Comments (63)

Sep 10, 2015

Once Booz is gone, Deloitte is solidifying as #4. It seems the PwC acquisition really hurt whatever was left from Booz.

Sep 11, 2015

I mostly agree with it. It has Deloitte and Strategy& correctly ranked. ATK, my friends who interned there really liked it, but I'm pretty sure KPMG will buy it before they can execute their 2020 growth plan.

Sep 10, 2015

ATK leadership is very keen on maintaining independence after their EDS experience. Governance is also structured around one partner-one vote that makes a sale driven only by senior partners harder. They are in a good trajectory but time will tell if their model and scale are viable.

Sep 11, 2015

I think Vault rankings are even worse than B-School rankings - way too subjective and often way off the mark. "Consulting" is such a broad term it's hard to compare a tiny, super niche firm (aka ClearView) to mostly operational firm (aka AT Kearney) to a huge full service firm (aka Big 4/Accenture/IBM GBS) to a traditional strategy house (aka Bain). Each has its own competitive advantage and dominates different markets and different types of engagements and one is not always better than the other in a way that can be ranked. The sub-rankings (Strat Consulting, Econ Consulting, IT Consulting, Prestige, etc.) are probably more interesting to look at but, still, super biased because consulting firms themselves are voting on it and therefore can clearly have ulterior motives. That said, a few thoughts:

  1. Parthenon (yes, I know it's now part of EY) is perpetually underrated. It's a great strategy house and they win a lot of deals vs. MBB/other top competitors, although I'm not sure what attrition has been like post-acquisition.
  2. IBM GBS is also perpetually underrated. A great IT consulting firm, although branching out into strategy/ops has been met with lukewarm reception. It's ridiculous they're not in the top 50 - they win TONS of deals, mostly because every company in the US uses IBM products in some way (foot in the door is always the best way to sell deals).
  3. Someone mentioned KPMG potentially purchasing ATK.... ummmm what? I'm not saying this is a dumb statement I'm more wondering is this just pure speculation or grounded in truth? @opsdude1 do by chance work at either firm? I'd be curious to hear more about this.
  4. Speaking of KPMG.... not even in the top 50? Was this a mistake by Vault? Their consulting practice is behind the other Big 4 but not by THAT much....
  5. The #50 firm, Triage, is an awesome place. Just sayin'
  6. I've never even heard of some of these firms so these rankings are sometimes a good way to learn more about the industry and the different players out there.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents but, of course, rankings are BS. All that matters is what executives around the world think and who is winning deals and at what bill rates - in the end of the day that's all that matters.

Sep 11, 2015

@Canadiens16 I spoke with the global head of strategy at one of the consulting firms, and he said he expected KPMG to buy ATK in the next two years. Not sure the exact basis of his beliefs, but many other people seem to believe this too.

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Sep 11, 2015

@opsdude1 interesting, thanks for passing along the info!

Sep 13, 2015

These rankings never include boutique strategy houses like Marakon and Altman Vilandrie. They are solely based on size.

Sep 16, 2015

@canadiens16 I interned with KPMG Strategy this summer and frankly find their omission from the top 50 list odd (from 23rd the year before). Especially so because they are ranked #8 for strategy by Vault...

@opsdude1, you think KPMG will buy ATK and not an LEK? ATK's ops work doesn't seem designed to fit within the strategy work they are working to build out. KPMG seems content to continue hiring talent from the top shops (BCG, Bain, Monitor, OW, Parthenon) to scale up (and their post MBA offer is great).

Sep 11, 2015
M6A1H7:

@canadiens16 I interned with KPMG Strategy this summer and frankly find their omission from the top 50 list odd (from 23rd the year before). Especially so because they are ranked #8 for strategy by Vault...

@opsdude1, you think KPMG will buy ATK and not an LEK? ATK's ops work doesn't seem designed to fit within the strategy work they are working to build out. KPMG seems content to continue hiring talent from the top shops (BCG, Bain, Monitor, OW, Parthenon) to scale up (and their post MBA offer is great).

I heard KPMG offered $10k below market rate last year, did they increase this year?

Sep 17, 2015

Don't base your choices on rankings. I think that there are different buckets. Top tier, second tier, etc...

Pick the best tier you can get and then try to find the company you like the most.. But don't chose your firm because it is ranked one or two places better.

Sep 17, 2015

Agreed, very intelligent comment. Coming from MBB, your exit opps will not change between the three. Similar, no reason to pick Deloitte S&O if you hate the people and the folks over at Strategy&/LEK/ACN Strat really impressed you.

Sep 17, 2015

Roland Berger #26 in the ranking....

Even if they are not overperforming in some offices, they are easily in the top 10 in Europe.

Sep 18, 2015

I have also been told that KPMG is in the market to acquire a strategy shop, they need to if they are going to compete with the other BIG 4 consulting practices.

Sep 16, 2015

@opsdude1, The comp is on-par with what I understand Bain and McKinsey offer, maybe even a bit higher depending on specific signing bonuses.

Oct 16, 2015

I agree - prestige is pretty closely tied to exit opportunities; I feel like most people don't go into consulting to stay in consulting. Culture et al. are a nice to have, but most 1st level and 2nd level consultants are looking to set themselves up for future opportunities.

Oct 16, 2015
Elegant_Hobo:

http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/rankings/indiv...
Personally think more weight should be put on prestige.

Out of curiosity, what would you have made the top 10?

Oct 16, 2015

Rankings are always fun..
If I had offers from everyone, I'd take

1 & 1a- McKinsey/Bain
2 - BCG
3 & 4 - Monitor/OW
5 & 6- Parthenon/LEK
7 & 8 - AT Kearney/Booz - quite honestly don't know how they are now, but the name is there
9 & 10 - Accenture Strategy/Deloitte S&O

it's a function of exit opps and work that's done. I'm more interested in strategy work and want to do PE.

Oct 16, 2015
Elegant_Hobo:

Rankings are always fun..
If I had offers from everyone, I'd take

1 & 1a- McKinsey/Bain
2 - BCG
3 & 4 - Monitor/OW
5 & 6- Parthenon/LEK
7 & 8 - AT Kearney/Booz - quite honestly don't know how they are now, but the name is there
9 & 10 - Accenture Strategy/Deloitte S&O

it's a function of exit opps and work that's done. I'm more interested in strategy work and want to do PE.

Seems like a pretty agreeable top 5, I am not as familiar with the second 5, I feel like they may have less of a Canadian presence.

Interesting you mention PE, everyone says banking is a gateway to PE but I'd be interested in knowing if many consultants move to PE since they both (in general) focus on making businesses run better. I know PE firms hire consultants to do due diligence work and offer other analyses/opinions, but i wonder how many firms look to bring those guys on board like they do bankers, or if it is sufficient for them to hire a consulting firm when need. I know they wouldn't have the technical background, but may be more in tune with the management/strategy side of things. - any insights?

Oct 16, 2015

this is not even prestige by a distance... i think they will still come out with a prestige ranking, which should be a better picture...

Oct 16, 2015

What is this list, why have I not heard of like half of these firms? And aren't a lot of these items like culture highly subjective?

Oct 16, 2015

this list is pointless, as it is not a prestige ranking

Oct 16, 2015

I know this post is a bit old, but I just got here. How do you think the Vault list compares to this ranking:

http://firmsconsulting.com/2011/02/16/annual-manag...
This ranking seems to be a bit less "subjective", as run4run put it...

Oct 16, 2015

Are rankings of consulting firms really that meaningful? Given the differences in size, industry, structure, function, etc., it seems pretty meaningless to have one big ranking. Even the prestige ranking seems somewhat useless.

Oct 16, 2015

Vault, like USNews with schools, just needs to keep their lists a bit fresh, so they do strange things sometimes.

For kids in undergrad, the ranking, generally speaking is and will remain:
1. McK
2. BCG
-Small Drop off
3. Bain
--Big Drop off
4. Oliver Wyman Fin Services
5. Booz
6. Monitor
7. OW
--Another drop off
8. Mercer
9. Accenture
10. Deloitte

Those are just the big firms those - personally, I'd rather go to a great boutique shop that has a strong niche than Deloitte or Accenture (unless your in one of the special programs). I think that ranking was developed based on prestige/selectivity/experience at the bottom of the totem pole

Oct 16, 2015
FOXHOUND:

Vault, like USNews with schools, just needs to keep their lists a bit fresh, so they do strange things sometimes.

For kids in undergrad, the ranking, generally speaking is and will remain:
1. McK
2. BCG
-Small Drop off
3. Bain
--Big Drop off
4. Oliver Wyman Fin Services
5. Booz
6. Monitor
7. OW
--Another drop off
8. Mercer
9. Accenture
10. Deloitte

Those are just the big firms those - personally, I'd rather go to a great boutique shop that has a strong niche than Deloitte or Accenture (unless your in one of the special programs). I think that ranking was developed based on prestige/selectivity/experience at the bottom of the totem pole

Agree, as someone said above most people seem to miss the small drop between BCG and Bain.

Regarding OW, FS and GMC are as PorcineAviation said in practice two different firms, and I'd say that there are some fucked up smart people doing FS at OW. Some people there are just insane with numbers, which is understandable as some of the FS stuff they do require quite complex maths. That is something you really can't say about GMC.

Oct 16, 2015

FOXHOUND..... I'd second your list almost completely (Most don't acknowledge the small drop between BCG and Bain), but would bump Monitor to 8, and move OW and Deloitte to 6 & 7 respectively

Oct 16, 2015

Should OW Fin Services be tucked under OW? I understand that OW Fin Services is well-respected, but it is not its own consulting firm.

Oct 16, 2015
consultingwiz07:

Should OW Fin Services be tucked under OW? I understand that OW Fin Services is well-respected, but it is not its own consulting firm.

In practice it is.

Oct 16, 2015

yes, i agree with most of your points, but then your ratings are very US-focused. what the rating in SebLer's comment (http://firmsconsulting.com/2011/02/16/annual-manag...) does get right is the fact that in europe companies like roland berger and oc&c are arguably among the top 5.

compare vault's Consulting 25 Europe:

http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/rankings/indiv...

Oct 16, 2015

I don't think there's a small drop off between BCG and Bain.

Oct 16, 2015

In the US, Bain and BCG are roughly equal in prestige. McK, Bain and BCG consider each other to be rivals and often pitch for work against each other. Of course, Bain is smaller and typically works more with PE clients and with smaller companies while BCG and McKinsey work with slightly larger ones, but the difference is negligible.

Pretty much anywhere outside the US, however, there is a huge gap between the prestige associated with BCG and Bain. Asia, Europe, MENA, Latin America... if you ask consultants from those areas what they think of Bain they'll typically laugh at you. When I was considering between McK, Bain and BCG, I had consultants from McK around the world literally tell me "I can see why you'd choose BCG over McK, but if you choose Bain you must be mentally ill."

This might not hold 15 years from now, but its definitely true for the time being.

Oct 16, 2015
redninja:

In the US, Bain and BCG are roughly equal in prestige. McK, Bain and BCG consider each other to be rivals and often pitch for work against each other. Of course, Bain is smaller and typically works more with PE clients and with smaller companies while BCG and McKinsey work with slightly larger ones, but the difference is negligible.

Pretty much anywhere outside the US, however, there is a huge gap between the prestige associated with BCG and Bain. Asia, Europe, MENA, Latin America... if you ask consultants from those areas what they think of Bain they'll typically laugh at you. When I was considering between McK, Bain and BCG, I had consultants from McK around the world literally tell me "I can see why you'd choose BCG over McK, but if you choose Bain you must be mentally ill."

This might not hold 15 years from now, but its definitely true for the time being.

Don't think it's quite that simple. Prestige in Europe is very variable between countries. BCG is massive in Germany, arguably bigger than McKinsey. Alternatively in the UK the BCG office is 1/4 the size of McKinsey and 1/2 the size of Bain and has a lower profile.

I agree that is is probably a more well defined 1. McK, 2. BCG, 3. Bain in Europe but I think all three are closer together than you suggest.

Oct 16, 2015

BCG and McK, from what I've understood, do more prestigious strategy work, ie for larger companies. I think they actually do have a marginally higher bill rate as well, as confirmed by the firmsconsulting.com ranking mentioned earlier.

Still it is just a small drop.

Oct 16, 2015

Is this what you guys are looking for? http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/rankings/indiv...

Oct 16, 2015

I totaly agree with astros4ws. I can't see any gap beetwen the 3 in Europe.

Oct 16, 2015

no, there actually is a big gap. at least in germany, bain isn't even among the top 10 in terms of revenue:

http://www.luenendonk.de/management_beratung.php
this list shows the revenue (umsatz) and the number of employees (mitarbeiter) at each firm in germany. consulting firms in germany actually publish those rankings openly. (except McK, for which the revenue is estimated above 500 Mio. EUR)

so there is a VERY big drop between the top 3 and the rest, bain is tiny (5x less employees than McK), and roland berger seems to have a pretty impressive revenue/employee ratio.

Oct 16, 2015

I would agree that Bain's culture is a selling point for many college grads, along with the connection with Bain Cap/the PE work they do. I think that yields some sort of self-selection bias, so more Bain kids end up in PE.

The marginal difference though begins with some prestige factors:
1. Marginally higher fees, sometimes bigger clients with more established relationships
2. Both McK/BCG do more work with governments
3. Job function - McKinsey and BCG take less undergrads into their programs because they basically have them do the same work that they make MBA level consultants do

But it's a marginal difference - you would learn a great deal at your job at Bain, have plenty of exit opps into strategy roles - you just might do a bit more PE work (due diligences) and have a little more dumped on you by more people on the team.

Oct 16, 2015

What about PwC and the other Big4 in consulting?

Does everybody here see a Big4 consultant breaking into MBBs?

Are there specific divisions within consulting that are considered a perfect match for Big4 tants making it into MBBs?

.

Oct 16, 2015

I met two different partners who both worked at Deloitte now working at BCG and Bain.

Oct 16, 2015

What is PwC's rep like?

How has their performance been portrayed in the past?

.

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Oct 16, 2015

I'm very surprised that Bain moved up to #1 and BCG moved down to #3... weird.

Oct 16, 2015

The ranking you listed includes other factors like work-life balancer etc. The traditional prestige ranking is here, which to some degree may be a better measure of the brand strength rather than using the employee value proposition. This will "shock" people less.

http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/consulting/b...

The rankings (albeit by the general consulting populace) seem to run counter to some of the issues identified here:
https://www.firmsconsulting.com/consulting-ranking...

However, there is an interesting pattern emerging as the "other" firms appear to be gaining ground on the MBB even in the prestige rankings. Not there yet, but as a former McKinsey Partner put it - American Auto didn't see the Japanese coming either. The constant investment (i.e., Monitor/Booz/PRTM/Diamond etc.) at Deloitte and PwC is beginning to pay off.

I can't speak for DT, but I know Strategy& was part of a major international change to how PwC consulting operates, and it will have a significant effect on improving the delivery of our projects globally. It's an interesting time to be at the firms.

TT

Oct 16, 2015

Yeah, those prestige rankings make more sense to me. It's also evident that those rankings don't change a whole lot from year to year.

Oct 16, 2015

I've always found the Vault rankings to be odd. They consider too many random factors, try to lump up multiple geographies (prestige rankings will vary continent to continent), and don't exactly distinguish well between firms that offer management/strategy consulting and everything-under-the-sky consulting.

Oct 16, 2015

I don't understand why EY isn't listed in the overall rankings, unlike the other Big 4 firms, but are listed in the top 10 in prestige rankings.

Oct 16, 2015

Vault has lost its mind ;)

Oct 16, 2015

This is because vault does not consider the work that EY does to qualify as management consulting. FWIW, their engagements are pretty one dimensional, and tend to not see competition from PwC/Deloitte, let alone MBB.

Oct 16, 2015

What do you guys think of PwC? I hear salary is good and there is plenty room for growth. I'm not sure what my chances are at MBB (of course I'll still try) and was thinking PwC would be a good plan B.

Oct 16, 2015
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