Deloitte S&O vs. LEK

Undergraduate lucky enough to be deciding on a few different consulting offers. Wanted to see if anybody had any advice for choosing between Deloitte S&O (probably #1 of the Big Four) and a smaller shop like L.E.K. Any thoughts on differences in prestige/exit/B-school?

Comments (27)

Oct 25, 2018

Similar, but substitute financial services for live sciences:

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/deloitte-so...

Oct 25, 2018

I would take LEK. Deloitte does more ops stuff, and LEK gives juniors a lot of exposure. Pretty similar exits tbh, both good, but culture at Deloitte can also be pretty rough and being at a bigger place with more bullshit and red tape can be a pain. But up to you, depends on industry preference / office too.

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Oct 25, 2018

Better culture at LEK? LEK is known for being an absolute sweatshop. I guarantee you work longer hours at LEK on the double-staffing PE DD model. Sure, there may be more bro douchebags at S&O, but at LEK you're going to work too many hours to worry about what Chad said at last Friday's happy hour. I will agree that there is more red tape at S&O but I think that's more of a factor for VP/Partner types.

S&O is probably better for most corporate exits given the brand recognition and broader case experience (not just PE DDs and growth strategy). LEK is probably better for PE/VC exits. I would make my decision based on this, while factoring in the workload and travel differentials.

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Oct 26, 2018

Yeah I mean LEK is long hours, but I was talking more about the people and the vibe. S&O would be a ton more travel, for what that's worth, as LEK doesn't travel that much (really at all). I guess I'd agree that while LEK is definitely better for buy-side, S&O might be easier for certain corporate exits, but still, I feel like the experience you get at a shop like LEK working almost exclusively on strategy and diligence is more valuable than a top of ops stuff at Deloitte. But that's just me.

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Oct 27, 2018

I think LEK's sweatshop reputation depends on the office location like with many firms. I have friends at LEK London who don't work as much as US colleagues. And the same goes for me - my firm has a few European offices and several US ones - in our practice the European ones work less than the US ones.

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Oct 29, 2018

You think LEK wins in PE?

Oct 29, 2018

Yes. LEK has a very strong diligence focus and is known for buyside exits, It is probably the best of the T2 firms in terms of PE exits. Parthenon also does pretty well. Not saying that you can't place well out of Deloitte S&O, but if you want to do PE, it will be more natural from LEK.

Oct 27, 2018

I think it depends on what you want. For the widest range of exit ops Big D no question. But if you are even mildly interested in buyside (like everyone else on this forum) LEK should be your choice.

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Oct 27, 2018

Range is nice. Do you think one if harder to get into than the other?

Oct 27, 2018

I think both are similar in terms of difficulty. I do think other T2s are harder to get a full time position though,like Parthenon which has a smaller and more exclusive list of target schools.

Oct 27, 2018

Deloitte's S&O group is several times the size of most these other groups. Measuring prestige and difficulty in obtaining an offer is misleading when you must hire the sheer number of individuals that S&O does. If you take a sample size from S&O's top employees that is equal to the size of these smaller firms and groups, you will find that S&O is on par with, if not better than, anyone else.

Only Oliver Wyman's FS group is decidedly better.

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Oct 29, 2018

I see, that's a good point. If you had to pick one, which would you say has higher prestige?

Oct 29, 2018

Not sure which one you should choose, but the Deloitte network is large and the brand name will carry...

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Oct 29, 2018

Better than L.E.K.?

Oct 30, 2018

LEK for sure. They have a much more specific focus (not name creep) and the exit ops are fantastic. It's sort of a sweatshop (I've got a buddy there, he's had one case that was up until 2am for a week and then out by 6 the next 3), but it's very manageable. Lots of other friends that I've had exit into PE from LEK. Also, the case turnover is pretty quick: you're looking at like a 6 week max, so you get a TON of exposure very quickly. LEK has awesome prestige in it's sphere. Big 4 are great and all, but I'll always trust an LEK strategy guy over a big 4 strategy guy, every time.

Remember, always be kind-hearted.

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Nov 1, 2018

Thank you for the reply - super helpful. I definitely prefer LEK's strategy work and lack of implementation projects. Just felt a bit nervous about picking them over Deloitte since they're ranked above LEK in prestige everywhere on this website.

Jan 8, 2019

Did you go for LEK in the end? Whereabouts (if willing)

Oct 30, 2018

LEK's work is much more interesting than Deloitte. There is no chance of ending up on a long term implementation project, which happens at Deloitte. The strategy work is all growth oriented, which is also more interesting experience in my opinion than what you get at Deloitte. Pay is generally marginally better as well. Exit ops fairly aligned.

The only upside to Deloitte is if you are applying as an MBA intern and can take advantage of their second year scholarship; if you're looking at 2-3 years in consulting, this makes Daddy D a no brainer. As an UG, I'd go with LEK. The hours are bad, but Deloitte has their fair share of horror stories too, depending on where you're aligned, and LEK is a local staffing model so you don't have to live out of a suitcase (which can be fun for approximately 2 months, I don't know anyone who loves the travel in the long run).

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Jan 8, 2019

He doesn't care about any of that. All he cares about is, "prestige." Which one has more, "prestige."

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Jan 27, 2019
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Jan 28, 2019