McKinsey Transformation vs A&M Rx Offer Choice Advice

Hi All,

In a unique situation and would appreciate some insight.

Incoming 1st/2nd year analyst with full-time offers from McKinsey RTS/Transformation (their restructuring group) and A&M in their Restructuring & Turnaround group. Tier 1 city.

Can anyone provide some color on pros and cons? Total comp, career progression, brand name e.t.c.? Project differences? I want to stay in restructuring but could be interested in moving to a distressed PE firm or something similar, not necessarily staying in consulting.

Hard to find a lot of info on both these firms restructuring wise but I know A&M is more debtor focused and has a lucrative bonus structure as well.

Thanks so much!

Comments (18)

Aug 15, 2021 - 5:19am

Personally I'd start at McKinsey for the more versatile brand name. Especially if you think you might want to move to PE after, having a prestigious brand on your resume is a must for a lot of shops. McKinsey also gives you the added flexibility of being able to exit more broadly if you decide you don't want to be in restructuring long term, and it's grad school placement will be much better if that's something you care about. Comp isn't as good as A&M, but I'm confident that moving from RTS to a restructuring shop 2-3 years down the road would be relatively straightforward. 
 

That being said, A&M is a great company and no means the 'wrong choice' if you find that it appeals to you more than RTS

I don't know much about the differences in projects and experience, but I got the sense from previous research when I was interested in the space that RTS's pipeline would have a bit more of a lean towards 'transformation' projects that have bit more of a strategy consulting flavor or component but in a distressed context, rather than just pure bankruptcy-oriented work. For example, I imagine they sell some projects that are debtor restructuring mandates with 'long term strategic planning' components tacked on. That's worth fact checking me on though  

Aug 15, 2021 - 10:52am

Interesting choices. #1 of the MBB vs arguably #1 within RX consulting. You actually see MBB leave to A&M and much of that space has been formed by former MBBers. So if RX is definitely where you want to stay, hard to pass up A&M. McK gives you tons of optionality. Really can't go wrong. The turnaround stuff is intriguing. Would give you great experience to be an operator within the PE Portco space. Different role than an investor but imagine turning around multiple distressed companies and getting some carry in that pursuit. A&M places quite well on the League Tables. Where does Mck fit in? I would seek out individuals who are presently in a role that you desire several yrs in and see how they got there. If it's in the RX / Turnaround space (either consulting or as an operator or within PE) may be one of the rare times to not choose McK.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Aug 19, 2021 - 4:10pm

The opposite is also true. Just because those are the top 3 restructuring consulting firms does not mean that McKinsey doesn't crush it in the space. They've worked on some of the most notable bankruptcies in recent years. 
 

I don't think the founder of AlixPartners would have taken the time and effort to sue McKinsey's bankruptcy practice if he didn't see them as a major competitor and threat.
 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSL1N1SG1JK

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 19, 2021 - 2:25pm

Would probably go with Mck, we're all super young in our careers and don't know where we'll be 100% into the future. Would go to Mck's practice even with how great A&M's RX exposure is. 

  • Investment Analyst in Research - FI
Aug 19, 2021 - 4:25pm

Show me a league table with Mck crushing it in RX consulting? While they may have a RX practice, and as seen elsewhere on the forum, it's almost undisputed that Alix, FTI, and A&M are the de-facto top 3 RX consulting firms. 

Out of Court League Table: 

Debtor Engagements - https://pipeline.thedeal.com/leaguetables/outofcourt

Creditor Engagements - https://pipeline.thedeal.com/leaguetables/outofcourt

Bankruptcy League Tables:

https://pipeline.thedeal.com/leaguetables/bankruptcy

Edit: links are working properly, but you can search for yourself to see.

Most Helpful
Aug 20, 2021 - 9:17am

McKinsey certainly gives you a more brand name that may make many things easier for you down the line. Top 10 business schools, for instance, might give a preference to McKinsey on your resume (all other things being equal of course). If you decide you don't want to do restructuring work, McKinsey is a more recognizable brand name. You're young and at the start of your career, so McKinsey is a fantastic place to start and gives you huge optionality.

That said, I went from A&M (not the restructuring group) out of undergrad to PE after MBA. It wasn't easy, and I had to tell plenty of people who A&M was... but for the people who did know A&M, I think it actually got me way more respect than McKinsey would have because of the technical nature of work that A&M does in restructuring and PE. And if you want to stay in restructuring for your career, I'd definitely take A&M over McKinsey - the A&M track record in the space is undeniable.

Aug 23, 2021 - 11:40am

I've worked at both MBB and A&M and agree with the comments above. McK will keep doors open and has unmatched name recognition for consulting. A&M likely pays better, especially with its bonus structure. It's also more respected in its niche. If you want to do more strategic work, pick McK, and if you want more operational / financial work pick A&M. Can't really go wrong, but I'd probably pick McK to keep your options open

Aug 28, 2021 - 9:50am

Go to McKinsey. If you were post-MBA with years of experience then totally different, but the reality is as confident as you may be now about RX, that can and tbh likely will change. Very rarely do we get it right on the first try. McKinsey has arguably the best name in business. Just take it and don't look back.

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Aug 28, 2021 - 10:42am

I'm in a&m restructuring  team however would recommend McKinsey. No doubt we are better at RX but everyone tells me their training experience was better at other firms. I think this is a good place to lateral to mid / late career rather than try be a homegrown analyst to MD. Plus I don't like our split with corporate / PE performance improvement whilst it seems at McK this would be one team?

Btw dont be fooled by our promise of massive bonuses. Project work really slow so no chance to get the good utilisation to get the bonus. McK no doubt has better base

  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Aug 28, 2021 - 2:31pm

What do you mean when you say you don't like the split between RX and PEPI?

Also do you expect things to get better from a comp perspective next year?

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Aug 28, 2021 - 2:46pm

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