What are the most prestigious consulting firms in the world? While prestige should not be the only factor in deciding which consulting firm to work for, working for a prestigious consulting firm can provide you with a strong network and attractive exit opportunities.
There are many different types of consulting, including management consulting, technology consulting, and economic consulting to name a few. This article focuses on identifying the top 11 most prestigious management consulting firms.
We excluded consulting firms that are not management consulting firms, do not have a global presence, and do not serve a wide range of industries and functions.
Of the remaining management consulting firms, we grouped them into three different tiers:
- Tier One: MBB (McKinsey, BCG, Bain)
- Tier Two: Well Known Management Consulting Firms
The Rest: Lesser Known Management Consulting Firms
Tier 1: MBB (McKinsey, BCG, Bain)
The top-tier consulting firms are collectively known as MBB, which stands for McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. These three companies are the most prestigious management consulting firms to work for.
MBB hires the smartest people, pays the highest compensation, and has the best exit opportunities. These firms have the biggest name clients and charge the highest billing rates.
McKinsey & Company: The oldest and largest firm out of MBB has over 30,000 employees, 130+ offices around the world, and $10.5B in annual revenue. McKinsey is known as the “gold standard” in management consulting and is the most recognized management consulting firm in the world. McKinsey hires the smartest and most talented people and has generated the greatest number of Fortune 500 CEOs. McKinsey has knowledge and expertise in all industries, but is the clear leader in healthcare, government, education, and public sector work.
Boston Consulting Group (BCG): The second oldest and largest firm out of MBB has 21,000 employees, 90+ offices around the world, and $8.5B in annual revenue. BCG has knowledge and expertise in all industries. They are known for being academic thought leaders.
Bain & Company: The smallest, but newest firm in MBB, Bain has 8,000 employees, 59 offices around the world, and $4.5B in annual revenue. Bain has knowledge and expertise in all industries, but is the clear leader in private equity work. Bain is known for its amazing culture with an emphasis on being fun and collegial.
Tier 2: Well Known Management Consulting Firms
The next tier of consulting firms are all well-known, but do not have the same prestige as MBB. Nevertheless, they are still management consulting firms that serve clients in a variety of industries and functions.
Deloitte Strategy & Operations: Although part of the Big Four Accounting Firms, Deloitte does have consulting services, which is comprised of Strategy & Operations, Technology, and Human Capital. Collectively, these generate $11.5B in annual revenues. Their management consulting division is known as the Strategy and Operations practice area.
Oliver Wyman: A global management consulting firm that has a stronger presence in Europe and Asia. They have experience working in many different industries, but are best known for their expertise in the financial services sector. They have over 5,000 employees, 60+ offices around the world, and annual revenues of $2.1B.
Strategy& (part of PwC): PwC acquired Booz & Company in 2014, eventually rebranding it as Strategy&. They have over 3,800 employees, 75 offices around the world, and over $1.3B in annual revenues.
EY-Parthenon: Parthenon was originally founded by two ex-Bain consultants. They were acquired by Ernst & Young in 2014 to become EY-Parthenon. They have over 3,000 employees and 50+ offices worldwide.
Accenture Strategy: While Accenture is primarily a technology consulting firm, it has a strategy consulting group and a management consulting group. Accenture management consulting has over 8,000 employees and annual revenues of over $2.6B.
Kearney: Formerly known as A.T. Kearney, Kearney is a global management consulting firm founded by a former partner at McKinsey. They have over 3,500 employees, 60 offices around the world, and annual revenues of $1.3B.
Roland Berger: A strategy consulting firm based in Germany. They have experience working in many different industries, but are best known for their expertise in serving industrial clients. They have over 2,700 employees, 40+ offices around the world, and annual revenues of $1.2B.
L.E.K. Consulting: Founded by three Bain partners, L.E.K. is a management consulting firm that services nearly all industries and functions. They are best regarded for their work in healthcare and private equity. They have over 1,400 employees, 21 offices worldwide, and roughly $500M in annual revenue.
The Rest: Lesser Known Management Consulting Firms
This tier includes consulting firms that focus on management consulting, but do not have the global name or brand recognition that Tier Two management consulting firms have.
A few of these firms include the following:
Arthur D. Little: The oldest management consulting firm that was founded in 1886. They have 1,200 employees in 40 offices around the world. They have a stronger presence in Europe.
Simon-Kutcher & Partners: A global strategy consulting firm based in Germany with 1,200 employees and 38 different offices. They do work in a wide variety of industries and are best known for their pricing strategy work.
OC&C Strategy Consultants: A global management consulting firm that has a stronger presence in Europe. They have over 500 employees and 14 offices around the world.
Consulting Firms Considered but Excluded from the Rankings
We excluded the following consulting firms from the rankings because they were not management consulting firms, did not have a global presence, or did not serve a wide range of industries and functions.
- Altran: Engineering consulting firm
- AlixPartners: Focused on company turnarounds, litigation consulting, and forensic accounting services
- Alvarez & Marsal: Focused on bankruptcy, turnaround, and restructuring
- Analysis Group: Economic consulting firm
- Aon Hewitt: Focused on human capital consulting
- Bates White: Economic consulting firm
- BDO Consulting: Focused on public accounting, tax, and advisory
- Berkeley Research Group: Focused on disputes and investigations and corporate finance
- Booz Allen Hamilton: Focused on technology consulting services for the U.S. Federal Government
- Brattle Group: Economic consulting firm
- Bridgespan: Nonprofit consulting firm
- Cambridge Group: A boutique consulting firm with less than 100 employees
- Capgemini: Focused on technology, outsourcing, and other professional services
- Censeo Consulting Group: Focused on government work
- CGI Group: Technology consulting firm
- Charles River Associates: Economic consulting firm
- Cisco Systems Consulting: Technology consulting firm
- Clearview Healthcare: Focused on life sciences consulting
- Cognizant Technology Solutions: Technology consulting firm
- Cornerstone Research: Economic consulting firm
- FTI Consulting: Economic consulting firm
- Gallup Consulting: Analytics and advisory company
- Gartner: Research firm
- Grant Thornton: Focused on assurance, tax, and advisory services
- Hitachi Consulting: Technology consulting firm
- HP Enterprise Technology Services: Technology consulting firm
- Huron Consulting Group: Focused on healthcare consulting
- IBM Global Services: Technology consulting firm
- Infosys Consulting: Technology consulting firm
- Insight Sourcing Group: Focused on procurement and sourcing
- Jabian Consulting: Local consultancy with offices only in a few U.S. cities
- Mercer: Focused on human resources consulting
- NERA: Economic consulting firm
- Novantas: Focused on analytic advisory services and technology solutions
- Oracle Consulting: Technology consulting firm
- Perficient: Focused on creative services, marketing, and platform implementations
- Point B: Focused on venture investment, advisory, and property development
- Protiviti: Focused on internal audit, risk and compliance, technology, and business processes
- Putnam Associates: Focused on healthcare consulting
- SAP Services Consulting: Technology consulting firm
- Sapient Corporation: Digital business transformation firm
- Slalom Consulting: Focused on technology consulting
- Stroud Consulting: Operations consulting firm
- Tata Consultancy: Technology consulting firm
- The Advisory Board Company: Focused on researching best practices
ZS Associates: Consulting firm focused on software and technology
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