Best Consulting Firms To Work For in 2020
Management consulting firms operate across the world and serve basically every industry. And while everyone knows about McKinsey, BCG, Bain and Deloitte, there are many other consulting firms that offer high quality of service and powerful working experience. If you are considering consulting as a career and would like to know what are some best consulting firms you should consider, below are some obvious choices like Deloitte and McKinsey, but also other consulting firms you can consider to join.
If you are considering consulting as a career or would like to spend a couple of years in consulting to help you build your skills, consider firms beyond just obvious choices such as MBB (McKinsey, BCG, Bain) and Deloitte. There are many things to consider when determining which consulting firm will be the best fit for you.
- You need to think about your travel preferences. Some firms will require you to be on the road Monday to Thursday. Others will have plenty of opportunities to almost always put you on projects for clients located in your city.
- You need to consider which industries you would like to focus on. Industry focus opportunities differ a lot across the firms, and even across offices of the same firm.
- Do you want to work as part of a large firm or do you prefer a smaller boutique firm environment?
- Do you want the firm to have an up or out policy? There are pros and cons.
- Do you want to work for the firm that generates the most or a lot of revenue? If so, you would be surprised to know that McKinsey, BCG, and Bain are not at the top of the list in terms of revenue generated.
- What kind of culture is the best fit for you?
- Do you prefer a very professional environment or a more relaxed, casual, family-like environment?
All of these elements are crucial to consider when you are figuring out which consulting firms to target. A list of best 24 consulting firms below is in alphabetical order. We hope you will find it helpful.
List of 26 Best Consulting Firms To Work For
Accenture plc is an Irish-domiciled multinational professional services company. A Fortune Global 500 company, it has been incorporated in Dublin, Ireland since 1 September 2009. Accenture is primarily a technology consulting firm but has a strategy consulting practice. It is known for having a challenging work culture. It is well respected and is an attractive choice for MBA candidates. Yet, it is considered as a second choice for most candidates who are interested in strategy consulting, as those candidates generally prefer McKinsey, BCG, and Bain as their top choice target firms. As is the case with many consulting firms, networking is considered to be important if you work at Accenture to ensure you get on good projects.
- CEO: Julie Sweet (Sep 1, 2019)
- Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland
- Revenue: 43.2 billion USD (2019)
- Number of employees: 505,000 (2019)
A.T. Kearney is an American global management consulting firm that focuses on strategic and operational CEO-agenda issues facing businesses, governments, and institutions around the globe. A.T. Kearney has offices in more than 40 countries. It is considered a prestigious firm to get into if you are an MBA candidate. The firm is known for putting a special focus on diversity and inclusion. Work-life balance is considered to be better at A.T. Kearney versus at many other consulting firms. Culture is also considered to be good compared to many other consulting firms.
- Headquarters: Chicago, IL
- Revenue: 1.3 billion USD (2018)
- Number of employees: 3,500 (2,300 consultants)Founder: Andrew Thomas Kearney
- Founded: 1926, Chicago, IL
Bain & Company is an American management consultancy headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of the “Big Three” elite management consultancies. Others are McKinsey and BCG. Bain & Co. provides advice to public, private, and non-profit organizations. The company is known for the best culture out of MBB. A famous saying is “a Bainie never lets another Bainie fail.” They are also known for the “frattiest” culture out of MBB. Employees at Bain generally have a particularly strong relationship with colleagues and, similar to other elite firms, enjoy great exit opportunities. Bain & Co. is also known for its particular expertise in private equity through Bain Capital, which became a household name because of its prior leader Mitt Romney. Bain is also known for putting extra focus to ensure LGBTQ equality.
- CEO: Manny Maceda (Mar 1, 2018)
- Headquarters: Boston, MA
- Revenue: 4.5 billion USD (2019)
- Number of employees: 10,500 (2019)
- Founder: Bill Bain
Boston Consulting Group is an American management consulting firm founded in 1963. The firm has over 90 offices in 50 countries. Its current CEO is Rich Lesser. BCG is one of MBB. The other two are McKinsey and Bain. BCG is known for its innovative thinking and has offices in over 50 countries and 90 cities. The firm has a strong focus on strategy. It is considered the top 3 choice for consulting among MBA candidates. BCG has an intellectual culture. It is consistently ranked among the best places to work for. Although similar to many other consulting firms, it demands long hours from consultants. The firm has unique opportunities for it’s A players, such as Strategy Lab and BCG Fellows program. The firm is focused on diversity and offers great exit opportunities.
- Headquarters: Boston, MA
- CEO: Rich Lesser (Jan 2013)
- Revenue: 8.5 billion USD (2019)
- Number of employees: 21,000
- Founder: Bruce Henderson
- Founded: 1963, Boston, MA
Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation is the parent of Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., American management and technology consulting firm. One of the key clients is the U.S. Federal Government. Notable projects include helping the U.S. Navy reinvent itself into a force critical in aiding in America’s World War II victory. It is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, in Greater Washington, D.C., with 80 other offices around the globe. The firm previously spun off Booz & Co., which was acquired by PwC. Booz Allen Hamilton does not tend to travel as much as consultants at many other consulting firms.
- Headquarters: McLean, VA
- CEO: Horacio D. Rozanski (Jan 1, 2015)
- Revenue: 6.7 billion USD (2019)
- Number of employees: 26,300
The Brattle Group provides consulting services and expert testimony in finance, economics, and regulation to organizations, including corporations, law firms, and public agencies. As of 2019, the company had offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, London, Madrid, New York City, Rome, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and Washington, DC. It is ranked 45th in prestige amongst all consulting firms, according to one ranking. It originated in 1990 as a 5 person team. The firm later combined with Incentives Research and was incorporated in 1995.
- Headquarters location: Cambridge, MA
- Founded: 1990
- Number of locations: 11 offices (2019)
- Number of employees: Over 350 (2019)
- Type of business: Privately held company
The Bridgespan Group is a U.S. nonprofit organization in Boston, Massachusetts that provides management consulting services to philanthropists and nonprofits. Bridgespan also makes case studies freely available on its website and publications. Company mission: “We work to build a better world by strengthening the ability of mission-driven organizations and philanthropists to achieve breakthrough results in addressing society’s most important challenges and opportunities.” The Bridgespan Group collaborates with mission-driven leaders and organizations to break cycles of poverty and improve the quality of life for those in need. The firm is trying to ensure equal opportunity and core civil and human rights. The areas of concentration are youth, families, children, and education, as well as the global environment.
- Headquarters location: Boston, MA
- Founder: Thomas J. Tierney
- Founded: January 2000
- Annual revenue: $39,771,000
Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Silicon Valley. Cisco develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, software, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products. Forbes ranked Cisco 16th in most valuable brands in 2018. Its consulting arm generated roughly 12 billion in revenues. Cisco Systems Consulting is ranked 12th in terms of prestige amongst all consulting firms. The consulting arm focuses on providing technology consulting services, including for such areas as big data, security, and cloud.
- Founders: Sandy Lerner, Leonard Bosack
- CEO: Chuck Robbins
- Headquarters: San Jose, CA
- Consulting arm’ revenue: $12 billion
Crowe Global, commonly referred to as Crowe, formerly known as Crowe Horwath International, is a multinational professional services network. It was founded in 1960 by Edmund Horwath and Fred P. Crowe Sr. Ernest. It is the 8th largest such global accounting network in the world. The network consists of more than 220 firms with over 42,000 employees in 130 countries.
- Revenue: 4.3 billion USD (2018)
- Number of employees: 42,000 (2019)
- Headquarters: New York, NY
- Founded: 1960
- Founders: Edmund Horwath, Fred P. Crowe Sr. Ernest
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is a multinational professional services network. Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals with headquarters in London, United Kingdom. By network, we mean that Deloitte is a network of separate organizations. Those are separate legal entities with different owners. Deloitte is consistently ranked as the 4th most prestigious consulting firm. Deloitte consulting services divided into the following practice areas: Strategy and Operations, Technology, and Human Capital. Consultants usually recruit to join a specific practice and build their career within that practice, although moving from one practice to another is possible.
- CEO: Punit Renjen (Jun 1, 2015)
- Headquarters location: London, United Kingdom
- Revenue: 46.2 billion USD (2019)
- Deloitte Consulting: 13.4 billion
- Number of employees: 312,000 (2019)
- Founder: William Welch Deloitte
Ernst & Young Global Limited Liability Partnership, commonly known as Ernst & Young or EY, is a multinational professional services firm, one of big 4 accounting firms, headquartered in London, England, United Kingdom. EY is one of the largest professional services firms in the world. EY’s consulting business provides services similar to those provided by many other consulting firms. The firm is focused on IT risk, risk, assurance, and performance improvement. EY is known for having a good work-life balance compared to many other consulting firms. Work culture is considered to be collegial and supportive.
Company’s purpose: “At EY, our purpose is Building a better working world. The insights and quality services we provide help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients, and for our communities.”
- CEO: Carmine Di Sibio (Jul 1, 2019)
- Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
- Revenue: 36.4 billion USD (2019)
- Consulting revenue: 11.6 billion
- Number of employees: 270,000 (2019)
- Founded: 1989
EY-Parthenon is a strategy consulting firm, committed to bringing unconventional yet pragmatic thinking to deliver actionable strategies for real impact in today’s complex business landscape.
Ernst & Young acquired The Parthenon Group in 2014, increasing EY’s presence as a Big 4 consulting firm. EY-Parthenon focuses on strategy consulting and currently employs over 1,500 consultants across 40 offices worldwide. The firms advises clients from diverse areas such as media, telecom, private equity, technology, financial services, education, oil and gas, and life sciences. Despite being acquired by E&Y, the firm still retains its boutique consulting firm culture. It is known for being collegial, with transparent management and entrepreneurial spirit. The firm offers slightly better work-life balance compared to many other consulting firms.
- Headquarters: Boston, MA
- Founded: 1991
- Parent organization: Ernst & Young LLP
- Revenue (Ernst & Young) – 36.4 billion
Gartner, Inc, officially known as Gartner, is a global research and advisory organization providing information, advice, and tools for leaders in IT, finance, marketing, customer service, HR, legal and compliance, communications, sales, and supply chain functions.
Gartner was founded in 1979. It is recognized as a leading research and advisory company. The company ranks 16th in prestige. The company generates roughly $3.3 billion in annual revenue. It is known for offering better work-life balance versus many other consulting companies.
- Headquarters: Stamford, CT
- CEO: Eugene A. Hall (Jul 23, 2004)
- Number of employees: 25,000
- Founder: Gideon Gartner
- Founded: 1979, Stamford, CT
- Revenue – USD4.2 billion
- Operates in 100 countries
IBM Global Business Services is the professional services arm of IBM, made up of business, technology, and industry experts. It focuses on cloud technology, mobile app development and cognitive data analytics. The firm applies advanced technology and helps clients design, build, and run organizations. It includes two divisions, IBM Global Technology Services, and IBM Global Business Services. The service offerings include two primary practice areas: business consulting and systems integration and application management services. The firm is known to offer a very good work-life balance and considered one of the world’s best employers.
- Headquarters: Armonk, NY
- Founder: IBM
- Founded: 1995
- Parent organization: IBM (199)
- Parent: IBM (1991–present)
- Revenue: 80.1 billion
Infosys Consulting is a management consulting, IT consulting practice within the larger Infosys organization. It serves clients across various industries including insurance, automotive, energy, consumer packaged goods, life sciences, resources, financial services, retail, healthcare, service industries, industrial manufacturing, and utilities. Infosys Consulting has offices in 18 countries across the Americas, the Asia Pacific, and Europe. It offers a good work-life balance and is known to be an engaging place to work. The company prides itself to have talented teams that sit at the intersection of industry, process, and technology, and are uniquely positioned to drive measurable results for clients.
- Parent organization: Infosys
- Headquarters: Fremont, CA
- Founded: 2004
- Revenue: 10.2B
- Number of employees: Estimated 6,100 in 2015
- Key people: Mark Livingston; (Managing Partner)
KPMG International Cooperative is a multinational professional services network, and one of the Big Four accounting organizations. The other 3 are Deloitte, PwC, and E&Y. Headquartered in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, KPMG is a network of firms in 147 countries, with over 219,000 employees and has three lines of services: financial audit, tax, and advisory. KPMG offers good benefits, great work-life balance, flexible hours, and hospitable, friendly culture. The firm places high emphasis on the importance of helpful feedback from superiors. KPMG separates Advisory services into Management Consulting, Risk Consulting, Deal Advisory, and Strategy.
- CEO: William B. Thomas (Oct 1, 2017)
- Headquarters: Amstelveen, Netherlands
- Revenue: 29.75 billion USD (2019)
- Number of employees: 219,281 (2019)
L.E.K. Consulting is a management consulting firm headquartered in London and Boston, Massachusetts. L.E.K. was founded in 1983 by three individual partners from Bain & Company: James Lawrence, Iain Evans, and Richard Koch. It is named after three founding partners: James Lawrence, Iain Evans and Richard Koch. Hence the name L.E.K.
Today, L.E.K. is a global strategy consulting firm with clients and presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm employs a generalist model across major industries, with a significant presence in life sciences and healthcare, but also covering defense, aviation, transport, energy, entertainment, consulting products, retail, financial services, and private equity. Joining L.E.K. is difficult as the company is very selective. Work-life balance is considered to be worse than in many other consulting firms and employees often report to feel projects are understaffed.
- Headquarters: Boston, MA
- Global Chairman – Iain Evans
- Global Managing Partner – StuartJackson
- Number of employees: 1,400 employees worldwide
- Founded: 1983
- Revenue: 500 million
- Founders: Richard Koch, Iain Evans, James Lawrence
- Type of business: Partnership
Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company focused on foreign and domestic defense, as well as civil markets. U.S. Department of Defense and other federal government agencies accounting for the majority of its business. The company employs approximately 110,000 people worldwide and is engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and offers a good work-life balance and a welcoming environment for new graduates.
- Headquarters: Bethesda, Maryland
- Number of employees: 110,000
- Revenue: USD 51.6B
McKinsey & Company is an American management consulting firm. The company is consistently ranked as the #1 most valued brand in the consulting industry and is considered to be the most prestigious company among consulting companies. McKinsey has published the McKinsey Quarterly since 1964 (Bill Matassoni, one of the FIRMSconsulting mentors, was an instrumental part of this and many other McKinsey initiatives. You can read Bill’s memoir here and FIRMSconsulting Insiders can watch The Bill Matassoni Show here). Bill was also a close friend of one of the firm’s founders, Marvin Bower. The company typically hires candidates with Ivy League background and/or with prestigious work experience. Work-life balance is reported to be worse compared to some other consulting firms. To help you prepare to join McKinsey you can also watch FIRMSconsulting training programs led by former McKinsey senior partner and worldwide strategy practice co-leader Kevin P. Coyne. The programs include TCO II, How to Solve Big Problems, How to Be Successful, Influential, and Make an Impact, How to Become a McKinsey Partner, Competitive Advantage, Advanced Competitive Advantage (you can find this programs on StrategyTV.com/apps and StrategyTraining.com/apps).
- Number of employees: 30,000 (2020)
- Founded: 1926
- Alumni: 34,000
- Number of locations: offices in 130 cities and 65 countries
- Founders: James O. McKinsey, Marvin Bower
Mercer is an American human resources consulting firm. It is known as the world’s largest human resources consulting firm. It is the world’s largest outsourced asset manager with over $300 billion USD outsourced assets under management and $15 trillion USD under advisement in total.
- CEO: Martine Ferland (Mar 1, 2019)
- Headquarters: New York, NY
- Parent organization: Marsh & McLennan Companies
- Revenue: 4.3 billion USD (2016)
- Locations: Based in more than 43 countries and operates in more than 130 countries
Oliver Wyman is an American global management consulting firm. The firm was founded in New York City in 1984 and has more than 60 offices in Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, as well as over 5,000 employees. Oliver Wyman is known for quick career progression. The employees report long working hours but a pleasant work environment. The firm does not have a requirement for an advanced degree when it comes to recruitment compared to many other consulting firms.
- Headquarters: New York, NY
- Revenue: 2.1 billion USD (2019)
- Parent organization: Marsh & McLennan Companies
- Number of employees: 5,000+ employees
- CEO: Scott McDonald (Jan 1, 2014)
Business strategy consulting firm in Boston, Massachusetts. The firm focuses on biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, medical devices, and the private equity/venture capital areas. The company offers s better work-life balance than many other consulting firms, good benefits ana d pleasant working environment.
- Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts
- Revenue: 1988
- Revenue: USD 2.1 million
PwC is a multinational professional services network of firms headquartered in London, United Kingdom, which operate as partnerships under the PwC brand. PwC advices many of the Fortune 500 companies.The firm generates about 12 USD billion annually in consulting revenue. PwC offers worse work-life balance than some other consulting firms, but is considered to be a good place to start a career.
- Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
- Revenue: 42.4 billion USD (2019)
- Number of employees: 276,000 (2019)
- Founder: Samuel Lowell Price
Roland Berger is a global strategy consulting firm that has offices in 35 countries. It is headquartered in Munich, Germany. The company was founded under the name Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in 1967 by Roland Berger. In 2011, the company’s sales were roughly US$1.2 billion. Roland Berger is considered to be a generalist strategy consultancy. The firm provides consulting services in the fields of restructuring, marketing, performance improvement. The focus sectors are the capital goods sector and the automobile industry. The firm is known for paying large bonuses. The firm is independent and solely owned by the firm’s partners. It is the only global leading consultancy firm with non-Anglo-Saxon roots.
- Revenue: USD 1.2 billion
- Number of employees: 2,400 consultants
- Headquarters: Munich, Germany
- Founder: Roland Berger
- Founded: 1967, Munich, Germany
Slalom is a business and technology consulting firm. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The company, which is a part of Slalom, LLC, employs over 7,000 people across 27 offices in North America and London. Slalom’s annual revenue exceeds one billion dollars. The firm is known to offer good work-life balance.
- Headquarters: Seattle, WA
- Revenue: over USD1 billion dollars
- Number of employees: 7,500
- Founded: 2001
- Type of business: Limited liability company
- CEO: Brad Jackson’s moneyinc.com
Strategy& is a global strategy consulting firm originally established in the United States in 1914 as the Business Research Service. It then became Booz & Company and later a subsidiary of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). PwC acquired the former Booz & Company on April 4, 2014. The firm focuses on an executive-level strategy similar to McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. It is known for offering a good work-life balance and for being a great place to work.
- Headquarters: New York, NY
- Number of employees: 3,000
- Parent organization: PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Founder: Edwin G. Booz
- Founded: 1914
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Bill Matassoni’s (Ex-McKinsey and Ex-BCG Senior Partner) Marketing Saves The World is a truly unique book. Never before has a McKinsey partner published his memoir publicly. This book is a rare opportunity – a true exclusive – to see what shapes the thought process of a partner and learn about marketing and strategy. The memoir essentially lays out McKinsey’s competitive advantage and explains how it can be neutralized. This is a great book if you want to learn more about some of the best consulting firms mentioned above, from insider.
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