What is typical turnover at MBB like?

Z.L's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 87

I joined MBB out of undergrad in 2015, and my office has seen what I think is stunning attrition -- 7/18 in my start class (i.e., all the 2015 undergrads) have quit, and one more has transferred to another office, meaning we've lost nearly half of my class within 15 months of starting.

Is this high attrition? I wasn't expecting anyone to leave until the 1.5 year mark, and even then only one or two people. But I don't know what the situation looks like in other offices/at other firms.

Comments (31)

Jan 24, 2017

Just out of curiosity, what industries/positions did those 7 leave your MBB for?

Jan 24, 2017

People have been leaving for a variety of different industries and roles (media, government, startups, nonprofits, etc.), but generally for positions that I think they could have gotten without spending time in consulting. I don't think anyone has continued on to a strategy or finance role.

I would clarify that I don't think it's because they couldn't land those roles -- I get enough recruiting stuff in my inbox to be pretty sure that's not the case. At least in some cases, I think what happened was that they were increasingly unhappy with consulting and didn't want to pursue related strategy/finance work.

Jan 27, 2017

Interesting to hear that turnover has been so high in your office - that sounds like an aberration; I certainly wouldn't have expected ~40% attrition (not counting your office transfer) in under 18 months. Depending on what the rest of your class wants to do and their attitude towards consulting, I wonder if that could be pointing to >75% attrition at the 2 year mark. (I think I know which firm this is and possibly even the office - but won't guess).

My office (Tier 2 strategy firm) has lost ~30% of its class to this point; nationally, it's probably several percentage points fewer. I think that lots of people simply decide that the lifestyle is not for them or think that the work is not as cool (and to be fair, I don't think consulting is nearly as cool or differentiated now as it was in, say, 1995). I think everybody has a mental list of opportunities that they'd take in a heartbeat, and some people are lucky enough to get them. Some are "unlucky" enough to be counselled out, too.

All this is to get back to my favorite consulting line - "it depends." Really, it does.

Jan 24, 2017

Not uncommon. It's typically about ~40% within 2 years.

    • 1
Jan 31, 2017

Most will stay for at least 2 years: Unlikley that anyone gets axed before 2 years.
After that, it's a real mix: Some will go do private equity, some will go to business school, a few will get promoted through to a post-B role, some will join the corporate world and others will do non-profit work.

The only involuntary turn-over is when people hang around for a post-B role and do not make it.

Jan 24, 2017

One MBB was bragging about low double digit yearly attrition compared to a high teens/twenty-ish rate in the relevant region. I have a feeling this would include supporting positions in the "total FTE count", which would surely lower the total rate.

Jan 27, 2017

I think you're meaning BCG. Those guys have a track record of bragging about low attrition rates.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Jan 28, 2017

Maybeeee

Jan 24, 2017

Interested in this as well.

I don't know much about attrition at MBB, but from what I've seen, it's even worse in banking.

Observe. Learn. Share.

Jan 24, 2017

Totally varies from class to class. I've seen a class make it past two years losing 1 person and then I've seen a class lose more than half within 18 months. In the case of the latter, it was a combo of relatively weak class (multiple counseled out), personal moves, and office switches.

Jan 26, 2017

Not uncommon at the undergrad level. Multiple offices in the NE had between 50-20% attrition after two years. Beyond that almost everyone goes to business school

Jan 27, 2017

Not MBB, but I was at a well regarded boutique, the half life of a consultant there was 2-3 years. This is because it really does open doors. I was able to go into an associate role at a MM bank, also had a lot of opportunities in industry which would have come with big title bumps and better QOL. Colleagues who left took great paying roles as well. Losing 7/18 doesn't seem ridiculous, but rather par for the course.

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Jan 27, 2017

If it's any solace, PWM has an attrition rate of some where around 50% within the first 2 years and 80-90% (depending on your region) within 5 years.

Jan 28, 2017

Why is that the case? I remember recently reading news about firms expanding their PWM departments (especially in APAC region), so would have thought that there are more opportunities for people to move up and stay.

Observe. Learn. Share.

Jan 30, 2017
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