PwC Advisory reputation?


What's their reputation in terms of consulting work they do? Also, how do they stack up in terms of "brand" against MBB? Is one Big 4 better than the rest with regards to their advisory/consulting arm?

Any other information about possibly working in Advisory would be appreciated, too.

Comments (28)

Mar 15, 2008 - 5:52pm

Big 4 reputations vary more on a office by office basis then firm by firm, i.e. PwC may be #1 in San Francisco and KPMG might be #1 in NYC and EY #1 in LA.

Mar 16, 2008 - 9:38pm

I am pretty sure that in the US, Big 4 firms are not allowed to take on strategy work because it conflicts with their role as auditors (Sarbanes-Oaxley).

Foreign Big 4 arms do have strategy consulting practices as well as more sizable M&A practices.

Big 4 Advisory in the US mostly consists of Transaction Services (Due Diligence for M&A), Valuation, Middle Market corporate finance Advisory, Risk Management, Transfer Pricing, basically a bunch of random services that they can perform without tripping up on SOX.

In terms of brand, they are the most prestigious out of any accounting job and are somewhat difficult to get. However, they are not in the same league as any respectable investment bank or management consulting firm.

Apr 17, 2008 - 12:50am

I interviewed with both PwC Advisory and Deloitte Consulting. What turned me off about both companies is that the analysts seemed more interested in partying than doing real work. Normally this would not be that big of a problem but I knew if I noticed this then other people must notice it as well (ex: recruiters for other firms or mba school). Thus, the reputations for both pale in comparison to MBB and several other consulting firms (Monitor, Oliver Wyman Group etc)

As for work, the analysts told me that they compete with MBB for the exact same projects. I personally took this with a grain of salt.

Apr 17, 2008 - 4:45pm

Deloitte might compete with MBB for some projects just because for a project MBB would bid $1-2MM for Deloitte would do it for 200k

HAHAHA. 200k vs. 1-2MM? Are you serious? Nice bullshit. The cost structure is essentially the same until the senior principal/junior partner level.

The reason that it rarely comes down to price unless they are very similar firms, is that if you are doing strategy work for a $1B+ product, you aren't going to sweat the 1-200k difference on a ~1-2MM project.

There are enough strategy players out there that you cannot hope to sustain a business solely through one-off discount pieces.

Apr 17, 2008 - 7:07pm

I was referring to an actual example. When I was was working for a professor as a research assistant he had me write a case on an alumni of my school who is the CEO of a large staffing firm. His company was making a large somewhat hostile acquisition of another staffing firm. The CEO told me he hired GS because he needed the brand name so the company would take his bid more seriously then it had taken some of his previous bids, but when it came to hiring a consulting firm for the post merger integration the MBB firms came in anywhere between $1-2MM for the project and Deloitte was willing to do it for a 200-400k. Since he didn't need the brand name at that point, he went with Deloitte.

Obviously for the price difference he would have gotten a few more tps reports from the MBB firms, but a lot of the price difference is that you are just paying for the name

Nov 3, 2010 - 8:42pm

This thread came up pretty high on Google, so I felt compelled to update with some facts.

PwC Advisory has a tremendous amount of focus within PwC, with the explicit intention of beating MBB at their own game. The business is growing in double-digits with great culture and people-first values.

Yes-- strict independence rules mean that they generally can do advisory work for a client ONLY when PwC is NOT the auditor. Other than that, any client is fair game.

As of 3/11/10, PwC has bought Diamond Consultants (originally traded under DTPI), a 600-strong "front office" C-suite management consulting firm that most certainly plays in the same space as MBB for strategy and operations work. Diamond is expected to be a platform to develop a high-end strategy business within PwC Advisory. I am a Manager (4yrs tenure post MBA) for the Diamond unit within PwC Advisory.

As before, PwC Advisory continues to do excellent focused execution-type work like that of Deloitte or Accenture. This means PwC Advisory can craft the C-suite strategy and take that all the way down to execution in a way that MBB can only dream of.

And from a cost perspective -- yes, absolutely MBB (and PwC-Diamond) could come in $1-2M for a PMI strategy/execution gig that Deloitte might quote at $200-400K. The client value proposition and individual team-member pay-scales are completely different. It's not a function of TPI reports -- it's a function of the quality and experience of the team, and the firm that supports them.

In summary-- from a brand perspective, watch this space.

Best Response
Nov 3, 2010 - 10:04pm

PMI = Post Merger Integration
LOL = Diamond/PwC competing with MBB

Although I would let PwC do my taxes...

Life, liberty and the pursuit of Starwood Points
Aug 29, 2012 - 7:18pm

From my understanding and personal experience, places like PwC Advisory and Deloitte Consulting do work that is much more in detail. They get down to operations, calculations, process improvement. Of course some projects involve working with CEOs CFOs CIOs. The McKinsey, Bain, BCG group are what they call "Management Consultants". These are strategy firms doing much "higher level" or "birds eye view" type of work. You wouldnt hire MBB to look into a process improvement engagement, working with the actual staff and managers of your business in order to make things more efficient at a granular level. In the same light, you wouldnt hire PwC Advisory or Deloitte Consulting to shape your strategy or to launch a new service line.

Both groups of firms have great reputations in what they do. As mentioned earlier, PwC Advisory did recently acquire Diamond. If you look up Diamond you will see that they do in fact do Management Consulting, and PwC is attempting to grow that practice. But it isnt going to happen overnight.

Aug 30, 2012 - 1:06pm

So is PwC Consulting now a practice they are launching in association with Diamond? How does PwC Advisory compare to PwC Consulting (hours and work/project type)?

This question really cannot be answered w/o a city reference. Each city varies a tremendous amount and each group within the advisory practice varies a tremendous amount.

If you could provide some insight on Los Angeles and San Francisco it would be much appreciated.

Going to be applying to PwC Consulting/Advisory for LA and possibly SF

Aug 30, 2012 - 1:12pm

The new Vault ratings have PwC 6-8 (take them or leave them). In a way though, this is more around popularity/name recognition of the firms. You also need to look at the differences between each level in that scale. IE nearly a 2 point drop from 3rd to 4th/5th, and another half point from 5th to 6th. That tells a lot more than the rank does.

Always depends on city for the firms, and industry (especially for top notch boutiques).

PRTM and Diamond have made a difference in the marketplace for sure, because of their citations for RFP's and the consultants (and addition of their methodologies).

Aug 31, 2012 - 12:14am

What about the Chicago and Dallas offices for healthcare consulting?

How would I describe myself? Three words: hard working, alpha male, jackhammer…merciless…insatiable.
Aug 31, 2012 - 11:30am
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