Thoughts on EY-Parthenon Dubai/MENA?

Hi there,

I have got an interview coming up with EY-Parthenon for a Manager position in Dubai.

Honestly I'm quite surprised by the negative reviews on Glassdoor. Most of the reviews claims that the culture is toxic and compensation is half of what MBB consultants make in the Middle East.

Does anyone have any insights on EY-P in the region?

Much appreciated

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Comments (3)

Apr 24, 2021 - 4:23pm

On a throwaway.

The Glassdoor reviews are outdated now, as the office has been completely transformed over the past year.

Originally, EYP MENA was started by a senior BCG MD and 3 other partners from within EY were re-assigned to it. The delivery team has been predominantly recruited from India. The salaries, working hours and skill expectations were in line with Big4, it was essentially just another department within EY MENA. I cannot stress more how bad Big4 firms are in the region and they pay accordingly - around 1/2 or even 1/3 of what strat houses offer.

A major shift happened in early 2020, when EY has recruited 2 partners and a principal from Roland Berger, and one of them replaced the ex BCG partner in his role of MD (he stays in a different role). 

This led to a transformation, as the new partner group started hiring people from S&, BCG, RB and other strat houses and is working on repositioning EYP as a competitor to other strat shops. There are some growing pains that go with it - not everyone's pay was re-adjusted and it was done in a very non-transparent way. 

Naturally, this brings a change in culture - the office is growing rapidly (atm at 6 partners with additional ones to join - only the ex BCG senior partner remains from the old group). However, projects are often co-staffed with EY consultants, which creates tensions as the gap in quality and expectations is massive. The work/life balance has been deteriorating rapidly, as the office keeps on winning projects while not having sufficient staff levels. 

Compensation is now closer to the local strat market, however still at the very low end - and even that is already pushing EY to its limits with acceptance of this "special treatment" for EYP. For perspective, as a Manager you'd make around $30-40k p.a. less vs BCG Consultant role.

I'd be bullish on the office in the mid-term if they manage to retain the talent they've hired in the last year and keep on increasing the fees further away from the Big4 baseline they've started with last year. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Apr 24, 2021 - 6:12pm

you seem to know a great deal about Consulting in the Middle East. Without being too specific, can you share (e.g., Analyst at MBB, Associate at Tier2, former-Manager at Big4 etc.) Would really appreciate to ask a few questions I had, tailored for you.

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