Ranking the Big Four (plus ACN) Strategy Shops

I obviously have my own thoughts here but curious to see what the community thinks. Obviously may be group dependent (e.g., deals vs. non-deals) but, on the whole - including perceived "prestige," compensation, exit opportunities, access to interesting work, etc. - how would you rank the Big Four Strategy Shops (plus ACN Strategy given its historically in there as part of Arthur Anderson)?

Also, this ignores legacy Strategy groups for those that acquired a Strategy shop (e.g., non-Strategy& "PwC Strategy"), so is among Strategy&, Parthenon, Deloitte S&A, KPMG Strategy and ACN Strategy.

And, yes, this is kind of a silly topic and more curious to see responses / entertainment value.

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Comments (6)

Most Helpful
Apr 21, 2021 - 11:02pm

My USA-based rankings:

General Prestige - All roughly the same to the general public, but KPMG a bit behind and S& a fair bit ahead to those who understand our industry 

Compensation - S& by far, EYP, Accenture Strategy, Deloitte... IDK where KPMG falls in there

Interesting work - S&, Deloitte, EYP / Accenture... IDK where KPMG falls in there

WLB: EYP (non DD), Accenture, Deloitte, EYP (DD), S&... I assume KPMG is first

Exit Opps: All more or less the same although people who know and appreciate Booz will value certain S& groups heavily

It's a shame - every time I do these rankings, Deloitte falls further and further down. They've really demolished their brand.

Apr 25, 2021 - 5:00pm

Deloitte has pretty much made the decision that it will no longer gain marketshare in the pure strategy space. It's focused on implementations. Probably the right business decision but not exactly interesting or high margin work. 

The legacy monitor brand no longer exists in the USA and neither does "S&O".

Pay is 30%+ lower at the C level and M levels, compared to other firms. Only at the A and SC campus hire levels is it the same. Promotion timelines are increasingly stretched out and there are fewer and fewer exceptions - and there is a general frustration that experienced hires just come in making much more than existing staff. 

It's quite a shame because there are also some immensely talented people at all levels at Deloitte. The ones at the lower levels have little interest in staying around at low pay and extended promotions to Principal.

in terms of rankings, it's MBB, then S&,OW,Kearney, LEK, EYP, and then Deloitte and Accenture Strategy. 

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 21, 2021 - 11:39pm

KPMG compensation is worst out of all the Big 4's. Atleast that's the case at the junior levels. Source: got advisory associate offer. Most groups are sub $80k..

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 24, 2021 - 10:54pm
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