason that they aren't detailing their survey methodology and how they avoided bias; it's because they didn't.

Feb 26, 2016

I haven't googled what the survey criteria were but it's possible people were thinking of "consulting" from a client-service perspective (which would include IT, accounting, audit, etc.).

When you consider it as a "function" vs. industry, the Big 4 is a much more realistic (and sometimes desireable) option for more people - this could lead to more people preferring it in the survey responses.

Any list of aggregated data needs to have the criteria and population considered. If this was a list of "prestige" I think the results would look very different. It also would be if it was focused on management consulting (industry) professionals - even more so if it was limited to a specific demographic.

    • 1
Feb 28, 2016


Feb 28, 2016

The ranking is proof that the word "Consulting" is loosely defined. Also pay close attention to the ranking methodology ....

Feb 28, 2016