Transcript of "Career Guide The Top 50 Consulting Firms"
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms is made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors:
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks to everyone who had a hand in making this book possible, especially Mike Baker, Stephanie Clifford, Doug Cantor, Todd Kuhlman, Ed Shen, Danielle Koza, Kristy Sisko, Kelly Shore, Elena Boldeskou, Erin Core, Gabrielle Dudnyk and Laurie Pasiuk. We are also extremely grateful to Vault’s entire staff for all their help in the editorial, production and marketing processes. Vault also would like to acknowledge the support of our investors, clients, employees, family, and friends. Thank you! In order to ensure that our research was thorough and accurate, we relied on a number of people within the consulting firms that we profiled. A special thanks to all of the consultants and consulting firm professionals. To the 2,500-plus consultants who took the time to be interviewed or to complete our survey, we could never thank you enough. Your insights about life inside the top consulting firms were invaluable, and your willingness to speak candidly will help to job seekers and career changers for years to come.
Introduction Management and strategy consulting is a volatile industry, and this year has been no exception. That’s why we’ve surveyed over 2,500 consultants to bring you the seventh edition of the Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms. We survey the best of the management and strategy firms, as well as those consulting firms with narrower focuses in fields like financial consulting and health consulting. The 86 profiles in this year’s edition are based on detailed research and extensive feedback from current consultants – talking about everything from company culture to pay, from travel schedules to community service. And we cover everything from gigantic multinational consulting firms to boutique firms with fewer than 100 employees. After a few tough years, the management consulting industry seems to be making something of a comeback. But the recovery isn’t evenly spread. Some consulting firms have thrived despite the downturn – and others are just now bouncing back. Check out the Top 50 rankings to see which firms still have the golden touch of prestige, according to peer consultants. Consultants at prestigious firms tend to enjoy access to a high caliber of clients and projects – not to mention that a recognizable and well-regarded name puts a sheen on any resume. Still, there are plenty of other great reasons to choose a consulting firm – specialty, training, perks – and you’ll learn about all of them in the Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms. The Editors Vault Inc.Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — withinsider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 1
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms Introduction Buzz comments. In some instances we opted not to include The Buzz if we did not receive a diversity of comments. The Stats Employer Type: The firm’s classification as a publicly traded company, privately held company or subsidiary. Ticker Symbol: The stock ticker symbol for a public company. Stock Exchange: The exchange on which a public company’s stock is traded. Chairman, CEO, etc.: The name and title of the leader of the firm. Sometimes more than one name, or the name of the head of the firm’s consulting business, may be provided. No. of Employees: The total number of employees, including consultants and other staff, at a firm in all offices (unless otherwise specified). Some firms do not disclose this information; numbers for the most recent year the information is available (if at all) is included. Revenue: The gross sales (in U.S. dollars) the firm generated in the specified fiscal year(s). Some firms do not disclose this information; numbers for the most recent year the information is available (if at all) is included. In some cases, revenue is given in Euros (EUR). The Profiles The profiles are divided into three sections: The Scoop, Getting Hired and Our Survey Says. The Scoop: The firm’s history, clients, recent firm developments and other points of interest.Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — withinsider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 3
How many consultingjob boards have youvisited lately? (Thought so.)Use the Internet’s most targetedjob search tools for consultingprofessionals.Vault Consulting Job BoardThe most comprehensive and convenient job board forconsulting professionals. Target your search by area ofconsulting, function, and experience level, and find the jobopenings that you want. No surfing required.VaultMatch Resume DatabaseVault takes match-making to the next level: post your resumeand customize your search by area of consulting, experienceand more. We’ll match job listings with your interests andcriteria and e-mail them directly to your inbox.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms The Vault Prestige RankingsRanking Methodology For the 2004 Vault Management and Strategy Consulting survey, we selected a list of top consulting firms to include. These consulting firms were selected because of their prominence in the consulting industry and their interest to consulting job seekers. This year, over 2,500 consultants responded to our survey. The Vault survey was distributed through the firms on Vault’s list. In some cases, Vault contacted practicing consultants directly. Survey respondents were asked to do several things. They were asked to rate each consulting firm on the survey on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige, with 10 being the most prestigious. Consultants were unable to rate their own firm. They were asked only to rate firms with which they were familiar. Vault collected the survey results and averaged the score for each firm. The firms were then ranked, with the highest score being No. 1 down to No. 50. We also asked survey respondents to give their perceptions of other consulting firms besides their own. A selection of those comments is featured on each firm profile as The Buzz. Remember that Vault’s Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms are chosen by practicing consultants at top consulting firms. Vault does not choose or influence the rankings. The rankings measure perceived prestige and not revenue, size or lifestyle. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 9
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms The Vault Prestige Rankings RANKRANK FIRM SCORE 2003 HEADQUARTERS 26 NERA Economic Consulting 4.667 25 White Plains, NY 27 Arthur D. Little 4.660 NR Boston, MA 28 The Advisory Board Company 4.620 NR Washington, DC 29 Hay Group 4.556 27 Philadelphia, PA 30 Charles River Associates 4.444 22 Boston, MA 31 ZS Associates 4.428 33 Evanston, IL 32 Mars & Company 4.414 26 Greenwich, CT 33 DiamondCluster International 4.413 21 Chicago, IL 34 Putnam Associates 4.294 49 Burlington, MA 35 Corporate Executive Board 4.280 38 Washington, DC 36 Kurt Salmon Associates 4.225 32 Atlanta, GA Waltham, MA/Mountain 37 PRTM 4.198 34 View, CA 38 PA Consulting 4.144 37 London, UK 39 Navigant Consulting, Inc. 4.023 46 Chicago, IL 40 Giuliani Partners 4.010 40 New York, NY 41 First Consulting Group 3.963 NR Long Beach, CA 42 Dean & Company 3.844 39 Vienna, VA 43 Katzenbach Partners LLC 3.824 NR New York, NY 44 OC&C Strategy Consultants 3.800 28 New York, NY 45 First Manhattan Consulting Group 3.748 29 New York, NY 46 Aon Consulting 3.707 42 Chicago, IL 47 Greenwich Associates 3.678 NR Greenwich, CT 48 Lexecon 3.600 NR Chicago, IL 49 Huron Consulting Group 3.515 NR Chicago, IL 50 Braun Consulting 3.409 45 Chicago, IL Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 11
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms The Vault Prestige RankingsOperations ConsultingRANK FIRM PERCENT 1 Accenture 19.14 2 A.T. Kearney 12.59 3 Deloitte 9.74 4 McKinsey & Company 9.34 5 IBM BCS 8.29 6 BearingPoint 6.55 7 Booz Allen Hamilton 6.32 8 Boston Consulting Group 4.76 9 Capgemini 4.41 10 Bain & Company 3.65Pharmaceutical ConsultingRANK FIRM PERCENT 1 McKinsey & Company 15.23 2 Boston Consulting Group 12.373(tie) Deloitte 6.493(tie) ZS Associates 6.49 4 Accenture 6.18 5 Bain & Company 4.83 6 First Consulting Group 3.92 7 Capgemini 3.778(tie) BearingPoint 3.328(tie) IMS Health 3.32 9 Health Advances 2.5610(tie) The Advisory Board Company 2.4110(tie) Booz Allen Hamilton 2.4110(tie) IBM BCS 2.41Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — withinsider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 13
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms The Vault Prestige RankingsFinancial ConsultingRANK FIRM PERCENT 1 McKinsey & Company 25.45 2 Boston Consulting Group 14.17 3 Bain & Company 8.88 4 Mercer Oliver Wyman 6.72 5 Deloitte 6.00 6 Accenture 5.28 7 Capgemini 3.36 8 Booz Allen Hamilton 2.889(tie) BearingPoint 2.649(tie) First Manhattan Consulting Group 2.6410(tie) A.T. Kearney 2.2810(tie) Arthur D. Little 2.28Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — withinsider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 15
Are you trying to get into the consulting job market or trying to move to another firm? The job market is tough – and you need every advantage you can get. “We got the best revamp “I have rewritten this resume Named the from Vault.com. Our 12 times and in one review expert pronounced you got to the essence of “Top Choice” by the resume ‘perfect.’” what I wanted to say!” – S.G., Junior Consultant,The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal Atlanta, GA for resume “I was skeptical at first, but you makeovers proved me wrong! The critique zeroed in on where I had weaknesses in the resume.” – S.S., Consultant, San Diego Consulting Resume Writing and Resume Reviews “You made coaching fun! Thank you.” • Have your resume written from scratch or reviewed by an expert that knows the consulting – H.C., Consultant, Toronto, industry and has seen hundreds if not thousands Canada of consultants’ resumes. • For resume writing, start with an e-mailed history and 1- to 2-hour phone discussion. Our experts will write a first draft, and deliver a final draft after feedback and discussion. • For resume reviews, get an in-depth critique and rewrite within TWO BUSINESS DAYS. Consulting Career Coaching • Want to know what it takes to get into consulting from school or another career? • Have a deferred acceptance and want to know where to go from here? • Looking to switch from one consulting firm to another? • Is the travel wearing you out and you’re looking to see how else your consulting skills can be put to use? For more information go to http://consulting.vault.com
Wondering what its like to work at a specific employer? M | A.T. Kearney | ABN Amro | AOL Time Warner | AT&T | AXA | Abbott Laboratorie Accenture | Adobe Systems | Advanced Micro Devices | Agilent Technologies | Alco c. | Allen & Overy | Allstate | Altria Group | American Airlines | American Electr ower | American Express | American International Group | American Manageme Read what EMPLOYEES have to say about: ystems | Apple Computer | Applied Materials | Apria Healthcare Group | AstraZenec utomatic Data Processing | BDO Seidman | BP | Bain & Company | Bank One | Bank • Workplace culture merica | Bank of New York | Baxter | Bayer | BMW | Bear Stearns | BearingPoin ellSouth | Berkshire Hathaway | Bertelsmann | Best Buy | Bloomberg | Boeing | Bo • Compensation llen | Borders | Boston Consulting Group | Bristol-Myers Squibb | Broadvie ternational| Brown Brothers Harriman | Buck Consultants| CDI Corp.| CIBC Wor • HoursMarkets | CIGNA | CSX Corp| CVS Corporation | Campbell Soup Company| Cap Gem rnst & Young| Capital One | Cargill| | Charles Schwab | ChevronTexaco Corp. | Chiqui • Diversity rands International | Chubb Group | Cisco Systems | Citigroup | Clear Channel | Cliffo hance LLP | Clorox Company | Coca-Cola Company | Colgate-Palmolive | Comcas • Hiring process omerica | Commerce BanCorp | Computer Associates | Computer Science orporation | ConAgra | Conde Nast | Conseco | Continental Airlines | Corning orporate Executive Board | Covington & Burling | Cox Communications | Credit Suis rst Boston | D.E. Shaw | Davis Polk & Wardwell | Dean & Company | Dell Compute eloitte & Touche | Deloitte Consulting | Delphi Corporation | Deutsche Bank | Dewe allantine | DiamondCluster International | Digitas | Dimension Data | Dow Chemica ow Jones | Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein | Duracell | Dynegy Inc. | EarthLink astman Kodak | Eddie Bauer | Edgar, Dunn & Company | El Paso Corporation ectronic Data Systems | Eli Lilly | Entergy Corporation | Enterprise Rent-A-Car | Ern Young | Exxon Mobil | FCB Worldwide | Fannie Mae | FedEx Corporation | Feder eserve Bank of New York | Fidelity Investments | First Data Corporation | FleetBosto nancial | Ford Foundation | Ford Motor Company | GE Capital | Gabelli AssManagement | Gallup Organization | Gannett Company | Gap Inc | Gartner | Gateway enentech | General Electric Company | General Mills | General Motors | Genzyme eorgia-Pacific | GlaxoSmithKline | Goldman Sachs | Goodyear Tire & Rubber | Gra hornton LLP | Guardian Life Insurance | HCA | HSBC | Hale and Dorr | Halliburton allmark | Hart InterCivic | Hartford Financial Services Group | Haverstick Consulting earst Corporation | Hertz Corporation | Hewitt Associates | Hewlett-Packard | Hom epot | Honeywell | Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin | Household International | IBMKON Office Solutions | ITT Industries | Ingram Industries | Integral | Intel | Internation Read employer surveys on aper Company | Interpublic Group of Companies | Intuit | Irwin Financial | J. Walt hompson | J.C. Penney | J.P. Morgan Chase | Janney Montgomery Scott | Janu apital | John Hancock Financial | Johnson & Johnson | Johnson Controls | KLA-Tenc THOUSANDS of top employers. orporation | Kaiser Foundation Health Plan | Keane | Kellogg Company | Ketchum imberly-Clark Corporation | King & Spalding | Kinkos | Kraft Foods | Kroger | Ku almon Associates | L.E.K. Consulting | Latham & Watkins | Lazard | Lehman Brother ockheed Martin | Logica | Lowes Companies | Lucent Technologies | MBI | MBNAManpower | Marakon Associates | Marathon Oil | Marriott | Mars & Company | McCan rickson | McDermott, Will & Emery | McGraw-Hill | McKesson | McKinsey & Compan Merck & Co. | Merrill Lynch | Metropolitan Life | Micron Technology | Microsoft | Mill rewing | Monitor Group | Monsanto | Morgan Stanley | Motorola | NBC | Nestle | New ubbermaid | Nortel Networks | Northrop Grumman | Northwestern Mutual Financ etwork | Novell | OMelveny & Myers | Ogilvy & Mather | Oracle | Orrick, Herrington utcliffe | PA Consulting | PNC Financial Services | PPG Industries | PRTM | PacifiCa Go to www.vault.com ealth Systems | PeopleSoft | PepsiCo | Pfizer | Pharmacia | Pillsbury Winthrop | Pitne owes | Preston Gates & Ellis | PricewaterhouseCoopers | Principal Financial Group rocter & Gamble Company | Proskauer Rose | Prudential Financial | Prudent
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms The Vault Quality of Life RankingsQuality of Life Ranking Methodology In addition to ranking other firms in terms of prestige, survey respondents were asked to rate their own firms in a variety of categories. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest, respondents evaluated their firms in the following "quality of life" areas: • Overall satisfaction • Compensation • Work-life balance • Hours in the office • Formal training • Interaction with clients • Relationship with supervisors • Firm culture • Travel requirements • Offices • Diversity with respect to women • Diversity with respect to minorities • Diversity with respect to gays and lesbians Ranking the firms A firms score in each category is simply the average of these rankings. In compiling our quality of life rankings, we only ranked firms from whose consultants we received more than 10 responses for that particular question. Only consulting firms that distributed the Vault survey to their consultants were ranked. Firms that distributed the survey this year were: • Accenture • Droege & Comp. • A.T. Kearney • First Manhattan Consulting Group • Bain & Company • FTI Consulting • Booz Allen Hamilton • The Gallup Organization • Boston Consulting Group • Haverstick Consulting • Braun Consulting • Health Advances • Capgemini • Kaiser Associates • Dean & Company • Katzenbach Partners • DiamondCluster • Kurt Salmon Associates Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 19
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms The Vault Quality of Life RankingsCompensationOn a scale of 1-10, where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent, how would yourate your firms compensation (including salary and bonus)?RANK FIRM SCORE 1 Boston Consulting Group 8.686 2 Mercer Management Consulting 8.333 3 Mercer Oliver Wyman 8.281 4 Katzenbach Partners 8.171 5 First Manhattan Consulting Group 8.077 6 Dean & Company 8.000 7 Marakon Associates 8.000 8 Bain & Company 7.868 9 The Gallup Organization 7.857 10 DiamondCluster International 7.593Work-Life BalanceOn a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent, how would yourate your firms efforts to promote a livable work-life balance at your firm?RANK FIRM SCORE 1 Health Advances 8.818 2 The Gallup Organization 8.759 3 Putnam Associates 8.600 4 Droege & Comp. 8.500 5 Kurt Salmon Associates 8.000 6 PRTM 7.947 7 Booz Allen Hamilton 7.909 8 Boston Consulting Group 7.865 9 Braun Consulting 7.857 10 Mercer Oliver Wyman 7.609Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — withinsider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 21
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms The Vault Quality of Life RankingsInteraction with ClientsOn a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your opportunity to interactwith your clients’ top-level management?RANK FIRM SCORE 1 Boston Consulting Group 9.289 2 Value Partners 9.222 3 Droege & Comp. 9.214 4 PRTM 9.211 5 Katzenbach Partners 9.200 6 The Gallup Organization 9.036 7 Mercer Management Consulting 9.000 8 Kurt Salmon Associates 8.839 9 Marakon Associates 8.810 10 Bain & Company 8.556Relationship with SupervisorsOn a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means excellent, howwould you rate your relationship with your superiors/supervisors?RANK FIRM SCORE 1 PRTM 9.158 2 Droege & Comp. 9.143 3 The Gallup Organization 9.067 4 Boston Consulting Group 9.058 5 Mercer Management Consulting 9.000 6 Monitor Group 8.941 7 Putnam Associates 8.850 8 Bain & Company 8.759 9 Strategic Decisions Group 8.684 10 Braun Consulting 8.571Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — withinsider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 23
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms The Vault Quality of Life RankingsOfficesOn a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being miserable and 10 being optimal, how wouldyou rate your offices (your firms offices, not your clients offices)? RANK FIRM SCORE 1 The Gallup Organization 9.333 2 Boston Consulting Group 9.058 3 PRTM 8.947 4 Monitor Group 8.882 5 DiamondCluster International 8.848 6 Mercer Management Consulting 8.714 7 A.T. Kearney 8.667 8 Katzenbach Partners LLC 8.657 9 Marakon Associates 8.619 10 Bain & Company 8.610Diversity Rankings: Top 10Diversity - WomenOn a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means needing a lot of improvement and 10means exemplary, how receptive is your firm to women in terms of hiring,promoting, mentoring, and other programs? RANK FIRM SCORE 1 Health Advances 9.909 2 The Gallup Organization 9.167 3 Katzenbach Partners 9.088 4 Monitor Group 8.533 5 Booz Allen Hamilton 8.514 6 FTI Consulting 8.471 7 Boston Consulting Group 8.365 8 ZS Associates 8.364 9 Putnam Associates 8.211 10 Value Partners 7.875 Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 25
TOP50CONSOVERVIEW OF THECONSULTINGINDUSTRYFIRMS
VAULT CAREER GUIDESGET THE INSIDE SCOOP ON TOP JOBS “Cliffs Notes for Careers” – FORBES MAGAZINE Vault guides and employer profiles have been published since 1997 and are the premier source of insider information on careers. Each year, Vault surveys and interviews thousands of employees to give readers the “To get the un- inside scoop on industries and specific employers to help them get the jobs they want.varnished scoop,check out Vault”– SMARTMONEY MAGAZINE
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms Overview of the Consulting IndustryThe State of Consulting The dark years of 2001 and 2002 sent shockwaves through the management consulting industry. According to Kennedy Information, a 17-year streak of double digit growth in consulting was snapped in 2002; in addition, the growth rate of the largest firms slowed by up to 10 percent in that year. But now there’s good news – the economic picture for the industry is once again brightening. Management and strategy consulting firms are seeing a return of demand for their services. This growth is partially fueled by an increasing reliance by firms on the ever-popular outsourcing, or BPO. Big government contracts, fueled in part by the increased focus on homeland security, are buoying consulting firms as well – witness the gigantic $10 billion – yes, billion – contract snared, in large part, by Accenture, to build the United States government’s “Smart Border Alliance,” a new system of border immigration controls. A revival in the financial services market, which had plunged along with the stock market, is shoring up management consulting firms as well. While it’s early, anecdotal evidence for 2004 suggests that management consulting firms are stepping up hiring to meet demand. But this doesn’t mean the boom days have returned. The growth in the market is more like a cessation of a slump rather than the return of wild growth. Clients, for example, have more control of engagements than they did before the worst of the recession. Corporations continue to create their own internal consulting arm, or contract with smaller strategy boutiques for targeted projects instead of signing up with larger consulting firms for years- long engagements. Some management consulting firms are accepting more flexibility in their payment arrangements – for example, reserving 10 percent of the total bill, to be paid by the client only if completely satisfied. Other consulting firms are “overpromising,” according to some current consultants, meaning that individual consultants must work more hours at the same pay to deliver the desired result for a valued client. Rebranding take two Is the recent boomlet of rebranding a sign that the salad days of consulting are returning? In 2004, the admittedly awkwardly-named Cap Gemini Ernst & Young decided to call itself by the sleeker Capgemini. Stalwart Deloitte Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 29
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms Overview of the Consulting Industry to pay the consulting firm the full fee. The need to “overdeliver,” according to consultants, sometimes causes painfully long work schedules. If you can’t beat ‘em … India has emerged as a source of brainpower on the cheap for consulting firms looking to outsource the needs of clients. Now, some consulting firms are seeking to further streamline operations by acquiring Indian firms (and their labor pools) outright. In 2004, for example, IBM BCS purchased Daksh e- Services for a cool $200 million. Boutiques Smaller consulting firms continue to feature prominently in the management and strategy consulting world. Clients who want very specific consulting knowledge – in the airline business, for example, or in fashion retail – often find themselves turning to a niche, or boutique, consulting firm. Still others want to ensure that their premium strategy consulting dollars are buying advice from the A team and not the entry-level consultants that dwell at the bottom of the pyramid of most larger consulting firms.Practice Areas Operations and implementation Operations is the difference between strategy (making a plan) and putting that plan into action. Operations consultants examine a client’s internal workings, such as production processes, distribution, order fulfillment and customer service. While strategy involves setting a client’s goals, operations ensures that clients reach these goals. Operations consultants may investigate customer service response times, cut operating costs, assist with outsourcing, or look into the allocation of client resources. Operations consulting normally includes the implementation of these findings and processes. Typical engagements may include: • Streamlining the equipment purchasing processes of a major manufacturer • Outsourcing customer call centers to India Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 31
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms Overview of the Consulting Industry • Helping drug companies speed up the R&D and marketing process for products • Promoting usage of a fertility center Economic consulting As the global economy becomes increasingly interconnected and complex, clients often turn to think tank-like economic consulting firms for guidance. These firms are typically loaded with economics PhDs and MBAs, as well as industry experts, and investigate economic factors in order to give clients the ability to resolve problems caused by competition, antitrust issues, public policy and regulations. These consultancies are prized for their independence and ability to give candid counsel to clients buffeted by the vagaries of the economy. Examples of typical economic consulting engagements include: • Assessing the impact of deregulation of the utilities industry in Hungary for a client • Helping to create rules for more efficient government auctions • Creating a sophisticated economic model to improve the bundling of services Financial consulting Financial consulting firms tend to be one of two animals; either they work with financial services firms to enhance their strategies and performance, or they have a specific financial model they use with clients to enhance their performance. In either case, the focus is typically on enhancing shareholder value.Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting — withinsider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 33
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms McKinsey & CompanyTHE SCOOP“The Firm” (in a non-John Grisham sense)McKinsey & Company isn’t the largest consultancy in the world, but it may be themost powerful. With 83 office locations in 45 countries, the company – known to its6,000 consultants simply as “The Firm” – serves more than two thirds of the Fortune1000, or 85 of the world’s top 100 companies. Notable entities such as Pepsi, IBMand General Motors are members of McKinsey’s closely guarded client roster.Founder James O. McKinsey started the firm in 1926 with the mission of bringing“management engineers” to not only rescue faltering companies, but also to helpthriving companies do even better. Marvin Bower, who joined McKinsey in 1933and passed away on January 22, 2003, is credited with resurrecting the firm in 1939after McKinsey’s death. Bower guided and shaped McKinsey & Company fordecades, serving as managing director from 1950 through 1967, during which timefirm revenue grew from $2 million to $20 million. Bower, considered by many to bethe father of management consulting, retained close ties with the firm after hisretirement in 1992, and McKinsey loyalists still tout his philosophy of emphasizingexperience over education and putting the client’s needs before the consultancy’s.McKinsey went international in the years following World War II, a period ofglobalization in the corporate world. In 1959, McKinsey opened its first internationaloffice in London. The 1950s saw McKinsey adding an expanding number of blue-chip companies to its clientele, as well as adding engagements with majorgovernment and miltary organizations, defense contractors. During that decade, thefirm debuted its nonprofit efforts, which remain strong today. McKinsey offers probono assistance to educational, social, environmental and cultural organizations, andhalf of the firm’s consultants work on a pro bono engagement at some time duringtheir careers.Going globalMcKinsey’s consultants are citizens of 95 countries, providing their expertise toclients around the world. The firm opened 20 new locations and doubled itsprofessional staff in the go-go 1990s; in recent years, the firm opened offices in AbuDhabi, Antwerp, Athens, Dubai, Manila, Rio de Janeiro and Verona, Italy. Thenewest office on McKinsey’s list is in Zagreb, Croatia, opened in early 2003. Thefirm has conducted more than 500 engagements in China over the last decade, and in Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at http://consulting.vault.com — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 37
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms McKinsey & Companyrestructuring-advice fees, which included a $1 million-a-month flat fee forMcKinsey, were unwarranted for a company that couldn’t manage to pay its debts.UAL dismissed the concerns and retained McKinsey.McKinsey also was caught up in a client’s bad luck when it made headlines forfailing to predict an $800 million takeover bid of client Ocean Spray by rivalNorthland Cranberries Inc. in early 2003. McKinsey had advised Ocean Spray sincelate 2002 and, against the wishes of the company’s struggling growers, had advisedthe cooperative’s management to avoid selling any of its businesses. The collectiverejected Northland’s overture in February 2003, but the pro-sale growers won a voteto replace Ocean Spray’s board of governors with a new, smaller panel, and thecompany cut 58 of its executives the following month.Dot-com dazeMcKinsey could scarcely be blamed for failing to prepare for the bursting of theInternet bubble. Along with most consulting firms, McKinsey reaped the rewards ofthe 1990s Internet fever, taking on more than 1,000 Web-related engagements during1999 and 2000. The firm’s revenues reached an all-time high of $3.4 billion in 2000.Fortunately, McKinsey managed to avoid some of the financial pain suffered by itspeers by limiting the equity stakes it accepted from start-up clients in lieu of fees.Still, the firm was stuck with some of these worthless shares, and income from manypreviously high-flying e-commerce clients quickly dried up.Firming upWhile McKinsey’s internal numbers are as closely guarded as its client roster, it’sclear that the company has taken pains to retain its best and brightest during theweakened post-September 2001 economy. In November 2001, the firm announcedthat it would cut 5 to 7 percent of its 3,000 support staff in the United States andCanada, but reported no layoffs of consultants. And now that the economy is on therebound, so are invitations to join McKinsey.McKinsey significantly expanded its campus recruiting activities on MBA, law, MD,PhD and undergraduate campuses in 2003. In the 2003-2004 campus recruitingseason, the firm hired over 1,600 consultants, about a 60 percent increase over theprevious year. In addition, McKinsey has hired several hundred summer associates– graduate students who are going into their last year of school. The North Americanoffices have scheduled a conference for all of its summer associates in ski paradiseVail, Colorado. Visit the Vault Consulting Career Channel at http://consulting.vault.com — with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Consulting Job Board and more. CAREER LIBRARY 39