Top 25 Strategy Consulting Firms
There are thousands of consulting firms worldwide, serving every possible industry and specializing in every conceivable niche and functional expertise. As a result, “What are the best strategy consulting firms?” is not an easy question to answer. There is no one metric to decide whether a consulting firm is “the best”. However, most candidates care about employee experience, functional specialisation, career track and business outlook.
When “top consulting firms” are mentioned, almost everyone imagines McKinsey, BCG and Bain – the “Big Three” consulting firms with the highest prestige. However, in the shadows of the MBB firms stand many excellent consultancies, both as service providers and employers.
Strategy consulting firms can be divided into many groups, according to size, prestige, as well as areas of specialisation. Among the top consulting firms, the most notable groups are:
MBB / Big 3: MBB stands for McKinsey, BCG and Bain – the three most prestigious strategy consulting firms in the world. Each of these firms charge a premium for their services, with projects sold for millions of dollars. They maintain the highest standards in quality of work and pay the highest salaries for consultants.
Tier 2 Firms: These firms are large, global consultancies, working with large multinational corporations. They differ from MBB in prestige and a lower price of projects. Some famous names in this segment are Roland Berger, Oliver Wyman and Kearney.
Big 4 Consulting Practices: This group includes the strategy consulting divisions of the Big 4 accounting firms – Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG, many of which were established through acquisitions (e.g., PwC's acquisition of Booz & Co, and its rebranding as Strategy&). These divisions are the largest consulting firms in the world, revenue-wise. However, their projects tend to cost even less than those of Tier 2 firms.
Boutique Consulting Firms: A boutique consultancy is a generic term for small, specialised and localised firms, which often can have significant prestige in their area of expertise. These firms generally employ just a few hundred employees and take on smaller projects than their larger counterparts. Salaries and benefits vary a lot, but some can pay even better than the top tier firms to attract the best talent.
Below we compiled our list of the top 25 consultancies (ordered alphabetically), taking into account size, global reach, prestige and employee satisfaction, as evaluated by Vault's ranking of the best consultancies to work for. Search for current vacancies here.
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