Seeking Info on PE-focused, T2 consulting firms

jmn3ye's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 35

Hi all.

I am an early-career consultant at a T2 shop (not EY-Parthenon or L.E.K). I love the work I'm doing, but am less interested in traveling every week long term (which is what I currently do), and I like the idea of working on things like PE due diligence, F500 organic and inorganic growth strategy, business portfolio optimization, operational turnarounds within PE portfolio companies, etc.

So, EY-Parthenon and L.E.K. have both emerged as firms of interest to transition in the future. I was wondering if any monkeys from either of these two firms could comment on their experience at either of these firms. Specifically interested in the questions below.

1.) Is the work that I described above representative of a typical project at your firm?
2.) Do you travel? If so, how often?
3.) These firms have been criticized for having a bit of a sweatshop reputation. Do you typically work weekends? How often are you working past midnight?
4.) Do you typically work on multiple deals/engagements at once?
5.) From what you can tell, is the nature of your project work significantly different from a more traditional strategy & operations shop (say an AT Kearney, Deloitte S&O or Accenture Strategy) ??
6.) How would your firm view a consultant from one of the shops mentioned in previous question as a potential candidate? Would you entertain a direct lateral or would an MBA be required?

Looking forward to hearing any insights anyone is able to provide. Thank you!!

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Comments (3)

Feb 8, 2019

nice post.. also curious!

    • 1
Most Helpful
Feb 11, 2019

Pre-MBA at LEK/EYP/S& here. I'll take a shot at this.

1) Mostly, yes. EY-P and LEK will be mostly commercial due diligences for PE firms, as well as growth strategy projects. There will be little operational work at all. At S& it will depend on whether you are in Deals, PEVC, or corporate strategy.

2) You will never travel on a commercial due-diligence unless you are staffed out of another office (mostly rare at my firm unless you want to buddy up with a partner or something). Corporate cases are a mixed bag where I've seen teams go out Mon-Thurs, and others do day visits like once every 3 weeks. At the end of the day, you will travel way less than those at most other consulting firms (Slalom excluded lol).

3) That's a semi-fair criticism, but I don't think we work significantly different hours from the MBBs. I will say that CDD projects on tight timelines can be very demanding, especially when you finish a 2 week sprint on Friday, and then immediately get staffed for another 2 week sprint starting the following Monday. The quick turnover in cases rather than the hours is what gets to me (and led me to seek out corporate strategy projects).

In terms of hours, I have found that first years out of undergrad typically work 12-14 hour days M-R. When you get quicker, that drops to like 11-12 hour days as a second year. Pretty much everyone is out before 6pm on Friday. Weekend work is minimal (1-2 hrs on Sunday if you want to get ahead on Monday) unless shit hits the fan (every few months or so).

4) I believe this varies by firm, but some do.

5) Yea, pretty different from Deloitte and Accenture. At Deloitte you could get on a very similar project via the Monitor group, or you could be put in a 6 month operations-focused project. At Accenture you could be doing a digital transformation strategy for a client (don't ask me to define that, I can't). At the end of the day, you will get a stronger breadth of experience at S&O and more of a tech focus at Accenture. I don't think either of those firms do any CDD, and getting staffed on growth strategy might be hard to come by unless you're a great performer, whereas these are the norms at LEK/EYP/S&. I can't really speak to ATK as I don't know them very well.

6) I believe LEK and S& accept pre-MBA laterals, but I don't think EY-P does. You'd be in a great spot to land an interview given your current role, but I would only try if you are 1) not happy as is or 2) are absolutely set on PE. It's a big lift to start from 0 at a new firm with no network and no reputation, so make sure to weigh that cost in your decision.

    • 5
Feb 12, 2019