This is my take, and I've included some basic commentary about why I've listed certain firms in certain places. I'm definitely interested in hearing what people think, but before I give the list I offer two disclaimers:
- This is what I think the landscape CURRENTLY looks like. 5 or 10 years ago I would've had some of these firms in very different places on the list (and excluded some of them entirely)
- This is based on prestige for the US market. Things are of likely different in Europe or elsewhere
Anyway here we go.
This is simply indisputable
These are listed as T1.5 because they are considerably more prestigious than the T2 shops listed below, and they compete most heavily with T1 firms for projects and for talent... Look at the crop of emerging talent in any ofand you will see plenty of OW & Deloitte S&O alum. I also believe that these two have the greatest chance of joining T1 in next 5-10 years
- & (tied with EY-Parthenon)
While I think ATK is probably on the decline, it is a well established player with a storied history (and one of the early pioneers of pre-1950s strategy & ops. consulting). It therefore holds its spot toward the top of T2... Next, despite some internal issues faced by S& and some uncertainty about where it's headed in the future, it's still highly respected in the market (espec. in the deal strategy space). It holds its spot for now but needs to distance itself from PWC audit/assurance when it goes to market in the US, as many clients fear a conflict of interest (Parthenon has done a far better job of keeping its brand separate from its big 4 parent...
Finally, ACN strategy has done a lot to bolster its strategy capabilities via inorganic growth (i.e. heavy investment in new acquisitions), it has poached key people from MBB and other top organizations to run its strategy group, and its among the best in the business for digital strategy, which bodes well for the future