Strategy& Compensation Updates

Strategy& compensation was updated so wanted to share with the community since there seems to be a lot of offerees or potential candidates.

Our associates will now make 85K from 75K. Our post-mbas will now make 168K from 150K. All cohorts, EXCEPT experienced associate levels will be adjusted accordingly. However, with this raise came another disappointing news - our internally promoted senior associates will now make 148K rather than the post-mba 168K.

I'm an associate in S& and i've got to say, this is pretty disappointing to say the least. Not only did they not raise experienced associates, they have disincentived associates to stay for promotion. The logic that leadership shared was that they wanted to encourage associates to get their MBAs before returning - which is fair. MBAs and two years of experience helps tremendously in a client facing business, not to mention the network from t10+ schools that our associates join. However, instead of improving on the scholarship program that S& offers or offering someone to actively incentivize boomerang associates, leadership has decided to remove money from the table. Our scholarship program is a 100% full-ride; however, you're forced to intern and return to strategy& full-time for three years - a clear step below any other strategy consulting firm.

News was just released but sentiment and morale is pretty low on the associate end. I would expect churn to continue increasing - but our campus pipeline will most likely expand since we are now out-paying most of our competitors. Happy to try and answer any questions as candidly as possible from folks.

Comments (25)

May 13, 2019 - 3:02pm

Hey, I'm starting in the fall. Could you give some tips as to how to stand out among my associate class? Also, to what extent is DS quantitative? I had some algebra and applied arithmetic in my interviews but it doesn't seem nearly as technically complex as IB, would you attest to that? Thanks

May 13, 2019 - 3:58pm

Welcome to the team!

To answer your first question, I want to really hammer home the importance of being proactive. I made the mistake of just thinking if I put my head down and do the work I'm given, I would be commended. But at any fast-paced job like consulting, it's all about what you do differently. All my peers did fine on their analysis. Sure, I was better in some aspects like excel or financial analysis but that doesn't matter. They don't expect you to be a rockstar consultant. What they want, in your first year, is for you to be an active team member, carry a confident attitude, and contribute to the team. That means speaking up on projects to leadership to share your insights, volunteering for proposal work, making relationships etc. By being proactive, you'll get learning opportunities and experiences that snowball your development, eventually leading you to carry a natural air of knowledge and confidence - if that makes sense. There is a post in this forum about "how to make VP in PE" which is really applicable to this situation as well. Basically, you have act and perform at the level of the next role to be stellar at your current role, ie to be a rockstar associate, you have to have the confidence, expertise, and respect of your peers at the level of a senior associate / manager etc. And it all starts with being proactive.

In terms of quantitative analysis, I hesitate to even say that IB is THAT technically complex... finance is a beast to those who are unbeknownst to the subject. But if you get down to the details of it - it's really not that complicated. I studied finance in school and had multiple internships in the field so I have a relatively strong foundation. But I could be suffering from Dunning-Kruger effect so don't attack me if you think I'm wrong! Anyway, to answer your question, no it's not that complex. Consulting isn't rocket science. We obviously do run some forms of financial analysis and build models on engagements, but mostly you'll deal with data, often a ton of it and unstructured. It's more about if you can be comfortable with synthesizing the data and understanding the implications for the client. It's rare where you'll run into a situation where you simply don't have the quantitative knowledge to tackle a problem. Now, if you do have advanced knowledge, I'm sure there are ways to apply it and stand out from your peers. But I wouldn't worry that you're behind. I know associates who entered with no knowledge of accounting / finance but have done fine by being proactive (see the trend?) and taking some time to get on projects with the necessary analysis to catch-up. Good luck and again, welcome to the firm!

May 13, 2019 - 4:16pm

Thanks a bunch for the info and warm welcome! I'm happy to be a part of the team and super excited to get started!

May 13, 2019 - 4:12pm

Great info.

It looks like the base salaries at both levels are very competitive with the other big, well-known firms at least. Can you speak to what bonuses are like at S&?

May 13, 2019 - 4:47pm

I'm a bit hesitant on that end to give exact details, but I believe it's market competitive. We have a pretty broad range but target bonuses for associates is around ~15-30%... each level gives around a 10% increase ie managers have around ~40-60% bonus potential

May 13, 2019 - 9:49pm

Yep - Booz / Strategy& has historically always paid at par / above MBB to attract talent. Associates see a fairly robust increase in base comp as well - around ~10% YoY - although this has tapered off quite a bit due to the UG comp increase.

Previously at promotion, associates would have seen a massive ~60% increase to match post-mba hires. Now, associates will make a "home-grown" pseudo senior associate role which sees a ~20K lower compensation than MBA hires. However, barring any performance issues, "home-grown" senior associates will then catch-up to normal cohort comp in their second year.

Most Helpful
May 30, 2019 - 10:34am

I don't see why this is such a huge morale hit for the home-grown associates? They are still saving themselves ~$300-400k (in costs + opportunity cost) by forgoing an MBA. Even though they are likely great at their job, it's true that their network is unlikely as good as someone who went to a top MBA (and therefore as they get more senior, they likely will have a more difficult job bringing in business OTE)...

If the only financial downside of becoming a home-grown associate is one year of getting paid slightly less, I don't see that as a major incentive to go get an MBA by itself...

May 19, 2019 - 9:06am

I've finally made an account after years of reading here. I'm an incoming associate set to start in the fall. Do you know if/when this will be communicated to incoming associates?

Also, could you elaborate a bit on the school sponsorship? I'm curious who is eligible, if you need to attend a certain tier of school (M7, etc.), and when most people leave to take advantage of this sponsorship.

May 21, 2019 - 1:02pm

Congrats and welcome as well. If you have already accepted, I'm sure it will be communicated very soon.

Our school sponsorship is fairly straightforward. You need to have 12+ months experience and apply for it concurrently with your MBA admissions. There isn't a strict tier of schools, but I have never seen any S& associate leave for below a ~T15 school (i.e., Ross / Johnson etc), with the bulk leaving for M7. Most who take advantage are our homegrown SAs, so usually 3-4 years experience out of undergrad. To be honest, our program isn't too contested. Leadership has always stated they want to send more but are lacking applications. This is mostly due to the policy that S& has which forbids any internship outside of S&. On the brightside, the way the scholarship is paid is S& directly pays for your tuition - there are significant tax benefits in doing so.

May 19, 2019 - 11:20pm

What do post-mba exit opps look like? I.e. how many years at Strategy& to get a director level job in industry? And what types of roles?

Other threads talk about the cutthroat culture and horrible senior management...what's your take?


May 30, 2019 - 2:06pm

I noticed that there weren't any relocation bonuses mentioned in the offer documents - I know that many of the other top consultancies have some relocation benefits, and as I am moving very, very far to my new office, I was wondering if it would be reasonable of me to ask HR? Thanks!

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