Why would you go to a Big 4 Advisory ?

Hey all,

I have historically been looking at other areas, but through a connection got an interview with a Big 4 Management Consulting team out of the blue - in a location where I do not speak the country's language (they know this...). The field is extremely interesting, I just have not had a lot of time to prepare as I was looking elsewhere.

However, I am currently trying to prepare for this interview but am stuck on how to answer:

Why not another Big 4 / Why not a MBB? type questions

Why hire you when you don't speak the language? (The partner I got the interview through doesn't speak the language either??? does that not really matter?)

Thank you for any insight,

Forrest

Comments (12)

Best Response
Feb 26, 2014

big 4 consulting arms tout "end-to-end" services, so strategy through implementation (basically, they do more implementation/less high burn strat work than MBB), so you can say you like to see concrete results?

I think the desire to work in a new country is kind of an easy sell, too.

As for why not ANOTHER big 4...

PWC--> you could say you think they're the "fastest growing" consulting arm big 4, booz acquisition, etc
Deloitte--> A cut above other big 4 firms in consulting
EY ---> heavy focus on financial sector compliance, say that this is your interest
KPMG--> uuh...If KPMG asks you why not another big 4 I really don't know what their differentiators are, anyone care to chime in?

    • 2
Feb 26, 2014

Will chime in here. Agree with hankyfootball, just gonna add a bit more perspective.

PWC -> I've heard rumors that their Booz acquisition isn't going the smoothest, but just rumors.
Deloitte -> Unlike PWC, heard their Monitor acquisition actually went quite smoothly. They are on the up and looking to really infringe on MBB turf. Not saying they are there, or necessarily ever be.
E&Y -> agree with above. They are strong in certain geographies I think, less so broadly across
KPMG -> only thing I know about them is that they bought SECOR. Not sure how that's going.

On Tier 2 vs. MBB, say you like to see your solutions and recommendations executed. MBB is more prone to provide study and then drop and move on. They are moving into implementation, but do far less than tier 2.

Feb 28, 2014
pr4mence:

Deloitte -> Unlike PwC, heard their Monitor acquisition actually went quite smoothly. They are on the up and looking to really infringe on MBB turf. Not saying they are there, or necessarily ever be.

Not what I have heard from my friends at Deloitte. I was told there is still much tension due to the huge difference in culture. There also had been a good number of Monitor folks at the lower level trying to jump ship. But it's possible this was at one specific office.

Feb 28, 2014
pnb2002:
pr4mence:

Deloitte -> Unlike PwC, heard their Monitor acquisition actually went quite smoothly. They are on the up and looking to really infringe on MBB turf. Not saying they are there, or necessarily ever be.

Not what I have heard from my friends at Deloitte. I was told there is still much tension due to the huge difference in culture. There also had been a good number of Monitor folks at the lower level trying to jump ship. But it's possible this was at one specific office.

Also heard this from friends at two offices, but could be regional..?

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Mar 2, 2014
pr4mence:

PwC -> I've heard rumors that their Booz acquisition isn't going the smoothest, but just rumors

Heard the same initially.

Have heard that it is looking better recently. Deal still hasn't closed, but a friend there said he was against it for a while and nervous about the execution, but he's feeling better now. Who knows.

Feb 26, 2014

Why hire you when you don't speak the language?
- You bring extensive / a wide range of experiences to the table that are applicable despite the difference in geography. Your international experience is useful to your new location. You're willing to take remedial/business language classes even if it's not required so that you can better understand the culture of your new location.

In short, try to steer the conversation towards a more "My benefits outweigh my costs of not knowing the language."

Are you interviewing in Asia ex-Japan, out of curiosity?

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

    • 2
Mar 2, 2014

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Feb 26, 2014

Awesome feedback! Thank you very much. I really appreciate this help and am going to try to get my head around the strategy through implementation vs MBB prior to the interview.

Mar 2, 2014

On the advisory side, KPMG probably has the strongest M&A and M&A like advisory services (corporate finance, transaction services & restructuring). KPMG corporate finance is a mid-market investment bank that is fairly decent in Europe.

Mar 2, 2014
maddux:

On the advisory side, KPMG probably has the strongest M&A and M&A like advisory services (corporate finance, transaction services & restructuring). KPMG corporate finance is a mid-market investment bank that is fairly decent in Europe.

Just curious, what makes you say KPMG Rx is any stronger than PwC or Deloitte?

Mar 3, 2014
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