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Be Exceptional. Be Huron.
Huron Consulting Group is an equal opportunity employer. We recruit, employ, compensate, transfer, promote and train without regard to age, race, color, gender, marital status, sexual orientation,
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See your career at Huron.
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P (312) 583-8700
F (312) 583-8701
E yourname@huronconsultinggroup.com
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CONSULTING FIRMS
NAOMI NEWMAN
AND THE STAFF AT VAULT
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TOP 50
VAULT GUIDE TO THE
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Copyright © 2010 by Vault.com Inc. All rights reserved.
All information in this book is subject to change without notice. Vault makes no claims as to the accuracy and reliability of the information contained within
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Printed in the United States of America
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Acknowledgments
Thank you to all the Vault editorial, sales, production and IT staff for writing, selling, designing and programming this guide. Special thanks to
Sam Reynolds and Tom Gessner for their excellent writing and editorial support, and to Mary Sotomayor and Elena Boldeskou for their production
expertise.
As always, this book is dedicated to the more than 4,500 consultants and 89 consulting firms who took time out of their busy schedules to distribute
and complete our survey. Your insights about life at the top consulting firms are invaluable, and your willingness to speak candidly will help job seekers
and career changes for years to come.
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Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION 1
A Guide to this Guide ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 2
THE TOP 50 RANKINGS 3
Ranking Methodology ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 5
THE VAULT PRESTIGE RANKINGS 9
Prestige Ranking Methodology ............................................................................................................................................................................ 11
Overall Prestige .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 12
Practice Area Rankings ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 14
THE QUALITY OF LIFE RANKINGS 19
Quality of Life Ranking Methodology ................................................................................................................................................................... 20
THE VAULT DIVERSITY RANKINGS 35
Diversity Ranking Methodology ............................................................................................................................................................................ 37
The Best 20 Firms for Diversity ............................................................................................................................................................................ 37
Diversity Rankings ....................................................................................................................................................................................................
THE TOP 50 FIRMS
Bain & Company 1. ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 42
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. 2. .............................................................................................................................................................. 48
M 3. cKinsey & Company .................................................................................................................................................................................. 53
A 4. nalysis Group, Inc. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 56
T 5. he Cambridge Group .................................................................................................................................................................................. 59
D 6. eloitte Consulting LLP ................................................................................................................................................................................ 64
O 7. liver Wyman ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 69
A.T. Kearney 8. ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 74
T 9. riage Consulting Group ............................................................................................................................................................................... 79
Censeo Consulting Group 10. ............................................................................................................................................................................ 84
W 11. est Monroe Partners .................................................................................................................................................................................. 88
C 12. ornerstone Research .................................................................................................................................................................................. 93
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP 13. ...................................................................................................................................................................... 99
A 14. lvarez & Marsal ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 103
T 15. rinity Partners, LLC ................................................................................................................................................................................... 108
B 16. ooz & Company ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 113
M 17. illiman, Inc. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 118
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Strategic Decisions Group 18. .......................................................................................................................................................................... 123
PRTM 19. .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 128
G 20. allup Consulting ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 133
D 21. iamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc. ............................................................................................................................ 138
H 22. ealth Advances, LLC ................................................................................................................................................................................ 143
Strategos 23. ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 148
The Brattle Group 24. ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 152
M 25. onitor Group ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 157
A 26. lix Partners, LLP ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 163
IBM 27. Global Business Services ................................................................................................................................................................... 168
OC 28. &C Strategy Consultants ....................................................................................................................................................................... 171
N 29. ovantas LLC ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 176
P 30. utnam Associates ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 181
E 31. aston Associates, LLC .............................................................................................................................................................................. 185
A 32. ccenture .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 189
C 33. orporate Executive Board ......................................................................................................................................................................... 194
ZS 34. Associates ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 197
L 35. .E.K. Consulting ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 202
N 36. era Economic Consulting ......................................................................................................................................................................... 206
H 37. ewitt Associates ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 210
B 38. ates White ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 215
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC 39. ...................................................................................................................................................................... 220
Q 40. uintiles Consulting .................................................................................................................................................................................... 224
S 41. imon-Kucher & Partners ........................................................................................................................................................................... 229
FTI 42. Consulting, Inc. ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 234
Charles River Associates 43. ............................................................................................................................................................................ 239
N 44. avigant Consulting .................................................................................................................................................................................... 244
C 45. apgemini ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 250
Towers Watson 46. ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 255
M 47. ercer LLC ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 257
H 48. uron Consulting Group ............................................................................................................................................................................. 260
IMS 49. Consulting ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 262
K 50. aiser Associates ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 267
BEST OF THE REST
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Table of Contents
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
viii
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ABT Associates Inc ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 272
The Advisory Board Company .............................................................................................................................................................................. 274
Aon Consulting Worldwide .................................................................................................................................................................................... 277
Arthur D. Little ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 280
Bainbridge ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 282
BDO Consulting ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 284
Buck Consultants ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 286
Campbell Alliance Group, Inc. .............................................................................................................................................................................. 288
The Chartis Group ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 291
CRG Partners Group LLC ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 293
Crowe Horwath LLP ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 295
Dean & Company ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 298
Droege & Comp. .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 302
Ernst & Young ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 304
First Manhattan Consulting Group ........................................................................................................................................................................ 307
Frederic W. Cook., Inc. ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 310
Grant Thornton LLP ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 312
Greenwich Associates .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 314
The Hackett Group, Inc. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 316
Hay Group ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 318
ICF International, Inc. .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 320
Ingenix Consulting ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 322
KPMG LLP (U.S.) ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 324
Kurt Salmon Associates ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 327
LECG ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 329
Mars & Co. .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 331
North Highland .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 334
Opera Solutions ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 336
PA Consulting Group ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 338
The Parthenon Group .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 340
Point B ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 343
Prophet ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 346
Protiviti ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 348
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants ..................................................................................................................................................................... 351
Scottmadden, Inc. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 355
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition Table of
Table of Contents
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
ix
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The Segal Company ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 357
Stern Stewart & Co. .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 359
Vivaldi Partners .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 363
Zolfo Cooper ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 365
About the Editor .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 368
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Table of Contents
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Introduction
The year 2009 found the consulting industry picking up the pieces of the economic devastation wrought by the now-infamous Great Recession, a
downturn that saw industry revenue decline sharply in 2008. In many ways, 2009 was actually worse than its cruel precursor; not only did revenue
continue to fall, but consultants started to feel the crunch of trimmed-down staffing and other cost-cutting measures many firms applied to stay afloat.
Corporations across the globe slashed spending and cut jobs en masse, appropriating historic lows to long-term strategy development—considered a
luxury expense in light of more immediate concerns.
But 2009 will also go down in history as the year in which some light broke through the clouds; there would be no repeat Depression, forecasters
said, just a long slog back from the brink. Indeed, it’s one that consultancies have already begun. Anticipating a healthier future, many firms used the
lull in business to diversify their service portfolios or implement much of their own strategic advice, improving inefficiencies and emerging leaner and
more flexible. Others took advantage of opportunities unique to the economic climate: Many secured lucrative contracts amidst government-funded
stimulus projects, and major reforms to healthcare and financial regulations saw businesses turn to consultancies for a clear path forward. Those
specializing in cost-reduction and restructuring benefitted the most; to be certain, many of their clients had no other choice but to place their fate in
these consultants’ hands.
Now, the long slog persists but the prospect of growth looms brightly. To stay on top of which firms in the industry have the brightest prospects in the
coming years, we’ve surveyed over 4,500 consultants for the 13
th
edition of the Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms.
Every year, we survey the best of the management and strategy firms, from gigantic multinationals to boutique firms with fewer than 100 employees
and focused practice areas. The 89 profiles in this year’s edition are based on detailed research and extensive feedback from current consultants,
encompassing everything from company culture to compensation, travel demands and diversity.
Check out the top-50 rankings to see which firms have the golden touch—in terms of both quality of life and industry prestige. Our rankings take into
account the fact that there are plenty of considerations in choosing a consulting firm—for example, area of specialty, training opportunities, firm culture,
compensation—in addition to a measure of prestige, which can put a sheen on any resume and give you access to high-caliber clients and projects.
Best of luck with the job search; we’re confident you’ll be able to find your next employer within these pages!
The Editors
Vault.com
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A GUIDE TO THIS GUIDE
If you’re wondering how our entries are organized, read on. Here’s a handy guide to the information you’ll find packed into each firm profile in this
book.
Firm Facts
Locations: A listing of the firm’s offices, with the city (or cities) of its headquarters bolded. For firms with a relatively small number of offices, all cities
are included. Countries for international offices are typically not specified, unless the location is uncommon.
Practice Areas: Official departments that employ a significant portion of the firm’s consultants. Practice areas are listed in alphabetical order, regardless
of their size and prominence.
Uppers and Downers: Good points and, shall we say, less positive points of the firm, as derived from consultant interviews and surveys, as well as other
research. Uppers and downers are perceptions and are not based on statistics.
Employment Contact: The person, address or website that the firm identifies as the best place to send resumes, or the appropriate contact to answer
questions about the recruitment process. Sometimes more than one contact is given.
The Buzz
When it comes to other consulting firms, our respondents are full of opinions! We ask them to detail their views and observations about firms other
than their own, and collect a sampling of these comments in The Buzz.
When selecting The Buzz, we include quotes most representative of the common perceptions of the firms held by other consultants—even if, in
our opinion, the quotes do not accurately or completely describe the firm. Please keep in mind when reading The Buzz that it’s often more fun for
outsiders to trash, rather than praise, a competing consulting firm. Nonetheless, The Buzz can be a valuable means of gauging a firm’s reputation in
the consulting industry, or at least of detecting common misperceptions. We typically include two to four Buzz comments. In some instances we opt
not to include The Buzz if we do 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, as well as the exchange on which the stock is traded.
Chairman, CEO, etc.: The name and title of the leader(s) of the firm, or of the firm’s consulting business.
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; figures from the two most recent consecutive years the information is available (if at all) are 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 from
the two most recent consecutive years the information is available (if at all) are included. In some cases, revenue is given in Euro (€).
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 company developments and other points of interest.
Getting Hired: Qualifications the firm looks for in new consultants, tips on getting hired and other notable aspects of the hiring process.
Our Survey Says: Actual quotes from surveys and interviews with current consultants at the firm on topics such as firm culture, diversity, hours, travel
requirements, pay, training and more. Profiles of some firms do not include an Our Survey Says section.
Best of the Rest
Although the name of this book is the Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, we didn’t stop there—we also added 39
other firms we thought notable and/or interesting enough for inclusion. These firms are listed in alphabetical order.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Introduction
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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VAULT CONSULTING 50
RANKINGS
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms
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RANKING METHODOLOGY
In the past, Vault calculated firms’ overall prestige ranking based solely on the votes of consultants at other firms. This year, we used the composite
score below to analyze our initial list of 89 firms, which takes into account the votes of a firm’s own employees, as well as those external prestige
rankings. While we will continue to publish prestige rankings, we believe that quality of life issues are at the core of a company’s appeal to job seekers.
In fact, according to our survey results, the highest percentage of consultants have told us that they chose their current firm based on its culture,
rather than its overall prestige in the industry.
25 percent firm culture
25 percent work/life balance
20 percent compensation
20 percent prestige
5 percent overall business outlook
5 percent transparency
The scores for the first five categories were derived directly from the survey results. The “transparency” category awards a 5 percent bonus to firms
that distributed the survey to their consultants. Firms that did not distribute the survey internally received no points in this category. It is our view
that, with increasing expectations of transparency and a free market for information, a company’s willingness to encourage employees to share their
experiences externally correlates with a work culture where open feedback and self-criticism are valued—attributes that thousands of job seekers tell
us are top priorities in searching for a new employer.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Consulting 50 Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
5
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6
THE VAULT 50
v
VAULT RANKING
CONSULTING 50
RANK FIRM
Bain & Company
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc
McKinsey & Company
Analysis Group, Inc.
The Cambridge Group
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Oliver Wyman
A.T. Kearney
Triage Consulting Group
Censeo Consulting Group
West Monroe Partners
Cornerstone Research
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Alvarez & Marsal
Trinity Partners, LLC
Booz & Company
Milliman, Inc.
Strategic Decisions Group
PRTM
Gallup Consulting
Diamond Management & Technology Consulting, Inc.
Health Advances, LLC
Strategos
The Brattle Group
Monitor Group
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
SCORE
8.492
8.176
8.159
7.251
7.178
7.162
7.123
7.089
7.024
6.903
6.899
6.897
6.890
6.844
6.840
6.814
6.795
6.774
6.769
6.761
6.753
6.729
6.704
6.696
6.694
HQ/LARGEST OFFICE
Boston, MA
Boston, MA
New York, NY
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
New York, NY
New York, NY
Chicago, IL
San Francisco ,CA
Washington, DC
Chicago, IL
San Francisco, CA
New York, NY
New York, NY
Waltham, MA
New York, NY
Seattle, WA
Palo Alto, CA
Waltham, MA
Washington, DC
Chicago, IL
Weston, MA
Chicago, IL
Cambridge, MA
Cambridge, MA
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Consulting 50 Rankings
RANK FIRM
AlixPartners, LLP
IBM Global Business Services
OC&C Strategy Consultants
Novantas LLC
Putnam Associates
Easton Associates, LLC
Accenture
Corporate Executive Board
ZS Associates
L.E.K. Consulting
NERA Economic Consulting
Hewitt Associates
Bates White
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
Quintiles Consulting
Simon-Kucher & Partners
FTI Consulting, Inc.
CRA International, Inc.
Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Capgemini
Towers Watson
Mercer LLC
Huron Consulting Group
IMS Health Incorporated
Kaiser Associates
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
SCORE
6.628
6.627
6.598
6.595
6.594
6.589
6.586
6.583
6.574
6.463
6.405
6.360
6.251
6.239
6.187
6.084
5.974
5.973
5.841
5.767
5.679
5.652
5.517
5.481
5.184
HQ/LARGEST OFFICE
Southfield, MI
Armonk, NY
London
New York, NY
Burlington, MA
New York, NY
New York, NY
Arlington, VA
Evanston, IL
Boston, MA
New York, NY
Lincolnshire, IL
Washington, DC
New York, NY
Hawthorne, NY
Boston, MA/Bonn
West Palm Beach, FL
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
New York, NY/Paris
New York, NY
New York, NY
Chicago, IL
Norwalk, CT
Washington, DC
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PRESTIGE
RANKINGS
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms
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PRESTIGE RANKING METHODOLOGY
Survey respondents were asked to rate each consulting firm in the survey on a scale from 1 to 10 based on prestige, with 10 being the most prestigious.
Consultants were unable to rate their own firm, and they were asked to rate only those 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 prestigious consulting firms are chosen by practicing consultants at top consulting firms. Vault does not choose or
influence these rankings. The rankings measure perceived prestige (as determined by consulting professionals) and not revenue, size or lifestyle.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Prestige Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
11
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RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Bain & Company
Booz & Company
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Mercer LLC
Monitor Group
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Ernst & Young LLP
Oliver Wyman
A.T. Kearney
Accenture
KPMG LLP
IBM Global Business Services
L.E.K. Consulting
The Parthenon Group
Towers Watson
AlixPartners, LLP
Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Alvarez & Marsal
ZS Associates
Capgemini
FTI Consulting, Inc.
NERA Economic Consulting
Hewitt Associates
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
SCORE
8.732
8.275
8.130
6.637
5.999
5.990
5.978
5.869
5.758
5.616
5.500
5.471
5.416
5.366
5.072
4.892
4.819
4.709
4.549
4.536
4.467
4.446
4.312
4.293
4.178
2010 RANK
1
2
3
4
5
8
6
7
9
10
16
11
13
12
19
17
14
15
24
21
28
23
20
22
26
PRACTICE AREA RANKINGS
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Prestige Rankings
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RANK FIRM
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
Huron Consulting Group
Grant Thornton LLP
Arthur D. Little
PRTM
Diamond*
Aon Consulting Worldwide
Kurt Salmon Associates
Cornerstone Research
The Cambridge Group
CRA International, Inc.
Gallup Consulting
Corporate Executive Board
LECG
The Advisory Board Company
Analysis Group, Inc.
Hay Group
Mars & Co
First Manhattan Consulting Group
IMS Health Incorporated
Milliman, Inc.
Zolfo Cooper
Bainbridge
BDO Consulting
Buck Consultants
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
SCORE
4.157
4.151
4.049
4.026
3.887
3.858
3.818
3.815
3.784
3.760
3.741
3.709
3.642
3.600
3.543
3.502
3.427
3.342
3.306
3.188
3.179
3.169
3.167
3.122
3.121
2010 RANK
27
25
NR
30
31
36
35
32
37
NR
29
34
38
33
44
40
39
43
46
47
41
42
NR
NR
48
*Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
NR= Not Ranked
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Prestige Rankings
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PRACTICE AREA RANKINGS
Vault also asked consultants to rank the best firms in several areas of business focus. These areas are business advisory, economic consulting, energy
consulting, financial consulting, human resources consulting, operations consulting, and pharmaceutical and health care consulting. Consultants were
allowed to vote for up to three firms as the best in each area, other than their own.
The following charts indicate the rankings in each practice area, along with the total percentage of consultants who voted in favor of each firm.
(Because consultants could vote for up to three firms, the percentages add up to more than 100 percent.)
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Prestige Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
14
RANK FIRM
NERA Economic Consulting
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Analysis Group, Inc.
CRA International, Inc.
Cornerstone Research
LECG
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Booz & Company
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
28.28
28.09
16.93
13.19
12.62
11.22
10.97
9.70
8.12
7.99
2010 RANK
1
3
7 (TIE)
7 (TIE)
4
2
6
5
8
9
Economic Consulting
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McKinsey & Company
Booz & Company
Bain & Company
Accenture
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Deloitte Consulting LLP
IBM Global Business Services
CRA International, Inc.
Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Arthur D. Little
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2
3
4
5
6
7
8 (TIE)
8 (TIE)
9
SCORE
41.76
18.88
15.36
14.40
12.48
9.28
8.80
5.92
5.92
5.76
2010 RANK
1
2
3
5
4
6
10
8
7
NR
Energy Consulting
RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
Ernst & Young
Deloitte Consulting LLP
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Bain & Company
KPMG
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Oliver Wyman
FTI Consulting, Inc.
Accenture
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
31.09
22.20
20.39
19.96
19.74
14.97
13.52
12.87
8.68
8.46
2010 RANK
1
5
2
3 (TIE)
4
7
6
3 (TIE)
8
NR
Financial Consulting
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Prestige Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
15
A.T. Kearney
10
5.28 NR
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Prestige Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
16
RANK FIRM
Mercer LLC
Towers Watson
Hewitt Associates
Hay Group
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Aon Consulting Worldwide
Oliver Wyman
McKinsey & Company
Accenture
Buck Consultants
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
55.97
33.82
28.29
9.94
9.27
7.47
6.80
6.07
4.47
3.74
2010 RANK
1
2*
4
5
6
8
10
7
9
NR
Human Resources Consulting
RANK FIRM
A.T. Kearney
McKinsey & Company
Accenture
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Booz & Company
Bain & Company
IBM Global Business Services
PRTM
The Boston Consulting Group
1
2
3
4
5
6 (TIE)
6 (TIE)
7
8
SCORE
31.29
30.36
28.80
18.87
17.93
14.52
14.52
11.57
10.02
2010 RANK
3
4
1
2
5
7
6
9
8
AlixPartners, LLP
9
5.59 10
Operations Consulting
*In June 2009, Towers Perrin agreed to a merger with Watson Wyatt. Our survey was conducted in spring 2009, so the firms appeared
separately. In the human resources practice area ranking, Towers Perrin was No.2 and Watson Wyatt Worldwide was No. 3.
KPMG
PricewaterhouseCoopers
10 (TIE)
10 (TIE)
3.65
3.65
NR
NR
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Prestige Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
17
RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
ZS Associates
IMS Health Incorporated
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Bain & Company
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Mercer LLC
L.E.K. Consulting
Health Advances, LLC
Kaiser Associates
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
30.10
23.02
22.55
14.73
10.62
7.74
7.08
6.90
5.96
5.03
2010 RANK
1
2
4
3
6
5
7
NR
NR
NR
Pharmaceutical & Health Care Consulting
RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Booz & Company
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Accenture
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Ernst & Young
Monitor Group
AlixPartners, LLP
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
77.13
61.86
47.89
15.23
10.30
9.20
5.52
4.97
4.86
4.15
Business Advisory
* This is the first year Vault has included business advisory in its practice area rankings
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QUALITY OF LIFE
RANKINGS
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Quality of Life Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
20
QUALITY 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:
A firm’s score in each category is simply the average of consultants’ ratings of their firms in that category. In compiling our quality of life rankings, we
only ranked firms that received 10 or more responses from their consultants.
Overall satisfaction
Compensation
Work/life balance
Hours in the office
Travel requirements
Overall business outlook
Firm leadership
Formal training
Interaction with clients
Relationships with supervisors
Firm culture
Selectivity
Promotion policies
Green initiatives
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The Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Vault Quality of Life Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
21
RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
West Monroe Partners
Health Advances, LLC
Milliman, Inc.
Analysis Group, Inc.
The Cambridge Group
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Corporate Executive Board
Easton Associates, LLC
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
9.375
9.301
8.931
8.879
8.750
8.714
8.660
8.629
8.600
8.500
Deloitte Consulting LLP
11
8.460
Strategic Decisions Group
Censeo Consulting Group
AlixPartners, LLP
Trinity Partners, LLC
PRTM
Gallup Consulting
Triage Consulting Group
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
8.375
8.364
8.356
8.333
8.288
8.275
8.270
Strategos
Booz & Company
19
20
8.267
8.253
Overall Satisfaction
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means excellent, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with your firm?
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Quality of Life Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
22
RANK FIRM
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
The Cambridge Group
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
Analysis Group, Inc.
Trinity Partners, LLC
Corporate Executive Board
Novantas LLC
A.T. Kearney
Oliver Wyman
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
8.749
8.638
8.625
8.480
8.429
8.423
8.400
8.061
7.926
7.767
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants
11
7.714
AlixPartners, LLP
The Brattle Group
Bates White
Health Advances, LLC
Strategos
Milliman, Inc.
Alvarez & Marsal
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
7.700
7.694
7.690
7.636
7.600
7.594
7.592
Cornerstone Research
PRTM
19
20
7.590
7.519
Compensation
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is far below average and 10 is far in excess of industry average, how would you rate your firm’s compensation (including
salary and bonus)?
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The Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Vault Quality of Life Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
23
RANK FIRM
Triage Consulting Group
Censeo Consulting Group
Bain & Company
Strategos
Strategic Decisions Group
West Monroe Partners
Easton Associates, LLC
Analyis Group, Inc.
The Cambridge Group
Gallup Consulting
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
9.194
9.000
8.819
8.600
8.571
8.391
8.375
8.286
8.170
8.125
Putnam Associates
11
8.107
Health Advances, LLC
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Milliman, Inc.
OC&C Strategy Consultants
Quintiles Consulting
Cornerstone Research
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
8.061
8.017
8.000
7.900
7.800
7.725
7.629
McKinsey & Company
Alvarez & Marsal
19
20
7.625
7.611
Work/Life Balance
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent, how would you rate your firm’s efforts to promote a livable work/life balance?
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Quality of Life Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
24
RANK FIRM
Triage Consulting Group
West Monroe Partners
Analysis Group, Inc.
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
Bain & Company
Gallup Consulting
Strategos
Corporate Executive Board
Censeo Consulting Group
IBM Global Business Services
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
8.921
8.437
8.429
8.394
8.366
8.300
8.267
8.100
8.045
8.000
Health Advances, LLC
11
7.970
The Cambridge Group
Alvarez & Marsal
Easton Associates, LLC
Milliman, Inc.
McKinsey & Company
OC&C Strategy Consultants
AlixPartners, LLP
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
7.957
7.949
7.875
7.813
7.750
7.710
7.708
Putnam Associates
Strategic Decisions Group
19
20
7.704
7.688
Hours in the Office
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means completely unsatisfied and 10 means extremely satisfied, please rank your satisfaction with the number of hours
you spend in the office each week.
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The Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Vault Quality of Life Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
25
RANK FIRM
Cornerstone Research
Bates White
Putnam Associates
Health Advances, LLC
Analysis Group, Inc.
The Brattle Group
L.E.K. Consulting
Censeo Consulting Group
NERA Economic Consulting
Kaiser Associates
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
9.795
9.619
9.286
9.242
9.143
9.086
9.042
8.955
8.926
8.900
ZS Associates
11
8.797
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
OC&C Strategy Consultants
Simon-Kucher & Partners
IMS Health Incorporated
CRA International, Inc.
The Cambridge Group
Trinity Partners, LLC
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
8.774
8.677
8.587
8.576
8.522
8.478
8.407
Hewitt Associates
Mercer LLC
19
20
8.043
7.750
Travel Requirements
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means excessive and 10 means minimal, how would you rate your firm’s travel requirements?
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Quality of Life Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
26
RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
West Monroe Partners
Trinity Partners, LLC
Bain & Company
Novantas LLC
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Putnam Associates
PRTM
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
10.000
9.650
9.575
9.520
9.506
9.490
9.361
9.336
9.214
9.137
The Cambridge Group
11
9.130
Booz & Company
OC&C Strategy Consultants
Triage Consulting Group.
Accenture
Easton Associates, LLC
The Brattle Group
12
13
14
15
16
17 (TIE)
17 (TIE)
9.031
8.967
8.885
8.881
8.844
8.750
8.750
Oliver Wyman
Analysis Group, Inc
18
19
8.719
8.714
IBM Global Business Services
20
8.571
Overall Business Outlook
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is extremely poor and 10 is excellent, how would you rate the business outlook for your company?
A.T. Kearney
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The Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Vault Quality of Life Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
27
RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
Health Advances, LLC
Triage Consulting Group
Strategic Decisions Group
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Accenture
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Corporate Executive Board
L.E.K. Consulting
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
9.750
9.732
9.152
8.661
8.500
8.302
8.200
8.156
8.111
7.979
Deloitte Consulting LLP
11
7.976
Trinity Partners, LLC
ZS Associates
A.T. Kearney
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc
The Cambridge Group
West Monroe Partners
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
7.815
7.762
7.718
7.550
7.414
7.404
7.267
The Brattle Group
Censeo Consulting Group
19
20
7.229
7.227
Formal Training
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent, how would you rate your satisfaction with the training offered by your firm?
Cornerstone Research
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Quality of Life Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
28
RANK FIRM
Corporate Executive Board
Milliman, Inc.
PRTM
Gallup Consulting
West Monroe Partners
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
A.T. Kearney
Kaiser Associates
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
9.222
9.219
9.212
9.175
9.167
9.125
9.061
9.041
9.000
8.991
Booz & Company
11
8.989
Novantas LLC
Censeo Consulting Group
AlixPartners, LLP
Deloitte Consulting LLP
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
IBM Global Business Services
Health Advances, LLC
12
13
14
15
16
17
18 (TIE)
8.958
8.944
8.938
8.935
8.926
8.900
8.813
Strategic Decisions Group
Strategos
18 (TIE)
19 (TIE)
8.813
8.800
Towers Watson
19 (TIE)
8.800
Interaction with Clients
On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your opportunity to interact with your clients’ top-level management?
Alvarez & Marsal
20
8.721
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The Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Vault Quality of Life Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
29
RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
Trinity Partners, LLC
Bain & Company
The Cambridge Group
PRTM
Strategos
Novantas LLC
West Monroe Partners
Health Advances, LLC
Strategic Decisions Group
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
9.500
9.333
9.300
9.255
9.235
9.214
9.163
9.145
9.121
9.071
Deloitte Consulting LLP
11
9.057
Milliman, Inc.
Monitor Group
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc
Triage Consulting Group
Censeo Consulting Group
Analysis Group
Corporate Executive Board
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
9.032
9.000
8.947
8.919
8.909
8.857
8.778
The Brattle Group
Booz & Company
19
20
8.743
8.731
Relationships with Supervisors
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means excellent, how would you rate your relationships with your superiors/supervisors?
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Quality of Life Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
30
SCORE RANK FIRM
Bain & Company
West Monroe Partners
Analysis Group, Inc.
Strategic Decisions Group
Triage Consulting Group
Censeo Consulting Group
OC&C Strategy Consultants
Trinity Partners, LLC
Easton Associates, LLC
McKinsey & Company
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9 (TIE)
9 (TIE)
Cornerstone Research
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Strategos
Gallup Consulting
The Brattle Group
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Milliman, Inc.
A.T. Kearney
18
19
9.759
9.471
9.429
9.313
9.254
9.182
9.167
9.148
9.125
9.125
9.061
9.000
8.936
8.904
8.857
8.821
8.778
8.719
8.688
8.598
Health Advances, LLC
10
Firm Culture
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all pleasant and 10 is extremely pleasant, assess your firm’s culture.
The Cambridge Group
20
8.596
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The Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Vault Quality of Life Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
31
SCORE RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
Strategic Decisions Group
The Cambridge Group
Corporate Executive Board
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
PRTM
Trinity Partners, LLC
Novantas LLC
West Monroe Partners
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Health Advances, LLC
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Oliver Wyman
Easton Associates, LLC
Monitor Group
Triage Consulting Group
Milliman, Inc
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
Putnam Associates
19 (TIE)
19 (TIE)
9.571
9.084
8.600
8.511
8.500
8.450
8.373
8.370
8.333
8.318
8.286
8.258
8.088
8.006
8.000
7.875
7.774
7.710
7.679
7.679
Analysis Group, Inc.
11
Promotion Policies
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent, how would you rate your satisfaction with your firm’s promotion policies?
A.T. Kearney
20
7.661
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Quality of Life Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
32
SCORE RANK FIRM
Triage Consulting Group
A.T. Kearney
Bain & Company
Trinity Partners, LLC
L.E.K. Consulting
IBM Global Business Services
Deloitte Consulting LLP
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Corporate Executive Board
Gallup Consulting
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Accenture
Cornerstone Research
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Censeo Consulting Group
Strategic Decisions Group
The Brattle Group
West Monroe Partners
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Navigant Consulting, Inc.
OC&C Strategy Consultants
19
20
9.197
8.739
8.531
8.480
8.417
8.250
8.175
8.140
8.100
8.027
7.959
7.906
7.892
7.872
7.700
7.625
7.583
7.548
7.429
7.333
PRTM
11
Green Initiatives
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all committed and 10 is extremely committed, how dedicated is your firm to pursuing environmentally sustainable
(“green”) business practices?
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The Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Vault Quality of Life Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
33
SCORE RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
Strategic Decisions Group
The Cambridge Group
Corporate Executive Board
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
PRTM
Trinity Partners, LLC
Novantas LLC
West Monroe Partners
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Health Advances, LLC
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Oliver Wyman
Easton Associates, LLC
Monitor Group
Triage Consulting Group
Milliman, Inc
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
Putnam Associates
19 (TIE)
19 (TIE)
9.571
9.084
8.600
8.511
8.500
8.450
8.373
8.370
8.333
8.318
8.286
8.258
8.088
8.006
8.000
7.875
7.774
7.710
7.679
7.679
Analysis Group, Inc.
11
Promotion Policies
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent, how would you rate your satisfaction with your firm’s promotion policies?
A.T. Kearney
20
7.661
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Quality of Life Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
34
SCORE RANK FIRM
McKinsey & Company
Bain & Company
West Monroe Partners
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Trinity Partners, LLC
Analysis Group, Inc.
Health Advances, LLC
Novantas LLC
Deloitte Consulting LLP
PRTM
1
2
3
4
5
6
6
6
7
8
Milliman, Inc
OC&C Strategy Consultants
The Cambridge Group
A.T. Kearney
Censeo Consulting Group
AlixPartners, LLP
PricewaterhouseCoopers
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Strategic Decisions Group
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
17
18
9.600
9.506
9.333
9.229
9.160
9.000
9.000
9.000
8.917
8.885
8.676
8.655
8.567
8.543
8.517
8.476
8.441
8.388
8.375
8.349
Alvarez & Marsal
9
Firm Leadership
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent, how would you rate your overall level of confidence in your firm’s leadership?
Triage Consulting Group
19
8.328
Accenture
20
8.297
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DIVERSITY
RANKINGS
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms
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DIVERSITY RANKING METHODOLOGY
Vault’s survey asked consultants to rate their firm’s diversity with respect to women, with respect to minorities and with respect to gays, lesbians,
bisexuals and transgender individuals. When asking consultants to assess their firm’s diversity in these categories, we asked them to think about hiring,
promoting, mentoring and other programs.
THE BEST 20 FIRMS FOR DIVERSITY
To determine an overall diversity score, we took the average of the scores firms received in each of the three diversity categories (women, minorities
and GLBT).
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Diversity Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
37
SCORE RANK FIRM
Bain & Company
Strategic Decisions Group
IMS Health Incorporated
Easton Associates, LLC
Health Advances, LLC
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Gallup Consulting
Corporate Executive Board
Trinity Partners, LLC
Cornerstone Research
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Accenture
Analysis Group, Inc.
The Brattle Group
The Cambridge Group
Hewitt Associates
West Monroe Partners
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
McKinsey & Company
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
19
20
9.083
9.042
8.838
8.821
8.814
8.725
8.711
8.700
8.680
8.649
8.560
8.537
8.389
8.349
8.304
8.291
8.272
8.265
8.200
8.177
IBM Global Business Services
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Diversity—Women
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means needs a lot of improvement and 10 means exemplary, how receptive is your firm to women in terms of hiring,
promoting, mentoring and other programs?
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Diversity Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
38
RANK FIRM
Easton Associates, LLC
Health Advances, LLC
Corporate Executive Board
Trinity Partners, LLC
The Cambridge Group
Analysis Group, Inc.
Bain & Company
Cornerstone Research
Triage Consulting Group
IMS Health Incorporated
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
9.750
9.515
9.300
9.280
9.239
9.143
9.125
9.108
9.097
9.030
Gallup Consulting
11
9.026
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Strategic Decisions Group
McKinsey & Company
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
IBM Global Business Services
CRA International
Hewitt Associates
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
8.992
8.875
8.800
8.793
8.750
8.696
8.604
The Brattle Group
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
19
20
8.583
8.517
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition The
Vault Diversity Rankings
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
39
Diversity—Minorities
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means needs a lot of improvement and 10 means exemplary, how receptive is your firm to minorities in terms of hiring,
promoting, mentoring and other programs?
RANK FIRM
Censeo Consulting Group
Bain & Company
Strategic Decisions Group
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Gallup Consulting
Trinity Partners, LLC
Accenture
IBM Global Business Services
PRTM
IMS Health Incorporated
1
2
3
4
5
6
7 (TIE)
7 (TIE)
8
9
SCORE
9.100
8.756
8.688
8.566
8.564
8.520
8.500
8.500
8.420
8.394
The Brattle Group
10
8.361
Health Advances, LLC
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
West Monroe Partners
PricewaterhouseCoopers
The Cambridge Group
A.T. Kearney
Cornerstone Research
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
8.303
8.282
8.233
8.163
8.156
8.126
8.108
Pearl Meyer & Partners
Hewitt Associates
18
19
8.103
8.098
Corporate Executive Board
20 (TIE)
8.000
Easton Associates, LLC
McKinsey & Company
20 (TIE)
20 (TIE)
8.000
8.000
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Vault Diversity Rankings
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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RANK FIRM
Strategic Decisions Group
Bain & Company
IMS Health Incorporated
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Corporate Executive Board
Cornerstone Research
Easton Associates, LLC
Health Advances, LLC
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Simon-Kucher & Partners
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
SCORE
9.563
9.367
9.091
8.812
8.800
8.730
8.714
8.625
8.617
8.587
Gallup Consulting
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8.543
Monitor Group
Novantas LLC
IBM Global Business Services
Analysis Group, Inc.
PRTM
Accenture
Bates White
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
8.491
8.479
8.429
8.333
8.271
8.246
8.244
Trinity Partners, LLC
Hewitt Associates
19
20
8.240
8.114
Diversity—GLBT
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means excellent, how would you rate your firm’s commitment to diversity with respect to gays,
lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals?
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TOP 50
FIRMS 1-50
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms
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131 Dartmouth Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Phone: (617) 572-2000
Fax: (617) 572-2427
www.joinbain.com
LOCATIONS
Boston, MA (HQ)
42 offices in 27 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Change Management • Corporate Renewal • Corporate
Strategy • Cost & Supply Chain Management • Customer
Strategy & Marketing • Growth Strategy • IT • Mergers &
Acquisitions • Organization • Performance Improvement •
Private Equity
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Chairman: Orit Gadiesh
Worldwide Managing Director: Steve Ellis
2010 Employees: 4,800
2009 Employees: 4,800
• “Set the bar (with McKinsey) in terms of prestige”
• “Overworked, hard-driving”
• “Great for management consulting”
• “More travel than is sold to applicants”
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
42
BAIN & COMPANY
1
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “The level of entrepreneurship we still embrace, even given
our size”
• “Continuous opportunity to grow and learn”
• “The smart and fun people drive a thriving and dynamic
culture”
• “Results-oriented culture”
DOWNERS
• “Intense, unpredictable and grueling, at times”
• “Difficult to predict what the client will want and when”
• “We can always be better when it comes to diversity”
• “Lack of control in scheduling”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.joinbain.com
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Secrecy and success
With 42 offices in 27 countries, Bain & Company is one of the world’s leading consulting firms. Since its founding in 1973, it has worked with
over 4,400 major multinationals, small and midsized businesses, private equity firms and nonprofits on issues of strategy, operations, marketing,
organization, technology, and mergers and acquisitions. The firm’s 4,800 consultants are experts in a number of industries, including the automotive,
consumer products, energy and utilities, financial services, health care, industrial machinery, media, mining, nonprofit and public sector, retail,
services, technology, telecommunications and transportation services sectors.
Founded with an eye toward making real change, rather than just writing reports, Bain has always been a consulting firm with a difference. Named
for founder Bill Bain, the firm is fiercely dedicated to its clients, and they to Bain—a relationship that derives at least in part from Bain’s extraordinary
secrecy and emphasis on client confidentiality. A measure of the firm’s commitment to its clients is that in the early days, it promised clients it would
only work with one company per industry. Bain redefined its commitment in response to clients who did not value industry exclusivity, but rather
expected deep industry expertise that comes from working for multiple companies in an industry. To this day, however, the firm’s client list still remains
a closely guarded secret, with very few details of its engagements ever making their way into the public eye.
According to Bain (and attested to by calculations from PricewaterhouseCoopers), its clients’ stock prices outperform the market by four to one. The
firm works with both small and midsized firms from the Fortune 2000 ranks as well as two-thirds of the Global 500, and has established a reputation
as a leader in private Additionally, the firm invested during the downturn to improve its competitive position, and is now seeing the positive results from
that, having just logged the best six months of its history. Business is currently up over 30 percent compared to the first half of 2009, and the firm is
returning to the trend of long-term share gain.
Calling all “Bainies”
In a 1989 feature article on the firm in The New York Times Magazine, Bain consultants were referred to as “troops”—also known in the industry as
“Bainies”—with an iron discipline. Since 1993, Bainies have answered to Israel-born Chairman Orit Gadiesh, a former Israeli military intelligence
officer and Baker Scholar from the Harvard Business School, who is currently based in Paris. The first female to lead a consulting firm of Bain’s size,
Gadiesh has repeatedly been listed in Forbes as one of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women, was named one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women
in Business, earned the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from Consulting magazine and is on the board of directors at the World Economic
Forum. On the flip side of the coin is Bain’s worldwide managing director, Steve Ellis. Prior to taking the top spot and replacing outgoing director John
Donohoe (who would go on to become CEO of eBay), Ellis managed the firm’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. Compared to the military-trained
Orit Gadiesh, Steve Ellis is the entrepreneur of Bain’s leadership, having joined after co-founding a Silicon Valley firm, and then lending his leadership
to help build the firm’s technology and telecommunications practice, as well as its private equity group. He has also taken a considerable role in the
firm’s nonprofit relations—he holds a seat on the board of The Bridgespan Group, which operates as an independent affiliate to Bain & Company to
extend its consulting know-how to charities and foundations.
Private equity pioneer
In 1994, Bain became the first consulting firm to establish a private equity practice. The unit provides fund strategy, sector screening and deal
generation, due diligence, portfolio company performance improvement and exit planning for clients—mostly buyout firms, hedge funds and sovereign
wealth funds. Having carved quite a niche for itself in this area, Bain’s private equity practice today is over three times larger than its nearest
competitor.
M&A Q&A
Much of Bain’s reputation has been built on its proven approach to mergers and acquisitions, an expertise stemming from extensive experience with
corporate and private equity clients. Over the last 10 years, the firm has conducted over 3,900 private equity and corporate diligences, integrated over
500 companies, and advised clients on hundreds of joint ventures and divestitures. Although the odds for acquisition success in the current market
are, to say the least, poor (over half the deals in the market fail to generate excess returns), Bain maintains a disciplined approach to navigating the
deal cycle, and has generated roughly 20 percent higher excess returns for its integration clients.
Aid for the distressed
Just as the subprime mortgage loan crisis pushed the economy into a downward spiral in 2007, Bain opened a new business group that provides
turnaround services to distressed and severely underperforming companies. The well-timed unit—named the Bain Corporate Renewal Group—focuses
specifically on the needs of owners and future owners of financially stressed midmarket businesses, and on turning around their companies to preserve
value. For companies in trouble, Bain CRG has the capacity to assess a company’s financial health, drive the restructuring and turnaround, and has
the capacity to serve in an advisory, chief restructuring officer or interim management capacity until the business is healthy again.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Bain & Company
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
43
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Delivering social impact
Since its founding, Bain has been committed to giving back to the community. The company does extensive work with clients in the nonprofit
sector, supporting educational organizations, helping with economic and community development, assisting arts and sports groups, and working with
foundations and venture philanthropy funds. It also collaborates with for-profit clients on issues such as environmental sustainability and corporate
responsibility. Moreover, Bain’s community engagement program—Bain Cares—allows Bain employees to volunteer in their local communities, serve
on boards of nonprofits and social enterprises, and lead fundraising drives for causes they believe in. Bain has committed to building up its social-
sector practice most notably through founding and continuing to partner closely with Bridgespan, the leader in non-profit consulting.
The firm is also committed to corporate sustainability, continually working to reduce its carbon footprint through the initiative of Green Teams in every
local office.
GETTING HIRED
Given its status as one of the industry’s truly elite consulting firms, it’s unsurprising that Bain’s hiring process is exceptionally rigorous and selective.
Quite simply, it’s a matter of people; the firm only looks at (let alone hires) the very best that MBA and undergraduate schools have to offer. It isn’t
enough to have years of experience in your field or high scores on aptitude tests (though both are important). Over the course of at least three rounds
of interviews, the firm looks for the precise qualities that it has identified as essential to one’s success in the organization. “Passionate, driven, humble
and curious” is how one consultant describes the ideal candidate (note the very-important presence of “humble” among the other requisites).
The meat of the interview process is rather standard, taking the form of straightforward case interviews, in which candidates are expected to show that
they possess “the analytic horsepower to crack our clients’ toughest problems.” It’s a results-oriented business, so it makes sense that the process
would focus on just that. Candidates can also expect to be evaluated based on their ability to perform and communicate under pressure and, perhaps
most importantly, their capacity to work fluidly with a team of similarly elite colleagues.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: If you aren’t in awe of Bain’s quality of life scores you should, at the very least, be humbled by the quotes emerging from its
consultants. Bain continues to deliver employee satisfaction of paramount quality, shaming competitors and critics alike.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I don’t think there is another job that can deliver for me in the way this one does. It’s a unique combination of learning, lifestyle,
apprenticeship, rewards, fun and impact with amazing people.” – New York insider
• “I’m consistently fascinated by the work I do day to day.” – Consultant
• “Every job has its challenges. At Bain, I have the luxury and pleasure of working with people, above and below, who make those challenges
easier to overcome.” – Experienced strategist
• “Bain is relentlessly working to improve the employee value proposition and it shows!” – Canadian higher-up
Firm Culture
• “I can be myself at Bain, period. I am not only respected for this, I am loved. There is no other company I’ve seen, in my 10 years of
professional experience, with a stronger, healthier culture.” – Strategy consultant
• “Undoubtedly best culture on the block. There’s no competition, everyone is willing to help each other out—even at odd hours. We support
each other as friends, colleagues and individuals.” – Business advisor
• “Bain’s culture is incredibly strong. It breeds a tight-knit family, in a sense. These are my co-workers, but they are also my closest friends.” –
Associate consultant
• “Bain’s culture is incredible—informal without being unprofessional, incredibly zany and quirky, and so much fun always. Some of the smartest,
most awesome people you will ever meet in your life.” – California insider
Supervisor Relationships
• “I feel like I can go toe-to-toe with my supervisors. They really value my input. They are also very smart and experienced, so I have to be on top
of my work.” – Los Angeles midlevel
• “In general, my office is very family friendly. Many of the senior associates and partners have young children, and they seem to understand the
importance of life outside of the office.” – Los Angeles associate
• “Supervisors really take my personal and professional development to heart.” – Entry-level source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Bain & Company
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “My supervisors are exceptional. I have learned more from them than from any other mentor I’ve had in my life. They have me and my
husband for dinner in their homes, they advise me on my career and my life, they teach me hard and soft skills, and they genuinely care about
me.” – Boston insider
Interaction with Clients
• “It’s the best feeling when we can jointly make change with our clients, hear the clients’ appreciation for our work, and then see it actually bear
results. We are very passionate about seeing our clients succeed; that’s a big reason why we work so hard.” – Consultant
• “We take pride in our ability to relate to our clients, and this increases our ability to deliver results.” – Associate
• “I have had some pretty impressive client relationships—getting to reach out to senior people, as well as developing those relationships into ones
where I’m trusted.” – Midwestern associate consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Bain became an elite institution by demanding the utmost from its talented employees. But consultants can expect reciprocation
from the firm leadership, who strive to keep their staff comfortable and content in any circumstance.
Work Hours
• “Flexibility for time off and part-time roles enable long-term sustainability.” – Consultant
• “Very reasonable; it’s all about being efficient. This is not a face time climate.” – Associate consultant
• “I work a lot, but there is little yield loss and no face time needed.” – Atlanta insider
• “My work hours are long but not unmanageable, and the flexible nature of our jobs makes the difference. The hardest hours are hours away
from home.” – Consultant
• “Pay is fair and appropriate for effort and results delivered.” – Consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “As long as I’m taking care of my work, I can set my own schedule and work from wherever makes the most sense.” – Associate consultant
• “It is a demanding career, but yes, I have been able to have a very rewarding personal life over my last 10-plus years at Bain!” – Toronto staffer
• “Absolute respect for vacation and training—no questions asked, and absolutely no recourse on leaving for (approved) vacation in the middle of
a project.” – Midlevel consultant
• “The firm has structural policies in place, but it is up to you and your case team to determine how these policies will be applied to the case in
question.” – West Coast insider
Travel Requirements
• “We only travel when we need to because we are staffed locally. It makes a world of difference. We always travel as a team and rarely, if ever,
have to travel alone.” – Consultant
• “Bain is really reasonable about travel. If the client or situation requires it, you’ll travel. If not, you won’t.” – Senior source
• “Travel is very much case dependant. However, I feel like Bain does a great job of only travelling when the team needs to. If it won’t help us
make a positive impact for the client, then we won’t travel.” – Strategy advisor
• “Totally binary. For the last year-plus, I traveled less than one day per week. The two years before that, three to four days per week, every
week, for two years. There is balance over time, I have averaged less than two days/week on the road - it just pours when it rains.” – Atlanta
staffer
• “While the compensation structure suggests “market” rates, in practicality very few associates can reach the appropriate level of billable work in
order to receive full pay increases and significant bonuses.” – Senior associate
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: As the firm sets its sights on across-the-board perfection, training is one area that needs little improvement. Consultants gush
about Bain’s annual training offerings—think “amazing,” “incredible” and, perhaps most unique, “hugely enjoyable.”
Formal Training
• “Training could not be better. College was a waste of time after the 10 days of Bain training.” – Associate consultant
• “We invest tremendously in training as a firm. Instead of using professional trainers, we pull our best and brightest people out of the field to
train. Every Bainie goes to at least one formal offsite training program a year, starting with the legendary ACT, a two-week program for our new
associate consultant hires.” – Boston manager
• “Unbelievable formal training and continuous learning programs. Bain did not cut a dollar from training in the downturn, which highlights the
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Bain & Company
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
45
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© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
46
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Bain & Company
dedication to it.” – Consultant
• “Bain invests a lot in official training. The annual tenure-based global training sessions are really incredible. Additionally, in-office training and
mentorship programs provide a lot of support for day-to-day experiences.” – Dallas midlevel
Promotion Policies
• “Promotion points occur roughly every two to three years. I think it is extremely clear and well run. You know exactly what you’ll be rated on, as
well as when you’ll be rated. And, most importantly, you are judged fairly based on your merits. The clarity of the promotion ladder is a big plus
for my satisfaction at Bain.” – Midlevel strategist
• “Some flexibility on time to promotion, but if people aren’t moving quickly enough, they often choose other options.” – Strategy executive
• “The promotion policy is fair and balanced—not too fast so that promoted individuals fail at the next level, not too slow that learning plateaus.” –
Senior source
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Recruitment is highly merit-focused, but respondents rave about Bain’s diversity efforts, feeling like the firm seeks out the best
consultants from unique backgrounds.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Exceptional, nondiscriminatory practices.” – Atlanta executive
• “Huge firmwide attention on attracting, retaining and promoting women.” – Consultant
• “We can always be better, but we do a lot of recruiting for women, minorities and GLBTs. It’s a war for talent, though, and we’ve got to up our
game and get to them earlier.” – Consultant
• “Outstanding with respect to women and GLBT. We put in tremendous effort on minority hiring as well, but our traction is lower than we’d like
it to be.” – East Coast staffer
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: utmost quality, and consultants have confidence in the firm’s “innovative and caring” leaders.
Overall Business Outlook
• “It is incredibly busy right now. We’re looking to gain share versus our competition: BCG and McKinsey. We invested heavily in people during
the downturn, so that should put us in good position to continue growth as the economy comes back.” – Senior consultant
• “As the clear market leader in private equity consulting, we will have a strong year in 2010 due to the return of private equity activity.” –
Midwest insider
• “Our firm’s leadership is focused, well prepared and open minded.” – Strategy consultant
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1 Exchange Place, 31st Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02109
Phone: (617) 973-1200
Fax: (617) 973-1339
www.bcg.com
LOCATIONS
Boston, MA (HQ)
69 offices in 40 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
F unctional Practice Areas
Corporate Development • Global Advantage (Globalization)
• Information Technology • Marketing & Sales • Operations •
Organization • Social Impact • Strategy
I n dustry Practice Areas
Consumer & Retail • Energy • Financial Institutions • Health Care
• Industrial Goods • Insurance • Public Sector • Technology,
Media & Communications
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
President & CEO: Hans-Paul Bürkner
2010 Employees: 4,500 (consulting staff only)
2009 Employees: 4,400 (consulting staff only)
2010 Revenue: $2.75 billion
2009 Revenue: $2.67 billion
• “Excellent reputation; top of the heap”
• “Snooty”
• “Out-of-the-box thinkers”
• “Quirky professors”
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
48
THE BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP, INC.
2
PRESTIGE
RANKING
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.bcg.com/careers
UPPERS
• “Individuality is respected—no cookie cutter mentality”
• “Strong, steep learning curve”
• “Fringe benefits”
• “Thinking about problems at both 40,000 as well as 4,000 ft”
DOWNERS
• “Nit-picky accounting and reimbursement system”
• “We don’t always follow our own best practices and are
inefficient”
• “You have to be a part of the club”
• “Heavy feedback culture promotes paranoia and low self-
esteem”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Boston’s best
The name may sound local, but The Boston Consulting Group’s reach—and expertise—is anything but. With 4,500 consultants in 69 offices in 40
countries, the firm ranks as one of America’s Largest Private Companies, according to Forbes magazine. Clients typically include many of the world’s
500 largest companies, but BCG also counts among its clients midsized businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies in North and
South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. The firm’s consultants—who have included notables such as Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi;
Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric; Jim Koch, founder, CEO and Brewmaster of Boston Beer Company; Sally Blount, dean of the Kellogg School of
Management; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Grammy Award winner John Legend—are experts in a number of industries, including
consumer goods, retail, financial services, industrial goods, social impact and nonprofit, energy, health care, insurance, technology, media, and
telecom.
The firm helps clients with a number of specific management needs within its broad functional practice areas, such as growth strategy development
and execution; business portfolio management; mergers and acquisitions; postmerger integration; productivity and efficiency improvement; marketing
and pricing; supply chain management; IT infrastructure; customer and supplier relationship management; sustainability; turnaround; and private
equity, among other services. In 2010, M&A Advisor named BCG the Turnaround Consulting Firm of the Year for its work in advising the U.S. Treasury
Department on the Chapter 11 reorganization of General Motors and Chrysler.
The Henderson legacy
BCG was founded in 1963 by Bruce D. Henderson, a former Bible salesman and Harvard B-school dropout. Challenged by the CEO of The Boston
Safe Deposit & Trust Company to form a consulting arm for the organization, Henderson responded with an aggressive strategy. While his first month’s
billings amounted to $500 and his office had a staff of just two by the end of his first year in business, Henderson’s subsequent success is impossible
to deny—and it was driven largely by expansion. In 1966, BCG became the first Western strategy consulting outfit in Japan, and a string of offices
throughout Europe soon followed. By 1976, half of the firm’s revenue was being generated outside the U.S.—a year after Henderson laid out a plan
for employee stock ownership that saw the firm fully owned by BCGers in 1979. Such was Henderson’s reputation within the business world that,
following his death in 1992, no less a publication than the Financial Times wrote that “few people have had as much impact on international business in
the second half of the twentieth century as the founder of The Boston Consulting Group.”
In 1998, BCG established the Strategy Institute, a sort of consulting think tank set up to apply insights from a variety of disciplines to the strategic
challenges facing both business and society. Among the concepts developed by the firm over the years are the experience curve (which charts
improvements in efficiency as experience is amassed), time-based competition (an approach that recognizes speed as an essential component of
success), disease management (an approach to patient care that takes a more systemic view of quality and costs than traditional approaches), richness
versus reach (the trade-off inherent in the economics of information), trading up and trading down (consumer spending phenomena) and globality (the
post-globalization era in which everyone from everywhere competes for everything).
Not the stuff of fairytales
Perhaps the innovation that the firm is best known for, however, is its growth-share matrix. While a tool that utilizes images such as cows, stars and
dogs might sound fanciful, the matrix is one serious piece of business methodology—and one that has become a core tool used by businesses the world
over. A graphic representation of a firm’s money flow, the growth-share matrix divides a company’s assets into four categories—the three mentioned
previously, plus question marks. While a full description of the methodology is available on BCG’s website, the basic meaning of each category is as
follows: a cow represents a “cash cow,” a low-growth, high-market share pursuit (generally the bread and butter of any business); a star is an enterprise
that both uses and generates a lot of money, usually on the way to achieving cow status; a dog tends to be labor-intensive but provides little return on
investment; and question marks are to be avoided at all costs—basically representing money pits that absorb resources but produce little revenue.
Falling in line
While many of BCG’s consultants come from some of the best business schools in the world—including the University of Chicago, Harvard, INSEAD,
Kellogg, Stanford and Wharton—not everyone working at the firm has a business background. A number of consultants have degrees that range from
economics, biochemistry and engineering, to psychology, classics and law.
Whatever their background, the firm organizes its brainpower into formal practice areas, which include the functional and industry areas listed
above, as well as timely issues such as managing through the downturn, cloud computing, megatrends, operational transformation and turnaround,
sustainability and talent management.
Paying it forward
BCG is big on being good. Its social impact practice network, which functions like one of the firm’s formal practice areas, works with clients on
socially conscious issues, including public health, education, community and economic development, environmental preservation, hunger, and arts
and culture. The network chose its focus areas based on the UN Millennium Development Goals, which set targets for combating poverty, illiteracy
and disease for the world’s poor by 2015.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Building the business canon
As might be expected of a company with so many experts and a dedication to research, BCGers put out their fair share of publications—so many, in
fact, that in 2006, the firm collected some of its biggest thoughts over the past 40 years into one volume, entitled The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy.
Aimed at executives across all industries, the anthology offers both the now-established wisdom as the company conceived it years ago, as well as
more recent thoughts on the state of business. The themes, in many cases, have remained consistent over the decades: Retain competitive advantage,
break compromises, realize the value of time, and remain aware of second- and third-order causes.
In the past year, BCG experts have published two books: Accelerating Out of the Great Recession (February 2010) and Women Want More (September 2009).
GETTING HIRED
“On the surface, getting hired at BCG is similar to getting accepted to the top Ivy League schools. Like the latter, this prestigious firm looks meticulously
at an applicant’s records, combing through candidates and selecting only the near-perfect. “I am blown away by the caliber of students applying for jobs
each fall,” one consultant says. “It is so competitive, even the slightest mistakes in interviewing reduce your chances meaningfully.” The firm recruits from
the best undergraduate, MBA and PhD programs in the world. Accordingly, just getting an interview at BCG is an accomplishment in its own right.
Once inside the process, candidates shouldn’t expect any let-up in the firm’s selectivity metrics. “Somewhere between one and five interviewees out
of 100 will receive an offer,” says one insider, highlighting the sobering reality all candidates face. “Don’t let your guard down. Everyone, and I mean
everyone, is judging you throughout the whole process,” offers another. The ultimately successful candidate (yes, they do exist) will have endured four
to seven interviews, and will have impressed consulting staff of all levels with their “extreme intelligence, analytical capacity and general presentability.”
These qualities matter more than any amount of direct experience could; “working stiffs with great credentials but no personality are not welcome.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Having already reached the top, BCG consultants can rest assured that they work in an exceptionally noncompetitive environment.
Here, consultants need only worry about delivering for the client—the firm takes care of the rest.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Outstanding place to work. Incredible colleagues, incredible clients, incredible impact.” – Associate
• “BCG is a fantastic place to work. They go the extra mile to invest in their consultants—for example, they are sending me on a special training
program in Europe to help further my development. The work is interesting, the people are brilliant, and the compensation and benefits are
second to none.” – Health care consultant
• “We deliver tremendous value for our clients while always stretching our own thinking and development. I can’t imagine a better place to work.”
– Chicago partner
• “I have learned a great deal here in a short period of time, expanded my network and am now going to go to business school on the firm’s tab.
That said, this is probably not something I will want to do for the rest of my life—it can be a pretty high-burn job.” – Associate
Firm Culture
• “BCG’s culture is collaborative, nonhierarchical and very collegial. All employees are encouraged to contribute their ideas at all times, to share
their opinions and their beliefs. The senior members of the firm have created an atmosphere that welcomes participation, and demands truth-
telling for our clients.” – Operations consultant
• “It’s diverse, and yet people are always curious and engaged in all topics. Dinner conversations are always memorable and office/business
events are generally something to look forward to.” – California consultant
• “We have a set of shared values that defines the ‘BCGer,’ but we also highly value individualism and diversity, and no two BCGers are exactly
alike.” – Consumer and retail consultant
• “BCG is a meritocracy, filled with high-performing, ambitious people. However, I do not consider it competitive overall. I have been staffed on
projects with peers from my cohort, and I never felt that we were being judged against each other.” – Midwest staffer
Supervisor Relationships
• “One of the things I like most about our firm is the mentorship-based culture. Partners and managers are really willing to engage with and
invest in the consultants and associates. This produces a positive work environment in which you can learn a lot.” – Consultant
• “Very intelligent, thoughtful and considerate partners. They are interested in your development, invest in the people and make a point of
supporting you both inside and outside of work.” – Los Angeles midlevel
• “You’re treated as an equal in thought, and only a lesser in experience —which is fair—and it really makes for a good working environment.”
–Consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “Everyone is too driven by performance fear to really invest in anything outside of their own performance.” – Associate
Interaction with Clients
• “The client relationships at BCG are fantastic and are a main reason why I keep traveling. We try our best to help them, no matter what.” –
Boston staffer
• “I’ve had incredible client exposure for my tenure. I’ve learned a lot about engaging with a client—from working with one, to generating
business insights, to building datasets, to presenting to senior clients.” – Health care consultant
• “Excellent value creation for clients, and thus excellent client interactions.” – New York partner
• “We have great relationships with clients once we prove our worth. On the whole, clients often have a bad opinion of consultants because of
past bad experiences. However, in most cases, we overcome this.” – Associate
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Despite the intense hours requirements, no one at BCG feels like they’re being needlessly overworked. BCG consultants are
utterly dedicated to their chosen professions, and are more likely to enjoy the constant travel than gripe about it.
Work Hours
• “Recognizing it’s a challenging profession, the firm does everything it can to lower hours.” – Canadian source
• “We work hard at BCG—but that comes with the level of challenges that we take on and the very high level of value that we deliver to our
clients. We have a very good level of control over how we work, so that we can balance our workload with the things that are important to us
outside of our job.” –Retail consultant
• “People make sacrifices at times, but the firm tries to manage these appropriately. I find I usually do not have to work at all on weekends, which
is important to me.” – Senior consultant
• “Make no bones about it—consulting is not a cushy job, and BCG is not a ‘lifestyle’ firm. That said, most of my peers and I find the hours to be
a fair trade-off for the training, challenge and relationship development it’s possible to enjoy in consulting at BCG.” – West Coast associate
Work/Life Balance
• “BCG cares about the sustainability of our work, and has spent a lot of time and resources launching a number of programs to make our work
more predictable.” – Boston principal
• “We have a terrific effort called ‘predictable time off,’ which, while it does not make a tough job easy, does make a tough job better.”
–Consultant
• “I have two kids and triathlon training, and I am able to balance all of it with BCG.” – East Coast consultant
• “If I feel things are getting out of hand, I always feel empowered to raise the issue with my manager, and there is usually a solution involving
reprioritization that can be worked out.” – San Francisco midlevel
Travel Requirements
• “We never go anywhere just to have face time—it is always to engage with clients on a deeper level. That requires a good chunk of time away
from home. But we always ask each other whether a trip is necessary.” – Health care insider
• “Right now, I haven’t had to travel in a month, but my last project was four days a week on the road for two months, so there is high variation.”
– Chicago associate
• “I enjoy traveling for work and visiting the client site regardless of where they might be located. I travel a lot, but many times it is by choice to
be closer to the rest of our team and clients.” –Senior consultant
• “There are times when I feel like I’m traveling more than is absolutely necessary for me to get my work done, but that’s oftentimes based more
on client expectation than on BCG culture. In any case, there’s probably room to improve here.” – Minneapolis insider
Compensation
• “BCG provides excellent compensation, and it is a reflection of the high level of value that we consistently deliver to our clients. Recently, some
of our competitors decided to reduce salaries for incoming consultants and BCG did not, which now makes BCG’s compensation significantly
better than our primary competitors.” – Retail consultant
• “BCG gives associates a 50 percent salary increase at 21 months, which is extremely generous. Furthermore, BCG funded full bonuses for
2009.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Best compensation for coming out of undergraduate of any top consulting firm, hands down. Significant flexibility options, retirement matching,
potentially huge bonus and great health insurance.” – Dallas first-year
• “I always feel poor in New York, but BCG offers a very generous base salary and a solid overall incentive package.” – Entry-level respondent
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: BCG provides just enough “world-class” formal opportunities to effectively complement the on-the-job training culture that
pervades at the firm.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Formal Training
• “There is an enormous array of training opportunities—some are required and many are opt in.” – Consultant
• “I have attended three separate training sessions in the last year with very timely, appropriate content.” – Philadelphia junior
• “Regular global trainings with direct peers have been some of my favorite travel/affiliation experiences. It really helps build your personal global
network.” – Senior consultant
• “Most of the learning takes place on the job, but there are plenty of more formal options to explore interests and areas for development (Friday
workshops, office lunches, web trainings).” – Associate
Promotion Policies
• “It is a strict up-or-out policy, but we all feel that there is room for promotion if we are able to perform up to standards. We don’t feel like we are
competing with each other for a small number of spots.” – Chicago consultant
• “You are expected to be promoted to the next level every 21 to 27 months, with some exceptions for specialized career paths. Once you are a
principal, it is three to five years to partner.” – Midlevel source
• “I am very impressed by 1) transparency, 2) openness of dialogue, and by 3) quickness. Associates can earn an MBA salary after 24 to 30
months.” – East Coast staffer
• “There does seem to be a fair amount of attrition. Standards are rigorous, but the firm recognizes hard work and improvement.” – Atlanta consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Though a bit male-centric at the top, BCG excels in recruiting a wide variety of talented consultants from all backgrounds. Even
more impressive is the culture of warmth and acceptance the firm continues to cultivate, tending to diversity issues with the same skill and
attention the firm is known for.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “I’m a minority, and have a vast amount of additional resources for that reason; the office is one of the most diverse places I’ve ever experienced. I
had not met many GLBT people until I started working, and some of them have become some of my best friends at work.” – Los Angeles first-year
• “BCG’s culture embraces diversity in all of its forms—ethnicity, gender, background, experience, etc. In this regard, I have been thoroughly
impressed.” – Atlanta consultant
• “BCG has to be the best firm in regard to support and celebration of GLBT community. They sponsor several conferences, host specific
recruiting dinners at core schools, and host global and regional meetings every year to ensure connection and strong affiliation.” – Associate
• “The firm tries hard here, but the industry isn’t that conducive to retaining women, especially after they have kids. There’s too much travel and
irregular hours. But BCG puts a lot of energy into making it easier.” – Senior consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: BCG certainly held its own as the recession took its course. After a banner year amid 2009’s recessionary gloom, anything less
than top-of-the-pile would seem like a letdown in 2010.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We are winning against our competition, and had our best year ever in 2009 while the competition was down. It has been so good through a
tough economic time that even insiders are surprised at how well we are doing.” – Chicago associate
• “We gained share and grew revenue during the recession. We also promoted people on time, moved up start dates and paid full bonuses.” –
Consultant
• “We have bid wins pouring in the door. Staffing is so tight—I wish we’d hired more people last year!” – Health care consultant
• “We are riding a strong wave of business development with many major wins and almost 100 percent utilization.” – Private equity insider
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “We have a very focused, strong and dedicated leadership—globally and in the Americas. The new Americas chairman is continuing the great
work of the prior chair, but creating an even more open and engaging culture around our growth.” – Telecommunications consultant
• “Our leaders are strong communicators. Transparency helps increase employee morale and create cohesiveness.” –Toronto consultant
• “Hans-Paul clearly has a growth aspiration and makes the time to stay connected to the people. I think he visits every office at least once a year.”
– Health care principal
• “Given our strong performance in the downturn, I have a high degree of confidence in the flexibility and wisdom of BCG’s leadership.” – Atlanta
consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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MCKINSEY & COMPANY
55 East 52nd Street
New York, New York 10022
Phone: (212) 446-7000
Fax: (212) 446-8575
www.mckinsey.com
LOCATIONS
More than 95 offices in over 50 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Functional Practice Areas
Business Technology Office • Corporate Finance • Marketing
& Sales • Operations • Organization • Risk • Strategy
Industry Practices
Automotive & Assembly • Consumer • Financial • Global
Energy & Materials • Healthcare • Media & Entertainment •
Private Equity & Principal Investing • Public Sector • Social
Sector Office • Technology • Travel, Transport & Logistics
Special Initiatives
McKinsey Global Institute • Sustainability & Resource
Productivity • McKinsey Asia Center • Proprietary Knowledge/
McKinsey Solutions
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Managing Officer & Chairman: Dominic Barton
2010 Employees: 16,000 (approx.)
2009 Employees: 16,000 (approx.)
• “The gold standard, but they invented the industry”
• “Type-A, Type-A, Type-A”
• “Develops their people”
• “Lots of big thinking, not a lot of doing”
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RANKING
UPPERS
• “Great top client access”
• “Heavily invested in development and training”
DOWNERS
• “Pressure to deliver”
• “The lifestyle, hands down”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.mckinsey.com/careers
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
The McKinsey mystique
McKinsey & Company is a privately owned management consulting firm. Roundly considered to be the most prestigious company of its kind, it has
achieved a level of renown so great as to be known even to laymen, despite shrouding details of its work—and its client list—in secrecy. In its practice
areas, it addresses strategic, organizational, operational and technological issues, always with a focus—according to the firm—of doing what is right
for the client’s business, not what is best for McKinsey’s bottom line. As for the range of those specialties, the list of industrial sectors the firm serves
encompasses everything from commodities and natural resources to the worlds of media, entertainment and high tech. While it doesn’t give up the
names of its clients (even in case studies it refers to them with pseudonyms such as “BigBank”) the firm does claim to serve more than 70 percent
of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list, roughly 90 percent of the top-100 corporations worldwide and 80 percent of the 100 largest U.S.-based
companies.
In addition to its regular consulting brief, the firm also operates a sustainability and resource productivity (read: climate change) special initiative to
address challenges associated with the move to a low-carbon economy, serving both the public and private sectors. The initiative brings to bear the
firm’s expertise on abatement cost curves (a fact-based understanding of the size and cost of measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions),
process changes, emissions trading, biofuel options and new asset valuation in light of regulatory changes.
The early days
In 1926, James O. McKinsey, CPA and University of Chicago management professor, founded the business to give local companies financial and
accounting advice. Before long, he realized that clients’ financial data could be interpreted to help make better management decisions. Thanks to
this innovation, McKinsey is credited with the idea of using consultants, or “management engineers” for the first time. And although the firm is his
namesake, it was one of his protégés, Marvin Bower, who is most remembered for shaping the direction of the firm.
Most notably, Bower is known for molding the McKinsey culture, mainly through a three-part code of conduct outlining certain ideals consultants were
to uphold—something that remains in place today. Among these values are putting client interests ahead of those of the firm, giving superior service
and maintaining the highest ethical standards. Consultants are also instructed to be absolutely truthful with the client, regardless of whether the client
disagrees. Perhaps the most infamous part of the code is to protect the privacy of clients; to this day, McKinsey never publicizes its big-name clients,
nor does it tout successful engagements. Despite this, the firm doesn’t lack for publicity, since the secrecy surrounding its work is itself often the
focus of media attention.
The MBA draft
Another of Bower’s policies was to concentrate hiring efforts on recent MBAs from top schools, as opposed to bringing on experienced managers from
other organizations. Bower reasoned that demand for seasoned talent would too quickly eclipse supply, leaving mediocre candidates with high price
tags who would turn out to be poor investments. Moreover, recent graduates could offer fresh ideas and insights, rather than replicating old, predictable
methods that had been entrenched by years of rote service.
In recent years, McKinsey has begun hiring more broadly, with most of its offices witnessing a steady influx of undergraduates, postgrads and industry
professionals joining as consultants, in addition to MBA students.
Without a home
McKinsey claims to have no headquarters office. The base of operations for former Managing Director Rajat Gupta was for many years New York,
and that held true for the London office, when Ian Davis was at the helm. Dominic Barton, who became the new managing director in July 2009, will
be based primarily in London, while keeping an office in Shanghai. The company is officially run as a decentralized partnership, allowing for a global
network of staff that can be chosen based on suitability for a project, rather than geographic availability. The managing director is elected for a three-
year term—with a three-term limit—following a vote by the current directors.
Knowledge factory
McKinsey experts frequently produce works of business scholarship, whether in the form of reports and studies, or in the pages of the McKinsey Quarterly,
the firm’s business journal and platform for expounding on issues of management, strategy and finance. The publication also includes articles by
external experts. And in 2009, the firm launched a blog—What Matters—which covers topics of global importance, featuring essays by world experts,
as well as its own consultants.
McKinsey consultants have also written a number of best-selling business books. One of the earliest and best-known examples is Thomas Peters’
and Robert Waterman Jr.’s In Search of Excellence, a 1982 tome that identified the unique strengths of American companies, reigniting confidence in
domestic business at a time when Japan seemed to have an unshakeable advantage. It went on to become one of the highest-selling business books
in publishing history.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
McKinsey & Company
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Additionally, the firm operates the McKinsey Global Institute, a research group concentrating on critical economic trends around the world. All MGI
studies are funded by McKinsey, rather than any outside business, government or other entity. It is staffed by consultants serving assignments of six
months to one year, after which they return to client work.
Social betterment
In addition to its social sector office, which helps leading institutions address societal challenges, McKinsey also undertakes pro bono services through
its local offices, which serve numerous nonprofit and/or public-sector organizations. Nearly 50 percent of the firm’s consultants participate in nonprofit
work during their tenure, and many serve as board members of nonprofits.
GETTING HIRED
A brief look at the firm’s recruitment site reveals the utter transparency of its interview process. With a host of videos and resources describing each portion
of the interview and offering advice on how to best approach them, it’s clear that the firm wants its candidates to be exceptionally wellprepared—and that’s no
surprise given the high demand for positions within the prestigious firm. Candidates who forego a perusal of the site the site shouldn’t worry; as one recent hire
explains, “McKinsey provides case coaches before each round of interviewing—very helpful!” Because of the sheer volume of resumes received, applicants
are meticulously prescreened; only those with the utmost qualifications, including decorated working histories, will receive an initial interview.
Once on site, candidates should expect to give a detailed account of their personal, working and academic background. At this point, recruiters already
know your achievements; now, they want to know what led to them and what resulted from them. It’s a similar experience in the case interview; “We’re
more interested in how you go about dealing with the problem, than in the specific answers that you give,” the firm urges. Also look to the site for
in-depth examples of case studies, and advice on how to handle them.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
McKinsey, a longtime industry heavyweight, demands maximum commitment from its consultants. While this can lead to a fair bit of exhaustion and
stress, most find it an acceptable tradeoff for the “tremendous development and growth opportunities” passed down by “very caring partners.” Another
insider corroborates the reports of heavy hours and travel requirements, admitting that “although I do occasionally feel overworked, I cannot imagine
a more interesting place to work or a better set of folks to work with.”
Firm culture is widely discussed among staffers as source of genuine satisfaction. Amidst such high-pressure, high-reward surroundings, some are
surprised to find real sincerity and friendship. One associate describes his colleagues as “a great group of very smart and motivated people who are
good at working in team settings. People here work hard together and develop strong bonds.” A co-worker affirms that team-based atmosphere,
stating, “For the most part everybody gets along well and is willing to offer help to those needing it.”
Hours & Pay
McKinsey consultants identify their typically long hours and work/life balance as the firm’s primary drawbacks. While some call hours “generally
manageable,” others would prefer better consistency between projects. “The range is extreme, depending on the study,” a health care consultant
reports. “Certainly, some studies are very manageable. Others make it difficult to meet personal commitments.”
Travel requirements certainly don’t help, tipping the balance in favor of work, though we’re told that managers do their best to be flexible and responsive
to personal needs. “McKinsey is focused on efficiency, zero face time and trying to optimize people’s individual needs,” a source states. The firm
notes that it offers a variety of flexible working arrangements, and has been named one of the 100 best companies for working mothers in the U.S. by
WorkingMother magazine for three years running.
Professional Development
Insiders gush about McKinsey’s “impressive and exhaustive” formal training offerings. “It’s simply the best training and development anywhere,” one
New Yorker remarks. “I’ve never seen another organization more focused on people development,” a colleague confirms. “There are several formal
trainings a year, and an almost endless number of informal training opportunities.”
Appreciation for training is widespread, perhaps in part due to the help it offers consultants trying to get ahead. Respondents tell us that the firm
operates as a “meritocracy to the fullest.” And despite the scramble for promotions and recognition, the atmosphere isn’t cutthroat. As one insider puts
it, “up-or-out is overstated. It is meritocratic advancement in a supportive environment.” With regard to its meritocratic environment, the firm notes
that it is committed to developing recruits into leaders. The firm was ranked No. 4 on Fortune’s 2009 global ranking of top companies for leaders—the
only professional services firm included in the top 25.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
McKinsey & Company
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Managing Officer & Chairman: Martha A. Samuelson
2010 Employees: 500
2009 Employees: 475
UPPERS
• “Strong camaraderie amongst analysts”
• “Integrity of the partnership”
DOWNERS
• “Ineffective, disorganized and antisocial managers”
• “Stress from the intellectually demanding nature of the work”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.analysisgroup.com/analysisgroup/careers.aspx
111 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02199
Phone: (617) 425-8000
Fax: (617) 425-8001
www.analysisgroup.com
LOCATIONS
Boston, MA (HQ)
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Los Angeles, CA
Menlo Park, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC
Montreal
PRACTICE AREAS
Accounting & Litigation • Antitrust • Bankruptcy &
Restructuring • Commercial Litigation & Damages • Energy
• Entertainment & Media • Environmental Economics •
Financial Institutions • Healthcare Consulting Services •
Intellectual Property • Labor & Employment • Securities
& Financial Instruments • Strategy & Analytics • Tax •
Telecommunications • Valuation
• “Good working environment”
• “Geeky; antisocial”
• “Up and coming, heavily academic”
• “Run with a heavy hand from the top”
ANALYSIS GROUP, INC.
4
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
57
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Analysis Group, Inc.
THE SCOOP
Analyze this
Boston-based Analysis Group, Inc., provides economic, financial and business strategy consulting to law firms, corporations and government agencies.
Much of the firm’s work is grounded in economic analysis—whether that be a quantitative assessment related to a litigation or developing a model for
a client’s corporate strategic planning exercise. To date, Analysis Group has provided support in litigations for attorneys at more than 500 law firms,
including the 25 largest firms in the country, and has worked with Fortune 100 executives, including general counsels and senior executives.
For law firms, the group helps with pretrial discovery, development of economic and financial models, preparation of testimony, critique of opposing
experts’ analyses and providing expert testimony, in addition and other aspects of litigation. The current economic crisis has resulted in a big uptick
in engagements involving analysis of complex securities, such as derivatives and credit default swaps, as well as the securitized assets at the center of
the subprime housing fallout, and assisting troubled and bankrupt companies. Corporate and government clients, meanwhile, call on the firm for help
with a variety of business issues, including financial planning, tax issues, company and asset valuations, cost-effectiveness analyses, market analyses,
and evaluation of mergers and acquisitions. The firm also helps clients analyze market dynamics and organization capabilities to improve product
pricing and marketing strategies, and to identify new market opportunities.
Close – but not inside – the ivory tower
Former Arthur D. Little consultants Bruce Stangle and Michael Koehn founded Analysis Group in 1981 in Belmont, Mass. The two PhD-carrying brains
sought to fuse academic practice with business litigation by applying economic research. The firm primarily consulted on mergers and acquisitions to
start; today, its consultants, working from 10 offices in North America, have experience in all areas of economics as it applies to the legal and business
world, including securities, health care, intellectual property, antitrust and commercial damages.
Principled professionals
The firm adheres to four operating tenets, which give shape to a kind of business philosophy. First is access: Analysis Group maintains close ties to
specialists—top minds in academia, leaders in industry and government insiders—to ensure that clients have access to the best people and ideas.
Consultants work closely with a network of experts to offer clients quantitative analysis and hands-on experience to help resolve business and legal
hurdles. Second, collaboration, sees the firm encourage strong relationships within consulting teams and between teams and clients, which ultimately
improves communication, effectiveness and satisfaction. Next is responsiveness, a result of being able to rapidly identify specialized experts for a
case, and a flexible structure that allows teams to quickly scale up or down as needed. And finally, pragmatism: Analysis Group believes all strategies
should focus on relevant, applicable solutions.
For each client engagement, Analysis Group’s 500 professionals are grouped into teams, which are tailored according to the needs of the project and
the client. Often, these teams are supplemented by academic or industry experts from the firm’s external network.
GETTING HIRED
Analysis Group is actively hiring, with a bevy of on-campus events planned for undergraduates this fall throughout the U.S. (including Brown, Duke,
Harvard, Stanford and Williams, among other schools). Prospective applicants would do well to emphasize their quantitative and analytical skills and
experiences, while “attention to detail and accuracy” are other qualities recruiters covet. “My firm looks for two qualities,” a recent hire explains. “Does
the person have the analytical capabilities and attention to detail that are necessary to do the job? And, does the person fit in well socially with the
other analysts?” For candidates interested in associate or consulting positions, it’s likely that those without advanced degrees in economics, finance,
law, accounting or management won’t get too far. Candidates lacking advanced degrees must, at the very least, demonstrate an enthusiasm for the
industry that may lure them back to school in the imminent future.
Qualified candidates that make it to the interview rounds should be prepared to answer questions about “experiences, education and goals,” and
many will be asked to complete realistic case studies or “probability questions.” The process typically kicks off with a “30-minute in-office first round,”
an initial face-to-face hurdle that features basic background questions. This round could also take place over the phone. From there, candidates
spend an entire “morning interviewing in the office,” facing questions from “various staff members” who pry for details about personal professional
experiences. If it’s determined that a candidate is a likely fit, aptitude tests or case studies follow. By then, the firm has already identified its “very
few” targets for hire.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Analysis Group consultants describe a “good working environment,” where colleagues “are treated with respect and professionalism.” “We are
a very collaborative meritocracy,” an insider reports, noting that there’s “lots of mentoring” between senior consultants and less experienced
employees. Others appreciate their “high-quality colleagues” who share the “relaxed, hardworking, cooperative” workplace ethos, and a high degree
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of professionalism. Moreover, analysts share “close-knit and sociable” relationships at the firm.
But at the other end of the spectrum, though, “upper management” can appear “conservative, unapproachable and cold.” That said, there are those
lucky consultants who are paired with more open supervisors, and some report that they share “excellent” relationships with their mentors. “Managers
are sociable, encouraging and very grateful for any work I do,” one associate offers.
Hours & Pay
“We strive for a normal 40-hour workweek,” a senior consultant states. While it doesn’t always pan out that way, Analysis Group does deliver a work/
life balance that’s envied by competitors throughout the industry. We’re told that the typical consultant can expect to work “40 to 50” hours a week.
Insiders admit that “there are peak periods,” even those that could see “80 to 100” hour weeks, but consultants are acutely aware that their firm offers
a very favorable workload relative to competitors. “I am able to coach my children’s baseball teams and nobody bats an eye when I leave early for a
game or practice,” says one unwitting pun artist, appreciative of the opportunity to spend time with family. “The firm promotes mutual trust between
colleagues,” a colleague adds, “so they know I will meet all of my work commitments and that I will respect their life outside the office when they have
to leave during normal business hours.” Analysis Group consultants also benefit from “very infrequent and reasonable” travel requirements; as one
junior respondent echoes, “most people don’t travel at all.”
To top off their favorable work/life balance, employees enjoy salaries that are “very competitive with the market.” “My firm has great compensation,”
says one grateful AG veteran, also admitting that “overtime compensation would serve as a better incentive to stay late.” According to a senior
consultant, “Value is placed on more than just billable hours and business generation,” noting that “as people become more senior, a greater portion
of the salary is in the form of the bonus,” which tends to be lucrative.
Professional Development
Formal training at Analysis Group is limited to the very basics; new hires can expect to see classes on “SAS, Excel and writing,” but little else. “Self-
motivated people do well here,” explains one independent associate. “Training is all unofficial and done through peer mentoring programs,” a
colleague offers. Others admit that mentoring can be “difficult, since the random pairings don’t always encourage an atmosphere of learning and
questioning. “It’s expected that you learn as you go,” an analyst echoes, “but in turn, it’s difficult to measure what you should know at different points
in your work.” The vast majority of a consultant’s professional education is acquired in an on-the-job, “learning-by-example setting.” Those that require
a hand to hold will likely struggle at Analysis Group.
Diversity
Respondents give high marks to the firm’s diversity efforts—or lack thereof. “We don’t have specific programs; we hire and retain the best,” an
associate declares. “We don’t care where they come from or what their gender or personal preferences are.” Despite Analysis Group’s stated apathy,
the firm does retain a reasonable degree of diversity, though “admittedly mostly at the junior levels.” “Perhaps 20 percent of our firm is immigrants,”
reports a keen observer, also adding that “our CEO is a woman.” Colleagues cite further evidence of a strong female presence, noting that “three of
the last four people to make partner are women,” and adding the firm “does hire a lot of women in a field that typically does not.”
Retention of women can be an issue though. As one analyst explains, “the firm does not provide a great atmosphere for women with successful careers
and families to stay. Since arriving in August 2009, four women have left the firm, including three with families. No men have left.”
Overall Business Outlook
In a disastrous economy, Analysis Group “had no layoffs or office closings,” and an insider points out that “we have grown over the past year.” “AG
was able to weather last year’s economic storm, and is well positioned to increase its presence and prestige in the academic community,” reports an
upbeat consultant. Insiders attribute much of the firm’s recessionary successes to its private ownership. “The firm makes decisions based on long-
run factors,” a staffer explains. “Because we are private, we do not have to answer to shareholders every quarter; as a result, we have the flexibility to
make better and smarter decisions.” Others echo the sentiment, taking pride in Analysis Group’s visions for the future: “We are not public and don’t
plan to be.”
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Analysis Group, Inc
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Unbeatable exposure”
• “Minimal travel”
• “Properly awarded for efforts”
• “People I love to grab a beer with”
DOWNERS
• “Analysts are data monkeys”
• “Substandard health plan”
• “Resources are stretched thin”
• “I miss my children”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.thecambridgegroup.com/careers
THE CAMBRIDGE GROUP
227 West Monroe Street, Suite 3200
Chicago, Illinois 60606-5058
Phone: (312) 425-3600
www.thecambridgegroup.com
LOCATIONS
Chicago, IL (HQ)
PRACTICE AREAS
Brand & Business Portfolio Strategy • Global Growth Strategy
• Go to Market Optimization • Innovation • Market Entry
Strategy
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company (Subsidiary of The
Nielsen Company)
Managing Officer & Chairman: Rick Kash
2010 Employees: 100
• “Small, but really good work”
• “Please, sir, may I do another segmentation?”
• “Strong reputation”
• “Researchers, dreamers”
5
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Supplying the demand
If the consultants at The Cambridge Group were your Economics 101 professor, you would not have learned supply and demand, but rather demand
and supply. The simple belief that demand should be placed before supply is the principle that differentiates TCG from other consulting firms. The
firm’s expertise lies in identifying profitable new demand opportunities, optimizing portfolios of products or services, driving innovation, reinventing
categories, enhancing brand equity and optimizing pricing. For all these areas, demand is either the means or the ends of TCG’s services.
The firm unleashes its demand-side expertise onto clients in the business-to-business, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, media, retail/leisure,
financial services and telecommunications industries. Some of the world’s most successful brands have benefitted from TCG’s recommendations,
including Merrill Lynch, Anheuser Busch, Hershey and Best Buy.
Capital ideas
While the firm’s demand strategy is straightforward on paper, gathering and analyzing the data necessary to improve a client’s performance is a
rather difficult task. In order to handle this, TCG relies on its intellectual capital, which is designed and implemented by its consultants, directors and
Economic Center of Excellence (ECE). Among the intellectual capital at the firm’s disposal is Palate Maps and Benefit Domains, which identifies and
quantifies emerging and latent demand in the marketplace. The firm also utilizes the Safari research method, whereby senior consultants and creative
teams determine ways to optimize innovation and positioning by analyzing products and services with target customers.
Kash is king
TCG may be CEO and founder Rick Kash’s main focus, but it is far from the only thing on his plate. Kash is also the co-founder of Spectra Marketing
Systems, an information system used by over 90 percent of packaged goods and beverage marketers, and he is a member of the United States Senate
Business Forum, a group of 36 businesspeople who meet quarterly with cabinet members and senators to discuss national economic and business
matters. Kash is also an author, sharing his revised view of economics in his 2002 book THE NEW LAW OF DEMAND AND SUPPLY: The Revolutionary
New Demand Strategy for Faster Growth and Higher Profits and HOW COMPANIES WIN – Profiting from Demand-Driven Business Models no Matter
What Business You’re In, co-authored with David Calhoun, chairman and CEO of The Nielsen Company, slated to come out in October 2010. In THE
NEW LAW OF DEMAND AND SUPPLY, Kash outlines a six-step plan to implement demand strategy and also discusses how the strategy has worked
for some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and IBM.
GETTING HIRED
As a smaller firm with grand aspirations, there’s a lot of talk around TCG about hiring only “top caliber” consultants. As far as new hires are concerned,
this means culling the best from top undergraduate and MBA programs; being a Chicago-centric firm, most of the firm’s recent graduates hail from
local schools (Northwestern, University of Chicago, Michigan). Recruiters look for students with exceptional talents for quantitative work and relevant
majors. For experienced hires, they try to poach laterals from the prestigious firms (McKinsey, Bain, BCG), assuming that they were prized by the
bigger fish for a reason.
Insiders report that “academic all-stars” can expect to be recruited directly from campus, taking part in two rounds of on-campus interviews in which
top performers are weeded out from the rest. Their prize for passing these first tests? Another round of interviews, conducted in TCG’s office. At this
point, candidates will meet with and be evaluated by a wide array of staffers, including would-be peers and senior-level execs. “Expect one or two
final-round interviews where you dive deep into a partner’s current project at very high level,” warns one midlevel consultant. To pass with flying colors,
candidates will need to display “very strong analytic skills, curiosity, logical problem solving, creativity, enthusiasm and strong work ethic.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: TCG consultants find their firm to be energized, social and free of office politics. They are generally satisfied with their casework,
and feel that they are making an impact for clients.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I feel very lucky to have found TCG. I am constantly challenged and enjoy the work and the people. As a testament to the great experience I
have had, I’m the only one of my friends from business school who has not switched companies since leaving school.” – Senior consultant
• “I love my job. I get to work on the most interesting growth strategy challenges with the best clients and with awesome people. Clients are
generally very happy to see us because we’re not cutting costs, but making their business bigger.” – Executive-level respondent
• “The firm makes it possible to have a very rewarding long-term career in consulting. We have the privilege of working with great clients on their most
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Cambridge Group
© 2011 Vault.com Inc.
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important growth issues. I have tremendous respect for the intellect of my colleagues and enjoy working in teams with them.” – Strategy executive
• “I am generally very satisfied with my job. I get to work on blue chip Fortune 50 clients and advise on strategy. Sometimes the work is
extremely data-heavy, especially at the more junior level.” – Chicago analyst
Firm Culture
• “Socially, the people at TCG are fun and friendly. We all have fun together whether it is sitting down for lunch, playing intramural sports or
meeting up for happy hour.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Intelligence is valued more than anything at TCG. Everyone brings something unique to the table, and people are very diverse socially. I would
say that the one thing that differentiates TCG from other firms is that there is no pressure to conform here—the differences are what make us
stronger.” – Analyst
• “Given the office-based business model, you get to know a broad cross-section of the firm pretty quickly because people aren’t always on the
road.” – Senior consultant
• “The firm has a very young culture, and I have enjoyed working with a vast number of people on multiple projects. There is always a group
that is pro-fun and leading the social initiative. There is no political slant, but the firm can do a better job of not being passive-aggressive when
dealing with firm problems and concerns of sensitive matters.” – Entry-level source
Supervisor Relationships
• “I look to my managers and directors as personal and professional role models. I feel very comfortable talking to senior leadership about many
types of issues.” – Analyst
• “I have had great relationships with the vast majority of my supervisors. My project supervisors are always very helpful and accessible for issues
and questions.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Supervisors keep a relatively upbeat atmosphere, and most are fun to be around.” – Entry-level respondent
Interaction with Clients
• “Client relationships are very strong. A lot of our work is repeat engagements with existing clients.” – Executive insider
• “Since we are a firm that focuses on growth strategies, our clients love us and are excited to work with us (i.e., no one is losing their jobs after
the engagement).” – Junior consultant
• “We have great relationships with individuals who we have worked with. The vast majority of former clients are very strong advocates of The
Cambridge Group.” – Senior consultant
Hours & pay
Vault’s Verdict: With the firm’s minimal travel policy and reasonable work schedule, consultants are able to maintain a favorable work/life balance.
And to top it all off, consultants feel pretty good about their compensation, too.
Work Hours
• “Hours are on the low end of what you would expect from a professional services firm. TCG is able to do this because they are good with
scoping their studies.” – Experienced source
• “Hours definitely get better as you get more senior in the firm. It’s definitely not as bad as at other consulting firms, and less travel.” – Senior
consultant
• “Sometimes there are late nights, early mornings or weekend work to accommodate client schedules, reach a deadline or talk with people in
other countries, but it’s not constant and it’s for a good reason.” – Analyst
• “Around 60 hours per week is typical. It kind of sucks, but then again you don’t have to pay for dinner.” – Junior source
Work/Life Balance
• “Flexibility is the key to keeping a balance. I know when I am going to hit peak times and can plan ahead. When days or weeks come where I
am less busy, I can take advantage of that. Also, we are able to work from home evenings or weekends on most occasions, and can work from
home during the day now and again.” – Senior consultant
• “The limited amount of travel means I’m home most nights. I may work later at night from home, but the flexibility allows me to keep things in
balance.” – Midlevel consultant
• “It’s good having a life outside of work in the place where I actually live. Nothing against Applebee’s, but I am glad it’s not my best dinner
option four out of five weeknights. And maybe I’m spoiled, but I’d never give up the option of having friends and significant others that aren’t of
necessity also my co-workers.” – Experienced consultant
• “If you accept that there will always be some weekend work, and that it’s better to check in while on vacation, then you can minimize
frustration.” – Chicago higher-up
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Cambridge Group
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
61
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Travel Requirements
• “The firm has a policy of traveling only when needed. Because most of the work can be done in the office, there is not a great amount of travel
for the lower levels.” – Junior consultant
• “There’s one gauge: Consultants reach elite status on airlines quite infrequently.” – Analyst
• “When I travel abroad, it’s typically for global strategy projects. So you get to hit the big cities (e.g., London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Shanghai),
which can be fun in small doses.” – Senior source
Compensation
• “TCG has always been very generous with its compensation policy. I have always been very happy with my salary level. Bonuses are
determined based on your annual performance.” – Senior consultant
• “We seem to be among the best-paid consultants. Certainly we have the highest base salary.” – Strategy analyst
• “I am pretty positive (at least for post-undergrad) that you are not going to find a firm that is better than The Cambridge Group when it comes to
compensation.” – Midlevel respondent
• “Compensation is changing a bit due to the Nielsen acquisition, so things still need to be sorted out there, there but we have higher analyst
starting salaries than the Big 3 which is a huge strength.” – Entry-level insider
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: TCG is only beginning to acknowledge and address the trouble with its meager training provisions. When corrected, formal
training will complement the firm’s dedication to informal training and mentoring.
Formal Training
• “As of the past few years, TCG has implemented much more formal training, so I’d say what we have is reasonably comparable to other
consulting firms at this point. There is also a formal mentoring program and many opportunities for informal mentoring and training on client
work.” – Senior consultant
• “We complete training via TCG, but also have access to a wide array of training through our parent company.” – Executive-level source
• “We give a crash course on intellectual capital and analytics over the first two weeks. Since the work of the analyst is so data-driven, there’s no
way to possibly cover everything in two weeks.” – Analyst
• “Training was essentially nonexistent when I and two other analysts joined the firm—this portrayed a very poor image of the firm. However, the
firm is making concerted efforts to revamp training across all levels, which is refreshing.” – Midlevel consultant
Promotion Policies
• “I am very happy with TCG’s merit-based promotion policy based on strong performance. It is not up or out, and individuals get promoted once
they are clearly demonstrating the skills required at the next level. Based on this meritocracy, my fellow consultants and I have been advanced
at a good pace.” – Senior consultant
• “We have target timeframes for promotions, but we are a meritocracy and promote people when they are ready—that may be sooner or later
than the target.” – Experienced source
• “We are not up or out, but rather perform or out.” – Midlevel respondent
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Insiders are proud to report that their managing director is a black woman, and feel that that speaks volumes about the firm’s
commitment to maintaining a diverse community.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “We have an excellent track record. Enhancing diversity continues to be a focus for us.” – Executive-level source
• “Our professional staff is over 50 percent female across all levels, and six of 12 principals are women. Our managing director is an African-
American woman.” – Strategy consultant
• “While there are no specific programs to encourage diversity, our people are exceptionally open-minded. I do not believe that race or sexual
preference enters into the equation with hiring decisions—and it shows in our people.” – Senior advisor
• “There is no glass ceiling to really speak of. We have a fairly diverse office in terms of race, as well. No one is ‘out,’ so to speak, but I’m not
sure if it’s a function of the fact that people aren’t gay or that people aren’t comfortable coming out.” – Midwest midlevel
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: The pipeline is nearly bursting at TCG, sending analysts, consultants and partners alike scrambling to deliver the quality results
that have earned them this influx of work.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Cambridge Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Overall Business Outlook
• “We performed exceptionally well in the very difficult climates of 2008 and 2009, and are positioned to continue to grow as the economy
rebounds.” – Junior staffer
• “Our clients have been extremely happy with the work we have been doing. Business has held steady even though the recession, and outlook
at this point is extremely positive.” – First-year analyst
• “We are now owned by the Nielsen Company, providing us with a level of stability not typically available at a smaller consulting firm.” – Senior
source
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “We have a very seasoned and effective leadership group. To add to that team, we have access to the Nielsen Company leadership team,
giving us an incredibly rich and deep talent well of ideas.” – Midlevel consultant
• “[Leadership is] very strong. They have their pulse on the organization, and they do what is in the interest of the firm and its employees. I am
very impressed.” – Experienced consultant
• “When an issue comes up, the partners fix it, but generally there aren’t many issues. The partners keep selling work, so there aren’t any
problems.” – Entry-level analyst
• “There is some question about the future of the leadership, since we were bought by Nielsen last year. So far, so good.” – Midlevel consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Cambridge Group
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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1633 Broadway
New York, New York 10019
Phone: (212) 492-4000
Fax: (212) 492-4743
www.deloitte.com
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
Over 50 offices in the US
PRACTICE AREAS
Human Capital • Strategy & Operations • Technology
THE STATS
E mployer Type: Subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the US member
firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT)
Deloitte LLP Chairman & CEO: Barry Salzberg
Deloitte Consulting LLP Chairman & CEO: Punit Renjen
2 009 Employees: 42, 367 (Deloitte LLP); 16,000 (Deloitte
Consulting LLP)
2008 Employees: 44, 375 (Deloitte LLP)
2 009 Revenue: $10. 7 billion (Deloitte LLP); $3.64 billion
(Deloitte Consulting LLP)
2 008 Revenue: $11.04 billion (Deloitte LLP); $3.53 billion
(Deloitte Consulting LLP)
• “Good global firm; deep bench”
• “Overworked, pay not relative to hours”
• “Seem to be on the way up”
• “Big and bureaucratic”
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
64
DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP
6
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Most everyone is excited to be here, loves what they do
and has a passion for their work”
• “Significant breadth of expertise”
• “MBA sponsorship for high performers”
• “An army of people to support you”
DOWNERS
• “Frustrating administrative activities and nuances”
• “Overly expense conscious at this point”
• “Too many extracurricular activity expectations”
• “Too complex to navigate”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
deloitte.com/us/careers
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Do it with Deloitte
Deloitte Consulting LLP, based in New York, operates in three primary areas—human capital, strategy and operations, and technology—and serves
clients in a number of industries, including federal and state government; health care and life sciences; financial services; consumer products; retail,
manufacturing; technology, media and telecommunications; as well as energy and resources. Deloitte consistently ranks at the top of the great
employer lists, including Fortune’s annual 100 Best Companies to Work For and Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Best Places to Launch a Career, capturing
the No. 1 spot in 2007 and 2009. Gartner, Inc. ranked Deloitte as the worldwide leader in the consulting marketplace based on aggregate revenue,
growth and market share for 2009.
In an interview last spring with Consulting magazine, CEO Punit Renjen described his vision for the practice in this way: “When you have difficult,
complex problems, the firm to go to is Deloitte. We have the ability to take world-class insights and use those insights to develop tangible results. I
don’t think there are very many firms that can do that, and that puts us in a very unique place…We are a category of one.”
Under the DTT umbrella
In the United States, Deloitte LLP is the member firm of the 169,000 person-strong Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) organization, which includes
a worldwide network of audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management and tax services. Each member firm of DTT provides its services
independently as distinct legal entities, but participates as members of DTT under the leadership of its global CEO. The parent organization itself does
not provide services to clients and is not liable for anything any of its units do, whether bad or good. Not only does this structure help the mother ship
dodge any stray bullets, it also helps its worldwide network firms adapt more easily to local laws and regulations.
DTT’s American operation, Deloitte LLP, does not provide services, either. It, too, oversees the operations of its subsidiaries, including Deloitte
Consulting LLP, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP and Deloitte Tax LLP. Each Deloitte LLP subsidiary is separately
capitalized, has its own chairman, CEO and board of directors, and provides distinct services.
Many functions, one identity
Deloitte Consulting’s strategy and operations practice, with a double-digit share of the global market, consistently ranks in the top 5 firms in the
industry. The practice works with senior executives to help them solve their toughest and most complex problems from strategy to execution. Deloitte
Consulting focuses on “executable strategy” services, which it defines as “insights that help our clients produce tangible and measurable results.”
Services offered support such activities as corporate strategy, marketing and sales strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and innovation; manufacturing
operations including supply chain; sector-specific service operations; infrastructure operations including outsourcing advisory and shared services;
and financial management.
The organization is also well known for its human capital practice, the second-largest human capital practice in the world, with access to more than
10,300 consultants operating out of 55 offices around the globe. The practice specializes in integrating talent issues with business strategy, with the
aim of helping clients enhance their performance, productivity and profitability. Key services in this area include HR transformation, global mobility,
organization change and talent strategy, workforce and safety analytics, employment services for multinational organizations, actuarial and risk, and
“total rewards,” including benefits such as health care, retirement and compensation.
The firm’s technology practice is regarded as one of the most developed tech consultancies in the world, delivering a holistic portfolio of support to
clients, ranging from advisory services through to implementation and operations assistance. The practice aims to help clients in their efforts to align
technology with the core of their business strategy to deliver measurable results. Key services support such activities as technology strategy and
innovation, information management, business analytic architecture, technology enabled business transformation, and technology integration and
optimization.
View from the top
Being CEO of Deloitte is, in some ways, like being president, in that both jobs come with a term limit. In Deloitte’s case, that limit is four years, after
which time an election for a new leader takes place—a process that doesn’t preclude the incumbent from serving an additional term. The current
occupant of the U.S. CEO seat is Barry Salzberg, who was elected to the post in July 2007, after 30 years of service to the organization. That same
year, Sharon Allen—the first female chair of a major professional services organization—was re-elected as chairman for a second four-year term.
Heading up Deloitte Consulting in the U.S. is Punit Renjen, a position he was elected to in November 2009. Renjen has been with the firm for over 23
years, and since 2007 served as the global and U.S. leader of Deloitte Consulting’s strategy and operations practice, which has maintained a double-
digit share of the global market for strategy advisory work. In 2007, he was named one of Consulting magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Consultants,
most notably for his work in the M&A space.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
65
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GETTING HIRED
In the words of one consultant, Deloitte Consulting is made up of “incredibly smart, analytical and strategic people.” Simply put, if you don’t meet
these very basic standards, you shouldn’t (and probably wouldn’t) be applying to join the Deloitte team. In truth, the firm’s hiring process goes far
deeper than this, with recruiters seeking “candidates that have demonstrated strong academic performance, leadership abilities, great analytical skills
and excellent people skills,” among a myriad of other positive qualities. We’re told that to identify candidates who fit among the firm’s personalities and
culture, “Deloitte uses the ‘airport test’—where interviewers determine if they would like to be stuck in an airport for four hours with this person.”
Applicants will be relieved to know that Deloitte’s interviewing and selection processes are streamlined, and MBA new hires start together in a cohort
in early fall with a comprehensive onboarding program. Even better, they get to forgo the mind-games; “we tend to emphasize logical thinking more
than other firms, spending a lot of time focusing on our practitioners’ thought processes versus having them do math tricks.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Make no mistake, Deloitte is a giant in the consulting industry. Despite its size, consultants feel strongly about their corporate
culture, and offer generally positive feedback on their overall satisfaction.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Deloitte in 2010 is an unbelievable place to be. We are the future of consulting.” – California staffer
• “I started with Deloitte right out of undergrad, and I have been exposed to all sorts of business issues across a variety of industries and service
lines. Fantastic experience!” – Midlevel strategy consultant
• “Nine out of 10 days I love my job. It’s challenging, dynamic and rewarding to help clients solve their most difficult problems.” – Finance
consultant
• “The work that Deloitte engages in is incredibly interesting, and we have a unique breadth of expertise that allows me to bring many pieces
together to create a holistic approach to solving problems for my clients. And the people I work with are second to none in their enthusiasm,
intellect and integrity.” – Health care consultant
• “Recently, utilization has been extremely high and people are feeling the burn, however the firm is taking steps to relieve this, including ramping
up hiring.” – New York consultant
Firm Culture
• “The culture is very flat and organic. Grassroots efforts are very encouraged. For the most part, everyone is dead serious about client work, and
downright playful when it is time to unwind.” – Business analyst
• “There is very little competition among peers, and I am always willing to help out my colleagues (as they would for me). Also, Deloitte is very
open to change, and employees are empowered to affect this change.” – Strategy consultant
• “The people at Deloitte are of the highest caliber, with multiple dimensions, and are extremely down to earth. You could walk into the CEO’s
office anytime or send him an email and he will respond—whether you are a principal or business analyst.” – West Coast consultant
• “Teamwork is in Deloitte’s DNA. Staff share common goals of making a positive impact on clients, raising the bar on performance, and having
fun doing it.” – Operations practitioner
Supervisor Relationships
• “There is a very collaborative culture here. I work hand-in-hand with my supervisors and clients. We all sit in a team room and actually have
fun working together.” – HR consultant
• “Deloitte is a partnership; as such, we work in an apprenticeship model. In addition, the environment is very entrepreneurial. We don’t call
people supervisors—we work in teams, with dedicated roles. While there is a hierarchy on the team, it is role-based.” – San Francisco senior
consultant
• “If you get the right supervisors, they are amazing. I truly think Deloitte has some of the best partners in the world. Despite almost always
knowing more than you do, they treat everyone as equals on the team.” – Business analyst
Interaction with Clients
• “I would have never anticipated that less than a year after graduating undergrad, I would be working with C-suite executives on a day-to-day
basis. The client exposure I’ve had over the last two years has been great experience, and has really helped me develop my business skills and
grow my network.” – Detroit consultant
• “We partner with our clients, and I like the collaboration. Ultimately, I know we deliver a better product as a result. Our partners listen to
practitioners on all levels. This is critical to getting all the best ideas out on the table.” – Experienced business consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Deloitte Consulting LLP
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “Relationships with clients are based on delivery of top work, an undying focus on creating value, and a focus on making our clients personally
successful.” – Strategy practitioner
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Deloitte fancies itself among the very top firms industry-wide, and the stringent hour and travel requirements it imposes on its
consultants certainly reflect that. Compensation, however, seems to have suffered with the recession.
Work Hours
• “I have been generally satisfied with our hours per week. At times, it can get a little more hectic during peak client times, or with our strong
focus toward extra-curricular activities.” – Cincinnati practitioner
• “It is cyclical—most weeks it is manageable, but every once in a while you are working toward a deliverable, final presentation, etc., which
makes it longer. There is a ton of internal work as well, as part of the culture and firm building, which can take anywhere from three to 15
additional hours.” – Operations consultant
• “The risk-reward benefit algorithm remains true at Deloitte. You will be as successful as you want depending on how much velocity you wish to
drive your career. For global roles and engagements, this becomes more challenging, and yet equally more rewarding.” – Entry-level practitioner
Work/Life Balance
• “The firm isn’t going to stop asking for more—it’s up to each individual to set boundaries, and frankly, not many of us are good at that. I’ve
given up more nights and weekends than I care to think about, but the opportunities that I’ve created through that commitment are significant.”
– Health care consultant
• “Work/life balance involves a series of tradeoffs that each individual must make. Travel three to four days a week makes it difficult, but I
manage with flexible use of my non-travel days for personal errands and events, and compartmentalizing my workweek heavily into my time on
the road.” – Midlevel consultant
• “[Work/life balance] only happens once you’ve earned your stripes. After you’ve established yourself as an asset, the firm always tries to meet
your work/life needs.” – Minneapolis consultant
• “I love my work, so it doesn’t bother me much. But any claims of 45-hour workweeks are completely off base. Between travel, project work and
firm activities, work/life balance comes in bursts and is fleeting, at best.” – Junior-level consultant
Travel Requirements
• “I am at the client site four days a week, on average. There are opportunities to challenge this average on some sorts of projects, but much of
our work occurs hand in hand with our clients, and travel is required.” – Experienced strategy consultant
• “We don’t try hard enough to challenge our need to be present with a client. The norm is to fly out on Monday and return on Thursday.” –
Senior source
• “We rarely staff people on local engagements because of timing. Focus has been developing national staffing capabilities within practices—put
the right people on the right clients.” – Atlanta consultant
• “Deloitte serves the most prestigious companies in the U.S. and globally. Our practitioners need to travel to serve these clients.” – Operations
practitioner
Compensation
• “Of course compensation could always be higher, but Deloitte does pay nice salaries and rewards top performers.” – Finance consultant
• “Our compensation packages are quite aggressive and competitive right out of MBA programs, but the annual bonus program is a nascent one
that doesn’t yet appear to compare favorably to competitors’.” – Ohio staffer
• “Raises and bonuses were cut severely last year due to the economy, which I believe has had a negative effect on employee morale and
corporate culture.” – Business associate
• “Analysts and consultants are not eligible for bonuses. 401(k) contribution is low.” –Consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: One might think that Deloitte’s oft-referenced apprenticeship model might facilitate an utter lack of formal opportunities, but that
couldn’t be further from the truth: Training programs, particularly for new hires, are of the highest class.
Formal Training
• “There is an exhaustive list of training courses available, online and in class, across industries and sectors, at beginner, intermediate and
advanced levels.” – Senior consultant
• “We have two weeks of formal training when we start at the firm, an additional week of training with each promotion, and 40 hours of required
formal learning via the firm.” – Cincinnati junior source
• “The onboarding training program is world class. They do an excellent job of immersing you in a simulated project to prepare you for real
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
67
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ones.” – Entry-level consultant
• “While our formal training has improved dramatically over the past three to four years, most of our training is done on the job. After all, this is
an apprenticeship.” – Minneapolis practitioner
Promotion Policies
• “We have an up-or-out policy, which I think is needed. Consulting isn’t for everyone, and as you progress, capabilities need to change.
Consultants do have the opportunity to advance very quickly.” – Experienced practitioner
• “It’s typically two to four years before receiving a promotion. Including business school, it’s a seven- to eight-year timeframe from post-college
until becoming a manager.” – Houston consultant
• “There is clarity around the path to partner and expectations between levels. ‘Up or out’ is a bit too strong for our culture. If someone does
not meet promotion expectations, there are conversations around what additional support is needed to move to the next level, and there are
conversations evaluating whether it is even the right path.” – West Coast insider
• “ There’s too much lip service around meritocracy, not enough action. Direct hires leapfrog home grown consultants, even though, in many
cases, they are risky.” – Senior consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: As far as the top consulting firms go, Deloitte outshines its competitors by grabbing the finest diverse talent—and supplementing
it with a steadfast commitment to professional development.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “While we need to continue to focus on diversity from a hiring perspective, we have extensive programs to help diverse practitioners succeed,
including formal mentoring programs that have been in place for many years.” – Strategy consultant
• “I have never been anywhere more diverse. For example, on my current team of 10, there are two Hindus, a Muslim and a conservative Jewish
person. Dinner conversation is very lively sometimes.” – Seattle practitioner
• “Deloitte offers minority-targeted on-campus recruiting events.” – Entry-level consultant
• “The firm is very supportive of GLBT individuals. Minorities have tended to be brought in from minority-focused schools. Women are given
equal opportunities.” – Atlanta consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Deloitte has designs of being the industry’s go-to firm, and current business prospects are in line with that goal. The only issue in
these uncertain times? Too much work to handle. In short, if you are looking for a consulting opportunity, Deloitte is hiring.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We are extremely well positioned, having come through the downturn very well and now growing rapidly again.” – Senior source
• “Deloitte’s comprehensive strategy, people, process, technology, risk and tax offerings across the globe position us uniquely to be a preferred
partner for the business transformation that is growingly needed to compete in this post-recession world.” – Strategy consultant
• “We are sold out. Our trajectory is like a hockey stick.” – San Francisco senior consultant
• “We are winning work over competitors; we are very busy and getting positive industry recognition. We are actively hiring and in a very strong
position coming out of the economic downturn.” – Business consultant
• “We’re oversold now, and continue to win in the marketplace. Right now, the greatest threat is due to overutilization of our talent. We need to
focus on retention and morale.” – West Coast staffer
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Our leadership is outstanding. Our portfolio of businesses is really well run. We weathered the downturn better than our competitors and are
coming out stronger.” – Senior consultant
• “Leadership is well balanced—conservative, but opportunistic.” – Texas senior consultant
• “Punit Renjen, though a new CEO, has already started to make his mark on our practice. Punit is widely recognized as one of the leading
consulting minds, and will lead our practice to greater heights.” – Midlevel business analyst
• “Our new CEO is able to communicate vision, inspire others and build practices. I expect big things with his leadership. The partnership that
surrounds him consistently demonstrates prudent financial management, which has and will position the firm to make investments for the
future.” – Cincinnati strategy consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Deloitte Consulting LLP
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Ideas and creativity rule”
• “International travel opportunities”
• “Strong quantitative talent”
• “Very little pretentiousness”
DOWNERS
• “A little geeky”
• “High risk of attrition at mid and senior manager levels”
• “Public corporate owner”
• “The decentralized nature of training, learning and staffing”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.oliverwyman.com/careers
OLIVER WYMAN
1166 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036
Phone: (212) 345-8000
www.oliverwyman.com
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
Over 40 offices in 16 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Actuarial • Automotive • Aviation, Aerospace & Defense
• Business Transformation • Communications, Media
& Technology • Corporate Finance & Restructuring •
Organization Design & Change (Delta) • Energy • Finance &
Risk • Financial Services • Health & Life Sciences • Industrial
Products & Services • Leadership Development • Marketing
& Sales • Operations & Technology • Retail & Consumer
Products • Strategy • Surface Transportation
THE STATS
E mployer Type: Subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc., a Public Company
Ticker Symbol: MMC (NYSE)
President & CEO: John P. Drzik
2010 Employees: 3,300+
2009 Employees: 4,000
2009 Revenue: $1.28 billion
2008 Revenue: $1.55 billion
• “McKinsey of financial services”
• “Lots of travel and long hours”
• “Very international”
• “Balkanized; eat what you kill”
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THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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THE SCOOP
Tracing the family tree
New York-based Oliver Wyman is part of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global professional services network with brands and affiliates in more
than 100 countries. The largest component of the Oliver Wyman Group—a collective that also includes NERA Economic Consulting and the brand and
identity consultancy Lippincott—the firm has around 3,000 consultants working out of offices in over 40 cities spread across some 16 countries.
Today’s Oliver Wyman is the result of three consulting firms (Mercer Oliver Wyman, Mercer Management Consulting, Mercer Delta Organizational
Consulting) joining forces under the name Oliver Wyman in 2007. Prior to the merger, each of the companies was a veteran of the consulting industry
in its own right, and each brought a different specialty to the new entity’s consulting practices. In early 2009 Harvard Business School published a
case study on the Oliver Wyman’s successful rebranding—only the second case study the school has published on a management consulting firm.
The firm’s consulting services cover the automotive, aviation, aerospace and defense, communications, media, financial services, industrial products
and services, health and life sciences, retail and consumer products, and surface transportation sectors. Its clients include numerous Global 1000
companies, more than 80 percent of the world’s largest 100 financial institutions and heads of Fortune 1000 companies.
Global reach
Although Oliver Wyman is headquartered in New York, the firm has a very cosmopolitan flavor. While the firm has more offices in North America than
on any other continent, more than half of its offices are located elsewhere. Additionally, more than 50 percent of its employees are European, while
the firm maintains a footprint on five continents. Further boosting the company’s geographic and business reach, meanwhile, is the fact that the other
companies owned by parent company MMC are available, should opportunities arise for collaboration with Oliver Wyman.
Nonprofit knocks
The firm is committed to the concept of work/life balance and, as part of that commitment, it offers several programs for staff to recharge their batteries
or pursue other interests. One example is the Non-Profit Fellowship program, in which employees can choose to work for a nonprofit organization for
three to six months, while the firm pays a stipend equivalent to 40 percent of their salary. In addition, since May 2008, Oliver Wyman has had an
alliance with micro-lending organization Kiva.org, operating a formal externship program that dedicates consulting staff to supporting Kiva’s expansion.
Oliver Wyman has been involved with the online person-to-person lending organization since its inception, when consultants participating in the firm’s
Non-Profit Fellowship program helped Kiva get its website off the ground, and has provided a steady stream of support for its subsequent expansion.
In fact, the current president of Kiva is an Oliver Wyman alum.
Oliver Wyman has also established long-term partnerships with select nonprofits organizations to provide pro bono consulting services. For example,
it has worked with Room to Read, which aims to transform the lives of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in
education. In addition, Bill Wyman, one of the founders of the firm’s financial services practice, created Wyman Worldwide Health Partners, which
strives to help improve primary health care delivery in rural, impoverished areas of Rwanda in eastern-central Africa.
Experts at research
It’s not enough for Oliver Wyman’s consultants to know their industries—they have to know them well enough to be able to publish frequent reports on
the state of those industries. For example, the firm has been putting out a “State of Financial Services Industry” report every year since 1997, and in
2007 it began publishing a “State of the Communications, Media & Technology Industry” report. Additionally, Oliver Wyman conducts research each
year with the World Economic Forum and parent company MMC on global risks. The results are published in MMC’s “Annual Global Risk Report,”
which identifies all the major global risks, assesses their economic impact and recommends mitigation solutions.
The firm’s partners are also regularly quoted in financial and business publications, and leading industry trade publications. In fact, between 2007
and 2009, Oliver Wyman has consistently been one of the most cited consulting firms in The Economist, The Financial Times, the New York Times, and the Wall
Street Journal.
GETTING HIRED
According to one insider, “It’s easier to get into an Ivy League school than land a spot with Oliver Wyman.” We can’t corroborate this report with
complete confidence, but we can continue to quote from the flood of similar responses offered to us: “The resume screenings are ridiculously tough,”
a consultant notes, underscoring the difficulty of landing even an initial interview. Those who make it past the initial stages will be excellent all-around
candidates, possessing strong analytical and communication skills in equal measure.
The good news is that, for successfully screened applicants, the subsequent interview process is straightforward, if not lengthy. Candidates face
a series of up to four interviews, all with current Oliver Wyman consultants and partners, ranging from case studies to more informal personality
evaluations. “We look for people who will be excited—rather than daunted—by the many things they have to learn,” details one source, reflecting
the attitude with which one should ideally approach the process. After the last interview, “the good news is that they tell you yes or no right away,”
an associate explains. “If it’s ‘yes’, the firm really rolls out the red carpet with dinners, welcome packages and a nice signing bonus.” Oliver Wyman
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Oliver Wyman
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recruits primarily from Ivy League schools and other top-ranked universities, but others are welcome to apply via the firm’s website—and they are
definitely not out of the running. The firm’s on-campus schedules can be found on the careers section of its site.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Make no mistake—with its extensive travel requirements and challenging, high-profile projects, life at Oliver Wyman can be
intense. It must be the culture then, and above all the people within it, that make it so equally satisfying.
Overall Satisfaction
• “In no other line of work can I work with this many talented people, interact with so many different types of clients, and experience such a
multitude of challenges and rewarding successes. Though my job energizes, frustrates, motivates, irritates, inspires and aggravates me, every
day I love it.” – Senior source
• “I am thrilled to be working at such an innovative firm.” – Consultant
• “During the financial crisis, I was given the opportunity to literally work in the ‘eye of the storm,’ advising both banks and regulators on strategy
and risk management. Though the work is stressful at times, its relevance and high-profile status make it extremely fulfilling.” – New York
staffer
• “At Oliver Wyman, you have extremely talented colleagues, interesting work, good locations and above-market compensation. It’s travel-
intensive, but that’s not bad if you’re young.” – Experienced employee
Firm Culture
• “The firm has always been distinct in its youthful and collegial nature, and its emphasis on a flat hierarchy.” – Senior consultant
• “Open, vibrant, geeky, fun, driven, entrepreneurial, fair.” – Partner
• “There is a strong culture of eating, traveling and socializing together outside of working hours, and a tradition of extremely strong friendships
developing over the course of work here.” – Consultant
• “We only see our officemates once a week on Fridays, and everyone is so warm and welcoming. There are tons of extracurricular activities (ski
day, Friday drinks, etc.), and a real sense of belonging.” – First-year
Supervisor Relationships
• “Relationships with supervisors are extremely positive, as they are very willing to provide feedback and focus work modules around individual
needs and desires.” – Experienced consultant
• “Oliver Wyman operates with an incredibly flat structure. There are few egos and people trying to prove their rank. I’ve been on cases with
people many levels above me, and we’ve adopted a divide-and-conquer approach to casework.” – Boston insider
• “There is a mixture of peer relationships and hierarchy, depending on case or project. This creates a more collaborative environment.” – Entry-
level respondent
Interaction with Clients
• “Oliver Wyman exposes you to clients right away, which is both challenging and exciting. Now that I have a few years of experience, I am
thrilled that I’ve had the opportunity to lead a CEO presentation!” – Consultant
• “I have only had one project experience were the client was not absolutely thrilled with the work we performed. Most of the client teams I’ve
worked with have insisted on staying in touch, and still reach out to me to give updates or solicit advice.” – East Coast staffer
• “We’ve shown over the last two years of work that our clients appreciate our effectiveness, insight and experience, as well as humility in these
tough circumstances. We are partners in our clients and each others’ success or failure, and we take that seriously.” – Partner
Hours & pay
Vault’s Verdict: Insiders report working, on average, 55 to 65 hours per week. Understanding that hours in consulting can vary greatly from week
to week and project to project, these consultants seem to take their work demands in stride.
Work Hours
• “Work hours are much better than my fellow grads at other consulting firms, and I blow my I-banking friends out of the water.” – Experienced
source
• “Nobody should be unhappy with the number of hours they have to work. They always have the chance to say no. For what we get paid, 50 to
60 hours per week, including travel, is a pretty good deal.” – Consultant
• “Gould would describe it as ‘punctuated equilibrium.’ Consistently reasonable, but there will always be a few late nights mixed in.” – Partner
• “The hours at OW have been consistently increasing over the past few years … This is in part due to increasing business levels, as well as an
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Oliver Wyman
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
71
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influx of new partners that have come from different areas of industry.” – Consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “We have a no-face-time culture, so if you need to be at your kid’s school play, you can usually work it out.” – Partner
• “The work is tough, but we have a flex program that allows us to take leaves of absence and take a break. I went on safari in Kenya for three
weeks and traveled across Asia for another two weeks. A friend of mine went to Rwanda to help in a medical clinic founded by Bill Wyman, one
of the founders of the firm.” – New York insider
• “I have three young children and am consistently the only dad at most of their events. I do this by working around their events.” – Partner
• “Long term, the firm pays close attention to not burning out consultants at all levels. Partners that burn out consultants with understaffed
projects are financially penalized, since they ruin morale for everybody.” – Consultant
Travel Requirements
• “Travel is a love-it-or-hate-it sort of thing. We travel a lot and there’s no denying that.” – New York staffer
• “If you’re on a client, you’re [usually] at their site.” – Entry-level consultant
• “The typical model is to work in the client’s offices Monday through Thursday every week, back in Oliver Wyman’s office on Friday. For
international assignments (I was recently in Australia, Africa and throughout Europe), consultants normally are away for a month at a time.” –
Partner
• “If you’re in the New York office, travel could be limited since there are many clients in the city.” – Consultant
Compensation
• “Pay is excellent for a consulting firm, and higher than my peers at Bain and McKinsey. Year-end bonuses can be in the 60 to 70 percent of
base salary range. It was a bit lower last two years, a bit higher the two before.” – Consultant
• “Compensation is generous. When the business is performing especially well, it is possible for the bonuses of every member of the staff to rise
meaningfully higher than the already solid levels.” – Boston Partner
• “Base pay is above average, and we have a host of long-haul salary increases for cases abroad.” – Canadian first-year consultant
• “Compensation would be great if the workweek were 10 hours shorter.” – Consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Oliver Wyman is banking on the fact that its high-caliber recruits won’t need any handholding when it comes to finding their way.
As such, the firm allocates few resources to train its consultants.
Formal Training
• “Ninety percent of what you learn comes from on the job experience, not formal training sessions.” – Chicago associate
• “Formal training is offered on an attend-if-you-can basis (if you aren’t swamped with work).” – First-year source
• “Training is improving at the company, particularly with our junior entry-level hires. They have also made a commitment in recent years to
increase senior management and partner training (rainmaker sessions, etc).” – Experienced consultant
• “I’ve never felt myself wanting for more formal training.” –New York partner
Promotion Policies
• “It’s a very fast promotion process; faster than most firms. Some people leave if they don’t get promoted as quickly as their friends, [but] if you
are good, you’ll get promoted as quickly as you are ready.” - Consultant
• “I’ve seen people transition to internal roles (like chief of staff or marketing roles), which seems to work out well for them.” – Consultant
• “It’s not up or out at all. The review process is very transparent and fair, and it is understood that people will progress at different rates through
different levels. I think the feedback and development practices at Oliver Wyman are light-years ahead of what I’ve seen at other firms.” – East
Coast insider
• “It’s a very defined process … It’s all based on performance, with 360-degree feedback.” – Partner
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Networking groups for LGBT employees and women have gained serious traction of late, a positive sign that the firm is mobilizing
to accommodate its increasingly diverse community.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “As a gay man, I felt particularly drawn to Oliver Wyman due to its hiring efforts being particularly targeted to the LGBT population.” – Entry-
level staffer
• “Recently, two great employee resource groups were formed: WOW (Women at Oliver Wyman) and GLOW (Gay and Lesbian at OW). Both
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Oliver Wyman
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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groups have been well received and supported.” – Consultant
• “We have difficulty retaining female consultants.”” – Consultant
• “The lack of women and minority partners is very [apparent]. We do a poor job being flexible and working to bring people back into the firm in
line roles.” – Senior source
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: The firm is “expanding very aggressively” out of the recessionary blocks. It’ll be successful in this pursuit as long as consultants
on the ground can avoid burnout.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We are running extremely hot, with near-record utilization rates.” – Consultant
• “Despite the economic situation, in many parts of the firm and across several geographies, things have never looked better. In places, the
backlog of sold work is such that we have to defer projects.” – Consultant
• “There are a lot of off-cycle hires right now to keep up with demand.” – New York insider
• “There’s way too much work being sold. We’re expanding very aggressively.” – First-year
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Our leaders are all great people, homegrown. Excellent consultants, learning how to be great managers.” – Experienced consultant
• “We have made a couple of HR mistakes in the last two to three years—first hiring too many people without anticipating the economic crisis,
and then reducing the staffing pool too much, such that we are having trouble dealing with demand. However, I think we are getting back on
track.” – Consultant
• “Many of our leaders started as analysts, which gives them a unique perspective for taking care of all parts of the pyramid.” – Senior source
• “John Drzik has done a great job. He’s a real class act.” – Consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Oliver Wyman
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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222 West Adams Street
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Phone: (312) 646-0111
Fax: (312) 223-6200
www.atkearney.com
LOCATIONS
Chicago, IL (HQ)
Offices in 37 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Industries
Aerospace & Defense • Automotive • Communications
& High Tech • Consumer Products & Retail • Energy &
Process Industries • Financial Institutions • Pharmaceutical &
Healthcare • Public Sector • Transportation • Utilities
Services
Complexity Management • Innovation • Manufacturing •
Marketing & Sales • Mergers & Acquisitions • Organization &
Transformation • Procurement & Analytic Solutions • Strategic
IT • Strategy • Supply Chain Management • Sustainability
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Managing Officer & Chairman: Paul A. Laudicina
2010 Employees: 2,700
2009 Employees: 2,700
2009 Revenue: $786 million
2008 Revenue: $910 million
• “Supply chain specialists”
• “Lost in the woods”
• “Good culture”
• “Old school”
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
74
A.T. KEARNEY
8
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Nonhierarchical, entrepreneurial environment”
• “The ‘new firm’ culture post-management buyout”
• “High IQ environment without A-Type personalities”
• “International transfers are very easy”
DOWNERS
• “Branding—we do not believe in marketing ourselves”
• “Overemphasis on operations”
• “Can sometimes be pigeonholed into a type of work or work
area”
• “Relatively small size compared to competition”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
atkearney.com/index.php/Careers/careers.html
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
An ascendant descendent
As a consultancy, A.T. Kearney has a rich heritage that takes it back to the setup of McKinsey & Company and the arrival of consulting as a profession
in 1920s Chicago. When James Oscar McKinsey set up his original firm in the city in 1926, one of the first partners he was to hire three years later
was a certain fellow by the name of Andrew Thomas Kearney. Following McKinsey’s death in 1939, the firm’s two offices—based in New York and
Chicago—split, with Kearney taking the latter and focusing the company’s attention on operations and manufacturing.
Today, that office has become a monster of a firm, with a truly global reach; it has offices in 37 countries across the world. And, of course, as it
has grown over its 80-plus-year history, the company has diversified its operations. Now boasting a workforce of some 1,900 consultants, it proudly
focuses on what it calls “CEO-agenda concerns,” a list that ranges from merger, growth and IT strategies, to supply chain management, innovation
and complexity management, and enterprise services transformation.
A failed romance
Looking at its more recent history, A.T. Kearney walked into what can only be described as a loveless marriage in 1995 with Texas-based tech monolith
Electronic Data Services (EDS), now a unit of HP. Initial intentions seem clear enough: EDS was looking to boost its flagging consulting arm, while
giving A.T. Kearney’s specialists access to some of its high-profile clients. The reality, however, failed to live up to the intentions, and the partnership
lasted a mere 10 years. Various factors, including a drop in EDS’ earnings, cultural differences at an executive level and a general dislike among A.T.
Kearney’s management of the notion of being a subsidiary of a publicly held company soon led to a parting of the ways. That officially occurred in
January 2006, when more than 170 of the firm’s leading consultants (from no less than 26 countries) participated in a management buyout to take
the firm private.
Following the buyout, A.T. Kearney officers elected an international 11-member board of directors, which is headed up by Managing Officer and
Chairman Paul Laudicina, who has been in charge since 2006. Laudicina, only the seventh person to lead the firm, joined the company in 1991, and
has more than 25 years of global consulting and management experience in industry, government and research institutions.
Elite council
A key plank of A.T. Kearney’s reputation is based on its Global Business Policy Council. Established by Laudicina as a forum for corporate, government
and academic leaders to discuss relevant issues, the council is limited to the world’s top CEOs and business-minded leaders. The group meets
regularly to discuss topics such as globalization, foreign direct investment and offshoring.
Retail detail
In addition to the advice and implementation work the firm does for its clients, A.T. Kearney leverages its expertise by producing a wide variety of studies
each year that track trends in a range of industries. Since 2001, for example, the firm has released an annual Global Retail Development Index, which
details retail investment attractiveness in global markets.
GETTING HIRED
A.T. Kearney is notorious for its narrow recruiting window, selecting candidates from only the most elite MBA programs nationwide. “Good luck getting
in if you aren’t from a core recruiting school,” quips one young associate. After securing a preliminary interview slot, one can expect the process to be
exceptionally rigorous, specifically designed to eliminate those lacking the requisite qualities of an ATK consultant. “A.T. Kearney looks for candidates
that are smart, analytical, take initiative and demonstrate tremendous leadership,” offers an insider, failing to cite confidence and charisma as further
necessities for any applicant.
The process culminates in an “extremely nerve-racking” final interview, in which the candidate must withstand a battery of timed examinations and
even deliver a 30-minute presentation. Arriving successfully (or simply intact) at the other side is “a very impressive accomplishment,” according to
one survivor of the process. Not to worry, though; those who can’t claim this lofty prize shouldn’t fall too far. As one midlevel consultant says, with
only a hint of smugness, “Many of those rejected by our firm end up at top-tier competitors.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: The firm places an emphasis on maintaining a uniquely collaborative atmosphere within its ranks, one that fosters constructive
relationships between colleagues of all levels and clients.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
A.T. Kearney
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Overall Satisfaction
• “A.T. Kearney has provided tremendous project experience, training and personal interaction.” – A.T. Kearney insider
• “My level of satisfaction is industry-related, not firm-specific. I am not convinced it would be any higher with any other top-tier management
consulting firm.” – Health care associate
• “I have found A.T. Kearney to be a wonderful mentoring environment with a very real team atmosphere. The support from all levels has been
fantastic, especially when working on the very difficult projects.” – Dallas consultant
• “I feel needed, and as a result, am treated with professionalism and respect. At times the workload is a little overwhelming due to the rounds
of layoffs. I expect this problem will get worse as the gap from the “lost generations” (classes of 2008-2010) will not be sufficient to form an
experienced junior associate class as things continue to get busy.” – Midlevel associate
• “What drew me back to A.T. Kearney post-business school was the entrepreneurial environment—regardless of your level, you are able to take
on as much responsibility (get involved in selling, etc.) as you can handle.” – Midlevel consultant
Firm Culture
• “People-wise, I think that A.T. Kearney is one of the most casual, down-to-earth firms around, which is a great fit for me.” – Recent MBA grad
• “The culture of ‘niceness’ seems to discourage us from addressing the real organizational and performance issues we may have, as individuals
and as a firm.” – San Francisco-based respondent
• “We have a national footprint, but seem small enough that everyone has at least a colleague in common, and generally knows someone in each
office to go to for local help.” – Entry-level associate
• “Unlike other firms, [there are] incentives in place drive a collaborative environment.” – Experienced consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “My supervisors are excellent. Very available, very involved, very responsive. This is the best part of the job.” – Recent hire
• “A.T. Kearney has an excellent leadership team—they ‘walk the talk’ in terms of being collegial, collaboration, client service, etc.” – Detroit
source
• “Even as an analyst, I am included in almost all meetings. I always have a good view of what the higher-ups are doing, and get plenty of
feedback and direction from them.” – Entry-level strategist
Interaction with Clients
• “Consulting is a relationship business. A.T. Kearney has one of the highest repeat rates in the consulting industry, and that is a result of long-
term relationships with clients.” – Midlevel consultant
• “One of the greatest benefits of our client-site working model is that we forge very strong, collaborative relationships with all levels of the client
organization.” – Health care professional
• “We leave very tangible results behind for our clients, which I think is a main driver of our great client relationships.” – New York-based
consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: While the firm reaps the benefits of an intensive “client is king” policy, the consultants on the ground often find it difficult to fulfill
outside commitments with such a demanding schedule.
Work Hours
• “Somewhat long, but manageable hours.” – Financial executive
• “Everyone, from partners to analysts, works hard. We’re all on the same page in terms of accelerating the firm’s reputation and position with our
clients.” – Entry-level strategist
• “Although we work extremely hard during the week, the vast majority of teams are able to separate personal weekend time from client-facing
work time.” – DC consultant
• “We work long hours while on the road. 8am to midnight is pretty common, although it varies greatly from project to project.” – Industry
newcomer
Work/Life Balance
• “Most project managers at A.T. Kearney are fairly good about planning the work well and not requiring too much of a work/life imbalance.” –
California veteran
• “Weekend work is flexible in terms of when and where. Common goal: client service.” – Strategy consultant
• “Work/life balance is all about working efficiently and effectively during work hours and being able to manage expectations. Many people have
not been able to strike up the right mix yet, but it just takes experience.” – New York staffer
• “One of the firm’s strengths is being able to provide the time and space needed in ‘critical circumstances’ (death in the family, personal
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
A.T. Kearney
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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relationship problems, illness) for employees—the smaller day-to-day balance is more challenging.” – A.T. Kearney insider
• “[There is an] extreme expectation of work ethic—most consultants have to put in a significant amount of weekend time as a matter of routine,
on top of an intense week that typically involves four days of travel.” – Midlevel consultant
Travel Requirements
• “The firm policy is four days at the client site, one day at the home office. Not unexpected [for] a typical consulting firm.” – Operations
consultant
• “Old-school partners tend to demand travel every week, even when not necessary. I don’t mind it, but it does wear some folks down, especially
those with families.” – East Coast midlevel
• “The client is king. Being at the site is better for the client, so we go to the client.” – Entry-level source
• “Everyone hopes that travel will decrease with the firm’s goal be been carbon-neutral, but too few partners support this in practice to have
changed much.” – DC midlevel
• “While the firm requires you to be on site four days a week, about half of the NY office is staffed in local projects.” – Entry-level consultant
Compensation
• “Always very competitive compensation—annual benchmarking is conducted by the firm.” – Experienced consultant
• “In line with top-tier consulting firms, which I believe is more than generous.” – New York associate
• “Base compensation is outstanding at the associate level. However, it does not seem to keep pace at the higher levels, where the bonus
becomes more of a factor in total compensation.” – Atlanta first-year
• “Bonuses have been averaging 75 to 100 percent of base salary [for partners only], even during difficult economic times. There’s also a
generous 401(k) matching program and retirement package partially funded by the firm.” – Partner
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: The firm’s demonstrated commitment to training its consultants is genuine; many will need it in order to climb ATK’s highly
competitive, up-or-out promotion ladder.
Formal Training
• “This has been the most thorough and the most useful training I have ever had, and there are many programs going forward.” – Experienced
newcomer
• “The firm has put a lot of emphasis on more official training in the past couple of years. They have stuck to that plan. The national training
days have made a big difference in terms of attendance.” – San Francisco veteran
• “This firm believes in training, from analyst all the way through partner.” – Energy consultant
• “[It is] difficult to fit [training] into the project schedule—but getting better.” – Entry-level insider
Promotion Policies
• “A.T. Kearney provides sufficient time to develop and demonstrate ability to work at the next level.” – Detroit midlevel
• “The relatively slow growth of the industry is extending timelines to be promoted, and those that are promoted work excessively.” – Chicago
respondent
• “We have an increased focus on commercial viability for promotion to higher ranks—it is no longer enough to be a great consultant.” – Energy
executive
• “A.T. Kearney does employ some force ranking, but the promotion timing can vary based on the individual consultant’s history with the firm and
future potential (e.g., fast track, on track, behind track). Consultants typically advance every two to four years, on average, from the analyst level
all the way through manager.” – Retail consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Respondents are typically content with A.T. Kearney’s efforts concerning diversity—we’re told the firm has recently launched a
global diversity and inclusion initiative with support from an external consulting firm—although they do note that the firm’s client-facing demands
make it extremely difficult for women with children to stay on for the long haul.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “The firm provides mentors for each diversity group if the consultant chooses to have one, and the diversity groups are sponsored by partners.
[They are] very active and respected throughout the firm.” – First-year strategist
• “We simply don’t have enough women. This is largely an artifact of our hiring pool, but even so I have not seen a drive to increase our women.”
– DC newbie
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
A.T. Kearney
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “Policies toward women need improvement. Very little emphasis on making the lifestyle of consulting easier for women.” – Financial consultant
• “The firm is very proactive and transparent in this respect.” – Mexico City strategist
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: It’s hard to identify who ATK consultants trust more—themselves, or the firm’s “extremely sharp and focused” leadership. What
is abundantly clear, though, is that the firm is favorably perched to prosper in the coming years.
Overall Business Outlook
• “In this environment, clients seek tangible results, which we deliver. Morale is high, and business has performed well during the economic
downturn.” – Experienced finance professional
• “The firm currently has the strongest pipeline that anyone can remember, as clients move out of the recession and focus on growth prospects.”
– California consultant
• “ATK has increased market share over the past two difficult years. Bonuses have still been paid out, and there have been no layoffs.” –
Operations consultant
• “Our strength is in cost reduction. With the state of the current economy, we expect to sell more of this type of work. Partners in the firm find
this an easy sell, and keep pushing more of these projects.” – Toronto midlevel
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “[Leadership is] globally oriented, extremely sharp and focused on doing the right thing for our clients and our firm.” – Experienced New Yorker
• “Outstanding vision and direction is provided by the current leadership. They operate the firm transparently, and continue to support and drive
our culture as we grow.” – Chicago executive
• “Paul Laudicina, the company’s CEO, is a consulting industry visionary.” – West Coast consultant
• “Leadership is not in sync with the changing marketplace or needs of their employees—the firm’s greatest assets.” – Senior consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
A.T. Kearney
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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TRIAGE CONSULTING GROUP
221 Main Street, Suite 1100
San Francisco, California 94105
Phone: (415) 512-9400
Fax: (415) 512-9404
www.triageconsulting.com
LOCATIONS
San Francisco, CA (HQ)
Atlanta, GA
PRACTICE AREAS
Capitation Risk Pool Audits • Clinical Denials • Continuing
Education • Comprehensive Payment Review (Primary)
• Contract Analyses & Negotiations • Litigation Support •
Medicare Review • Revenue Cycle Consulting • Silent PPO
Review • Worker’s Compensation Review
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
F ounders: Richard Griffith, Jim Hebert and Patricia Lee-
Hoffmann
2010 Employees: 330
2009 Employees: 310
2010 Revenue: $70 million
2009 Revenue: $66 million
• “Niche, health care-focused”
• “Bill collectors”
• “Committed to social responsibility”
• “Fratty”
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Social and environmental responsibility”
• “Huge focus on career development”
• “College-like party life”
DOWNERS
• “Mundane entry-level work”
• “Exhausting travel requirements”
• “Promotion is basically the only metric used to reward
performance, but the promotion timeline is basically static”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.triageconsulting.com
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Follow the money
San Francisco-based Triage Consulting Group works with hospitals to uncover lost cash. Founded in 1994 by financial and health care consultants
Richard Griffith, Jim Hebert and Patricia Lee-Hoffmann—all of whom stand as board members to this day—the firm provides reimbursement
review services to hospitals, focusing on payment accuracy and revenue cycle process improvements for commercial, Medicare, Medicaid, workers’
compensation and TRICARE claim volume. Triage also offers managed care contract analyses and negotiations, litigation support, clinical denial
reviews, revenue cycle consulting, silent PPO review and capitation risk pool audits. Since it was established, Triage has identified and recovered over
$1.5 billion for more than 500 hospitals. Today, it serves hospital networks and health care providers in 37 states via its two offices in San Francisco
and Atlanta.
The company takes its name from triage, a term defined as a systematic process for determining priorities “in an environment of scarce or insufficient
resources.” The company “triages” the various areas of financial risk in the hospital’s revenue cycle, using its expertise to efficiently recover lost
revenue and recommend solutions to its clients. The firm has also earned extra kudos, having been named—for the sixth year running—one of the
50 Best Small & Medium Companies to Work for in America, according to the Society for Human Resource Management and the Great Place to Work
Institute.
Don’t mind us, we’re just looking for your money
In providing reimbursement review services, the firm’s mantra-like promise to clients is “Maximum Reimbursement. Minimum Disruption. Zero
Investment.” A project starts with seeking out underpayments to the most distant decimal point, reviewing patient accounts for payment accuracy and
then recovering interest, penalties and any underpaid amounts from health plans. The firm works directly with insurers, PPOs, employer groups, third-
party payers and/or government agencies to research and recover underpayments, sending cash directly to the hospital upon resolution. For these
matters, Triage taps into its own resources only, dedicating itself to progress that is independent from and invisible to its clients. Fees are contingent
upon the sum of underpayments collected.
Triage also commits time to shepherding the client to self-sufficiency by training employees to catch underpayments themselves. Having identified the
mistakes that led to payment errors, the firm can recommend specific policies and procedures to prevent the re-emergence of those errors. In this
way, it safeguards against future such incidents, and helps upgrade hospital contracts to industry best practices. Client satisfaction is high: For the
last several years, more than half of the company’s assignments have come from repeat business, and Triage claims that most new business comes
from client referrals.
For the greater good
Triage strives to be a socially responsible organization and, consequently, is involved in a number of philanthropic or environmental initiatives with
community partnerships in Atlanta and San Francisco. Through a bi-coastal partnership with MedShare, Triage helps to redistribute medical supplies
to countries in need. In its partnership with Redding Elementary School in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco Triage staffers help create lesson
plans and activities for students, and correspond with students in a pen-pal program. The firm also maintains a partnership in San Francisco with
Family House, which supports families of hospitalized children by providing a free, safe place to stay during treatment. And to serve the environment,
Triage teams with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco and the National Parks Service in Atlanta to work on native habitat
restoration, trail maintenance and beach cleanup, among other projects.
GETTING HIRED
“Triage believes that the interview process is a two-way street,” an insider explains. “Just as we evaluate and attempt to build an accurate picture of a
potential employee, so too do we want that candidate to have a thorough understanding of the company and the position.” The firm does an excellent
job of fulfilling this promise, but not everything is rosy for the prospective applicant. Take selectivity, for example, as this source highlights: “One recent
semester, we had 200 applications and made seven offers.” This example speaks volumes about the quality of talent Triage hires. So, what kind of
candidate does the firm look for? Strong communication and analytical skills, and academic success are important; “candidates must have at least
a 3.0 GPA to apply,” one consultant says. Less measurable qualities are equally important, a colleague notes. “The firm is always looking for bright,
driven, team-oriented and flexible individuals.”
The interview process is straightforward—recruiters simply want screened candidates to demonstrate their value to the company, and vice versa. For
example, an insider tells us, “The questions we ask every time are ‘Why health care?’ and ‘Why Triage?’” “It should be clear that the applicant is
not looking to leave prior to the two-year mark,” another insider reveals. Simply put, the firm looks for candidates who are truly “excited to join our
company.” Those who can successfully convince their interviewers of this fact will be given the most attention and the best chance of an offer.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Triage Consulting Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: For the young, outgoing consultant, there is no better option in terms of firm culture and quality of life.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I’m very happy with Triage Consulting Group. It was a great transition from school to work, allows for tremendous responsibility at an early age,
and is an extremely friendly environment.” – Atlanta insider
• “Triage is, overall, a fantastic place to work. I feel challenged, but not pressured, and I know that there is a long-term career if I want to stay.” –
Associate
• “I am extremely pleased with Triage, and feel very satisfied with my job. I could never have imagined running multi-million dollar projects for
multi-billion dollar health systems at the age of 25. I have a strong sense of ownership and pride in my job, and still enjoy coming to work every
day.” – Finance consultant
• “If, at any time, I do feel unsatisfied, Triage addresses the issue and corrects any potential problems.” – Associate
Firm Culture
• “Overall, it is an amazing work environment. Great attitudes abound and there is a tremendous amount of corporate social responsibility.” –
Senior associate
• “There is never a dull moment at Triage. Whether it be a new-hire happy hour, sports day or school pride day, there is always fun to be had at
this firm after 5 p.m.—always.” – Associate
• “The company is full of young, creative, driven, social individuals. The company [sponsors] many happy hours and fun competitions.” – San
Francisco staffer
• “Fresh out of college, this firm has a great culture. However, as you grow up, it can become a little too much. Some new hires think this is a
sorority/fraternity and not a job.” – Experienced source
Supervisor Relationships
• “I’ve been able to become good friends with most of my supervisors. Conversations are casual, and there’s a low intimidation factor.” – Midlevel
consultant
• “The evaluation process allows both upward and downward feedback that facilitates open communication between both peers and superiors.” –
Entry-level source
• “My relationships with supervisors have always been strong. Management treats employees with respect and listens to their ideas.” – Finance
consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “I have always had wonderful clients who really appreciate Triage’s work.” – Midlevel source
• “Client relationships vary by client, but building them has been a fun and exciting experience.” – Associate
• “For the most part, clients absolutely love Triage because of our upbeat, fun culture, as well as our impressive track record.” – Associate
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Hours, so often a point of contention among consultants, are incredibly stable and reasonable. Triage wants employees working
45 hours a week, a rule humbly accepted by the consultants.
Work Hours
• “I typically average 43 to 45 hours of booked time per week.” – Senior associate
• “Triage clearly communicates that its consultants will work a 45-hour workweek, and they hold their word. Sure, there are times when we have
to hit a deadline, but the overall average sticks to 45.” – Experienced staffer
• “Hours at Triage are extremely reasonable for a consulting firm. It’s a bit unusual in that they tend to go up as you climb higher in the firm.” –
Consultant
• “It’s nice knowing every day that I can leave work at work and am afforded the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities.” – Atlanta
insider
Work/Life Balance
• “Every now and then (as needed), I will take the initiative to work on weekends, but it’s not often. Most of the time, I have my evenings, nights
and weekends to do whatever I want. I spend the majority of my weekends watching sports, playing golf and/or traveling. I am proud of our
work/life balance.” – Associate
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Triage Consulting Group
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “Employees are encouraged to travel and enjoy life experiences, which is highly valuable.” – Entry-level insider
• “Since work stays at work when I’m at home, I’m 100 percent focused on my family.” – San Francisco principal
• “The only tricky part is traveling, when we are not allowed to book extra travel time. Getting up at 4 a.m. to fly to Seattle counts the same as
getting up at 7 a.m. to be in the SF office by 8.” – Midlevel source
Travel Requirements
• “Triage informs recruits that they will be expected to travel approximately 40 percent of the time.” – Associate
• “The most you will travel is four days a week (Monday through Thursday, with the option to stay the weekend), three weeks a month.” – Junior
source
• “Every four months, the travel requirements rotate. I have been on projects with three weeks a month travel, and I have been on projects not
requiring travel.” – First-year associate
• “Corporate lease apartments ease the travel burden.” – West Coast insider
Compensation
• “Our compensation is very fair for the consulting industry and the hours we work.” – Midlevel staffer
• “We get year-end profit sharing and a 2 percent 401(k) match. Regular paychecks are competitive and allow me to live a fun, carefree lifestyle
in San Francisco.” – Associate
• “Given the hours we work, the compensation is fantastic, but definitely not in the same tax bracket as the big guys. Having said that, nobody is
struggling to pay the bills.” – Atlanta insider
• “I realize that Triage wants to maintain a team environment and discourage competition, but there should be some implementation of
performance-based pay.” – Finance consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Triage’s formal offerings are extensive, informative and exceptionally helpful the grateful consultants who flock to them.
Formal Training
• “We are always in training! It’s a good thing—there’s a lot to know about the health care industry and how to go about doing our job. We are
well trained.” – Senior associate
• “Triage offers a 15-module training program that extends over each employee’s first 21 months at the firm. The modules are formal trainings,
each focusing on improving a different skill set or industry-related topic.” – Junior source
• “Training is a big focus—one that I am proud to have gone through and am now providing.” – Finance consultant
• “Triage has great resources and training structure. The on-the-job training is one of the top priorities of the management, and I always feel I can
seek additional outside training/classes if need be.” – East Coast insider
Promotion Policies
• “You can be running your own project in 21 months.” – Midlevel staffer
• “Although it’s not outwardly stated, by practice Triage has an up-or-out policy. However, the vast majority of its employees succeed and
experience at least one level of promotion.” – San Francisco insider
• “We have quick career progression, everyone is promoted or not at the same time--there’s no real competition for promotions.” – Associate
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Triage’s population is representative of the universities from which it recruits—which means its overall population is a bit lacking
in diversity. But insiders say the firm makes up for those numbers by fostering a truly “open, tolerant” workplace.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “The company is more than 50 percent women. Our ethnic makeup mirrors that of large and prestigious universities, which are not always the
most diverse. There is no effort either way toward or against recruiting GLBT individuals.” – Associate
• “I think our ethnic diversity has improved a lot in the last few years, but there’s still room for improvement.” – Junior source
• “As Triage is based in San Francisco, the company’s culture is naturally diverse, open and tolerant. Specifically, the company places an
emphasis on the upward mobility of its female staff by providing very generous maternity and paternity leave for new parents.” – San Francisco
insider
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Health care is a booming industry right now following the passage of comprehensive reform. But even if it weren’t, insiders
believe Triage would be just fine.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Triage Consulting Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Overall Business Outlook
• “The firm is outperforming forecasted numbers and actively hiring.” – Entry-level respondent
• “The health care industry is dynamic and will always have a need for expertise. Triage continues to renew existing business and gain new
clients in new markets, while industry organizations are looking to Triage more and more for guidance. Moreover, the company is constantly
looking to innovate and improve its core product, while considering peripheral and complimentary service offerings.” – Senior consultant
• “With the health care reform passing, we expect an increase in patient volume for our clients.” – Associate
• “Triage has a very good model that is simple in nature yet specialized in knowledge. The company is still expanding, and recent market
analysis shows there are many potential markets that are untouched.” – Experienced insider
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Our executive level is saturated with talent.” – Consultant
• “Leadership continues to solicit feedback from staff on all issues ranging from culture to morale to business practices. This sense of ‘we’re all in
this together’ helps develop the unique culture that is apparent today.” – San Francisco insider
• “All but three of the principals are ‘home grown’ and have no other experience outside of Triage. We probably need some additional outside
perspective.” – Manager
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Triage Consulting Group
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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1331 H Street, NW Suite 600
Washington, District of Columbia 20005
Phone: (202) 296-0601
Fax: (877) 514-4419
www.censeoconsulting.com
LOCATIONS
Washington, DC (HQ)
PRACTICE AREAS
Operations • Procurement • Supply Chain
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Founder & CEO: Raj Sharma
President: Lido Ramadan
2010 Employees: 50
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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CENSEO CONSULTING GROUP
10
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Connection between effort and reward”
• “Watching the company grow and develop”
• “Wear jeans on Friday”
DOWNERS
• “The fact that some people are remote requires more time
spent on communication than if everyone was in the same
office”
• “As a niche firm, many of the projects are very similar”
• “We don’t have the same level of administrative support and
resources as larger firms”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Visit the Careers link on the company website.
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THE SCOOP
Making sense of operations and supply chain
Censeo Consulting Group specializes in operations, supply chain and procurement. The firm tries to break away from the traditional consulting model
by using its own methodology. The firm’s model has three main principles: focused expertise, people-focused strategy and operational efficiency.
Censeo works with executives managing supply chains and operations in Fortune 500 companies across a number of industries, as well as the federal
government. Within the broader areas of operations, supply chain and procurement, the firm also provides clients with organization and workforce
development, and assists with complex procurement, integrating customer needs and industry capabilities.
Big fish in a small pond
Censeo Consulting Group has been recognized as one of the top small consulting firms to work for. In 2009, The Wall Street Journal named Censeo one
of the 15 top small workplaces, and the firm landed at No. 6 on Consulting magazine’s Best Small Firms to Work For. In addition to its overall rank,
the magazine also named the company second in corporate culture and employee morale, while also giving it high marks in the work/life balance and
career development categories. In 2008, the firm was named one of seven small jewels by Consulting magazine, and appeared on the Inc. 5000 fastest
growing private companies list.
Founder and CEO Raj Sharma has also taken home his share of awards. In 2009, he was chosen as a finalist for government contractor executive
of the year, and was bestowed with the minority business leader award by the Washington Business Journal. That same year, Sharma was named to
Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s Pros to Know list for the third straight year.
People first
It is no accident that Censeo has been honored as a great place to work. These distinctions are proof that the firm is following its people-focused
consulting model, with “people” referring both to its clients and employees. The firm shifts attention to employees by taking on exciting, intellectually
challenging projects, encouraging creativity and initiative, offering flexible career paths, limiting travel, keeping reasonable hours, allowing consultants
to work where they choose and, of course, by offering competitive salaries and benefits. The firm is convinced that this approach will lead to both
happier and more productive employees.
One key to the firm’s happy and healthy employees is its willingness not only to limit travel, but also to allow employees to work from home. About half
of the firm’s 50 employees work remotely, spending only about 10 to 20 percent of their time in the D.C. office or at client sites. For employees who
live in the D.C. area, flexible work schedules are still an option, with some employees allowed to work from home up to two days a week, and others
allowed to work at home up to 14 days a month.
GETTING HIRED
Censeo’s “extensive” and “very competitive” hiring process begins “almost exclusively on campus,” with recruiters targeting undergraduate and
MBA standouts with “strong analytical skills.” These candidates are then prescreened, typically through phone interviews. Select candidates will be
invited for in-office interviews, where they will go through four to six interviews with current associates, consultants and executive leadership. Within
the interview process, evaluations are “as much driven by fit as by qualifications.” Interviewers examine candidates’ “analytical, problem solving,
quantitative and communication” skills astutely. “Some background in supply chain and operations roles is an advantage for mid-level or higher level
jobs,” an insider advises.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Whether coming directly from school or joining the firm midcareer, the Censeo consensus is clear: Life at the firm, with its surplus
of personal, social and professional opportunities, is hard to beat.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Censeo is, bar none, the best place I could have possibly ended up after business school to continue my consulting career without having to
sacrifice time spent with my family.” – Consultant
• “Great culture, awesome people and lots of autonomy for growth.” – Analyst
• “Overall, I’m extremely satisfied working for Censeo. My choice to work at this firm out of college has led me to unique opportunities and
challenges.” –Associate
• “Satisfaction here far outweighs my experience at my previous firm. Work/life balance and focus on personal needs is outstanding.” – Senior
consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Censeo Consulting Group
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Firm Culture
• “This is a very young and vibrant firm that’s full of collaborative spirit!” – Experienced source
• “We have consistent social events, charitable causes are stressed and sponsored by the firm, and everyone gets along very well.” – Senior
consultant
• “I have made close friends at Censeo. We enjoy going to lunch together and spending time after work together. We have a Wii in the office to
enjoy some friendly competition, and our softball team is in its second season.” – Entry-level respondent
• “What I think differentiates Censeo is the amount of thought and energy that the senior management gives to value the well-being and growth of
each individual.” – D.C. staffer
Supervisor Relationships
• “We live up to company standard of an open-door policy. I am just as comfortable approaching supervisors as I am junior staff members.” –
Senior consultant
• “Supervisors are very supportive of professional and personal development, day in and day out. While stern when it comes to quality of the
work, they are overall very casual in providing the right level of support.” – Entry-level source
Interaction with Clients
• “I have become very close personal friends with my major client.” – Consultant
• “As a new consultant (and new to the industry), I’ve been afforded generous opportunities to not only engage clients at major meetings but on a
day-to-day basis (e.g., calling them directly).” – Associate
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Censeo consultants pride themselves on the work/life balance they’ve struck, and consultants greatly appreciate their competitive
pay.
Work Hours
• “Some weeks I work 45 hours, others I work 65. I’d say 55 is about the average.” – Analyst
• “This is the first place I have worked where managers have approached me because I was working ‘too many hours,’ and they were concerned
about burnout.” – Associate
• “Having a virtual model to collaborate with clients and colleagues via web-conferencing, etc., provides opportunities to reduce total work hours
by limiting seemingly unnecessary travel.” – Junior consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “Censeo has an operational model that allows staff the option to work from home and flex schedules. If I work on a weekend, it is usually
planned and on my own terms.” – HR analyst
• “Work/life balance is a stated ‘corporate value’ of our firm, and one that our leadership takes very seriously and monitors to ensure it’s not just
lip service.” – Midlevel consultant
• “I primarily telecommute with limited travel. I am able to manage personal pressure with work needs on my own terms. I frequently work a bit
on Sunday evenings by choice to stay ahead of the week’s needs, given my position in the firm.” – Senior source
Travel Requirements
• “I average about one three-day trip per month—normally to either visit our home office or key clients. This is a key aspect about our company’s
culture, which believes that we don’t need to be under our client’s feet at all times.” – Senior consultant
• “We travel when it makes sense or is needed to deliver quality results. The focus is on client needs instead of subscribing to a standardized
travel model. Clients and staff greatly appreciate it.” – Consultant
• “Since I’ve been with the firm, the only travel I have done has been within the metropolitan area.” – D.C. associate
Compensation
• “Salary is in line with competition. Bonuses are generous. Profit sharing at management level can be significant.” – Associate
• “Benefits are solid. If you account for the flexibility and work/life balance, the compensation is fair.” – Senior consultant
• “I’m very well paid—especially considering the area in which I live. Most of my fellow company employees live in the Washington, D.C., area
which is much higher cost than where I live. I’m compensated the same as they are.” – Senior source
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Look for a more sharply defined formal training regimen once the firm grows in stature and size.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Censeo Consulting Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Formal Training
• “Training is both formal and informal. We take the best approaches from firms we have all been at in the past, and evolve them into a more
robust and useful training suite for our consultants.” – Executive-level respondent
• “Censeo is quickly ramping up formal training offerings.” – Consultant
• “The company is still defining requirements and formalizing what every employee should attend. The trainings I have attended were helpful.” –
D.C. insider
• “Most of the training is unofficial. I was mentored on my first project.” – Entry-level analyst
Promotion Policies
• “There’s no up-or-out policy. We are a growing firm, so opportunities for advancement are plentiful and completely performance based.” –
Senior consultant
• “Consultants have advanced between levels in less than a year, or over two years, depending on skill set and level of knowledge.” – Analyst
• “We have fewer overall levels compared to other consulting firms, which naturally leads to fewer promotions.” – Associate
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Diversity is exemplary at entry and associate levels, but Censeo is still too young to have promoted many of those minorities to
leadership ranks.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “The firm is actively recruiting women for senior-level positions, but has not been able to identify appropriate candidates. We are a minority-
owned business.” – Junior consultant
• “The company is very open to all minority and special diversity classifications of employees. We have a very ‘culturally’ diverse employee base;
to my knowledge, we don’t make any of these significant hiring issues (negatively or positively).” – Associate
• “The firm is focused on enabling diversity. Recruiting programs are inclusive of minority programs at core schools. Flexible scheduling,
telecommuting and limited travel are conducive to retaining staff.” – Operations executive
• “Censeo does not currently have any women that are part of senior management, despite typical percentages of women at other levels. It has
been more effective at attracting women through campus recruiting than with lateral hires.” – Senior source
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: While Censeo consultants appreciate the security that working in the public sector affords them, the firm has been growing its
private sector presence aggressively.
Overall Business Outlook
• “The business outlook is good; predominately government clients mean no shortage of funding.” – Consultant
• “We’ve been growing rapidly over the past three years, and have just embarked on executing a strategic growth plan to expand our service
offerings and client base.” – Associate
• “Censeo demonstrated strong performance during the recent financial downturn, has numerous strong relationships with key client
organizations and has recently developed a number of new relationships with new clients.” – Senior associate
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The firm leadership is very forward-thinking and concerned about the type and size of firm that we will be five years from now, not just the type
of firm we are today.” – Junior-level insider
• “We have a strong leadership, all with a common vision and strong experience.” – Senior source
• “Leadership is transparent and attentive to the feedback of everyone within the organization. The management team actively solicits feedback
from all levels of staff on upcoming strategic initiatives and firm changes.” – Associate
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Censeo Consulting Group
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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175 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 2200
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Phone: (312) 602-4000
Fax: (312) 602-4010
www.westmonroepartners.com
LOCATIONS
Chicago, IL (HQ)
Columbus, OH
Dallas, TX
Montreal, QC
New York, NY
Seattle, WA
Toronto, ON
PRACTICE AREAS
Business Process & Systems • Customer Experience • Labor
Management • Managed Services • Mergers & Acquisitions
• Software Solutions • Supply Chain Solutions • Technology
Solutions
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
President: Dean Fischer
2010 Employees: 227
2009 Employees: 218
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Focus on the middle market”
• “Learning opportunities from leadership”
• “Esprit de corps”
DOWNERS
• “Growing pains from rapid growth”
• “Very little administrative support”
• “Still a very young company”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.westmonroepartners.com/en/Careers.aspx
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THE SCOOP
Chicago’s own
West Monroe Partners doesn’t take its name from the firm’s headquarters location—if that were the case, it would be called West Jackson Partners.
The moniker is actually a nod to the address of Arthur Andersen’s former world headquarters at 33 West Monroe Street in Chicago. A group of former
Arthur Andersen consultants founded West Monroe in 2002, starting out with just six employees and a single office in Chicago. The firm has since
grown to include more than 200 professionals, with additional locations in New York, Dallas, Seattle, Columbus, Montreal and Toronto.
West Monroe Partners is a full-service business and technology consulting firm focused on guiding organizations through projects that fundamentally
transform their business. The firm describes its approach as an “end-to-end perspective” on clients’ needs, combining analysis, strategy, project-
based solutions and outsourced solutions.
Expanding global reach
Much of West Monroe Partners’ business comes from middle-market clients in the United States in Canada, but a recent partnership is likely to broaden
its clientele. In March 2010 West Monroe Partners and BearingPoint announced a strategic consulting alliance to expand their global market coverage
and to better provide services to their international clients. Under the terms of this agreement both firms will refer business opportunities, collaborate
on client work around the world, and share intellectual capital. The two firms will continue to focus on their respective local markets, while collaborating
on projects that require broader geographic reach.
No MBA, no problem
Business at West Monroe Partners is divided into eight functional service lines, each of which is led by technology experts –and partner with its industry
experts to provide highly customizable solutions for clients. These solutions are designed to solve for specific business needs and often coincide with
industry transformations, such as utility companies applying for ARRA grant dollars, health care providers struggling to remain compliant with new
reporting regulations, or banks responding to changing regulations.
Several clients also rely on West Monroe’s technology product offerings, some of which are proprietary and some of which have been developed in
conjunction with partners. These include West Monroe Project, a trademarked project management system; the FLEXdls warehouse management
system; and WMP SMART, a customizable framework that eases compliance with the U.S. Department of Energy and ARRA requirements for grant
reporting and monitoring.
Given the firm’s tech savvy approach, it’s no wonder that nearly half its employees have degrees or backgrounds in technology. CEO Dean Fischer
has championed efforts to invest in the firm’s technology resources, and encourages his staff to hone their skills on the job, even if they hail from more
traditional consulting or business fields. (In fact, Fischer has been quoted in Consulting magazine as saying that it’s “a waste of time” to get an MBA
right after finishing college, because he believes learning in the field is the best education for new hires.)
“People first”
West Monroe puts a heavy emphasis on its workforce, and does its utmost to encourage professional development among its consultants. It attempts
to create a feedback-oriented, highly participatory culture that affords its employees many opportunities to grow and succeed.
That “people first” mentality is a value that is shared from the top down. As CEO Dean Fischer explained to Consulting magazine, West Monroe’s
guiding principle is: “He who gets the best people wins. We’re a people-first organization. That’s what West Monroe is all about. It’s almost blasphemy
to not say that the client comes first, but I really believe that if you put your people first and you treat them right and you grow them and you train them
and you do all the things that are necessary to care and nurture them, the outcome of that is going to be great client service.”
Busy giving back
Each West Monroe office maintains a community service committee that works in partnership with the firmwide charity/community involvement
committee. And since over half of West Monroe’s employees are based at the Chicago headquarters, the firm’s philanthropy is primarily focused on
Chicagoland causes. West Monroe supports charities like i.c. stars, a Chicago organization that teaches IT and career skills to inner-city youth, the
Chicago Children’s Memorial Hospital, and the Springboard Foundation, which assists grassroots groups in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods.
The firm also has a longstanding affiliation with the Student Conservation Association, a national conservation group aimed at high school and college
students. A number of West Monroe’s employees are active in SCA’s work, and CEO Fischer sits on the group’s board of directors. West Monroe
executives are also heavily involved with the U.S. Fund for Unicef.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
West Monroe Partners
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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GETTING HIRED
Entry-level and experienced applicants follow very different tracks at West Monroe, though both are equally selective and rigorous. Further, both benefit
from “timely and fair” processes; as one insider says, “Of all the firms and companies I interviewed at, West Monroe Partners gave me the quickest
turnaround and most attention.” Entry-level candidates face an extensive screening that can include up to three phone interviews and primarily focuses
on the candidate’s academic record and demonstrated aptitude. “At West Monroe, the first cut is essentially you have to be very smart, but from there
it is all about the attitude,” one associate details.
For recent undergrads, behavioral interviews and case studies are standard methods of evaluation. A successful candidate can expect to meet
with upwards of 10 West Monroe staffers, including high-level executives. Experienced candidates can expect a predictably more in-depth process,
including “a full-day assessment with an independent psychologist.” Overall, current West Monroe associates are certain that the process results in
an excellent consultant pool, both in terms of fit and aptitude. As one insider states, “If you receive an offer at West Monroe, you have every reason
to feel confident you will fit in.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: With any luck, consultants will be able to enjoy the “extremely satisfying” day-to-day routine at West Monroe for years to come, as
the firm sheds its small-firm label.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I am very pleased with my exposure and breadth of responsibility. Every day I feel like I add something to the firm, and I leave every day with a
better understanding of my field.” – Analyst
• “I am extremely happy with my position here at West Monroe Partners. The business development team is treated as an integral part of the
firm. This helps in the pursuit of new business, as well as resulting delivery.” – Entry-level source
• “West Monroe provides many unique opportunities for young resources to step up and take ownership of their career. I work alongside talented
co-workers who mentor me on a daily basis.” – Operations analyst
• “You can never be 100 percent satisfied, but West Monroe is close.” – Energy partner
Firm Culture
• “Everyone is smart, driven, wise and responsible. Plus, it’s just a fun group to be around—I’ve made some really great friends here.” –
Operations associate
• “West Monroe really goes out of its way to create a fun workplace that still fosters excellent business. There are tons of activities, events and
activities to help you get to know your co-workers. As a young professional, I’m surrounded by people who have similar interests, both in and
out of work.” – Experienced consultant
• “Our culture is a very close-knit family—I think I know probably 90 percent of our employees by first name. We have various clubs and groups
that get together on a regular basis, i.e., sports teams, book clubs, beer-brewing club, dinner club. We have frequent happy hours and solution
team outings.” – Chicago insider
• “While our firm is rooted in the Big 4 consulting structure, there is much less political posturing and less territory battles.” – Technology
consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “West Monroe has a ‘no door’ policy. In each office, new consultants sit next to senior directors to help promote a truly collaborative
environment.” – Senior consultant
• “As a nurturing and open firm, we don’t shy away from difficult conversations. If something is wrong, we fix it immediately. There are no
surprises, and communication is valued.” – First-year analyst
• “My relationship with my direct supervisor is great. He’s honest, forthright and gives me frequent feedback.” – Energy consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “Client relationships quickly produce mutual respect and admiration.” – Columbus staffer
• “We have very high satisfaction with our clients; as an employee-owned company, we make client satisfaction job No. 1.” – Executive-level
source
• “My strong client relationships are a personal hallmark, as well as a key driver for my continued desire to stay in consulting. I’m hooked!” –
Midwest associate
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
West Monroe Partners
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: West Monroe consultants concede that client demands come first, and, as such, hours can be lengthy. That said, the vast
majority are more than willing to contribute to the cause, grateful of the personal and professional rewards the work affords them.
Work Hours
• “This is not a company where the more hours you work means the more you are rewarded. Instead, becoming efficient at work means more
time for personal or business development, and in the end saves our clients money.” – Technology consultant
• “With the market heating up, things have been very busy. But a good busy!” – Midlevel consultant
• “Technology and remote access gives me the flexibility I need to extend the day on my terms and be compatible with my lifestyle preferences.”
– HR associate
• “Of course I wish it could be less hours, but I also know that the hours I am working are worth it for career advancement.” – Project director
Work/Life Balance
• “The culture and the support I get at West Monroe allow me to blend what I need to give to work and what I want to get out of life in a fashion
that meets my needs.” – Associate
• “I am able to work from home in the event of an appointment or other engagement, and we have a paternity leave policy on par with the
industry. We also have a good amount of paid time off, which helps a lot.” – Midwest insider
• “I am able to completely manage my schedule—as long as I deliver results. If I have to give more time to meet a customer deadline, I know I
can compensate another time.” – Operations partner
• “I’m able to turn off my computer and phone in the evenings and weekends and enjoy my family.” – Junior staffer
Travel Requirements
• “It depends on the project. I was on the road Monday through Thursday for two straight years, but recently I have been local.” – Senior
consultant
• “Travel is lower than most firms, but we need to be where clients are! People are rewarded fairly to compensate when travel is increasing.” –
Operations consultant
• “West Monroe does a lot of business in Chicago, so if you don’t like to travel, you can focus on projects in the area.” – Midwest respondent
Compensation
• “I’m very happy with my compensation. I’m sure that there would be potential for higher compensation if I went to a bigger firm, but West
Monroe provides a culture that more than offsets that gap.” – Strategy insider
• “Base pay is very competitive. We have an excellent program for bonus and profit sharing.” – Operations consultant
• “We operate as one firm, so bonuses are tied to the overall firm performance, not just an office or subgroup.” – Senior source
• “Given the economy, we decided to not give out a bonus at the end of 2009.” – Chicago partner
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: In the past, the firm’s small size corresponded well with a mentorship culture. Now that it’s seeing rapid growth, investment in
formal offerings is ongoing and comprehensive.
Formal Training
• “Consultative training is well institutionalized. We have both online and classroom training. Technical training is more individualized, and is
comprised of a mix of formal training and on-the-job training.” – Partner
• “Training offerings are more than you could do, even when not fully booked on projects.” – Energy insider
• “We are getting better here. Our training is usually on the job and just in time. We are getting to be the size now that we need to proactively
offer certain kinds of training, but we are certainly addressing that as we speak.” – Midwest junior
• “I have learned 85 percent of my job with on-the-job training.” – Analyst
Promotion Policies
• “We are not an up-or-out culture. Consultants do advance every two to three years, but some stay specialists forever. You do not need to be
promoted to stay here.” – Senior source
• “The culture is meritocratic—those who work hard are rewarded almost without exception.” – First-year analyst
• “The best-performing group of fresh consultants is generally promoted to the next level at their one-year date.” – Junior consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
West Monroe Partners
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: As far as the numbers are concerned there is room for improvement in the diversity arena, but insiders appreciate West Monroe’s
tolerant, welcoming attitude.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “I think our firm makes great efforts to treat everyone equally. For a smaller firm, I think we are extremely diverse, which adds a lot to our work
environment.” – Technology analyst
• “Hiring and promoting any of these populations is supported but not actively addressed, so our employee population is sprinkled with
representatives of each at multiple levels, more as a result of performance/available talent pool than intent.” – Executive-level respondent
• “Diversity is something we truly value, and we will continue to focus on it. From a truly statistical perspective, we’re looking to improve in this
area.” – Senior consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Consultants are exceptionally confident that West Monroe’s “second to none” leadership is steering the firm toward a profitable
future. Early indicators suggest that their confidence is justified.
Overall Business Outlook
• “Our first quarter has been one of our best in our history. Everyone is highly chargeable, and we are hiring.” – Senior consultant
• “2010 is already beyond all of our expectations, and we know the best is yet to come.” – Operations higher-up
• “We are almost sold out! It is great when you can turn down work as a consultant and have a lot of options on the table to work on different
projects.” – Entry-level staffer
• “West Monroe and BearingPoint Europe just entered a strategic partnership. This will provide a lot of great opportunities for both consulting
firms.” – Senior consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The leadership team at West Monroe Partners is second to none.” – Strategy consultant
• “The team is extremely gifted, supportive and committed.” – Midwest insider
• “Our leadership team is brilliant, and we see it every day when they come up with interesting initiatives. Our firm is small and nimble, so we see
executive decisions acted upon quickly every time they are made.” – First-year analyst
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
West Monroe Partners
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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CORNERSTONE RESEARCH
353 Sacramento Street
23
rd
Floor
San Francisco, California 94111
Phone: (415) 229-8100
Fax: (415) 229-8199
www.cornerstone.com
LOCATIONS
Boston, MA
Los Angeles, CA
Menlo Park, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC
PRACTICE AREAS
Accounting • Antitrust • Bankruptcy • Corporate Governance
• Energy • Financial Institutions • Intellectual Property •
Labor, Employment & Discrimination • Pharmaceuticals &
Healthcare • Securities • Valuation
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Chairman & Managing Director: James K. Malernee
President & CEO: Cynthia L. Zollinger
2010 Employees: 450+
2009 Employees: 450+
• “The go-to guys in litigation consulting”
• “Eggheads, analysis-driven”
• “Strong in the finance area”
• “Research-, not client-focused”
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “No ‘punch in’ or ‘punch out’ time”
• “Academically-oriented work”
• “Privately held; not subject to the whims of the quarterly
cycle”
• “Softball in the summer”
DOWNERS
• “Lack of transparency regarding advancement” at senior
levels
• “Not well known compared to larger management consulting
firms”
• “Slow-moving leadership decisions”
• “Managers tend to staff the same analysts over and over
again, so even though analysts are technically ‘generalists’
we sometimes get pigeonholed”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Go to the careers section of the firm’s website
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
The starting line
In traditional architecture, a cornerstone is a stone representing the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building. Cornerstone
Research, a finance and economics consulting firm, likes to think that it provides this same starting place for clients facing complex economic or
financial issues. Although Cornerstone seldom releases the names of its clients, the clients and projects that it is involved with are often in the news,
and the firm works on many cases that make the front page of The Wall Street Journal. Many recent cases have revolved around the financial crisis,
auction rate securities, private equity deals gone awry, and stock option backdating. Clients include firms in a diverse group of industries, ranging from
the financial, telecommunications and high-tech markets, to manufacturing and real estate.
Cornerstone Research provides its clients with the insights and analyses they need to make their case in the context of arbitration, mediation, or
litigation. That includes finding high-quality expert witnesses, as well as providing economic and financial analysis to clients.
Clean break
Cornerstone was formed in 1989 when founding officers Cynthia Zollinger and James Malernee left the MAC Group, a management consulting firm.
Zollinger and Malernee made the decision to split away from MAC because they felt that the fundamental differences between financial and economic
consulting and management consulting called for a greater focus. It prides itself on the fact that much of its business still comes through client
referrals.
Brick by brick
Cornerstone is most known for its work providing economic and financial analyses on issues pertaining to securities, antitrust, intellectual property,
accounting, energy, health care and financial institutions (such as banks, hedge funds, and insurers) when these issues arise in litigation. The firm
gets the ball rolling by identifying key economic aspects of the case. These aspects are identified as areas that might require expert witness opinion
or testimony. The firm then helps its client choose an expert witness who is recognized for his/her expertise in the relevant subject matter and prior
experience in litigation proceedings. These witnesses come from a wide network of sources, including both academia and “real world” experts.
Finally, when it is time to take all this work and move it into the courtroom, Cornerstone Research and the experts they support will help attorneys
prepare for depositions of opposing witnesses, cross examinations and, finally, trials. Typical projects last several months, though they can last from
one week to over a year—and consultants usually work on more than one project at a time.
Stepping stone
The vast majority of undergraduates who join Cornerstone eventually leave to earn a graduate degree, with most pursuing an MBA. Other departing
consultants choose to pursue PhDs in economics or finance, or law degrees. The firm takes several formal steps to help consultants with the
application process. It brings in admissions counselors from Wharton, Stanford, Duke, MIT, Kellogg and Chicago, or other top institutions, to give
presentations and talk to students about their respective schools and the requirements for admission.
GETTING HIRED
Cornerstone recruiters aren’t looking for excellence in any specific field—they’re looking for it throughout a candidate’s experiences, be they strictly
academic or augmented by work history. Offices recruit from the top academic programs in their geographic area, seeking “well-rounded, enthusiastic
candidates who have demonstrated excellent academic performance.” While this is somewhat typical for the industry in general, Cornerstone only
reaches out to graduates who demonstrate an atypical ability to analyze and solve problems of all sorts.
Those invited to join the hiring process are subjected to anywhere from two to 10 intensive interviews, “ultimately meeting between eight and 10”
current employees. During these interviews, candidates “are given up to eight case studies,” one executive mentions. “Each case study is quite
different, usually based on a case the interviewer has personally worked on,” he continues. Interviewers place particular emphasis on looking for
candidates who are “able to think outside the box.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Cornerstone’s outstanding firm culture takes the cake as the fundamental source of its consultants’ general satisfaction, an
impressive display in itself.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I am surprisingly satisfied with my job. When I have dinner with my fellow MBA alumni, they always are talking about their ‘next job’ or what
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Cornerstone Research
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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they hope to be doing. I am already where I want to be.” – Manager
• “I am very happy with my job at Cornerstone. The work is very interesting and the nature of our cases is constantly changing. This allows me to
think and learn about many different fields/firms and issues. Given our people, working in case teams is always fun.” – Associate
• “Cornerstone provides a lot of great opportunities for professional development for someone like me, who joined right after college. I’ve been
able to develop technical and soft skills, and take on substantive leadership roles on case teams and on non-billable projects in a way that I
never expected to right out of school.” – California staffer
• “I love almost everything about my job. I work with great people and my work is challenging. My only complaint is that the hours are often
unpredictable.” – Research associate
Firm Culture
• “Cornerstone has one of the best cultures of any firm out there. As an employee, you feel completely comfortable interacting with everyone
from admin staff to partners both in and out of the office. Everyone is supportive of one another and this leads to a friendly and fun work
environment.” – Analyst
• “People are extremely friendly and helpful. We enjoy working and socializing with one another. Senior management is committed to creating an
environment where people are happy and are given opportunities to succeed and develop professionally.” – Senior source
• “The firm is very proud of its culture, and rightfully so. Organized social events allow colleagues to get to know each other outside of the work
environment, and the atmosphere is friendly and collegial.” – D.C. Associate
Supervisor Relationships
• “We’re a close-knit company, so I actually know my supervisors very well. I’ve been to their homes, had one-on-one dinners with them, and
grab drinks with them after work at least twice a month.” – Senior Analyst
• “I have always felt comfortable approaching supervisors, and have found that they value analysts’ input and take a significant interest in their
development.” – Research Analyst
• “I’ve had a chance to build some great working relationships with my supervisors—so much so that I would not hesitate to ask any of them for
recommendations for graduate school or future jobs.” – Research Associate
• “I really like my supervisors. They are generally a pretty impressive set of people. Some obviously more than others, but that’s to be expected.”
– West Coast insider
Interaction with Clients
• “As you become more senior, you are given more exposure to clients and experts. I have been able to lead my own meetings with experts,
which has been a great learning experience for me.” – Associate
• “It’s a bit of a mixed bag. Most of our clients are great, but some are a quite difficult. I have a good relationship with the vast majority clients
who I work with, but there are a few who are harder to work with than the rest.” – San Francisco staffer
• “In general, Cornerstone analysts have relatively limited contact with clients, though opportunities to have more contact are available.” – Junior
source
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Hourly demands are no problem for Cornerstone consultants, who appreciate the firm’s commitments to keeping travel low,
weekends work-free and pay at competitive levels.
Work Hours
• “I generally arrive by 8:30 a.m. and leave by 7:30 p.m. Maybe a few hours on the weekend. Some late nights and weekends are definitely
required. People here are not into face time, per se, which is great.” – Experienced staffer
• “Historically, it seems certain high-performing analysts receive a disproportionate amount of the work, while others do not. This can lead to
feelings of inequity.” – Boston entry-level
• “The workload is as advertised: on average, 50 hours per week. However, as expected, there is a lot of variation for each individual as well as
across groups.” – Manager
• “The hours at CR are cyclical. Before a deadline, you might be very busy, but it balances out over time. Analysts are expected to work 50
hours per week, with 10 of those hours being non-billable tasks. Non-billable tasks include, but are definitely not limited to, leading the
recruiting effort on campus, writing a report with professors at Stanford on current securities litigation or training other analysts.” – Associate
Work/Life Balance
• “My experience has been that managers make a concerted effort to balance your work and life. I had a pretty time-consuming hobby while
working full time, and my managers worked with me to allow me to continue the hobby while still meeting the deadlines.” – Analyst
• “The firm is great about promoting work/life balance. Weekend work is not frequent, unless there is a fire drill for an engagement.” – Senior
Manager
• “It takes considerable upward management in order to maintain a good balance of life and work. Unless you’re proactive about fulfilling out-of-
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Cornerstone Research
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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office plans, managers will expect you to basically be on call.” – Research Associate
Travel Requirements
• “Where Cornerstone really stands out to me as compared to management consulting is in the lack of travel. I really feel a sense of being home
where I live, and can maintain active friendships and relationships that wouldn’t be possible if I were spending four days a week in a hotel in
random city.” – New York Senior Analyst
• “Our travel demands are infrequent. I’m now at a level where I occasionally have to travel for a client meeting or something of that nature, but
it’s not like it’s a regular part of my job.” – Senior Manager
• “Our firm usually requires no travel. There have been rare instances where one office will be so busy that they need consultants from another
office to work out of their office for a short period of time, but this will always be an optional assignment.” – Analyst
Compensation
• “I think that Cornerstone offers compensation equal to or better than the industry. Bonuses are generous. I have found that utilization bonuses
do not quite compensate for the additional work done, but the aggregate financial package is quite satisfactory.” – Research Associate
• “Cornerstone has always been very generous. 2009 was not a great year for the firm, and 2009 bonuses were below target, but we are much
busier lately. And even though utilization was not great last year, the bonuses were still pretty good.” – Manager
• “I feel that you really don’t get rewarded for standing out. If you do a great job, then you get a slightly bigger bonus; if you’re terrible, then your
bonus is slightly lower. But the discrepancy isn’t as high as you’d think.” – Senior Analyst
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Cornerstone’s “very intense” first-year training program is both comprehensive and effective. After that, consultants typically prefer
informal alternatives to the firm’s formal offerings.
Formal Training
• “When you start, CR conducts two weeks of very intense training, which culminates in mock expert deposition. It’s a really fun process and is a
serious bonding experience for the analysts.” – Entry-level respondent
• “Cornerstone conducts official training sessions, given by peers or superiors. These sessions provide very useful insights for professional
development. The initial training is very useful in getting one up to speed, and helps make the transition into this job really smooth.” – Research
Associate
• “After a weeklong mock case, most training is learned on the job. Cornerstone also organizes weekly formal training sessions for new hires for
the first five to six months, which are helpful for learning the best practices and software that you might not use on your first case.” – Analyst
• “Not all of the training is productive. Most consultants learn more through informal mentoring on live cases.” – Boston principal
Promotion Policies
• “There is a clearly defined career path, as long as consultants meet the high level of expectations from the company. Consultants are evaluated
on specific criteria (which is known to them in advance) every six months. Therefore, reviews and promotions are pretty transparent at the
company.” – Manager
• “It is not an up-or-out firm. Consultants are given a timeline and the firm tends to adhere to that policy. I’d like a little more flexibility, even if it
came at the cost of job security.” – Associate
• “Cornerstone is into private rewards: salary increases, bonuses, better recommendation letters, etc., rather than title changes.” – West Coast
staffer
• “At the analyst level, promotion is on a standard schedule. After five years, most analysts are expected to move onto graduate school or another
position.” – Entry-level source
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Diversity is one of Cornerstone’s strongest assets; many consultants have joined the firm specifically for the prospect of joining a
truly hospitable, engaging work community.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Cornerstone is extremely diverse. Many employees at all levels of the firm from analyst to CEO are women. Cornerstone is very accepting of
GLBT individuals.” – Los Angeles Analyst
• “We are a pretty diverse crowd and take care in recruiting to keep things that way. Our diversity is one aspect that makes this place great.” –
Manager
• “Our firm is very supportive of minorities and employees needing work visas and immigration support.” – Senior Analyst
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Cornerstone Research
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: 2009 was a difficult year for Cornerstone’s clients and competitors, but the firm’s leadership performed admirably, ensuring the
firm’s continued strong financial performance and positioning the firm to resume growth as the economy rebounds.
Overall Business Outlook
• “After a somewhat challenging year 2009, things are improving. In 2009, management took measures to prevent layoffs, unlike some of our
competitors. This leaves us well placed to take advantage of an improving business situation in 2010.” – Associate
• “Employee morale is good; we are doing better than a number of our competitors, which is in part due to the fact that we are a privately-held
firm. We operated profitably during the economic decline, and expect to continue to operate at a good level.” – D.C. insider
• “This recession has been longer and deeper than expected. We’ve had to adjust to it but did not change our core values. We’ll be ready when
demand picks up again.” –Senior Associate
• “Everyone banded together during the slower times. Business is picking up lately, and we are well positioned with our staff and expertise to
take advantage of the economic upswing.” – Analyst
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The leadership is excellent. Everyone loves our CEO and she is doing great things for the firm.” – Associate
• “The senior folks take the long view to planning. They do not view labor as a marginal cost, but rather as part of the capital stock that makes
the firm strong.” – Research Associate
• “The firm is still actively run by its founders, in whom everyone has great confidence. I think the challenge for Cornerstone is going to be in the
next 10 years when the founders either retire or at least scale back.” – San Francisco staffer
• “The firm’s leaders are looking to create a sustainable business that will outlast them, which is great for the next generation of leaders.” –
Manager
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Cornerstone Research
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP
300 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10017
Phone: (646) 471-4000
Fax: (813) 286-6000
www.pwc.com/us
www.pwc.tv
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
Network of member firms with 74 offices across the US
PRACTICE AREAS
Advisory
Capital Projects & Infrastructure • Corporate Finance
• Deals • Finance • Forensic Services • Internal Audit
• Operations • People & Change • Risk Management •
Security • Technology
Assurance
Tax
Private Company Services
Public Sector Practice
• “Good all-around firm”
• “Weak leadership, coasting on reputation”
• “Pay for performance—good promotion practices”
• “Accounting focus”
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Global Chairman: Dennis M. Nally
US Chairman & Senior Partner: Robert E. Moritz
Global Advisory Leader: Juan A. Pujadas
US Advisory Leader: Dana Mcilwain
2009 Employees*: 39,142
2008 Employees*: 38,160
2009 Revenue*: $9.03 billion; $6.11 billion (global advisory)
2008 Revenue*: $9.33 billion; $6.89 billion (global advisory)
*Employee and revenue figures are for North America and
the Caribbean only
UPPERS
• “Prestige of firm name”
• “Unparalleled commitment to learning and education”
• “Exposure to upper management”
DOWNERS
• “Considered exclusively an audit firm”
• “Poor work/life balance”
• “Time off negatively affects perceived performance”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.pwc.com/careers
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Getting back into it
Big Four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has been steadily building its consulting practice in recent years, following the sale of its original
consulting wing to IBM in 2002. These days, PwC’s management consulting operations focus on operations, finance, organizational strategy and
structure, process improvement, human resources effectiveness, technology integration and implementation, risk mitigation and crisis management.
And it’s not difficult to see why; in 2004, PwC’s advisory division pulled in some $3.4 billion in revenue. Within four years of restarting a business
consulting unit, that number had more than doubled—and that’s without the firm delving back into the IT market in any big way; its noncompete
agreement with IBM only ended in 2007, and PwC has yet to signal any great intention to rebuild that portion of its business.
One firm, many members
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is the U.S. member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global network of independent member firms. Today, the PwC
network comprises more than 163,000 people in 151 countries and territories. This international group was created in 1998, with the merger of Price
Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, two accounting and professional services firms that date back to the 1800s. Both Price Waterhouse and Coopers
& Lybrand began in London, and both grew their global presence organically and through mergers.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is headquartered in New York and includes more than 29,000 employees in 74 offices across the United States. To
the north, the Canadian member firm has more than 5,000 employees in 24 offices. While each member firm operates independently within its own
geographic locale, there is a considerable amount of cooperation and networking between them, ensuring that the global network of firms works as
both a global entity and on a local scale.
Given its sheer size and country coverage, not to mention the independent setup of its member firms, it should come as little surprise that the services
PwC offers vary slightly within the global network of firms. However, all services do fall into one of three core PwC lines of service: tax, advisory and/or
assurance. As for clients, the firm works with some of the biggest names in global business, including the likes of AXA, JPMorgan Chase and Lloyds
TSB in finance; 3M, Honeywell, IBM, Sony and Walt Disney in technology, infocomm and entertainment; and Anheuser-Busch, Caterpillar, Ford,
Johnson & Johnson and many more in consumer and industrial products and services.
GETTING HIRED
PwC places an emphasis on hiring candidates who would fare best in client-facing work. Early screenings reflect recruitment’s priorities; beware of pre-
interview dinners which, according to one insider, “are really interviews in disguise,” designed to test an applicant’s social and conversational abilities.
“Fit is more important to PwC than technical skills,” says a senior consultant. Initial evaluations focus almost exclusively on behavioral assessments.
Those who make it through on-campus and initial interviews will head to one of PwC’s offices for a full day of meetings and examinations. Typically
conducted by managers and directors, at least three interviews will test the candidate’s analytic and behavioral strengths with a series of high-pressure
case studies and one-on-ones with senior leadership. For an extra edge, candidates will do well to highlight both their aptitude for and willingness
to learn new skills quickly and on the job.
Candidates who make it past initial stages should feel confident about their chances to get in, as these days, numbers are in candidates’ favor. But
don’t let this get to your head—just because the firm is in growth mode doesn’t mean candidates shouldn’t put their best foot forward during the
interview process. “The firm is selling more work than it has bodies,” an insider states. “We’re hiring a lot.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: In a lot of ways, PwC represents the traditional consulting firm, maintaining an emphasis on face time and on-site work. Insiders
feel strongly about their firm, and are likelier to extol the firm’s finer points than share superficial gripes.
Overall Satisfaction
• “PwC cares about its people and that is evident in all that they do. Leadership goes to great length to promote and maintain transparency, and
the leadership team is proactive in implementing new programs or amending existing policies/programs to appease its primary asset: its people.”
– Financial consultant
• “Despite tough economic conditions, PricewaterhouseCoopers has found amazing project opportunities for me, and has helped me stretch
myself and continue to improve and develop.” – Senior source
• “PwC has exceeded my expectations as an employer and is a great place to start a career.” – Health care associate
• “My only complaint is that there is an expectation for people to put in significant face time, and that expectation seems to go all the way up
through the manager and director ranks.” – First-year staffer
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Firm Culture
• “The firm is team-based. We grow together and we help each other develop, unlike some companies who promote cutthroat development styles
in order to get ahead.” – West Coast analyst
• “Since most of my friends from school moved away from the area, I’ve been very fortunate to make lots of great friends at PwC. Also, the
higher-level employees I work for at the firm have made a great effort to develop relationships with me.” – Virginia associate
• “PwC has an amazing work environment, and I have great co-workers who I enjoy working with and spending time with outside of work.” –
Junior source
• “The culture is high quality and hardworking. The firm has very high expectations.” – M&A consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “My supervisor allows me the flexibility and freedom to take on responsibilities that are normally reserved for higher level staff, which allow for
greater development opportunities.” – Consultant
• “Supervisors are very kind and are willing to take the time to coach and give feedback.” – Entry-level respondent
• “Because we do not work in the same office region, much of our communication occurs via email or instant messaging.” – Analyst
Interaction with Clients
• “I have had the opportunity to own relationships with clients, and have become a trusted advisor to many of my regular client contacts.” – East
Coast midlevel
• “I rarely interact with clients, but when I do, the relationships are quite good.” – Analyst
• “My client relationships aren’t great, but that’s more of a function of disinterest on their side, rather than our firm.” – Virginia staffer
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: There’s a broad consensus developing at PwC: The hours aren’t great, but they could definitely be worse. Whether that’s a
positive or a negative depends on who you talk to.
Work Hours
• “Some weeks the hours are longer than other weeks. But overall, compared to what friends at other firms tell me about their hours, it seems
reasonable here.” – Junior source
• “PwC has a strong focus on work/life balance, and I have had fulfilling project opportunities without ever feeling overworked.” – San Francisco
associate
• “A lot of time is wasted waiting for data to be processed or received, and waiting on feedback from superiors.” – Consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “The challenging engagements are rewarding, but I have the freedom to balance the family and time off commitments. The firm takes it
seriously and supports when it is needed.” – Energy consultant
• “PwC makes a point to try and have us balance work and life—more so than any other firm I interviewed with or know people at. Travel makes
the balance tough sometimes, but it goes with the job.” – Analyst
• “As long as I can get my work done, I am generally free to leave early to attend seminars or other leisure activities, as well as take vacations.
Additionally, while I tend to work every weekend, it is only for about an hour or two during the entire weekend.” – D.C. midlevel
• “Work does not invade my out-of-work life, although I work late many nights.” – Senior consultant
Travel Requirements
• “You can request to not travel, but it limits available engagements.” – Analyst
• “I travel to the client site pretty much every day. However, it is closer than my home office and very accessible by public transportation.” –
Public-sector insider
• “Travel is Monday through Thursday, generally. Due to the travel during the week, telecommuting is possible on the weekends.” – Financial
consultant
Compensation
• “PricewaterhouseCoopers has a very competitive compensation policy, especially in the area of benefits. My base salary is decent, although it
does reflect the economic downturn (but I anticipate strong raises going forward).” – Junior source
• “Overall it’s not the highest paying firm, but PwC pays its employees slightly above other consulting agencies.” – Entry-level respondent
• “I could have gotten a better signing bonus, but I understand considering the present economic environment.” – Senior consultant
• “I do not feel shortchanged by the firm in any way on my compensation, though it would be nice to be compensated more for my job just due to
life expenses I have.” – Business consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: A standout area for the firm, PwC is famous for training its consultants to the max. Opportunities, particularly for recent hires, are
informative, engaging, and even fun—really!
Formal Training
• “I received six weeks of training when I started with the firm. The first two weeks focused on the foundations of consulting, while the last
four focused on technical training. Throughout the course of my engagements, my supervisors often provide me with informal mentoring and
coaching.” – East Coast staffer
• “There are plenty of self study eLearning courses, but also a lot of formal in-class trainings. I also am able to do certifications that are applicable
to the business.” – Midlevel source
• “I have learned a great deal from my project teams, but there are also amazing self-studies and other trainings offered by the firm.” – Analyst
• “I feel like there is almost too much training.” – Senior consultant
Promotion Policies
• “I believe the average is about three years at each staff level through manager—then it varies with a greater degree. It is not strictly up or out;
there are many opportunities to pursue opportunities in different areas without being promoted.” – Junior source
• “Opportunities have been slow with the economy; some feel they have been passed up.” –Midlevel consultant
• “I am not pleased with how stringent the requirements are. I think that time requirements are important, but there should be room for people to
be promoted early if they are performing at the next level, regardless of how long they have been at the firm.” – Virginia staffer
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: PwC displays some homogeny at the top. Especially with regard to women, more attention needs to be paid to the difficult issue
of retention.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “PwC makes an effort to promote diversity with sophomore internship opportunities, women’s networking circles and other events and groups. I
feel that no one suffers in terms of opportunities and all are welcomed at the firm.” – Junior source
• “The firm provides three weeks of maternity leave for the fathers, and extended time for mothers.” – Associate
• “There needs to be more women in upper management positions. PwC should work to stress the flex schedule—many women seem to leave
around the time they reach the management positions due to family life.” – Financial consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Was there ever any doubt that PwC would be just fine? The firm held its ground during the recession, and is now encroaching on
its competitors’ territory with rapid expansion and an aggressive sales model.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We’re hiring again and can’t staff projects quickly enough.” – Midwest junior
• “Our firm is extremely well prepared for the next 12 months; we focus a good amount of effort and research into the future of the firm.” – San
Francisco associate
• “PwC is well-positioned following the acquisition of many BearingPoint assets. Our leverage model is improved by the addition of the global
development centers, and legacy BearingPoint employees provide a strong technical background to improve PwC’s offerings in systems
implementations.” – Analyst
• “Employee morale seems to have been somewhat boosted with the review process being moved forward a few months. People are hoping to
have some improvement in compensation earlier then they expected.” – Strategy consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “I have been immensely impressed with our leadership’s transparency, honesty and open concern for the firm’s well-being and the well-being of
its people.” – Midlevel consultant
• “PwC has a very strong leadership team that has a vision for the firm; I am confident in their ability to execute that plan.” – Senior source
• “Love them. The only negative is most of them are ex-auditors that are doing consulting work. But they know how to get the right people on
board.” – East Coast insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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ALVAREZ & MARSAL
600 Lexington Avenue, 6
th
Floor
New York, New York 10022
Phone: (212) 759-4433
Fax: (212) 759-5532
www.alvarezandmarsal.com
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
London (Europe HQ)
São Paulo (Latin America HQ)
Hong Kong (Asia HQ)
41 offices in 17 countries worldwide
PRACTICE AREAS
G lobal Capabilities
Turnaround & Restructuring • Performance Improvement •
Tax Advisory • Transaction Advisory • Dispute Analysis &
Forensics
Industry Expertise
Automotive & Suppliers • Consumer Packaged Goods •
Energy • Healthcare • High Tech • Manufacturing • Media &
Entertainment • Private Equity • Public Sector • Real Estate
• Retail • Transportation & Airlines
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Co-CEOs: Antonio C. Alvarez II & Bryan P. Marsal
2010 Employees: 1,700
2009 Employees: 1,600+
• “Chapter 11 mavens”
• “Not people-focused”
• “Best-paying firm in restructuring”
• “Eat what you kill environment”
103
14
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Very little bureaucracy”
• “Exposure to different industries”
• “Being part of a highly respected brand”
• “I love working with Bryan Marsal and Tony Alvarez”
DOWNERS
• “Regional structure limits development of junior talent”
• “Fiscally conservative with respect to back-office
improvements”
• “Inconsistent talent grading”
• “Lack of rock-star brand name recognition”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
alvarezandmarsal.com/en/careers/index.html
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Treatment options
Alvarez & Marsal, an independent global professional services firm, serves clients across a range of industries, including retail, health care,
telecommunications, transportation, technology, manufacturing, financial services, public sector, government, oil and gas, and energy and utilities.
The firm’s professionals, “corporate doctors” as they are sometimes described, focus on preserving and maximizing the value of an enterprise. A&M is
best known for its corporate turnaround and restructuring services, which consist of performance improvement, turnaround advisory, crisis and interim
management, revenue enhancement, creditor advisory, corporate finance, claims management, health care, public sector and risk management
advisory. The firm also lends its expertise in healthy circumstances, advising on performance and process improvement related to functions such as
human resources, strategy, IT, supply chain and customer management. It employs more than 1,700 professionals, and maintains offices throughout
North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Since 2003, the firm has considerably expanded its geographic reach and capabilities, and it now serves not only troubled and underperforming
businesses, but also those in good health. Today, it provides a range of business advisory services, including tax advisory (A&M Taxand, part of
the global Taxand network), dispute analysis and forensics, transaction advisory and private equity services. A&M also provides highly specialized
performance improvement and restructuring services with a dedicated industry focus in health care, the public sector, real estate and financial
services—point in case, A&M’s Co-CEO Bryan Marsal and a global team of A&M professionals have been leading the post-bankruptcy wind-down and
restructuring of Lehman Brothers Holdings. The firm has also led the restructuring of WaMu and other major banking institutions.
Teeing off A&M
Like many great ideas, the one that led to the creation of Alvarez & Marsal was hatched over a game of golf between Tony Alvarez II and Bryan Marsal
in 1983. The pair, both with backgrounds in financial services, believed most consultants become so entangled in details that effective decision
making can be neglected. Alvarez and Marsal, therefore, set out to create an organization that could offer tactical, action-oriented assistance to
improve operational performance, instead of just strategic propositions. The firm’s earliest engagements focused on debtor management and advising
struggling corporations—experiences that established the skill set utilized today in the firm’s turnaround practice. A&M’s consulting divisions came
into their own in 2003, when the company began recruiting seasoned professionals from other major firms, among them BearingPoint, Answerthink
and Accenture.
Fixing the broken
A&M’s turnaround and restructuring practice assists clients at multiple points on the downward arc of business failure—healthy with weak divisions
(not yet descending, but beginning to tip), underperforming (slipping and falling) and in crisis (“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”). The firm uses a
five-step approach that first arrests the corporation’s fall, then reverses it. Step one is “stabilize”: The goal is to alter the environment to promote positive
change, ensuring there are sufficient cash resources and a well-prepared management team (either by supporting or equipping them with objective,
fact-based information or by placing A&M professionals on the roster as interim executives, when required). Step two is “diagnose”: The company
investigates and analyzes the state of the industry, identifying obstacles and opportunities. Step three is self-explanatory: “plan.” A&M takes account of
the client’s strengths and maps a course of action. “Facilitate” is step four, which calls for the cooperation and commitment of the whole organization
to institute the prescribed plan. This facilitation sequences into the final step, “lead.” Execution of real change is only possible with capable leadership,
coming from the existing management team or through A&M’s professionals serving in interim management roles or as active advisors.
Making the most of a crisis
While not many firms would have reason to celebrate the sort of economic downturn seen of late, specialists in corporate turnarounds operate in a very
different universe, actually benefiting from increased business as companies begin to struggle. A&M certainly falls into that category, and is nothing
if not opportunistic—a fact amply demonstrated by its launching the financial industry advisory services (FIAS) group in the midst of the worldwide
credit-crunch in June 2008. (In the U.S., this group is now known as financial industry regulatory advisory, emphasizing the regulatory and compliance
expertise of this dedicated unit.) The unit offers clients in the financial services industry counsel from former bankers and bank regulators, turnaround
managers, real estate advisers, forensic accountants and IT strategists, who are led by Samuel P. Golden in U.S., a former senior official with the U.S.
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Ann Cairns in London, a former ABN-AMRO and Citigroup executive.
The firm’s real estate advisory services practice has also been making out well recently, working with the owners, investors, lenders and corporate
users of real estate—many of whom are still reeling from the sub-prime mortgage crisis—to improve operations, add value to their businesses and
minimize risk.
GETTING HIRED
References are a big deal at Alvarez & Marsal. Likewise, heavy emphasis is placed on a candidate’s personal character. Although the interview
process is extensive, candidates quickly get a feel for their chances based on their interactions with initial interviewers. According to one insider, “If
we like them, they know pretty fast”.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Alvarez & Marsal
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Much of the firm’s recruiting is carried out directly by each of the businesses, so recruits should expect to meet with senior practitioners during the
interview process. “It is not uncommon to be interviewed by either Bryan Marsal or Tony Alvarez,” one mid-level consultant reports. But one potential
difficulty a prospective hire might encounter is the firm’s preference for candidates with internal references.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: If A&M consultants aren’t heaping praise on their firm, they’re probably just being cheeky. But the secret is out: Alvarez & Marsal
offers an enviable quality of life, including one of the most flexible work/life balances in the business.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I have developed professionally exponentially faster than I would have in industry, and much faster than I feel I could have in other consulting
environments. When I summarize my project experiences with colleagues or clients, I am always impressed with what I have had the
opportunity to achieve.” – Houston consultant
• “I can’t imagine working anywhere else or finding better opportunities to advance myself and my career.” – Mid-level staffer
• “I enjoy the flexible, and constantly changing, work environment. I also enjoy the challenging nature of the work, which provides for fast
professional growth. However, this field can be demanding on your personal life, as you must be very flexible and willing to work long hours
when necessary.” – Tax consultant
Firm Culture
• “Culture is a big part of our business. Not just in who we attract and how we interact, but how we serve our clients. Our culture is a
meritocracy, where those who excel are recognized and rewarded.” – Operations consultant
• “My firm is excellent at hiring hardworking, outgoing, like-minded people with a common goal. There are very little office politics at work at
A&M, which affords a much more pleasant work environment than other firms I’ve worked at.” – Canadian consultant
• “The main reason I joined Alvarez & Marsal is the people. I respect my colleagues immensely, but also enjoy hanging out—it is a special
group.” – Mid-level strategist
• “With professionals traveling so much, it is tough to establish a strong office culture. The other business units that are in the office more seem
to have a more complete office culture experience.” – Dallas insider
Supervisor Relationships
• “My supervisors have, to this point, been awesome, without exception. They have shown a high level of concern for their staff, and have been
extremely pleasant and easy to work with.” – Chicago mid-level
• “A&M is very flat. A consultant can speak with an MD at any time. The fact that MDs have chargeable hour goals and are assigned deliverables
is tremendously positive.” – Experienced insider
• “Relationships with supervisors are ideal. I feel that my work is taken seriously and my time is respected.” – Restructuring consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “Our clients trust us and view us a part of their solution, working on things that are urgent and they can’t do for themselves, so they are usually
complimentary and grateful.” – San Francisco executive
• “Client relationships tend to be long-term and very deep.” – Mid-level consultant
• “Clients are appreciative of our work, and for the most part have been very supportive. Some clients resist change, but I always feel like we
have a good relationship by the end of a project.” – Atlanta consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Similar to most other top firms, travel and long hours are simply intrinsic to any profitable consulting schedule. That said, A&M’s
responsive leadership goes well out of its way to make consultants feel valued and not overwhelmed.
Work Hours
• “You are expected to complete your assigned work. Management is conscientious about not overloading employees.” – First-year staffer
• “Management is flexible with work hours. Knowing that sometimes we would need to work longer hours to service the client, our managing
director sometimes releases staff members when the workload is minimal.” – Consultant
• “Hours are not excessive and flexible subject to client needs.” – Houston executive
• “Hours fluctuate drastically depending on the nature of engagement and variables such as timing. Could be as high as 90, but as low as 40.” –
New York adviser
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Alvarez & Marsal
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Work/Life Balance
• “There is a great culture of flexibility related to time not spent on a billable client engagement. Additionally, the firm actively responds to specific
home-life situations (i.e., newborn baby) to ensure that consulting engagements impact the home life in as small a way as possible.” – Mid-level
respondent
• “It is acceptable to perform work from home when possible. We don’t have to be at the office just to put in face time. The vacation policy is
very generous and I am yet to be told ‘no’ when I ask for time off.” – Entry-level adviser
• “When we are on a project, it is a firestorm. The work load for a couple months can be very crazy with no work/life balance—five-day-a-week
travel, working on the weekends, etc. This is partially offset by being completely ‘on the beach’ in between projects—very little business
development requirements or face time.” – Experienced business adviser
Travel Requirements
• “We have consultants who have never traveled in five years with the firm. Others travel every week. Regardless, personal needs are heard and
the firm tries to accommodate if business conditions allow.” – Operations consultant
• “Travel is dependent on the individual, their skills and the work available in their home city. Houston is a very large market for A&M, and
therefore there are a number of in-town projects requiring minimal travel. Other cities have higher travel requirements because of the size of the
market.” – Texas consultant
• “Partners could be more proactive about eliminating unnecessary travel by starting travel negotiations with the client at three days instead of four
on site.” – Experienced adviser
• “If you don’t like traveling, don’t apply.” – Atlanta mid-level
Compensation
• “I am happy with my pay. During the economic downturn, my pay did not suffer. I also received a sizable bonus and contribution to my
401(k).” – Entry-level staffer
• “Heavily incentive-based compensation model. Pay for performance—based on service delivery, sales, and fit to culture. Surprisingly high
emphasis on fit-to-culture component.” – Executive business consultant
• “Pay for play. It’s a very results-orientated pay structure. I like it.” – Midwestern advisor
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: The firm’s A&M University sounds academic, but its quality is dubious at best. Luckily for the firm, most of its consultants have
graduated from well-respected schools and are able to pick up the essentials on the job. The firm is out to remedy the situation, however, and is
in the midst of rolling out a new string of training programs for all levels in 2010 and 2011.
Formal Training
• “Most training is on the job, but the firm is gradually increasing the amount of formal training. For example, we are going into our fifth year of
holding A&M University.” – Operations consultant
• “Training is not as frequent and structured as I would want.” – D.C. junior staffer
• “Official training has been implemented, but it’s mostly self-study, qualitative-type (think Emotional Intelligence, 7 Habits) books and hasn’t been
widely adopted.” – Entry-level strategist
• “If you want to be truly mentored and trained, I would recommend going to another firm.” – Restructuring consultant
Promotion Policies
• “There’s no formal up-or-out policy. Consultants seem to advance at a pace mostly consistent with their abilities.” – Public-sector specialist
• “There are three legs to the stool: Delivering solid work, developing staff and making rain. When all three are firing, you are promoted.” – New
York partner
• “Because A&M has few titles, promotions are not as quick compared to the Big Four.” – Business consultant
• “[The career path is] somewhat opaque. With the influx of senior talent lately, career paths are not properly defined.” – Los Angeles analyst
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: The firm’ takes a hands-off approach to diversity, stating that it hires only on merit. Diversity is quite simply a nonfactor in
recruitment. While this outlook is in line with the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit, it does result in a lack of heterogeneity within the ranks.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Overall, we’ve always been a diverse firm. We don’t have any active recruitment of any group of people based on gender, race or sexual
orientation, but we seek to hire the best of the best, and that ends up creating a natural diversity.” – Houston mid-level
• “Very male-focused. Minorities are a small part of firm.” – Operations executive
• “Minorities are notably underrepresented. When asked about this, Tony Alvarez remarked that he hires only on qualifications.” – Strategy
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Alvarez & Marsal
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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consultant
• “I like to think we’re colorblind when it comes to how we treat everyone, but at the same time, I acknowledge that there are unique differences
that need unique solutions.” – Higher-up in New York
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: The firm’s outlook is boldly underscored by its consultants’ dogmatic admiration for their leaders, Tony Alvarez and Bryan Marsal.
While it’s the consultants themselves doing the legwork on the ground, the charismatic duo continue to gather a wealth of accolades for the firm’s
many successes.
Overall Business Outlook
• “A&M is well hedged against a downturn stutter or a strong upturn with both healthy-company and troubled-company consulting businesses.” –
Dallas staffer
• “2010 should be much better than 2009. We have repositioned our service lines to better serve our key accountants and private equity clients.
We have seen a significant increase in market traction accordingly. Utilization is up, and the pipeline is full of prospects.” – Mid-level consultant
• “Our firm’s outlook is favorable. In the recent recession, our restructuring arm has provided large amounts of referral work, while in better
economic times we have a great deal of tax consulting and compliance work.” – Seattle first-year
• “The regional structure will provide different stories. My region is struggling to sell business, while others are nearly staffed out.” – Operations
consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Tony Alvarez & Bryan Marsal are the absolute best in their field—both in the industry as well as in guiding their firm and its people. I have
absolute faith in my firm’s leadership.” – Canadian financial consultant
• “Our leaders are constantly pursuing ways to diversify, grow and strengthen A&M’s brand and internal culture. Furthermore, they are open-
minded to new ideas and practices, highlighting their ability to adapt to the current turbulent market situation.” – Health care specialist
• “There is virtually firm-wide confidence in A&M’s leadership.” – Restructuring consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Alvarez & Marsal
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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230 Third Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02451
Phone: (781) 577-6300
Fax: (781) 487-7301
www.trinitypartners.com
www.trinitypharmasolutions.com
www.akutacorp.com
LOCATIONS
Waltham, MA (HQ)
New York, NY
PRACTICE AREAS
Consulting Group
Advanced Analytics • Brand Planning • Corporate Strategy
• Forecasting • Licensing & Acquisition • Market Analytics •
Pipeline & Portfolio Optimization • Primary Market Research
• Promotional Effectiveness
Data Group
Dashboards & Analytics • Field Sales Data Reporting
Solutions • Incentive Compensation Systems • Sales Force
Deployment
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
President: John E. Corcoran
Managing Partner: David B. Fitzhenry
2010 Employees: 100+
2009 Employees: 95+
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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TRINITY PARTNERS, LLC
15
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Exposure to big projects at entry level”
• “Grassroots program to submit projects”
• “Friendly culture, no malignant competition within the
company”
DOWNERS
• “Suburban location”
• “All-done-in-any-timeframe mentality”
• “Peaks and valleys in demand for our services that we can’t
always predict”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.trinitypartners.com/careers.html
Email: careers@trinitypartners.com
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THE SCOOP
Health care pros
Since its founding in 1996, Trinity Partners has maintained a singular industry focus: advising life sciences companies on market strategy, brand
tactics, forecasting, licensing and data analysis. Its clients include pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostics and medical device providers, ranging from
small companies to members of the Fortune 100. The firm’s expertise spans all therapeutic areas, including oncology, autoimmune disease, central
nervous system disorders, infectious diseases, cardiovascular health, metabolics, urology and gastrointestinal conditions. And, like a doctor with a
patient, the firm prides itself on not stopping at a mere diagnosis of whatever happens to be ailing a client—it is committed to finding and implementing
solutions as well.
What sets Trinity apart from the rest is its consultants’ ability to devise long-term, big-picture visions—or “roadmaps”—for clients, backed by industry
expertise, quantitative focus, thorough research and evidence-based insights. Consultants combine strategic and technical services to add value and
optimize solutions across all of a client company’s practice areas.
Trinity’s offerings are further strengthened by its primary market research and advanced analytics practices. Both teams operate vertically as
standalone groups, but they also support other strategic consulting efforts. The PMR team offers “opportunity assessment” by conducting quantitative
and qualitative research, with insights from key stakeholders. This allows for customization and transparency in the analysis provided to clients. The
advanced analytics team, led by statistics PhD Dr. Fotios Kokkotos, delivers market data not generally available from other sources by creating validated
models from large pools of information.
Founding fathers
President John E. Corcoran founded Trinity Partners, and has over 20 years of experience as a consultant to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology
industries. He’s also a co-founder and member of the board of Soteira Inc., a Massachusetts medical device company that is developing a pioneering
new stent technology for spinal surgeries. A graduate of Harvard College, Northeastern University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at
Harvard, Corcoran’s specialties are data management, commercialization strategy and analytics.
Trinity is one of the fastest growing consulting firms in the health care industry, but with just two offices and over 100 employees, it has managed to
keep its boutique feel. The Massachusetts-based firm has an outpost, in New York City, which is headed by Ryan Million, PhD. In other leadership
posts are the firm’s managing partner, David B. Fitzhenry, a 13-year Trinity veteran and Harvard graduate, who oversees its consulting operation.
See also: subsidiaries
Trinity’s business goes beyond strategy, thanks to its subsidiaries. In 2004, the firm created Trinity Pharma Solutions, which provides technology-
based solutions—including data management and sales support—to biotech and pharmaceutical operations. Trinity Pharma Solutions offers data
integration and warehousing, business intelligence and profiling applications, specialized data management solutions (design and support), program
management, national account contracting and sales operations services.
Akuta Corporation, which Trinity established in 2006, was the firm’s answer to a lack of available software aimed at medical science liaison (MSL) teams.
Today, Akuta provides cutting-edge web communication and reporting tools to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries. Akuta’s
proprietary software system, mslConnect, serves as a communications, management, reporting and resource hub for medical teams. According to
Akuta—the name comes from the Sanskrit word for purpose or intention—the software is designed to be as simple as an email application.
GETTING HIRED
“Don’t be surprised if that creative, social, athletic team member next to you turns out to be an advanced physics major,” an inside source says of
his colleagues, “and the one cranking out those sophisticated statistical models regularly has you keeling over with laughter!” This speaks volumes
about the kind of individual Trinity looks to hire. “Personality is huge—we want people who are driven but know how to kick back and have fun,”
another source details. There’s no question that cultural fit is a primary point of emphasis in recruiting, but don’t be fooled: Candidates who lack the
firm’s preferred qualifications typically don’t make it to the hiring stage. Trinity looks for students and recent graduates who display a range of talents
and expertise. “We want the relevant background in science, business and economics, but with interesting experiences pointing to a well-rounded
individual that works well with others and has personal passions.”
After a rather extensive screening routine (typically including at least two phone interviews, plus case questions), preferred candidates head to
Massachusetts for a round of interviews with upwards of five current consultants. “Be prepared to demonstrate knowledge of the pharmaceutical and
health care industries in your interviews,” a consultant advises, highlighting the need for legitimate technical know-how. Candidates can expect “three
case questions, minimum,” to go with the clear emphasis on cultural fit. At Trinity, those that “outshine their competition during the fit interviews”
stand the best chances of getting an offer.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Trinity Partners, LLC
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Leadership is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining Trinity consultants’ exceptionally high degree of satisfaction as the firm
grows. The fun and highly collaborative culture is a huge factor in that equation.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I couldn’t be happier! Fun smart people, great clients, interesting work, decent hours, great pay. What more could you want?” – Senior source
• “My job satisfaction is extremely high. Trinity thrives on its refusal to have a ‘one size fits all’ approach. At Trinity, there’s no clock-watching,
face time or any level of managerial control on our lives. People are respected and treated as adults to make decisions, which make them the
most productive.” – Associate
• “I am always excited to go to work each day, never bored! There’s lots of opportunity for upward mobility, and new ideas are welcomed.” –
Executive-level insider
• “While the firm has a fun culture and entrepreneurial feel, its work/life balance can be challenging [at times].” – Consultant
Firm Culture
• “Everyone is friends, and everyone is very social, very smart and very hardworking. The structure is flat and you can joke with the partners.” –
Entry-level Associate
• “Trinity is full of smart, active people. Social events are at least quarterly, and are well attended. Many people are friendly outside of work, and
some even live with their co-workers!” – Waltham insider
• “Everything we have at Trinity is built on a platform of mutual respect and loyalty—the core tenets of our culture.” – Partner
Supervisor Relationships
• “Managers are very supportive. The relationship is usually a good balance between friendliness and professionalism.” – Associate
• “My boss is one of my best friends, literally. It’s our internal relationships that hold us together.” – Senior consultant
• “My supervisors are intelligent and friendly, and they treat their employees fairly and are always cognizant of our workload.” – Midlevel
consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “We work very closely with most of our long-term clients, and they’ve been around long enough that we are familiar with their work and their
priorities. I actually know the names of most of my client’s children and spouses.” – Senior consultant
• “Our clients are always appreciative of the work we do, and respect all members of the company, not just the ones they have close contact
with.” – Boston staffer
• “People are not protective or territorial about their clients. The clients are simply assigned to whoever can most quickly and effectively manage
their project.” – Associate
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Trinity consultants endure a heavy workload during the week, but weekends are their own to give to family, friends, and their
community. Almost 90 percent of respondents tell us they work just one weekend per month or less, as needed.
Work Hours
• “9 a.m. to 7 p.m. is pretty standard, except when you have a deadline coming up, when you might stay past 10 p.m. It depends on the
individual and his/her own work style.” – First-year associate
• “I think we have a very manageable schedule. I probably average about 50 hours per week. Of course, in consulting you get the occasional
night or weekend, but personal life is well respected at Trinity.” – Senior consultant
• “The hours can be daunting on some occasions, but hard work and long hours are recognized.” – Midlevel consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “Trinity is committed to a balanced life in and out of work. Weekly staffing meetings are aimed at creating equal workloads across staff along
with raising concerns if workload gets too demanding.” – Experienced source
• “People at Trinity are active in life outside of work, whether that’s training for triathlons or volunteering in the community. Trinity encourages all
those things, and that’s why there’s no one standing over your shoulder dictating hours or vacation allotment.” – Senior consultant
• “During the week, my life is go to work, drive home, go to bed, but most of my weekends are free other than the occasional four or five hours
Saturday or Sunday.” – Boston staffer
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Trinity Partners, LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Travel Requirements
• “Especially at the more entry-level positions, travel is rare (once every other month).” – Junior-level consultant
• “We do most of our work in office, so going to an off-site client meeting (at least for a first- or second-year) is more of a privilege than a burden.”
– Junior source
• “We [often] use telecommunications for meetings with clients.” – First-year associate
Compensation
• “Base salary is pretty standard for consulting, but bonuses are extremely generous.” – Associate
• “Great pay and awesome bonus because the company is doing so well!” – Boston insider
• “Trinity’s team culture includes sharing the financial benefits of success across the firm. There’s a real recognition by the firm’s leadership that
everyone contributes to its growth and success, and should share in the rewards to reflect those contributions.” – Executive-level source
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: The clear emphasis is on introducing new hires to the industry, but formal training for experienced consultants has been rolled out
and continues to expand.
Formal Training
• “We have a two-week crash course training for undergrad new hires, which goes over a ton of information. We also have ongoing training
sessions throughout your first year, which have been very helpful.” – Associate
• “Companywide knowledge-sharing sessions (presentations on projects and topics), twice per month, allow us to share best practices and keep
everyone informed on what projects are taking place and what innovation is being created.” – Junior-level respondent
• “This year, we are making an effort to extend our training efforts to more advanced platforms (management, leadership, etc.) for folks who have
been with the company for two-plus years. Although we are making inroads, this is still a spot where we need more work.” – Boston partner
Promotion Policies
• “People are promoted promptly if they shine.” – Associate
• “At Trinity, promotions are truly a meritocracy. Recently, a new undergraduate hire was promoted after an unprecedented short time period
because of her stellar work. This example is a microcosm of Trinity’s belief that good work should be rewarded regardless of your age or time at
the company.” – Junior consultant
• “It is not up or out—it is more of a growth trajectory. They like to see us develop and are willing to put in the time to make that happen.” –
Experienced staffer
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: The diversity on display at Trinity is impressive for a company of its size—and considering the fact that the firm hires based on
skills, education and experience, rather than specific metrics pertaining to diversity requirements. The firm is ahead of the industry curve with
regard to retaining and promoting women.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “The firm is very diverse, with more and more women being promoted to senior levels.” – Associate
• “We are open to all individuals, regardless of gender, race, religion, orientation, etc. However, that doesn’t mean we’re perfect; we need more
minorities across the management levels (only one woman partner).” – Senior consultant
• “We don’t necessarily have a formal process for identifying and hiring ‘diversity’ candidates, however, it just works out that we are about 50
percent female and have a good mix of ethnic variability.” – Midlevel consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Prospects couldn’t be much better for Trinity, which insiders say is poised for “astronomical” growth in the near future.
Overall Business Outlook
• “2009 was our strongest year ever, and we just reorganized the internal structure to allow for faster growth.” – Boston staffer
• “We are growing at an astronomical rate, and are seeing more clients come in almost daily. We have increased our offerings, providing more
abilities for clients to choose from.” – Associate
• “Trinity has created a very flexible and content-oriented service model for clients that is strongly supported by its culture and approach to
recruiting and developing talented people.” – Senior consultant
• “The firm has thrived in good times and bad, and faces a very promising future.” – Boston higher-up
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Trinity Partners, LLC
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “They genuinely care for and thrive to enhance the work environment.” – Associate
• “Decisions are made in a considered and proactive fashion, not reactively. It’s really refreshing to see the amount of openness at Trinity.” –
Midlevel consultant
• “Trinity’s greatest challenge is capturing and building upon the growth opportunity before it without losing the culture and spirit that has driven
the firm’s success to date. The firm’s leadership understands this and is extremely committed to making this happen.” – Senior source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Trinity Partners, LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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BOOZ & COMPANY
101 Park Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, New York 10178
Phone: (212) 697-1900
Fax: (212) 551-6732
www.booz.com
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
61 offices around the world
PRACTICE AREAS
Finance • Information Technology • Marketing & Sales
• Mergers & Restructuring • Operations & Logistics •
Organization & Change • Product & Service Innovation •
Strategy & Leadership
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Chairman: Joe Saddi
CEO: Shumeet Banerji
2010 Employees: 3,300
2009 Employees: 3,300
• “Prestigious”
• “Internal struggles post-spinoff of the government business”
• “Re-emerging”
• “All the stress, none of the glamour”
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Intellectual freedom”
• “Pushing the boundaries of great work”
• “C-suite access”
• “Free vacation perks”
DOWNERS
• “Sheer volume of work”
• “Shortsighted leadership decisions”
• “False emphasis on work/life balance”
• “Lack of defined culture”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.booz.com/global/home/join_us
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
From outsider to insider
Booz & Company is a global consulting firm that advises businesses, government ministries (outside the U.S.), and institutions around the world
on issues of strategy, organization, operations, transformation and information technology. It holds expertise in a vast range of industries, including
aerospace, automotive, chemicals, consumer, energy and utilities, financial services, health, industrials, media and entertainment, oil and gas, retail,
transportation and others.
The company, founded in 1914 by Edwin Booz, is one of the oldest consultancies in the world. In its original incarnation, as The Business Research
Service, lone staffer Booz conducted studies and investigational services. The name Edwin G. Booz Surveys was adopted in 1924. Despite then
carrying a title befitting his one-man operation, Booz brought in two new employees (George Fry and James Allen) in the 1920s, and the firm’s work
began to draw attention from large clients like Goodyear, the Chicago Tribune, Montgomery Ward and the Canadian & Pacific Railroad. Since then, the
list of engagements the firm has worked on is perhaps best described as varied—it includes accomplishments that range from helping to organize
the National Football League in the 1960s to advising on the breakup of AT&T in the 1980s, to restructuring Nissan Motors in the early 2000s. Along
the way, the company has come up with some revolutionary ideas in the consulting field, and credits itself with inventing concepts such as human
capital in the 1940s, product life cycle in the 1950s, supply chain management in the 1980s, smart customization in the 1990s and, more recently,
organizational DNA.
Down the middle
In May 2008, Booz Allen Hamilton announced that it was splitting its U.S. government business from its global commercial consulting business. In
conjunction with the split, the firm sold a majority stake in the U.S. government business to The Carlyle Group for $2.54 billion. The commercial
business became Booz & Company, a separate entity owned and run by its existing officers. The U.S. government business continues under the
Booz Allen Hamilton name, in partnership with Carlyle. Heading up Booz & Co. is London-based CEO Shumeet Banerji, who had served as managing
director of the original firm’s European commercial business, and Chairman Joe Saddi, who is based in the Middle East.
Why split a successful company? Growing differences between the U.S. government and global commercial businesses had meant that the two groups
were run differently and serviced vastly different types of clients. Moreover, after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. government unit’s revenue surged
well beyond those of the commercial unit. As a combined company, the firm generated over $4 billion in annual sales, with approximately one-third
coming from the commercial side, even though two-thirds of the firm’s partners worked in that unit. Not that the split sees the two sides cutting all
ties, however; at the time it was announced, Banerji said his newly independent company might partner with Booz Allen Hamilton “when our combined
expertise helps our clients succeed.”
Hitting the books
Just as its founder did nearly 100 years ago, Booz continues to place a heavy emphasis on research. The firm regularly publishes reports, white
papers and books, and even publishes a quarterly magazine, strategy + business. It also produces regular podcasted online talk shows on mergers and
acquisitions.
GETTING HIRED
Wholesale change has come to Booz, and its hiring processes have emerged reborn, invigorated by a new set of values the firm now emphasizes and
seeks. “Previously, this firm looked mostly for analytical savvy, and was tone deaf to empathy, personability, leadership qualities – the ‘soft side’ of
consulting,” one experienced consultant says. As Booz tries to reconnect with its staffers and strengthen its internal culture, leadership has begun
searching for talent that fits its ideal vision of the firm’s future.
These changes have not compromised the firm’s unwavering commitment to competency, though; no candidate will make it through without
possessing the intellect and aptitude for quantitative problem-solving that’s made the firm famous. Qualified applicants can expect a series of at least
three interviews with a diverse range of Booz consultants and executives, with only a select few candidates advancing to the final rounds. “We decline
a lot of great people,” an insider admits, highlighting the cold, hard selectivity of Booz recruitment. “The upside is that if you make it through, you
know that we loved you and think that you are amazing!”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Things are changing quickly at Booz & Co. these days, and the road ahead looks promising. A renewed emphasis on corporate
culture and singular identity has reenergized the grateful consultant base.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Booz & Company
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Overall Satisfaction
• “[We have] great clients, important work and a super-smart and fun team. At Booz & Company, I get the chance to make a difference by
working with some of the world’s leading organizations to help them define and execute their strategies.” – New York executive
• “I’m constantly challenged, stimulated and encouraged as I build my experience and my career.” – East Coast associate
• “Rapidly improving culture and aggressive moves in the marketplace make Booz & Company an outstanding place to work. The change in
mood and activity is pretty incredible.” – Health care higher-up
• “[We’ve had a] slow start to branding firm identity and culture, but it’s picking up speed now.” – Energy consultant
Firm Culture
• “The firm’s culture has evolved for the better. It’s great to see a 95-year-old company evolve to the dynamics of today.” – Strategy associate
• “Booz’s culture is collaborative, supportive and entrepreneurial. You feel that you have an obligation to deliver your best, both for your clients
and your colleagues” – Atlanta respondent
• “It’s dramatically improving, in part due to the separation from Booz Allen Hamilton and the acquisition of Katzenbach Partners.” – Midlevel
source
• “We are striving in good faith to remake a culture that was rather staid and formal—I can see the thaw in progress.” – Senior associate
Supervisor Relationships
• “I’ve had terrific senior mentors at Booz. They have significant experience and great attitudes toward mentoring.” – Health care insider
• “This is, by far, the most impressive aspect of Booz to me. The leadership in North America is smart, caring and open to change, and each of
them is truly committed to growth of our firm.” – Houston staffer
• “I am constantly impressed with the quality of leadership I receive both directly and indirectly.” – Senior source
• “I have extremely close relationships with the partners and principals in my practice. They have created great opportunities for me to learn and
grow as quickly as I can. However, I often find senior people I don’t know very well in the firm hard to reach.” – Midlevel strategist
Interaction with Clients
• “Many of my clients are very longstanding relationships in which we have established a high degree of trust and openness over many years.” –
Health care executive
• “The clients that I have interacted with have been fantastic. Very early in my tenure, I have had the opportunity to build lasting relationships
with executives I’ve gotten to know and respect.” – Entry-level insider
• “Client relationships are, in general, very good. If they aren’t good, they don’t buy from us and, ultimately, are not clients.” – Midlevel consultant
• “[Interactions are] generally collaborative, but sometimes we feel like we are just there to get data out of them.” – First-year strategist
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: The firm’s revitalization efforts have included a focus on more responsive leadership, resulting in more flexibility and, if consultants
continue to get their way, less rigid travel requirements.
Work Hours
• “I wouldn’t want to have this schedule forever, but for now it’s worth it, given all that I’m learning and doing.” – Telecommunications consultant
• “In five years with Booz, I’ve always been able to get time off if needed, never had a vacation cancelled and only worked four weekends. Not
bad at all.” – Midlevel source
• “Some weeks are reasonable, some are ridiculous.” – Strategy consultant
• “Sundays usually involve a little email checking. Some partners and managers are terrible and have you checking in all Saturday and Sunday.”
– Chicago staffer
Work/Life Balance
• “I have managed an acceptable work/life balance with Booz for 12 years, including with a growing family. It requires discipline and a clear
operating model.” – Experienced strategist
• “Overall, the business gives you a lot of flexibility, provided that you find a way to get the work done. If you really hustle during the week, you
can have a good weekend.” – Midwest executive
• “By its nature, it’s challenging. But after we’d gotten out of whack with a client last year, I told the partner I was working with that it was just too
much. He acted fast and decisively, and for the rest of the project we never worked past 8 p.m. or on the weekends.” – New York respondent
• “Work/life balance became bad to the point where senior management recognized it and they are now very communicative about improving the
situation. A positive sign.” – Entry-level staffer
Travel Requirements
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Booz & Company
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
115
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• “Booz expects all staff to be on site with clients Monday to Thursday each week.” – D.C. insider
• “This is an area in which Booz could do better. We almost travel by default—we don’t really analyze whether travel is needed. We just go.” –
Health care source
• “If we aren’t traveling, we aren’t making money. Also, one of the things I like about the job is traveling to clients and interacting with them. This
job would be intolerable without the travel element.” – Senior consultant
• “We could be a little more creative about different working arrangements with clients, and more purposeful in how we manage expectations.” –
New York executive
Compensation
• “I really am amazed at what I have been able to earn in my career at Booz. Everyone always wants more, but I feel truly privileged.” –
Experienced strategy consultant
• “Pay is pretty great, although we just completed a compensation survey that showed some minor gaps at the senior levels that are being
addressed.” – Midlevel insider
• “Despite the worst recession in decades, I believe we have been able to maintain highly competitive compensation for all members of our firm.”
– Health care executive
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: A dinosaur from the Booz Allen Hamilton days, the firm’s attempt at formal training is unsatisfactory, at best. Policy changes are
starting to gain traction, but far-reaching institutional adjustments will have to be made if the firm wants to be truly effective in this area.
Formal Training
• “One of Booz’s biggest dark spots is training—we do very little of it, and even when we do, it’s a low priority. Even trivial client conflicts will get
you pulled from a training course you waited months for.” – D.C. energy consultant
• “Formal training is conducted mostly via webinar for new hires, with the exception of a one-week introductory course. The webinars are tough
to fit in to your schedule and also are fairly unproductive.” – Operations associate
• “Booz does offer a good amount of formal training, but I don’t see many people taking advantage of it. On-the-job training is certainly more
common.” – Booz insider
• “What Booz lacks is a formal, in-person, in-depth training program beyond the initial on-boarding. People are trying to start it up, but we’re
going to be trailing the competition for a while on that one.” – Chicago entry-level
Promotion Policies
• “We are up or out on our strategy track, although there are ways to create flexibility at the principal level when the case merits. We have an
‘expert track,’ which has become an increasingly significant part of our business, which is not up or out.” – Strategy executive
• “The issue is that the promotion criteria are not consistently applied across tracks or industries.” – Midwest midlevel
• “We are strict on promotions, and tend to not promote if there is any question whatsoever from anyone. This keeps the quality high, but it
means you sometimes need to be a rock star with a halo and a recommendation from the pope to get promoted.” – Energy higher-up
• “The firm is making an effort to promote people faster at MBA [level] and above, but that’s just going to bring us to market expectations.” –
Entry-level consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: While consultants note Booz’s continued efforts to promote diversity, they also see a distinct lack of women and minorities in the
top spots.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “It’s always tough in our industry, but at least I know the heart is there, so I am confident that we will get better.” – Senior associate
• “I’m openly gay at work and my colleagues are very supportive. Booz provides resources for GLBT recruiting and sponsors social events for
GLBT employees. I don’t see a lot of GLBT representation among the senior leaders, but we are currently improving diversity efforts in North
America and I think the firm has the right intentions.” – Strategy consultant
• “The firm is starting to focus its attention on attracting, developing and retaining women. I find that we lack a lot of racial diversity and haven’t
seen many programs to address it. Our firm traditionally did not have much of a GLBT community, but that has improved dramatically in the
last six months. – Midlevel staffer
• “The firm is very diverse from a minority perspective, which creates a great, dynamic work environment. I would like to see more women in
senior roles, as it seems that there are very few ways to reach partner in the firm while also juggling a family and kids.” – Junior source
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: When Booz prepared to leave Allen and Hamilton in the dust, this was surely the most favorable outcome they could have
imagined: The firm is firing on all cylinders, with morale at its highest point in years. Exciting times ahead.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Booz & Company
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Overall Business Outlook
• “For my particular practice, we have way more work in the pipeline than we have people to complete the work, and we are hiring like crazy!” –
Operations consultant
• “We just finished an outstanding year in North America, with both revenue and profits coming out very strong. We expect next year to be good
also.” – Midwest staffer
• “I think we’re seeing great growth. The new Booz & Co. brand and positioning is really hitting its stride in the marketplace. It’s an exciting
place to be right now.” – Senior consultant
• “The firm is on the move on pretty much all fronts—ideas, clients, recruiting, culture. There is an energy and buzz in the air.” – Chicago
executive
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “I think the people who run Booz are sharp and compassionate. I believe in our leadership.” – Energy executive
• “I think they have done a great job building the firm and growing the business. They have provided clear leadership as we emerged from the
split with Booz Allen Hamilton and almost directly entered the worst recession of our lifetime.” – East Coast associate
• “Shumeet Banerji is an exceptional CEO: visionary, driven, involved, in the market meeting CEOs around the world.” – Health care staffer
• “Started a bit rough with our bad decision-making last January 2009, but since that time we’ve made amends and even hired back folks whom
we let go.” – D.C. insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Booz & Company
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
117
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1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3800
Seattle, Washington 98101
Phone: (206) 624-7940
Fax: (206) 340-1380
www.milliman.com
LOCATIONS
Seattle, WA (HQ)
52 offices in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia
Pacific
PRACTICE AREAS
Employee Benefits • Health Care • Investment • Life &
Financial • Property & Casualty
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
President & CEO: Pat Grannan
2010 Employees: 2,250
2009 Employees: 2,400
2009 Revenue: $610 million
2008 Revenue: $585 million
• “Employees are happy here”
• “Actuaries that work primarily with insurers and government
entities”
• “Strong midmarket presence”
• “Association of small ‘firms’”
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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MILLIMAN, INC.
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PRESTIGE
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UPPERS
• “Superior technical expertise”
• “Autonomy and flexibility”
• “Opportunity to share in the risk and rewards of ownership”
DOWNERS
• “Decentralized structure”
• “Lag in promotion timing”
• “Not recognizing immediately when a person is ready for the
next level”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
careers.milliman.com/home/index.php
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
An independent streak
Seattle-based Milliman, Inc. is proud of its independence, never answering to outside ownership or influence. That kind of go-it-alone attitude has
worked for the firm, whose clients seek it out for objective actuarial and consulting advice. Owned and managed by approximately 300 principals, the
2,400-plus-person firm, which has 52 offices spread across the globe, extends its services to businesses, government agencies, unions, educational
institutions and nonprofit organizations alike.
Founded in 1947 by insurance industry veteran Wendell Milliman, who was later joined by an actuary named Stuart A. Robertson, Milliman &
Robertson, Inc., mainly focused on assessing business risk. Although actuarial consulting remains a major Milliman focus—more than 1,000 of its
employees are qualified actuaries—the firm has expanded its practice areas to include employee benefits, health care, investment, life insurance and
financial services, and property and casualty insurance.
Pioneer days
Milliman has been a self-described “pioneer” in the retirement plan industry for the past 60-plus years. Services included defined contribution services,
actuarial consulting, communications, compensation consulting, defined benefit administration, health and welfare consulting and administration,
participant education and total retirement outsourcing, among other services. Clients working with Milliman’s employee benefits experts also have
access to the firm’s proprietary tools, including its salary surveys, its benefits information and knowledge exchange (BIKE) database of news, source
documents and benefits-related data, and its trademarked Milliman Actuarial Retirement Calculator (MARC), a pension administration system for the
administration of defined benefit and cash balance plans.
Going global
In recent years, Milliman has made a concerted effort to grow both in and outside the United States, with a growing list of expansionist moves, such as
the opening of new offices in Paris, Bucharest, Dublin and Dubai in 2009. Milliman’s employee benefits practice also extends its international reach as
a founding member of Abelica Global, formerly known as Milliman Global, a worldwide network of consulting firms that focuses on employee benefits,
investments, insurance and health care. Each member firm maintains its independence, engaging with the network as an equal participant. Today,
Abelica maintains offices in almost 100 cities around the world.
Going on record and online
Among Milliman consultants’ many articles and studies that are available online, the firm’s website also hosts two series of downloadable interviews
with Milliman consultants called “Spotlight on Risk” and “Healthcare Reform.” The firm also publishes Insight, a continuously updated online journal
that focuses on risk-related business issues, including details of how Milliman’s insurance clients, using MG Hedge, were able to minimize exposure
to recent market volatility.
GETTING HIRED
There’s a strong focus on academics among the criteria Milliman recruiters use to identify potential hires. “We look for people with the highest
academic qualifications,” one consultant offers. “Your academic record and work experience are the first two differentiators.” In particular, the firm
seeks out math and business majors, especially those who have the persona (“understanding, listening, nonaggressive, sincere”) necessary for quality
face time with clients.
Consensus is a big part of Milliman’s hiring strategy—potential hires typically meet at least 10 Milliman associates, all of whom must give the green
light to the candidate’s success. Ultimately, the successful candidate will have navigated a series of three interviews, at least one computer aptitude
examination (with a focus on Excel) and a comprehensive personality test. Once accepted, consultants should expect to be proactively welcomed to
the firm; “they introduced me to a local realtor and helped me see the community before I moved here,” one grateful associate says.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Because the firm is owned by the consultants themselves, they take great pride in their work and expertise—a winning formula for
employee satisfaction.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Milliman, Inc.
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Overall Satisfaction
• “I’ve never had an experience as good as Milliman. We have great colleagues and management who want each other to succeed. [There is a]
very collaborative atmosphere with a completely happy balance in life.” – Senior consultant
• “Milliman has offered me great opportunities for personal and professional growth. I very much feel a part of the process here, and my
contributions are greatly valued.” – New Jersey higher-up
• “I have a great deal of personal freedom to consult with my clients, but Milliman is supportive with available tools and continuing education
opportunities.” – HR consultant
• “Satisfaction is generally very high, but the firm doesn’t always do a good job recognizing the contributions of smaller practices that are stable
and successful.” – Finance associate
Firm Culture
• “The associates are hardworking and stand behind the Milliman name. We strive for excellence and efficiency while bringing a happy working
environment.” – Minneapolis staffer
• “Milliman has a culture of collaboration. This has allowed me to learn from the best minds of the company, and it allows the firm to develop a
tremendous amount of intellectual capital.” – Financial consultant
• “We have a rich history—each office has the feel of a small company with the backing and resources of a large employer.” – New York insider
Supervisor Relationships
• “We have close and frank relationships with our peers. There are no supervisors here.” – Actuarial consultant
• “[We have] wonderful relations, timely follow through and wonderful management of expectations.” – Chicago associate
• “Managers ensure that you have the proper resources and support to complete the assignments given.” – Midlevel consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “I normally enjoy a personal relationship with my clients—it is the most rewarding part of my job.” – HR consultant
• “Our relations with our clients are excellent. We do our best to keep it that way.” – New York principal
• “The client relationship is the most important aspect of our business; you will usually interact with a client at a higher level in the organization
than you would as a similar employee within the client company.” – Executive-level source
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Milliman consultants work with an enviable degree of autonomy, so they largely control the extent to which they’re in the office or
replying to emails from home.
Work Hours
• “I probably work 45 to 55 hours a week, and the hours are completely flexible, so it gives me the opportunity to balance personal and
professional time.” – Senior consultant
• “While I work long hours, it is by personal choice. It stems from my desire to be the best in the industry.” – Chicago higher-up
• “The hard work definitely is recognized and appreciated.” – HR consultant
• “We have a room to take power naps.” – Strategy consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “When I need extra time or a schedule change to accomplish something outside of my work routine, I not only get the time, but Milliman
encourages me to take it.” – Strategy executive
• “I feel we have the opportunity to use flexible time schedules, and I really enjoy what I do and the people I work with—so sometimes work and
life are one!” – Senior source
• “We balance our clients by assisting them to proactively work with us on annual service needs and timing. Therefore, their needs are met ahead
of deadlines.” – Experienced finance consultant
• “One of the reasons I work pretty much every weekend (limited amounts of time, though) is that I make sure to not miss out on family time
during the week.” – Associate
Travel Requirements
• “Most work is done on local clients, with no extensive travel. Most overnight travel is for corporate or professional meetings.” – East Coast staffer
• “Travel is not technically zero, but it’s less than one day per week, on average.” – Dallas insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Milliman, Inc.
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Milliman, Inc.
• “We very rarely work on site for prolonged periods, but there are many short trips. And since each office is responsible for generating its own
business, there are a lot of marketing-related trips.” – Senior consultant
• “A travel request to the office in India is a bit aggressive.” – Financial consultant
Compensation
• “There’s an unmatched ability to become a true owner in an independent firm and reap financial rewards (and risks) of ownership.” – Executive-
level source
• “Compensation is fair compared to the industry standard.” – Midwest associate
• “2009 was a tough year for the firm, but thankfully, bonus payouts were still awarded.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Occasionally, bonus compensations are adjusted (usually downward) without proper discussion and explanations.” – Financial consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: The firm’s consultants might not be overly concerned about the general lack of formal training, and feel that their informal support
network is sufficient to bring them up to speed.
Formal Training
• “We do not have a structured training program but work together to mentor each other and share information learned.” – Strategy consultant
• “Study programs for attaining credentials and technical forums are offered, and participation is encouraged.” – Dallas staffer
• “It’s mostly informal, but the firm sponsors two meetings with formal training each year. In addition, I am able to attend industry conferences.”
– Senior source
• “[Training is] on the job and on your own time.” – Philadelphia higher-up
Promotion Policies
• “It is not strictly up or out. I like that. Milliman makes a good effort at letting people stay at a certain level until they’re ready to take on more
work and be promoted.” – Midlevel consultant
• “The company has a very flat structure, so promotions are mostly measured by level of responsibility, less in changes in titles. With four to five
years of experience, most consultants are advancing to managing full projects.” – Senior source
• “Promotion does not always mean more salary. The bonus structure rewards all performers. Consultants take on client responsibilities as soon
as they can.” – Consultant
• “For senior and above levels, promotions are somewhat politically driven.” – Experienced Midwesterner
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Respondents feel that their firm does a perfectly adequate job recruiting and maintaining a diverse workforce.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Milliman is nondiscriminatory in all ways—our office has a great cross-section of ethnicities and genders. The firm is sensitive to the needs of
its employees and offers some flexibility to the workday to meet their non-work life needs.” – HR consultant
• “We celebrate International Women’s Day with [a] lot of pride.” – Entry-level consultant
• “Throughout Milliman there are many different classifications of people. All are treated with the same respect and have the same expectations,
as far as I can tell.” – East Coast higher-up
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Diversification is the name of Milliman’s recessionary redeemer, keeping the firm afloat when certain practice areas offered little
more than dead weight.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We’re well positioned for a good year in 2010. Employee morale is up, we are rethinking how to service clients and we have tried to
restructure, rather than eliminate, jobs.” – Senior consultant
• “We have a diversified business, so one area is always ‘hot’ in the market. We are experiencing growth in actuarial and administration
practices.” – Associate
• “We’re a leading provider of health care consulting services, and health care reform should keep us quite busy.” – Executive-level source
• “Morale has suffered, but it does seem to be improving.” – Senior source
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Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Because of the unique structure of Milliman offices, practice leaders are given a lot of room and support to be innovative and entrepreneurial.
This allows the firm to continuously grow and bring new ideas to the table.” – Associate
• “Our leaders are committed, open and experienced, as they come from within the firm.” – Financial consultant
• “Much of the effective leadership is at the local practice level.” – New York insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Milliman, Inc.
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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STRATEGIC DECISIONS GROUP
745 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, California 94301
Phone: (650) 475-4400
Fax: (650) 475-4401
www.sdg.com
LOCATIONS
Palo Alto, CA (HQ)
Bangalore
Beirut
Chennai
Gurgaon
Mumbai
Singapore
PRACTICE AREAS
Business Strategy • Education & Training • Partnering &
Outsourcing • Portfolio Strategy • Risk Management
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Chairman & CEO: Carl Spetzler
2010 Employees: 85
2009 Employees: 90
• “Blowing up”
• “No direction”
• “Innovative, unique”
• “Deferred MBA offers a few years back”
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Has outlasted all of the latest consulting crazes”
• “Flexibility to work wherever and whenever one can”
• “I’ve been going places I never thought I would visit”
DOWNERS
• “Not as big as we once were”
• “Being pigeonholed as a ‘geek’ or ‘quant jock’”
• “Not well known outside its primary client base”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.sdg.com/careers
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Make a decision
Headquartered just down the road from Stanford University, Strategic Decisions Group specializes in providing high-level decision making, risk
management, and value-based leadership advice to its clients. Formed in 1981, the firm partners with boards of directors, heads of business units and
senior managers in a variety of mostly capital-intensive industries via offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. SDG consultants
serve many of the world’s largest research and development-intensive companies, energy companies, technology and communication companies,
diversified chemicals producers, and companies in transportation, infrastructure development, mining, private equity, agriculture and forest products,
and commodities.
Divide and conquer
SDG co-founder Ronald Howard first developed the concept of “decision analysis” while teaching at Stanford University in the 1960s. Decision analysis
is a way of dissecting business decisions in a formal manner, often using tools such as diagrams and decision trees. Uncertainties are transformed
into probabilities and probability distributions. Decisions are made based on which options have the highest utility. Decision analysis is still at the
center of the firm’s methods, although it has been modified as new ideas and technology have come into play over the years. The method certainly
has its critics, though, with the foremost attack probably being that humans don’t actually think this way. But proponents argue that the method is
simply a way of seeing options more clearly.
The firm has also gradually offered services beyond strategic decision analysis as time has gone by, and it now tries to create, deliver and protect value
for shareholders in any way possible. The firm helps clients identify growth opportunities, create strategies and analyze and test those strategies. SDG
also tries to help clients deal with the unknown in creative ways. Perhaps to diffuse the impression of its methods being cold and mechanical, the
firm emphasizes that strategic consulting is “as much art as science,” and its literature states that amongst the most important goals of its foundation
was creating a “fun” company to work for.
Industrial evolution
SDG’s specialty is serving industries that are on the cusp of—or often faced with—major game-changing market shifts that require managers to
“make big bets ahead of the curve.” The firm’s 12 practice areas hone in on a number of these industries, including chemicals, consumer goods,
energy and environment, financial services, infrastructure, manufacturing, metals and mining, real estate, special economic zones, technology and
communications, and transportation.
The firm’s largest industry practice area, however, is its energy and environment segment, which works with electric and gas utilities, nuclear power, oil
and gas, petrochemicals, and renewable energy companies. Recent energy market volatility has given the firm’s experts a lot of business, especially
in 2008, when the price of oil made a round trip from $85 per barrel to $145, and back again to below $50. The firm says it developed strategy for
and trained more than 1,000 energy executives in corporate strategy development and implementation, enterprise risk management, nuclear strategy
and risk management, portfolio and asset management, and environmental strategy.
The bookworms next door
Considering the firm’s origins at Stanford University, it’s not surprising that SDG emphasizes its connections to the academic world, even claiming to
have more PhDs on staff than most university graduate programs. Since 2006, the firm has collaborated with the Stanford Center for Professional
Development to offer a Stanford certificate program in strategic decision and risk management (SDRM). The program now has participants from over
50 countries and, as of April 2008, can be completed online. The program is designed to help organizations make better strategic decisions while
managing risk.
Outside of the certificate program, the firm also offers public courses and workshops designed to build individual capabilities in decision analysis and
in SDG’s decision-making methodology. And if course work isn’t your thing, SDG also offers Executive eBriefings, which are free, one-hour online web
conferences designed to help senior executives maneuver in today’s business environment. Since 2000, SDG has presented more than 50 eBriefings
to thousands of executives around the world. Topics covered have included making strategic decisions in difficult economic times, designing and
managing enterprise risk management programs, and best-practice tips for senior management decision making.
Eye on India
SDG’s push into India began in 1995 through a joint venture with ECS Limited, an Indian management consulting firm. In 2007, SDG acquired ECS’
strategy practice, and over the next six months, opened offices in Bangalore, Gurgaon and Mumbai. To further serve its growing client base outside
the U.S., SDG opened an office in Beirut in 2008 and in Singapore in 2009.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Strategic Decisions Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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GETTING HIRED
As SDG is a smaller firm, prospective candidates have a narrow window of specific qualifications and personalities they need to exhibit if they’re to be
seriously considered. “Top candidates probably have an engineering undergraduate degree, an MBA from a top-tier institution or a PhD in engineering
or economic systems,” an associate points out. As if the requisite degree of technical expertise weren’t enough, the applicant pool is further limited by
the firm’s hesitance to hire tech-savvy candidates who don’t possess “all the usual consulting skills and business savvy.” “Facility in verbal expression”
is a real recruitment priority at SDG; whoever can’t pass the “six-hour-flight rule” will be passed over, regardless of qualifications.
“Typically, a candidate goes through five to six rounds of interviews,” an insider reveals, while another concurs that “the process is quite rigorous.”
Quantitative and analytical competency is a definite focus of the process (expect several case studies), though cultural fit is also intensely scrutinized.
“We are very careful to screen for a match with our values and culture. Sharks are not welcome,” says a candid source. “Competent critical thinkers”
should excel in the process, but the specter of personality always looms overhead; those lacking leadership and communication skills will likely
struggle.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: SDG consultants are “enormously satisfied” working at the firm, glad to sing the praises of what they consider to be one of the
flattest, least hierarchical firms around.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I engage in professional activities that I find enormously satisfying.” – Senior consultant
• “My job is challenging, demanding and interesting. My colleagues are among the nicest in the industry. My responsibilities continue to
expand—there’s never a dull moment.” – Executive-level source
• “We have a great set of colleagues engaged in serving clients with the best methodologies available, and a wonderful, high-integrity collaborative
environment that values individual initiative. What more could anyone ask for?” – East Coast partner
• “The job gives me just about the right amount of challenge and excitement.” – Energy consultant
Firm Culture
• “SDG is a firm characterized by an open, honest and supportive culture. We have worked hard to avoid being a political organization, and that
has paid off. Our systems, processes and culture all support a collegial work environment and meritocracy. There is very little interpersonal
competition.” – Senior staffer
• “We have two policies: Treat others well and never deceive.” – Consultant
• “Socially, it feels like having friends around. Politically, it’s a very open, flat and honest culture. Professionally, we’re hardworking and expect
the most out of you.” – Private equity analyst
• “They say the firm has no sharp elbows, and it seems to be true. For the most part, everyone shares knowledge, invites input and is striving to
increase the pie for all, rather than grab a larger piece of the pie for themselves.” – Palo Alto insider
Supervisor Relationships
• “Our CEO once said that SDG is a place for people who don’t want to be bossed and don’t want to be a boss.” – Senior consultant
• “I have an excellent relationship with my supervisor. It is characterized by mutual respect, high trust, great warmth and collegiality, good humor,
fun, empowerment and good support when needed.” – East Coast higher-up
• “We have a flat organization and nurturing culture.” – California partner
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: As far as hours are concerned, SDG consultants have more than their fair share. But instead of griping about it, they put their
independence to good use, maximizing their energies and agendas to great effect.
Work Hours
• “The firm does not focus on hours—but rather on the results that we produce. There is tremendous personal freedom and responsibility.” –
West Coast insider
• “Hours fluctuate a lot, but I have decent control and can secure time for private/family activities.” – Energy associate
• “In theory I work part time, however 2009 was a very demanding year and I was happy to put in the extra hours for the good of the firm and our
long-term success.” – Partner
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Strategic Decisions Group
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Work/Life Balance
• “SDG is totally flexible. When there is a push, we all pitch in. When there is a lull, nobody is investigating your down time.” – Associate
• “Balance is a very personal thing. SDG makes it possible for individuals to find ways to create balance. It takes initiative to figure out what you
need and to ask for it, and SDG is very willing to support what it can.” – Palo Alto staffer
• “I found it best to take extra weeks off to be able to pursue my personal interests. That works well.” – Executive-level source
Travel Requirements
• “Travel is purely driven by project requirements. For project supervisors and senior content experts, on-site time is less than for engagement
managers and consultants working closely with client project teams.” – California midlevel
• “We spend our time on the client’s site, and (of course) we have no local clients.” – Senior source
• “I am out of office 50 to 60 percent of the time. Travel is a requirement to fulfill my roles and responsibility.” – Senior consultant
Compensation
• “Compensation is adequate. In flush years, bonuses can be quite generous. Consultant bonuses are based primarily on utilization relative to
one’s peer group.” – West Coast insider
• “Like all firms, compensation at SDG was impacted by the recession, but not significantly, and we retained all of our employees.” – Midlevel
consultant
• “I don’t care to be making the most that is possible in the consulting business. Rather, I want a great total professional satisfaction with a high
quality of life. SDG allows me to achieve that.” – Senior source
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: While budgetary restrictions have claimed some of the surplus training opportunities at SDG, it’s not enough to dampen
consultants’ praises for the core offerings.
Formal Training
• “Overall, the training and professional development at SDG is excellent. All new employees take the two-week consulting workshop, which lays
the foundation. The firm offers several other courses through Stanford and in-house.” – West Coast junior
• “SDG has an extensive and world-class training curriculum. While consultants learn a tremendous amount on the job through project
experiences and mentoring, virtually all consultants receive formal classroom training each year.” – Partner
• “We have excellent training by some of the best instructors I have ever had.” – Analyst
Promotion Policies
• “For standard consultants, the promotion policy is well articulated and consultants advance at a pace consistent with their abilities.” – Education
associate
• “This is a clear meritocracy—it’s not strictly up or out; in some cases, consultants have asked to cut back their time, which the firm
accommodates in most cases. This could delay time to partner.” – Strategy insider
• “Sometimes it is hard for new hires to grasp the reality that every partner and director wants that person to advance to partnership as quickly as
possible—it’s in their self interest. There is no ceiling.” – Energy partner
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Consultants point to the firm’s historically high GLBT population and the relatively high percentage of female partners as evidence
of SDG’s commitment to diversity.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “SDG is among the best firms for GLBT staff. Over the years, we have had quite a few GLBT staff and partners.” – Management partner
• “Women do quite well at SDG; over 20 percent of our partners are women. It would be higher, but the reality is that many women of child-
bearing age tend to eventually choose jobs that do not require so much travel.” – West Coast staffer
• “The firm is excellent in accepting individuals from all quadrants.” – Energy associate
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Business plummeted in 2009 for SDG, but the firm outshone its competition by keeping morale high and its consultants at ease.
That approach should pay off as the economy kicks back into gear.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Strategic Decisions Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Strategic Decisions Group
Overall Business Outlook
• “First-quarter 2010 results and prospects greatly improved over 2009.” – Analyst
• “Our clients are finding a greater need for our quantitative approach as the economy rebounds. The market is impatient and has little use for
soft pitches. People want a solid explanation of the foundations of their strategy, not just a well-spun story.” – Experienced insider
• “The market is way down, but we’re hanging on.” – West Coast partner
• “SDG is a small and nimble firm, and has managed to weather the economy well. That’s not to say things haven’t been difficult; client
engagements are shorter than they used to be, and there has been pressure to discount rates. However, rather than lay off staff, the entire staff
took a pay cut in an effort to share the pain.” – Senior source
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The firm seems to be focused on all the right things—excellent client delivery, winning new work, and using the downturn to develop staff and
investigate new services so we can emerge even stronger.” – Associate
• “Our leaders are very experienced and very intellectually honest.” – Strategy consultant
• “We are led by the founders of decision analysis and by the many people who were attracted by the intellectual challenge and the culture, and
believed it was worth working to preserve and grow.” – Analyst
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “1:4 director-to-consultant ratio”
• “Global clientele”
• “Big enough for opportunities, small enough for
entrepreneurship”
DOWNERS
• “Little structure to internal operations”
• “High cost consciousness”
• “Lack of a wide service base”
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Global Managing Director: Scott Hefter
Americas Managing Director: Mark Strom
2010 Employees: 730
2009 Employees: 670
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Use the online application form at www.prtm.com/careers
77 Fourth Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02451
Phone: (781) 434-1200
Fax: (781) 647-2804
www.prtm.com
LOCATIONS
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Detroit, MI
New York, NY
Mountain View, CA
Orange County, CA
Washington, DC
Bangalore
Beijing
Dubai
Frankfurt
Glasgow
London
Munich
Oxford
Paris
Shanghai
Tokyo
PRACTICE AREAS
Customer Experience Innovation • Operational Strategy •
Product & Service Innovation • Supply Chain Innovation
• “Results-oriented”
• “All ops, techy”
• “Good career progression”
• “No brand name”
PRTM
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THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Op-center
“Even the most brilliant business strategies fail without the right operational strategy.” So says PRTM’s corporate brochure, going on to define a
winning operational strategy as something that translates a firm’s “direction into operational reality, creating strategic competitive advantage.” That,
in a nutshell, is what PRTM sets out to do for its clients: to gain an idea of a firm’s overall direction and help them to reach their destination through
innovative operational strategies for products, supply chains and customer experience. Of course, as a consulting firm, PRTM is a little more jargon-
tastic than that, as can be seen from its full list of capabilities: “accelerating operational clockspeed, achieving sustainability, developing breakthrough
products, driving asset utilization, driving top-line growth, expanding global presence, improving cost structure, managing organizational change,
maximizing acquisitions and alliances, navigating regulatory change and strengthening customer loyalty.”
The firm serves its customers from 19 offices in eight countries around the world, and maintains a footprint on four continents. Clients come from a
diverse array of industries, including aerospace and defense, automotive, communications and media, chemical and process industries, consumer
goods, electronics and computing, energy, financial services, health care, industrial, life sciences, private equity, public sector, software and
telecommunications.
When the bubble bursts, learn to swim
Founded in the heart of Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, Calif.) in 1976, the first two decades of PRTM’s existence were spent serving the tech industry,
including major firms such as Cisco, Texas Instruments and Sun Microsystems. The tech bust in the early years of the 21
st
century proved to be
something for a wakeup call for the firm, however; seeking ways to maintain its revenue, it was forced to diversify its service offerings, and began by
expanding into the public sector, automotive, life sciences, consumer products and global health.
Data crunchers
One of the core planks of the PRTM ideology is that benchmarking, analytics and frameworks are essential to driving improvements in operating
performance. Having long practiced performance measurement in its work, it seemed only natural for the company to form its own enterprise to
capture operational performance and best practice information. In 1998, the Performance Measurement Group, LLC (PMG) duly arrived, and has
served over 1,000 companies with its operational benchmarking offerings since then.
PRTM helped develop the Supply-Chain Operations Reference-model® (SCOR®) standard, which serves as the platform for its supply-chain
management services. PRTM also took part in the founding of the Supply-Chain Council, an 850-member nonprofit consortium that maintains and
promotes the SCOR open industry standard as a basis for achieving operational excellence. In addition, PMG provides SCOR-based benchmarking
services that comprehensively compare a company’s supply-chain performance, practices and operations complexity to other companies in their
industry, thereby allowing performance objectives to be fully aligned with operational strategy.
Setting the pace
Another major PRTM methodology is PACE® (Product And Cycle-time Excellence®). The PACE framework attempts to create profitable growth
by “introducing the right products at the right pace.” PACE relies on a dense mix of data concerning schedule variance, time-to-market, pipeline
throughput and R&D effectiveness. BusinessWeek has called PACE “one of the most successful and effective models of the product development
process for technology-based industries.”
GETTING HIRED
“PRTM’s hiring is not driven by quotas or project demands,” an associate tell us. PRTM only hires top-tier talent.” An ominous introduction? Perhaps.
But PRTM’s staffing model doesn’t adhere to the same stiff standards that many top firms adhere to (e.g., 3.9 GPA from an Ivy League school). One
consultant sums it up best: “Hiring is based on fit, not on being able to solve a particular problem or grades at an institution. At the end of the day,
it’s 1) Is the candidate partner material? And, 2) Will the candidate be able to work effectively in a high pressure project with peers of equal intellectual
capability?”
Make no mistake, depth of expertise and quality analytic skills are extremely important to the firm. Cool pragmatism rules the day at PRTM; the
interview process favors an exceptionally strong critical thinker with enough experience or focused education “to make an immediate impact with little
direction or supervision.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: PRTM is a place where the industry’s seasoned, hardnosed pragmatists can team up to do interesting, meaningful work at their
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
PRTM
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own high standards. For those who love a challenge, it’s an ideal work environment.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I have been nothing but satisfied with PRTM. I have been given the tools necessary to succeed and I feel that I have been recognized
appropriately for my efforts.” – Public-sector consultant
• “The learning curve, executive exposure, quality peer involvement and ability to significantly influence corporate success have been invaluable.”
– Senior source
• “PRTM is a great place to work. My projects have been interesting and challenging, enabling me to build my consulting skills and my
experience in the health care industry. PRTM does a great job of hiring really smart, down-to-earth people who are fun to work with.” – Boston
midlevel
• “PRTM is a very progressive firm with lots of opportunities to succeed. If you have initiative and drive, there is no place you cannot go.” –
Technology consultant
Firm Culture
• “The culture attracts a very pragmatic, no-nonsense type. There is generally little patience for ‘fluff.’ And yet, most people are easy to get along
with and easily pass the ‘airport test.’” – Junior source
• “The company respects you as an individual. Your work is well recognized, even though it is dependent on individual directors. It is a
meritocracy, but also collaborative. There are a lot of expectations, but you are rewarded as well.” – Strategy consultant
• “Our firm is not for the faint of heart. We hire extremely smart people and then make them better. In every way, we always put the client first.
I have had conference calls with clients on Christmas Eve. That said, we do believe in creating a viable work/life continuum since one unofficial
motto is that we are all here to win a marathon, not run a sprint.” – Public-sector insider
• “Internally, the group seems to favor hiring more politically conservative personnel, which tends to set the tone for the office.” – D.C. staffer
Supervisor Relationships
• “PRTM has a very low ratio of partners to consultants and, as a result, access to all levels of management is easily available.” – Health care
consultant
• “PRTM is a flat organization, helping to ensure that consultants are able to interact with directors and principals frequently. Directors and
principals are more than willing to take time to discuss client work, ideas and professional development.” – Experienced source
• “Your supervisors treat you as a potential director, so they can be very challenging.” – Associate
Interaction with Clients
• “Our clients appreciate our hands-on working style and the truly unique solutions that we develop because of the time we spend on site directly
with client teams.” – Health care insider
• “We work extremely closely with both the client and the client’s staff. One of our implicit missions on every engagement is to transfer our skills
and created processes to the client’s organization so that they can tackle similar future tasks without us.” – D.C. staffer
• “Even at the entry level, PRTM consultants work extensively with the client, and are able to develop good working relationships.” – Public-sector
junior
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: PRTM’s travel demands can be a drag and hours can be excessive at times. But overall, these consultants consider themselves
well-positioned on the favorable side of the work/life balance equation.
Work Hours
• “Hours are long, and can fluctuate from week to week, but are generally manageable. Project managers are typically flexible and can
accommodate personal schedules.” – Entry-level respondent
• “I feel that amount of hours I work is appropriate for both the expectations of my level and the compensation I receive.” – Senior consultant
• “Work hours are dictated by each consultant’s efficiency. We abhor nonvalue-added work, expect billable hours to be completed before any
other collateral duties, and only assign or volunteer for collateral duties that benefit the firm.” – East Coast midlevel
• “Depending on the assignment, you can spend up to 100 hours each week, but you will be well rewarded for that. It is up to you to manage
your hours effectively.” – Senior consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “It is completely up to you to manage your hours effectively. If you succeed, it is a joy to work for PRTM. Your coach will always ask you to
work on your work/life balance.” – Midlevel consultant
• “As a consultant and mother, my experience with PRTM has been very positive. The firm has been able to staff me on local projects to
accommodate the needs of my growing family, and my project work is well balanced to ensure that I am successful both at home and work.” –
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
PRTM
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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California staffer
• “In the evening, I may need to respond to emails, but usually I can accomplish significant tasks during normal work hours. I may work
periodically on the weekends, but typically only for a few hours at home on Sunday afternoon.” – Public-sector consultant
• “It is a difficult balance; there is definitely a strong demand on personal time. However, the firm is cognizant of that, and when a consultant
expresses concern, there is generally some effort to alleviate.” – Detroit higher-up
Travel Requirements
• “Consultants are expected to be at the client site Monday through Thursday. Fridays are typically spent working from home or from the local
PRTM office. The nature of our consulting requires that we work closely with our clients, so being on site is important. Therefore, we travel
every week.” – Boston insider
• “Travel is usually within the continental U.S.” – Midlevel source
• “Commercial engagements often require greater than 80 percent travel.” – Public-sector associate
• “I have never been staffed within 2,000 miles of my home office.” – Operations consultant
Compensation
• “It is a results-oriented culture; if you deliver, you are handsomely rewarded.” – Senior consultant
• “Salaries are competitive, and PRTM annually surveys the industry to ensure standards are maintained.” – Health care insider
• “Bonuses are earned based on deep and fact-based discussions. They are attainable through focus and solid work on client and business
development areas. Expectations are clear.” – Technology consultant
• “Utilization targets are much higher than for other firms, at every level.” – Junior source
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: There’s a definite emphasis on on-the-job learning and informal mentoring at PRTM, which works for most. Those who prefer a
more structured system are largely left out in the cold.
Formal Training
• “The firm appears to view classroom training as too esoteric and not pragmatic enough.” – Operations consultant
• “It’s pretty weak and very informal. The majority of training is on the job.” – West Coast insider
• “Most training is unofficial and based on mentoring, which is natural considering the very low consultant-to-partner ratio. There is a substantial
and growing formal training system as well—I attend formal training sessions roughly once or twice per month.” – Public-sector midlevel
• “The firm does offer official training (both internally and externally developed), but client project priorities sometimes make it difficult to attend
the sessions.” – Telecommunications consultant
Promotion Policies
• “We have performance reviews every six months, where all of the directors in the business group get together and discuss who should be
promoted. I think it’s a very fair, merit-based process.” – Entry-level respondent
• “Consultants seem to generally advance directly in line with their capabilities and performance, at least through the principal level. There is not
an explicit up-or-out culture, but if you are not moving up, it might be time to look elsewhere.” – Operations associate
• “If I want to be a rock star and go for a promotion on the fast track, then I can take on more responsibility (i.e., hours) and do so. But if I want
to go at a slower pace and enjoy my life outside of work more, that’s an acceptable option as well.” – D.C. junior
• “You perform, you get promoted. It is as easy as that.” – Health care higher-up
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: The only spot on the firm’s otherwise excellent diversity record is the noticeable shortage of women in leadership ranks.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “I am a gay female employee, and I couldn’t be happier. I feel completely at home here, and have for years.” – Senior consultant
• “The firm offers an extended maternity leave program for consultant mothers, as well as part-time staffing. Importantly, they work to staff new
parents (both moms and dads) close to home for growing families.” – Energy insider
• “We have a richly diverse firm—a real strength of the business and representative of the global business environment in which we work.” –
Technology higher-up
• “The partners are more than 97 percent men. The firm hires a lot of female associates and consultants, but does not have a good track record
of promoting these women through the ranks, ultimately to director.” – Public-sector consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Perhaps the best indicator of the firm’s business prospects is employee morale; it’s exceptionally high at PRTM—a luxury that few
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
PRTM
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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top firms can claim in this economic climate.
Overall Business Outlook
• “The overall outlook for PRTM is very positive. Leadership and employee morale are high, and we are excited about the growth prospects of the
firm in the future.” – Energy midlevel
• “My office is outgrowing its space. Independent studies of the consulting market show that PRTM’s focus on operational strategy puts us in the
sweet spot of emerging trends in the consulting industry. While smaller than the largest firms, we have a great outlook for growth.” – Public-
sector associate
• “We have a different model than our competition in that we typically hire people with more experience and who already have strong analytical
skills based on their undergraduate degrees—this lets us staff leanly with small teams of experts and experts in training. Morale in our company
has been higher than at many of our competitors, and we have weathered the recession well.” – D.C. staffer
• “We are expanding our efforts across the globe in an effort to mitigate any potential continued softness in the Americas.” – East Coast insider
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Our leadership showed their colors during the economic downturn—they maintained a positive attitude and encouraged employees to stay the
course. At the end of the year, instead of pulling back compensation and bonuses, as most companies did, they rewarded us for helping the
company pull through a difficult year.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Unlike at some firms, we have the opportunity to interact informally with PRTM’s top leadership on a regular basis, as colleagues. This
collegial atmosphere binds the firm together and creates rapport.” – Strategy consultant
• “The leadership team recognizes market needs that fit with the firm’s strengths and seems to have a good roadmap for winning business in
these areas.” – Operations associate
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
PRTM
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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GALLUP CONSULTING
The Gallup Building
901 F Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20004
Phone: (202) 715-3030
Fax: (202) 715-3041
www.gallupconsulting.com
LOCATIONS
Washington, DC (HQ)
Offices in more than 20 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Marketing & Customer Practices
Brand Engagement • Customer Engagement • Marketing
Strategies
Workplace & Leadership Practices
Employee Engagement • Executive Performance Coaching •
Performance-Based Compensation • Performance Strategy
• Sales Force Effectiveness • Strengths-Based Development
• Succession Management • Talent Acquisition
THE STATS
Employer Type: Division of the Gallup Organization
Chairman, President & CEO: James K. Clifton
2010 Employees: 2,000
2009 Employees: 2,300
• “Narrow focus, but great place to work”
• “Research intensive”
• “Where nice people work”
• “Pay and promotion system needs work”
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Being associated with a prestigious firm”
• “No micromanagement”
• “Ability to control your income and your future”
• “Friendships and camaraderie”
DOWNERS
• “No way to enact change companywide”
• “You are on your own so if things get tough, it can be
difficult”
• “Lack of bench strength”
• “Pay and promotion system needs work”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.gallup.com/careers
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Go organic
Gallup Consulting helps its clients grow from the inside out. Unlike other consulting firms, it says, which provide services in traditional disciplines
like cost reduction and re-engineering business processes, the Washington, D.C.-based firm focuses on “true organic growth,” driving revenue and
increasing profits from continuing operations. A division of the Gallup Organization, the public opinion research goliath, Gallup Consulting uses its
research into the human psyche to determine how human behavior and relationships drive organizations. “Organizations can grow,” the firm posits, by
developing engaged customers and building engaged workforces of talented employees. “We help our clients really believe it when they say that their
people are their most important asset,” said Gallup Consulting’s engagement manager, Allan Watkinson, in a February 2009 interview with Australia’s
Destination Talent blog.
Following that philosophy, the firm’s services primarily facilitate the cultivation of relationships. Through two practice areas, workplace and leadership
practices, and marketing and customer practices, Gallup offers services aimed at talent acquisition, leadership and succession, strengths-based
development and, of course, employee and customer engagement.
And the survey says
Gallup Consulting’s parent company, the Gallup Organization, has become a household name in public opinion surveys, tracking public attitudes on
political, social and economic issues. The company was founded in 1935 by Dr. George Gallup as the American Institute of Public Opinion. Four years
after Dr. Gallup’s death in 1984, his sons, Alec and George Jr., negotiated a merger between the American Institute of Public Opinion and Selection
Research, Inc., a recruitment services firm that matched up employees with new positions using structured psychological interviews. The combined
entity, still operating under the Gallup name, grew over the next decade, expanding into consulting, printing, daily news and management education.
On the right path
Gallup Consulting’s alternative, relationship-based approach to building better businesses is described as the Gallup Path, which analyzes the “linked
path” between every employee’s individual contribution and the organization’s ultimate financial goal: an increase in its overall value. The chain
includes five different points that can drive business performance. First, having the right people in the right roles with the right managers—so the
Gallup Path thinking goes—will drive employee engagement. Engaged employees, in turn, drive customer engagement, which drives sustainable
growth. Sustainable growth, ultimately, drives real profits—and not those shady short-term profit increases that come about through creative
bookkeeping. Gallup’s client projects don’t concentrate on any single point in the Path, but rather integrate all points to promote strong returns in
value—sustainable growth, higher profits and rising stock prices.
The Path was an outgrowth of the firm’s research in management sciences, economics and psychology. Its own studies have revealed that satisfied
employees are not only more productive, but also more likely to weather stress and periods of disruption. Retaining indispensable talent through
difficult markets is an enormous advantage, and it leads to sustained growth when the market normalizes. Strong leadership is also essential, so Gallup
offers executive coaching, giving corporate officers unbiased outside feedback.
Don’t forget everyone who isn’t on the payroll
Gallup also makes sure to address the sine qua non of doing business: the customer. Its research has distilled customer engagement down to 11
attributes, which it calls the CE11. These attributes, all of which can be influenced through advertising, public image, purchasing experience and
other factors, include overall satisfaction, intent to repurchase, intent to recommend, pride in a brand, belief in the integrity of a brand and other
emotional values. To most effectively help a client influence these factors, Gallup has assembled a comprehensive database that contains intelligence
from almost three million customers, 16 industries and 53 countries. The goal, the firm believes, should always be to transform transactions into
relationships.
GETTING HIRED
Gallup is a highly selective firm, with an extremely precise selection process to boot. It is a unique process, to be sure, designed to mathematically
identify and select only the best-fitting candidates by employing an array of psychological and behavioral metrics. “The first two interviews are a series
of psychological tests,” one consultant reports. “They ultimately know you better than you know yourself.” There is little-to-no casual interaction with
your interviewer as the process progresses, as their task is to record your responses “word for word,” to later be analyzed by analysts in their hiring
decisions. Any prospective applicant needs to demonstrate talent and expertise, but above all, the focus is clear: If you aren’t a perfect fit for the firm,
they will know it—and you will be sent on your merry way.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Gallup Consulting
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: The firm grants its consultants a remarkable degree of autonomy; Gallup consultants revel in their independence, using it to
balance both work and life.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Gallup gives me the opportunity to learn and grow and do what I do best every day.” – Public sector consultant
• \“This place allows me to be fully engaged. I am valued for the talents I possess and am able to work in areas of strength as opposed to
weakness.” – Senior source
• “Gallup is a great company to work for—the people are committed to serving our clients, and they are smart and focused on quality.” – East
Coast staffer
• “I really enjoy the work that I do and the impact I have on my clients. But the travel is tough on the personal life, and the pay is too low and
structured in a way that it’s hard to achieve my long-term financial goals.” – Consultant
Firm Culture
• “The firm is made up of very outgoing people with confident personalities, and it’s a culture where recognition and celebrations are constant.
We have very smart and intellectually curious people. The environment is very intellectually stimulating.” – Omaha staffer
• “This is a talent-based culture with little hierarchy, where everyone has a job focus on the things they do best, so people can truly excel. There
is great camaraderie and respect, and it is a fast-paced but fun place to work. There is great access to the most senior leadership, and you
really feel like your opinions count.” – Executive-level respondent
• “It’s very relationship-oriented. There is very little infighting compared to other firms, as people are strongly incentivized to get along. People are
sincerely nice and helpful.” – Consultant
• “There are genuinely nice people here—it’s hard to be a jerk here. However, it’s also a family business, and is run more like one than as a
professional services firm.” – Chicago insider
Supervisor Relationships
• “I can’t imagine a world without my supervisor.” – Consultant
• “Open dialogue with supervisors; there’s a definite commitment to helping us do what we do best and be engaged in our work.” – West Coast
staffer
• “The closest thing to a manager I have is a ‘go-to’ who just checks in with me a few times a year. Not having a supervisor can be great, but it
means no one really can help you manage workload and conflicting priorities.” – Consultant
• “Gallup has written the book on great management, however, they have struggled to employ and promote great management. There is a great
deal of variability in the supervisor ranks, and Gallup does have some of the best managers in the world, but they are the exception over the
rule.” – Midwest insider
Interaction with Clients
• “We are very close to our client contacts; many become good friends since we’re on site or talking with them daily.” – Consultant
• “Very positive, supportive, personal and professional. I have developed some very close relationships with my clients.” – Executive-level source
• “I get to choose what clients to work with, and our company stresses building relationships. I speak to them daily and it’s more of a
partnership.” – D.C. source
• “Because of Gallup’s setup, you will be managing several client relationships at the same time, which means at any given moment you will have
some great relationships and some poor ones. However, on each client team you will have other members on the account providing support.” –
Consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Not everyone thinks the performance-based compensation package is flawless, but Gallup consultants sincerely appreciate the
flexibility they’re afforded by retaining control over their own schedule and workload.
Work Hours
• “It’s not work when you enjoy it.” – Senior source
• “Work hours are based on individual preferences and client satisfaction. The hours you spend at a brick-and-mortar office do not translate into
results, so therefore performance should not, and is not at Gallup, based on butts in seats.” – Public-sector consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Gallup Consulting
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “You work whatever it takes to get your job done, and you have a huge hand in determining how much work you have to do, as well and
the number and size of clients you have. With international clients, you may interact at all hours of the night and day, but it is a cooperative
decision on time working.” – Consultant
• “I work hard, but am able to build my own schedule. Performance matters more than hours worked, though that philosophy compels me to
work harder.” – East Coast staffer
Work/Life Balance
• “While balance is all about the individual and what’s right for them, Gallup strives to have people’s lives integrated. You are able to do what you
need to do as long as your work is accomplished.” – Consultant
• “There isn’t an official vacation policy. If you need/want time off you can take it; it all revolves around you managing your time to ensure your
client deliverables are met. I do answer emails on evenings and weekends, but it doesn’t seem like work.” – Senior source
• “You manage your own portfolio. So, if you have time you could pick up more work, but if you are busy and want more home time during the
summer, you can take it.” – Chicago insider
• “For Gallup tribe members, work and life coexist to become a part of who you are—it’s not a balance between opposing forces.” – Public-sector
consultant
Travel Requirements
• “It depends on your role, your clients (which you decide to have) and your desire to travel. Some people don’t like it and have portfolios that do
not require much travel, while others have client portfolios that require a lot of travel. It is individualized.” – Experienced consultant
• “For my particular job, travel just comes with the territory. There are other jobs in the company that rarely or never travel, so there are definitely
options.” – California-based respondent
• “If the job requires travel, I do it. It is not a burden, and I am well compensated for the work and travel that I do.” – Omaha staffer
Compensation
• “Our pay is largely performance-based. The harder and better you work, the more you are paid. It’s perfect.” – Experienced insider
• “This is the biggest downside of my job, since [a large proportion] of our annual compensation is variable and based on the number of days
spent with a client.” – Irvine source
• “Since it is pay per performance (highly on client service revenue, but also on other business metrics, client impact, quality of work and
relationships), that it is the best outcome you can have. You control how much money you make, and aren’t limited by a process or guidelines.”
– East Coast staffer
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Gallup consultants are hired to fill prescribed roles within the firm, so they typically arrive well versed in their respective fields.
From there, they’re entirely on their own to keep their heads above water.
Formal Training
• “Training is sink or swim at Gallup.” – Consultant
• “While there is a move toward more formal training, it hasn’t been consistently deployed, and the rapid growth and high turnover means there
are very few people who can act as mentors.” – Senior source
• “Ultimately, the most successful consultants at Gallup learn new skills quickly as they are needed. If you can’t apply your quantitative
knowledge from day one, you may not get another chance.” – East Coast staffer
Promotion Policies
• “Advancement within roles is encouraged. Otherwise, new roles require a talent fit based on a scientific assessment.” – Consultant
• “As time goes on and you become more expert at your job, you earn consulting certifications, and managers trust you with bigger projects,
which translates into higher pay.” – D.C. insider
• “Gallup lacks a formal process for promoting individuals. When hired into a particular role, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to switch and/or
be developed into a more senior role. Gallup hires for talent and, for better or worse, this can pigeonhole individuals into roles.” – Senior source
• “It’s a very flat organization; most of us are only two levels beneath the CEO, so there’s really nowhere to go, which is fine for most of us.” –
Experienced consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Despite the firm’s purely talent-based hiring process, the Gallup community is a remarkably diverse collection of men and women.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Gallup Consulting
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Hiring is effectively blind. As long as you can pass the strengths personality test, you have an equal chance of hiring retention and promotion.
It’s very diverse in all respects.” – D.C. staffer
• “Everything is based on talent. A sizable number of our executive management are women, and when the next level down is considered, the
majority are women or minorities.” – Consultant
• “Gallup is extremely female-friendly. It is not unusual to have meetings where you notice there are only females present, or that men are in the
minority. New hires often comment on this.” – Experienced source
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: As long as Gallup continues to deliver top-of-the-line work to its clients, the cruel recession will soon become a distant memory.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We are positioned to have our second-best year ever.” – Omaha staffer
• “We’re a privately held community with strong cash reserves, strong cash flow and a very long-term portfolio of clients, with a big focus on future
growth.” – Consultant
• “Strong offerings and research allow us to be successful in spite of our fluid vision and sporadic ability to execute.” – West Coast higher-up
• “The economic downturn hit us really hard, since so much of what we do is considered ‘extra’ for many of our clients. A lot of it was either cut
out or streamlined last year, so the ramp up to get back to where we were has been slow.” – Senior consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Our leadership has strong vision and commitment. They are well positioned with key companies and local and foreign officials while being
approachable by staff.” – D.C. insider
• “Leadership is available, transparent, inspiring and focused on helping all of us deliver solutions to clients and communities.” – Consultant
• “Gallup is family-owned, and is run as such. The entire leadership team is made up of individuals who are either a part of the family or are well
connected to the family.” – Minneapolis staffer
• “There is not enough diversity in experience or education in leadership. Too many strategic decisions are made in a vacuum.” – Executive-level
insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Gallup Consulting
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career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
THE STATS
Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: DTPI (Nasdaq)
President & CEO: Adam J. Gutstein
2010 Employees: 600
2009 Employees: 577
2010 Revenue: $177.2 million
2009 Revenue: $152.2 million
UPPERS
• “Opportunity to play a variety of roles”
• “Terrific benefits package”
• “Flexibility to live anywhere”
• “Exposure to high-level executives”
DOWNERS
• “Not always well recognized in the marketplace”
• “Too small to maintain a deep bench”
• “Micromanaging of expenses”
• “Condescending or patronizing people”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
careers.diamondconsultants.com
John Hancock Center, Suite 3000
875 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Phone: (312) 255-5000
Fax: (312) 255-6000
www.diamondconsultants.com
LOCATIONS
Chicago, IL (HQ)
Hartford, CT
New York, NY
Washington, DC
London
Mumbai
PRACTICE AREAS
B usiness Design & Performance Improvement
Business & Technology Performance Assessment •
Innovation & Scenario Analysis • Business Operations &
IT Strategy Development • Portfolio Review & Planning •
Business Complexity & Architecture Assessment & Planning •
Risk/Compliance Assessment & Planning
In formation Advantage
Information Strategy • Information Architecture & Master Data
Management • Advanced Analytics & Platform Services
C ustomer Impact
Channel Strategy • Customer Experience Strategy • Market
Agility & Product Portfolio Management
E xecution
Transformation Program Leadership • Program Recovery •
Delivery Assurance • Execution Effectiveness
• “Flexible culture; remote model”
• “Young and aggressive”
• “Quickly making a name for itself”
• “Geeky”
DIAMOND MANAGEMENT &
TECHNOLOGY CONSULTANTS, INC.
21
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Small but polished
With over 600 employees spread across six offices in the U.S., U.K. and India, Diamond Management & Technology Consultants is not one of the
largest players in the world of consulting. That said, it does operate in a niche market and has an enviable client list, having worked with the likes of
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, American Express, Allstate, Pfizer, Bayer, CIGNA, Kraft, PepsiAmericas, the U.S. Department of Justice, Cadbury
Schweppes, Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland. The firm has undergone a couple of shifts in identity and focus since its founding in 1994.
Starting out under founder Mel Bergstein as Diamond Technology Partners, the firm also operated as DiamondCluster International before settling on
its current identity in 2006, following the sale of one of its units.
Today’s iteration works with Fortune 500 companies and covers industry practices such as consumer packaged goods, financial services, health care,
insurance, logistics, manufacturing, public-sector organizations, retail and distribution, travel and transportation, and telecommunications.
Living the dot-com dream
The first of Diamond’s incarnations came in 1994 when Mel Bergstein, a former partner and 20-year veteran of Andersen Consulting (now Accenture)
set up a private company specializing in computer solutions for blue-chip clients. Six years later, it boasted annual revenue of $136 million and opened
its first international office in London. That same year, in September 2000, it greatly expanded its foothold in Europe by agreeing on a $300 million
merger with Barcelona-based Cluster Consulting. The ensuing DiamondCluster—as the firm was renamed—had offices in France, Germany, Spain,
the U.K. and the U.S., in addition to a presence in São Paulo.
Four years of sliding revenue from 2000 to 2004, as a result of the dot-com boom going bust, added to the expense and complexities of integrating two
companies, meant this partnership was short-lived and the firm split in August 2006. Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) bought the
company’s operations in France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and a new office in Dubai for a mere $30 million. What was left of the firm after the buyout
was renamed Diamond Management & Technology Consultants—the firm we know today. At the same time, Bergstein stepped aside as CEO, clearing
the way for co-founder Adam Gutstein to take over.
Facets and settings
The firm’s financial services practice has traditionally been its biggest moneymaker, with clients including top investment banks and credit card brands,
plus other capital markets firms, retail brokerages, asset managers, credit card issuers and processors, payment system operators and full-service retail
and commercial banks. The practice addresses issues such as adjustment to and assessment of new technology, information management strategies,
productivity through strategic sourcing, profit improvement, compliance and risk management.
Diamond’s insurance practice serves life, property and casualty, reinsurance and brokerage firms. With the sector trending toward convergence
of insurance, financial services and health care, Diamond advises insurance clients on a variety of issues related to growth and profitability. It also
addresses the opportunities created by a growing retirement population.
Diamond’s health care practice works with pharmaceutical, biotech, device, health insurance, provider and disease management companies on such
business and technology issues as consumer-directed health care strategy and execution, IT optimization and value extraction, integrated business
and technology architecture, process and planning, and large transformational program management. Marquee clients in this segment include Pfizer,
Bayer and Aetna Life Insurance.
The enterprise practice has served clients of the stature of Kraft, Pepsi and Lowe’s, and offers sales and operations planning, pricing, transformational
technology platforms and data analytics to corporations in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, travel and transportation, and consumer packaged
goods industries.
Finally, the firm maintains a public-sector practice, working with U.S. local, state and federal government agencies to improve operational efficiency,
boost responsiveness and tighten up security. One Diamond partner, for example, recently returned to the firm after a one-year stint leading the
development of the Federal Communications Commission’s National broadband strategy.
A passage to India
Although Diamond’s global aspirations suffered a major setback following the sell-off to Mercer Management, it hasn’t stopped the firm from investing
in emerging markets. In 2006, it opened the Diamond Information & Analytics Center in Mumbai, designed to uncover areas of untapped growth and
profitability for companies. The firm also maintains an office there, opened in 2005, to serve local and international clients.
Drumming up business
As part of Diamond’s efforts to keep its name in the public sphere and in front of potential clients, the consultancy regularly hosts events and
conferences, and regularly publishes reports and white papers, which it calls Perspectives. Moreover, several Diamond partner and practices regularly
contribute to blogs, including the Harvard Business Review blog and CIO.com, and Diamond experts are frequently quoted in the media on a wide
variety of business and technology issues.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Diamond also keeps its image shining brightly through its DiamondExchange program for executives and business leaders. The forum, whose
members come through invite only, explores the changing role of technology in business and helps member companies exploit that change. The
program includes workshops and city-based events throughout the year.
GETTING HIRED
Applicants can look forward to an “extremely straightforward,” “transparent” and “very positive” selection process that will determine their fate as a
Diamond consultant. Recruitment efforts are often focused on top-tier undergraduate, MBA and master’s programs. .
The interview process has two to three stages, consisting of a variety of interviews, including a case exercise at Diamond’s Chicago or New York office.
This is a unique facet of the firm’s approach to hiring; “The day of your interview, you are required to prepare a case presentation from the material
provided 48 hours prior to the interview,” a senior consultant says. “Upon arrival, you are given a question for the case study, and within an hour you
need to formulate a presentation to a Diamond partner as part of the interview process.” There’s no question that this is a tough break for the meek,
but if that’s you, you probably aren’t cut out for Diamond anyway. That’s the point, isn’t it?
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: With a few exceptions, Diamond runs on a virtual firm model, which means employees are typically scattered about the
continental U.S. Despite the geographic constraints this produces, the firm has been able to cultivate a dynamic, cohesive culture—a major factor
in consultants’ high satisfaction marks.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Diamond is a young, scrappy, firm with an entrepreneurial, can-do attitude. We joke that we’re ‘blue collar strategy.’ Unlike more established
firms, there is no ‘book’ to follow: We are writing the book. Leaders genuinely care about firm and consultant development, and every day we
have myriad personal opportunities to direct the future of the firm. I like this a lot.” – Denver staffer
• “I am very happy here at Diamond. We have a great firm, and our positive growth results over the past couple of years during the economic
challenges prove that we’re doing something right!” – Strategy executive
• “I’m very satisfied with my job. As a more junior resource, I am being challenged to take on more responsibility, and learning a ton in the
process. The culture at Diamond is unique for a consulting firm, and everyone around you wants to see you improve and grow as a consultant.”
– Health care first-year
• “It entirely depends on your client—some clients have great projects with flexible traveling options and a good work/life balance. Other clients,
in concise terms, do not.” – Financial services consultant
Firm Culture
• “Diamond’s culture is one of the best in the industry. The passion for the firm is contagious, and each employee has a sense of ownership of
the firm. Given the relatively small size of the firm, each person has the opportunity to make a difference, and is personally vested in the firm’s
success.” – Chicago source
• “Although Diamond is a virtual firm, don’t let that make you think it doesn’t have a strong culture. The firm does a number of things that
promote a strong culture, and is constantly looking for ways to improve and expand upon its recent success in this category.” – Health care
junior
• “Diamond’s culture is very inclusive, and most management decisions are transparent to the broader firm, reducing the ‘us versus them’
environment that exists at many other firms.” – New York higher-up
• “One of Diamond’s mantras is ‘people first,’ and they exuberate that in almost every major decision made affecting the firm.” – Financial services
midlevel
Supervisor Relationships
• “I’ve had amazing mentors—one of the reasons I choose to stay at Diamond.” – Business consultant
• “My supervisor has taken the time to get to know me as a person, not just within a work environment. He has also taken a stake in seeing me
succeed at the firm, which is very motivating.” – Midwest entry-level
• “I absolutely love the people I work with; almost all of my supervisors are very easy to talk to, and they were very good mentors. But as with any
other organization, you are bound to run into less pleasant people. You deal with it and move on.” – Operations consultant
• “Sometimes you are operating alone, or separated from people by distance and time zones, making connecting rather difficult.” – New York
staffer
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Interaction with Clients
• “Client’s view us as pragmatic experts, and frequently look for expertise beyond the immediate engagement as trusted advisors.” – Senior
consultant
• “Our clients are C-level and executive leaders; even junior staff regularly get opportunities to interact with our clients.” – Strategy executive
• “Diamond works with the clients, not for the clients. We become ‘native’ in most client companies.” – Midlevel source
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: For a relatively small firm, Diamond pays its consultants top dollar for the hard work they put in.
Work Hours
• “Without sacrificing my work quality, my hours are flexible. Working long hours can be hard, but I also know that if I am getting my work done
and need to bow out for an appointment here or there, my managers are flexible.” – Operations consultant
• “The main focus of my time is project work and the hours rack up only when I choose to focus on other extracurricular firm offerings.” –
Midlevel strategist
• “Diamond promotes a culture of working smarter, not harder. In other words, if you’re efficient and can finish your work faster, you can take off
sooner. We have a culture of mutual trust and respect.” – Business consultant
• “It varies. Some weeks are 9 to 5, some are 7 to 11. But that’s just the way it is. I have managed to keep my weekends clear for three years,
except for maybe two or three weeks.” – Chicago midlevel
Work/Life Balance
• “Diamond is a place where it is up to the employee to take control of his/her own career and work/life balance. Setting boundaries is important;
we are not a firm that will handhold.” – Midlevel operations specialist
• “The firm is piloting efforts on more intense projects to implement a ‘predictable time off’ program to ensure each team member a night where
they end work early, allowing more time for personal endeavors and a break from work.” – Finance consultant
• “When I take my laptop out on the weekends, it’s typically because I chose to have a lighter day on Friday, and because I choose to be involved
in some firm activities that I’m interested in. Senior management does not bother people on weekends and respects family life.” – California
insider
• “I can balance work and life, but that may affect my upward mobility.” – Health care associate
Travel Requirements
• “We are a largely virtual firm, which means that in exchange for being allowed to live virtually anywhere in the U.S., you will likely be traveling.” –
Senior source
• “Almost all consultants are traveling Monday through Thursday of every week.” – Experienced finance consultant
• “Usually four days a week of travel, but some have gone to five to satisfy client demands. Two years ago, this would have been unheard of.” –
Midwestern staffer
• “The firm really pushes its employees to be on the ground at the client site. While this has the benefit of client exposure and allows Diamond
employees to build relationships with their clients, the travel can take a toll. Diamond should investigate more opportunities where the client will
allow remote work—it’s a win-win because it reduces client expenses while enhancing employee work/life balance.” – First-year
Compensation
• “ Though Diamond is not leading the market in compensation, we are competitive. Our health care is top of the line, the new 401(k) match is
great and bonuses are competitive.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Compensation is generally great. All employees will soon receive a nonperformance-based bonus for strong firmwide results. Diamond stock
has been rising, which benefits members of the employee stock purchase plan.” – Experienced consultant
• “I feel that I’m fairly compensated and, like most, I’m extremely happy that Diamond shifted to an all-cash bonus for folks below partner level.
Many junior- and midlevel consultants weren’t happy with equity bonus compensations.” – San Francisco staffer
• “I took a pay cut to come here (from a global integrator), but it was worth the increase in quality of work and more flexible work arrangements
close to home.” – Financial consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Diamond is still trying to incorporate a more robust training regimen while preserving the firm’s culture of informal coaching.
Initial reviews are very positive.
Formal Training
• “New-hire training is a few weeks long and is intense; our consultants feel well-equipped going into their first project because of it.” – Strategy
associate
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “This is an area where we have made great strides over the past two to three years as a firm in creating the Diamond Academy, where all new
hires to the firm get the same assimilation. We also have specific training for people promoted to each major level within the firm, as well as
ongoing content-driven training.” – Strategy executive
• “Traditionally, we’ve had a strong culture of informal training. That hasn’t gone away, but recently, we’ve emphasized a more balanced
approach with additional formal training opportunities at all levels.” – New York higher-up
• “In general, Diamond has a ‘coaching’ model. You’re always expected to coach and elevate junior folks.” – Senior source
Promotion Policies
• “Consultants advance, on average, every two years. Consultants with performance issues but who show long-term promise are provided a
coach, and create a formal development plan targeting improvement areas and ensuring extensive coverage from partners, project leadership,
career counselors and HR.” – Finance consultant
• “It is not strictly up or out, but there are rigorous review cycles; consultants who do not meet the expectations will be counseled out.
Consultants advance moderately fast.” – Midlevel source
• “The bottom 8 to 10 percent are generally counseled out each year.” – Senior consultant
• “Superstars don’t advance any faster and usually will take opportunities elsewhere. This is a huge problem.” – West Coast insider
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: This male-dominated firm lags on women’s issues—”the testosterone is oppressive,” says one respondent—but it has begun to
address the problem with the same commitment that has nurtured a vibrant minority culture within the firm.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Diversity is being tackled front and center at Diamond through the institution of our diversity council with very senior management sponsorship.
It includes access, as well as support, for individual initiatives, the newest of which is centered around Latino employees.” – D.C. staffer
• “We hire lots of women, but have a hard time retaining them. The programs to do so are usually lip service. I would rather work with more
women—the testosterone is oppressive.” – Experienced consultant
• “Though at the lower ranks men and women are at about a 50:50 ratio, many women leave before being promoted to more senior levels, and
we do not hire many experienced women at all. As a result, we have only six female partners, out of about 65.” – New York midlevel
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Diamond may be a smaller firm, but if business continues to flow through the doors at current levels of volume and quality, it will
soon find itself operating amongst the industry’s most esteemed company.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We have grown rapidly and expanded intelligently throughout the current economic situation, and are well positioned for continued strong
growth.” – Senior consultant
• “The outlook for Diamond is very bright, and there is no shortage of work. The third quarter of 2010 was a standout, and the next quarter
promises to be even better.” – Health care junior
• “Diamond continues to win business from McKinsey, BCG and Bain. Our strong results in the global recession have helped us get top recruits
that will further accelerate our success. I’ve met several people in the last few months who had picked offers from Diamond over offers from
McKinsey.” – East Coast associate
• “We are bursting at the seams with neat opportunities. We have been very strong through this downturn, and it’s hard to find staff for projects
sold.” – Operations consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The CEO and the leadership team seem to have jelled during the downturn, turning a potential disaster into a huge opportunity.” – Operations
executive
• “The most critical positions across the firm, including vertical leads, have some extremely well-qualified individuals that are the envy of all
companies in and out of the industry, as demonstrated by the continued placement of partners in critical roles outside the firm.” – D.C. higher-
up
• “Diamond’s leadership has proven themselves over the past two to three years, and are well positioned to continue managing the firm.” –
Strategy midlevel
• “Our CEO is not recognized as an inspiring leader, but he has focused recently on initiatives surrounding employee happiness and work/life
balance. Vertical leads are well respected and admired.” – New York insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “It’s a pleasure to work at a place where when someone
asks how you are, they actually want to know!”
• “Opportunity to create a manageable work/life balance”
• “Not an extremely competitive atmosphere”
DOWNERS
• “Stingy dinner budgets”
• “People unable to contain stress to themselves”
• “The business goes in cycles”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.healthadvances.com/careers/index.html
HEALTH ADVANCES, LLC
9 Riverside Road
Weston, Massachusetts 02493
Phone: (781) 647-3435
Fax: (781) 392-1484
www.healthadvances.com
LOCATIONS
Weston, MA (HQ)
San Francisco, CA
PRACTICE AREAS
Clinical Trial Strategy • Due Diligence • Launch & Salesforce
Strategy • Market Assessment & Forecasting • Partnering
& Licensing • Portfolio Planning • Pricing & Reimbursement
• Product Positioning • Strategic & Business Planning •
Technology Commercialization • Valuation Financial Analysis
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Partners: Mark Speers, Paula Ness Speers, Skip Irving &
Marie Schiller
2010 Employees: 65
2009 Employees: 65
• “Great for market research and deep dive on technology”
• “Insane hours”
• “Family-friendly”
• “Don’t really know what they do”
22
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
For your health
The professionals at Health Advances consult about one thing and one thing only: health care. Established in 1992 by husband and wife team Mark
Speers and Paula Ness Speers, the firm’s core belief is that focusing on just one industry allows it to provide clients with greater resources and focused
insight. This means that the professionals at HA are not mere consultants, with most having worked within the health care industry at some point in
their career.
Holding advanced degrees in medicine, molecular biology, biochemistry and many other related sciences, HA consultants are able to advise their
Fortune 500 clients on areas such as development, clinical trial strategy, marketing, licensing and pricing. But HA also offers advice on corporate-
based issues, like mergers, partnering and finances, to a broad range of clients in the biotechnology, diagnostics, medical device, nonprofit and
pharmaceutical industries.
Seizing the opportunity for growth
The Speers’ started their firm after leaving international management consulting giant Bain & Company. While at Bain, Mark Speers rose to the position
of partner in the firm’s health care practice, while Paula led its R&D practice. That joint expertise and experience allows the couple to help clients
develop marketing ideas for new products, advise on corporate mergers and acquisitions, international ventures and more.
The Speers aren’t going it alone, however: A senior management team consisting of two additional partners, Skip Irving and Marie Schiller, a chief
operating officer, and a solid group of VPs backs them up, and brings a variety of extra insight and experience to the table.
Offering something others can’t
HA can offer all of its clients a three-pronged attack, with the ability to provide expertise in analytics, business and health care on every project team.
However, where the firm really shines is its knowledge of the latter of these three—health care. That knowledge includes in-depth information about
diseases, expertise in the intricacies of working with the FDA, detailed insight into dealing with complex clinical trials and more. Most of all, HA thrives
on its ability to predict or anticipate future trends and events in the health care industry over a 10 to 15 year span.
Staying on top of all the information required to monitor and recommend improvements to the health care industry is no small task. To do so, the firm
relies on a vast database of more than 5,000 clinicians, researchers and other industry contacts and experts, including PhDs, MDs and industry opinion
leaders. In addition, the firm maintains a searchable library of treatment methods for diseases, company profiles and licensing deals, all collected from
within the industry and maintained since the firm was started. The firm also regularly funds internal research projects to stay on top of relevant issues,
such as regulation, reimbursement, disease management, technology, business development and competitive trends.
No. 1 priority
Despite all HA has to offer its clients, the firm believes that its employees have even more to offer to the community. One visit to its website will make it
obvious that community service ranks high on its list of priorities. The company devotes one day each quarter for the entire staff to give back in some
way. Some of its favorite charities include the American Cancer Society, The Greater Boston Food Bank, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation,
the Pan Mass Challenge Kids Ride and the Waltham Fields Community Farm. Meanwhile, Partner and Managing Director Skip Irving serves on the
board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, having previously served the foundation in an advisory capacity.
GETTING HIRED
There’s no question that HA is going for the best the field has to offer—its on-campus recruiting efforts rely almost exclusively on Brown, MIT, Harvard
and Dartmouth—and its successes have only served to make the hiring process even more selective. It’s a fairly simple one, though; as one recent
hire explains, “There were no special tests or brainteaser questions.”
The interviews themselves are equally straightforward. “We first conduct a phone interview with candidates, typically lasting 30 to 45 minutes,
discussing a case question for the bulk of that call,” details a recruitment team member. “Typical in-person interviews are conducted on site with
members of our staff from all levels, and are 45 minutes to one hour, of which case questions are a significant part.” In short, “people who are hired
are definitely incredibly high caliber,” an insider states.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Health Advances consultants are energized about the company’s superb performance, which ultimately says a lot about the
quality of work they receive and produce. This young, exciting firm is a solid option for a consultant of any experience or education.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Health Advances, LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Overall Satisfaction
• “I really love working at Health Advances. The projects that we get are all extremely interesting, there is a lot of opportunity to work on new
things and stretch yourself, and the people are great.” – Midlevel consultant
• “It’s a terrific firm doing the best and most interesting health care strategy work in the industry. There is no other health care strategy firm that
has as much experience and expertise across therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and services.” – Senior source
• “I think that Health Advances is one of the best jobs for an entry-level position. I still have to perform some monotonous tasks like every entry-
level employee, but I am also included in high-level strategy discussion and am able to have client interaction.” – First-year analyst
• “Being both an executive and a mother to two small children is challenging, but at Health Advances I have been able to enjoy both. Over the
past eight years I have worked for the firm, I have been able to build both a thriving practice and a fulfilling home life with the help and support
of my fellow management and my hard-working teams, who understand the need for this balance.” – Massachusetts executive
Firm Culture
• “Very friendly, young and open environment. Intensely team-oriented projects allow you to really get to know your co-workers.” – Junior staffer
• “Teams meet frequently to brainstorm and upper management is very accessible. It is not uncommon for partners and VPs to work directly with
junior members of the team, providing great visibility from the minute you walk in the door. Outside of work, we often meet for dinner, movies or
a pick-up frisbee game.” – Analyst
• “Health Advances has a young, energetic, horizontal culture that encourages open dialogue and provides opportunities to those who are willing
to reach for them.” – Strategy consultant
• “People are genuinely friendly and supportive, and will get together outside of work. Groups with similar interests find ways to share them with
others at the company, such as an early evening on-site exercise program and community service opportunities.” – Boston entry-level
Supervisor Relationships
• “One of the great things about Health Advances is the access to senior management—they are regularly available, attend all company events
and are extremely friendly, so you can get to know them. I once spent nine hours in a car with one of the partners, as we drove down to a
conference in New Jersey and back in a day, and we chatted a majority of the time, with no awkwardness!” – Junior analyst
• “My supervisors are measured on their ability to mentor. We have a new head of professional development who comes from the consulting
ranks and has 100 percent support from the partners to improve our processes for training, staff development, mentoring, performance reviews
and overall communication.” – Executive source
• “I have a good working relationship with my supervisor. He’s very thoughtful and provides very actionable feedback on my performance that’s
well-considered and detailed.” – Analyst
• “The firm assigns you a mentor on day one—quite arbitrarily. You’re able to switch mentors at any point without feeling awkward, if you have a
decent reason. I have seen this happen quite a few times at Health Advances, and there aren’t really any questions asked by any party.” – East
Coast insider
Interaction with Clients
• “In most cases, clients see us and our teams as peers, which allows us to engage in tough problem solving without fear of pushback or hurt
feelings.” – San Francisco senior source
• “As a consultant at HA, I have been given many opportunities to develop relationships with our clients by being the main day-to-day contact for
my projects.” – Strategy analyst
• “Even employees at lower levels are encouraged to speak up in client meetings.” – First-year staffer
• “In terms of clients, we do interact well with them, but as a senior analyst, my role is more in presenting a few slides in meetings, and answering
any questions or providing some ‘color’—it is always well received, and I am always given the opportunity to speak if it is something I am
knowledgeable about.” – Boston analyst
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Hours and money, so often sources of fatigue and resentment elsewhere in the industry, are sources of genuine appreciation at
Health Advances. The general lack of travel helps consultants strike a remarkable work/life balance.
Work Hours
• “We try to target around 50 hours a week. There are certainly going to be some weeks where you are crunching on a project if there is a big
client meeting coming up, and you end up working way more hours, but that is balanced with weeks where I can work 40 to 45 hours because
my deadlines are more relaxed.” – Junior source
• “The firm makes a real effort to keep hours reasonable and to minimize unnecessary travel. I work five hours less per week on average than I
did at Bain, and there are very few nights and weekends.” – West Coast midlevel consultant
• “The company has been great about working with me on a more flexible schedule, keeping my hours down now that I have a small child at
home.” – Strategy consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Health Advances, LLC
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “HA demands top-notch work and excellent output. I enjoy my output and am satisfied by meeting the demands of clients.” – Analyst
Work/Life Balance
• “Even if I do some work on the occasional weekend, it is on my schedule—I haven’t had to cancel dinner plans, tennis matches, ski trips or
anything of the sort because of my job.” – Senior consultant
• “Health Advances is sensitive to outside commitments. Last year, I spent four months training for a marathon, which required me to run long
distances in the morning. My teams were aware of my schedule and accommodated, scheduling meetings later in the morning or afternoon.” –
Junior source
• “There is definitely room for individuals to carve out an appropriate work/life balance, though it requires being mindful and proactive in one’s
approach. With little emphasis on face time, consultants with families or significant outside time commitments can create space in their
schedules that can be made up later.” – Analyst
• “I go through spurts when it is exceptionally busy, or I have a challenging project, and during those periods I do need to compromise. However,
the lack of regular travel here is a big plus.” – Executive-level source
Travel Requirements
• “Unlike a number of firms, Health Advances tries to avoid working at the client site unless it would add to the project. This works great for the
employees, who generally travel to the client one to three times per project for a day.” – Experienced consultant
• “We travel very rarely—only for important meetings with clients, at the beginning, middle, and end of projects, or for a related conference.
These are usually quick day trips, which is nice because it allows me to have time at home, make plans with friends and have a better work/life
balance.” – Boston consultant
• “I love not traveling much—it makes it so much more exciting and enjoyable, rather than painful, when it does happen.” – First-year analyst
• “I rarely have an overnight stay.” – Junior analyst
Compensation
• “I am very happy with my compensation. It was comparable to what my other friends are receiving at bigger-name consulting firms.” – First-
year analyst
• “Compensation is extremely competitive—at least at the analyst and senior analyst level. The company does provide a signing bonus, and there
is an annual bonus as well, based on personal performance and the company’s performance.” – Midlevel staffer
• “We even got bonuses the past couple of years in the terrible economy. We all share in firmwide profitability, so we share a common goal and
the reward from our hard work.” – Senior consultant
• “I am generally satisfied with my compensation; however, there isn’t a lot of visibility into salary policies and benchmarks.” – Junior analyst
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Any training program that doubles as a recruiting incentive is, well, doubly good. HA’s is just that—intensive, informative and,
most importantly, truly effective.
Formal Training
• “Health Advances has the most extensive official training program of any company that I have ever seen. It ensures that individuals with
diverse academic backgrounds (ranging from hard sciences to business) can truly start off on the same foot when they begin their career.” –
Experienced source
• “There is an excellent official training program, a chance for individuals to use their new knowledge on their own project and a chance to
shadow a case before they are staffed. Most important, though, is that everyone really wants to help everyone else succeed.” – Strategy
consultant
• “I was initially attracted to Health Advances in part due to the strength of their extensive new hire training program. “ – Boston analyst
• “I loved that I didn’t feel like I was just thrown into things without any background.” – Entry-level respondent
Promotion Policies
• “It is not up or out. In fact, all the more senior members of the organization, except the founders, were promoted from within. You do not need
to have an MBA to advance. Generally, I am pretty confident that I know where I stand with regard to a promotion.” – Senior source
• “The promotion policy is fairly transparent at Health Advances. With the newer review format we adopted a year ago, we have quantitative
measures of our performance, and mentors are pretty good at explaining what is necessary for you to move to the next step.” – East Coast
midlevel
• “Promotion is based on each employee’s skill plan and performance, making the process relatively objective and transparent. However, as with
any other firm, advancement depends on the opportunities presented, which vary from case to case.” – First-year source
• “Performance metrics have seen a lot of focus in the past year, and promotions are a little more transparent, but are still very experience- and
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Health Advances, LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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opportunity-based, depending on specific case work.” – Midlevel consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: There’s a unique equality on display at Health Advances: The majority of staff, from analysts to partners, is female. Minorities and
men are well represented, too, but their presence is overshadowed by the impressive advances made by the firm’s women in a traditionally male-
dominated industry.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “The firm has more female employees than male employees (two of the partners are female), which illustrates that women do not encounter any
prejudice at this firm. In fact, the upper-level women bring in a large chunk of the firm’s business.” – Entry-level consultant
• “There are definitely no biases on hiring or promotion. Women and minorities are very well represented at all levels. We’re very respectful of
individual diversity.” – Senior source
• “The company is very flexible regarding maternity (and has a fairly standard plan for the amount of leave that is paid), and the company is
very accepting of minorities and GLBT individuals (considering we have many individuals from both categories on staff).” – Boston midlevel
consultant
• “Efforts on diversity are excellent, but achieving GLBT diversity is a challenge for such a small firm.” – Business advisor
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: The recession was a low point in Health Advances’ 18-year history, but the firm was able to pull itself out, and insiders are
confident about the firm’s future prospects.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We seem to be in a very strong position as the economy turns around. Management wisely took advantage of the job situation to hire some
very talented people. Carefully managing costs and nurturing client relationships enabled the organization to avoid any layoffs, so people feel
very good about the situation.” – Senior consultant
• “We have a tremendous reputation, broad client base and contacts all across the industry from 18 years of great work.” – Boston insider
• “While the economic situation has impacted our business, we continue to get calls from past clients, and referrals to new clients, which
suggests that as things improve we will see our business pick up as well.” – San Francisco senior
• “There is some competition due to other consultants being laid off and going freelance, but Health Advances is at an advantage due to our
known quality and experience.” – Junior consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Our partners have incredible experience in the industry and continue to make very smart business decisions. They are genuinely committed to
the people here, above anything else, which permeates all aspects of our work environment.” – Analyst
• “The senior management team has an excellent mix of executives with diverse backgrounds in the health care industry, allowing for rich
expertise within sectors and collaboration across sectors.” – East Coast staffer
• “The partners set the tone through their own behavior to promote a highly collegial atmosphere based on mutual respect, and have
demonstrated time and again their commitment to the people in the firm.” – Entry-level consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Health Advances, LLC
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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820 West Jackson Boulevard
Suite 525
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Phone: (312) 655-0826
Fax: (312) 655-8334
www.strategos.com
LOCATIONS
Chicago, IL (HQ)
Amsterdam
Lisbon
London
Munich
São Paulo
PRACTICE AREAS
Enterprise Innovation Capacity • Growth Strategy • Leadership
& Organization • Management & Open Innovation • New
Market & Product Development
THE STATS
Employer Type: Division of Innovaro
Ticker Symbol: INV (NYSE, Alternext)
Lead Director: Peter Skarzynski
2009 Employees: 38
2008 Employees: 35
2009 Revenue: $10.8 million (Innovaro)
2008 Revenue: $13.2 million
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
148
STRATEGOS
23
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Out-of-this-world clients”
• “Minimal politics”
DOWNERS
• “Strong dependence on the pipeline”
• “Slow firm growth limits career opportunities”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Email recruiting@strategos.com or visit the “Join Us” section
of the firm’s website
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THE SCOOP
Innovation is the name of the game
At Strategos, “innovation” is king. And queen. And prince, and duke and the whole royal family. The Chicago-based boutique strategy consultancy
knows that innovation must be worked at and managed, helping clients develop the systems, processes and capabilities they need to reduce the risks
associated with new products, services and business ventures.
For a small firm, Strategos works on big issues. With around 40 professionals in six offices, it works with mostly corporate clients to identify and develop
new segments and markets; create and act on “game-changing” new strategies; build an enterprise-wide capability for creating new ideas; improve
processes for new product development; and assess a client’s “innovation capability.” The promised results? Big, new ideas, with faster results, a
healthy pipeline of new products, enterprising and productive employees, and new-and-improved strategies. Strategos seems to make good on its
promises, having performed services for 25 out of the 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, in addition to other members of
the Fortune Global 500.
More room to grow
While Strategos suffered a net $375,000 loss on net assets of $840,000 in 2007, it was still a hot buy for the UTEK Corporation, a major player in
technology transfers and open innovation. In April 2008, UTEK, which reported revenue of $20.2 million in 2008, closed the Strategos acquisition
deal. Strategos shareholders received 1.25 million shares of UTEK stock when the transaction closed in April 2008. As a division of UTEK (which in
March 2010 changed its name to Innovaro), Strategos retains its brand and operates as the strategic advisory services arm of the business.
Guru know-how
Strategos is the brainchild of Gary Hamel, the innovation mastermind who founded the firm in 1995. Hamel has been called the world’s most influential
business thinker by The Wall Street Journal, and his October 2007 book, The Future of Management, was selected by Amazon.com as the best business book
of the year. At the firm’s post-takeover helm is Lead Director Peter Skarzynski, whose latest book, Innovation to the Core, published in March 2008, is
recognized as the first to describe how large organizations can build and sustain a companywide innovation capability.
A whirl of difference
Strategos’ marquee clients span the business spectrum, including names such as Applied Materials, Whirlpool Corporation, Nokia, Roche Diagnostics
and Royal Dutch/Shell.
The firm’s website prominently features glowing client testimonials. One client, Whirlpool, approached Strategos for help when it realized it could not
remain a household brand name by simply coming up with better appliances. “It needed to find more fundamental advantages,” says Strategos, which
helped Whirlpool executives think outside the box. Within two years of hiring the firm to help develop new ideas, Whirlpool had created several new
product lines, such as a new line of appliances for younger lifestyles, a system of high quality, attractive looking, appliances and organizers for garages,
and started the Inspired Chef cooking schools that showcase Whirlpool products. Within two years, Whirlpool’s “innovation pipeline” was flowing with
ideas, and the firm estimates that these new appliances, once on the market, could produce $3 billion in annual sales.
GETTING HIRED
What sets the firm’s recruitment process apart from the rest is its emphasis on hiring candidates with clear client-facing talents. Applicants are
prescreened for “analytical rigor” and aptitude, reducing the pool to those who possess the technical expertise or capacity to succeed behind the
scenes. Then, it’s up to those candidates to show that they can function smoothly and comfortably under the pressure of a client situation.
Though the interview process includes typical casework and behavioral components, the focus is on the “client situation simulation,” an evaluation of
a candidate’s ability to deliver under the strain of a realistic business scenario. Performance here is of the utmost importance; as one insider suggests,
it is the “critical skill for our delivery model.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Strategos is a small firm, growing at a measured pace; for the most part, consultants appreciate the tight-knit culture this
cultivates and the opportunities it presents.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Strategos
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Overall Satisfaction
• “I love my job.” – Director
• “I have a good balance between my career and personal life; I am continually challenged and I have a lot of autonomy. During the last two
years, I’ve grown a lot in all aspects of my profession.” – Strategy consultant
• “Our new parent company situation isn’t ideal, but I still very much like working at Strategos.” – Chicago insider
Firm Culture
• “More than colleagues, we work as a family.” – Experienced consultant
• “A balance of libertarianism and central planning.” – Senior source
• “Collaborative and stimulating.” – Associate
Supervisor Relationships
• “My supervisor is like a friend on the personal relationship, like a teacher and a coach at the professional development.” – Analyst
• “This is a very flat organization, with short communication lines.” – East Coast higher-up
Interaction with Clients
• “Everyone is exposed to senior clients.” – Midwest partner
• “We work both with CXOs and the other layers at the client company—we straddle the ‘Dilbert divide.’” – Midlevel consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Strategos consultants are able to juggle their responsibilities, while at the same time carving out enough time for leisure and
personal obligations.
Work Hours
• “It varies according to the project, but overall it’s an acceptable balance.” – Analyst
• “For a consulting job, this is great.” – Midlevel insider
Work/Life Balance
• “I have children, and I get to spend quality time with them (take them to school, go swimming, they come to the office, etc).” – Senior associate
• “We allocate our own time, therefore optimizing our own overall life schedules. That is why it’s OK to work on weekends.” – Midwest staffer
• “There are always some unexpected client demands, but Strategos consultants generally possess the maturity to prioritize client demands with
family life issues.” – Partner
Travel Requirements
• “Travel when you need to. Don’t when you don’t need to.” – East Coast higher-up
• “It varies. Months can be four days on the road, and then a stretch of zero to two days.” – Associate
• “It depends on the project; sometimes you have to stay for three to four months working in the client facilities in another city.” – Junior source
Compensation
• “Being small, performance and contribution are very visible. Compensation fairly represents individuals’ performance and contribution.” –
Associate
• “There’s lots of compensation at stake—it sets up a healthy internal climate.” – Senior consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Strategos has adopted a highly personalized training program, combining informal mentorships with closely tracked, individualized
development plans.
Formal Training
• “We have personal development plans. The process is managed and there is follow-up. Rather than formal training, we match on-the-job
opportunities for development with the development plans of the consultants.” – Midlevel insider
• “All training is through informal mentoring and on-the-job training.” –Senior source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Strategos
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Promotion Policies
• “There is no up or out. Therefore, advancement is proportional to growth.” – Associate
• “People progress very quickly based in a meritocracy policy.” – Experienced source
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Insiders note that hiring is based almost entirely on merit, although there is some attention toward recruiting women and
minorities.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “The firm is receptive, actively recruits women and minorities. No particular effort toward GLBT hiring.” – Senior consultant
• “Hiring is based solely on skills.” – Associate
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Consultants are cautiously optimistic about the firm’s chances of imminent growth, but are wary of new challenges that have
arisen with the firm’s new merger.
Overall Business Outlook
• “I think Strategos is fairly well positioned to thrive. I’m much less convinced that the UTEK/Innovaro situation will help.” – Senior associate
• “Business is picking up rather robustly.” – Consultant
• “Actually, [2009 was] a rough period of time; however, a strong effort in business development is being made.” – Analyst
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “We are part of a larger company, Innovaro, so our excellent leadership has to coordinate Strategos activities with the rest of the company.” –
Midlevel insider
• “Strategos leadership is excellent and they complement each other well. I’m not sure Innovaro leadership has a full idea of where it wants to go,
and whether it’s the right group to take us there.” – Consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Strategos
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career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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44 Brattle Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Phone: (617) 864-7900
Fax: (617) 864-1576
www.brattle.com
LOCATIONS
Cambridge, MA (HQ)
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC
Brussels
London
Madrid
PRACTICE AREAS
Functional Practice Areas
Antitrust/Competition • Commercial Damages • Environmental
Litigation & Regulation • Forensic Economics • Intellectual
Property • International Arbitration • International Trade •
Product Liability • Regulatory Finance & Accounting • Risk
Management • Securities • Tax • Utility Regulatory Policy &
Ratemaking • Valuation
Industry Practice Areas
Electric Power • Financial Institutions • Natural Gas • Petroleum
• Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices & Biotechnology •
Telecommunications & Media • Transportation
• “Great people”
• “Econ nerds”
• “Highly analytical”
• “Support staff is not up to par”
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
152
THE BRATTLE GROUP
24
PRESTIGE
RANKING
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
President: Matthew O’Loughlin
2010 Employees: 200+
2009 Employees: 200+
UPPERS
• “Nobel Laureates and distinguished professors among our
senior advisers”
• “HR keeps people happy”
• “RAs go on to attend top business, law, public policy and
PhD programs”
• “Excellent benefits package”
DOWNERS
• “Principals with abrasive personalities”
• “The use of utilization as one of the main metrics of
performance and year-end bonus distorts incentives for
RAs”
• “An environment of working far too much has been fostered”
• “Hard to go over-and-above, because everyone goes over-
and-above”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.brattle.com/Careers
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
From Harvard Square to Trafalgar Square
The Brattle Group provides consulting and expert testimony services on economic, financial, regulatory and strategic issues to corporations, law firms
and public agencies worldwide. Founded in 1990 as a five-person outfit on Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Brattle Street, the firm’s 200-plus employees—
now working from six offices in the United States, Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom—serve a number of industries, including electric power,
financial institutions, natural gas, petroleum, telecommunications and media, and transportation.
Where its energy lies
Today, The Brattle Group’s specialties lie in energy, finance and litigation throughout North America, the European Union and even in Asia Pacific,
despite having no physical presence there. In the energy sector, one of Brattle’s major practice areas, it services the electric, natural gas and petroleum
industries. The firm assists electric utilities, deregulated power producers, customers, regulators and energy policy-makers with planning, regulation
and litigation efforts. It provides gas clients, whether involved in production, marketing or transport, with expert testimony and advice in regulatory and
legal disputes over pricing, prudence and cost recovery, access and contract performance. For the petroleum industry, it consults on asset valuation,
contract performance, corporate strategy and risk assessments, financial modeling, market power reviews, reliability, and damages evaluations and
royalty disputes. The firm also has growing practices in climate change policy and planning and demand-side management.
Elsewhere in the halls of commerce, financial institutions call on The Brattle Group when faced with litigation and regulatory matters concerning
securities, capital requirements, due diligence, structured finance, risk management, asset valuation, pricing of services, profitability and the cost of
capital. Telecommunications and media outfits engaged in fixed-line and wireless communications, mobile satellite services, and cable and satellite
television look to the firm for valuation of spectrum, the assessment of damages in litigation, assistance with auctions, the pricing of network access, and
interconnection and other analyses. The Brattle Group also has knowledge and experience in intellectual property, product liability, transportation and
general commercial litigation, as well as an emerging practice in international arbitration. Its antitrust/competition experts have worked on a number
of the largest mergers, or attempted mergers, in over 50 industries.
Brattle’s brains
The Brattle Group refers to its consultants collectively as a team, and its chain of command is structured flatly to encourage input in a peer-like manner
from individuals of any rank. Not only does the system foster a sense of collegiality, but it also exposes junior staff to some of the biggest brains in
their fields. Brattle’s principals are longtime experts in their respective industries, with advanced degrees in economics, finance, management and
engineering from top universities around the world. Its cadre of senior principals includes Daniel McFadden of the University of California, Berkeley,
who was the co-winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economics, and Stewart Myers of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, co-author of the leading
graduate-level textbook on corporate finance (Brealey & Myers). The firm’s experts also draw on a network of senior advisors that includes renowned
academics and former government officials, such as the former chief economist for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, and deans and faculty at academic institutions, such as MIT, Duke University, the University of Chicago and
London Business School.
Rolling out the page-turners
Brattle consultants have shared their insights in countless academic papers, books, articles and reports, which have appeared in magazines,
newspapers and journals all over the world. The firm also publishes a newsletter series that meditates on the state of economics, the environment,
energy, finance and telecommunications.
While the firm’s studies and research have won it recognition, The Brattle Group is also on the lookout for notable research outside its own firm. Every
year, the firm sponsors prizes for the best papers in corporate finance to foster intellectual inquiry within the areas of finance and economics. As an
incentive, winners receive $10,000, and two runner-up papers receive $5,000.
GETTING HIRED
The Brattle Group maintains a clear focus on recruiting graduates with strong records and demonstrated ability in quantitative fields. At the associate
level, “we’ve historically focused on hiring economics and finance PhDs,” one senior consultant explains. “Now we also look at MBAs with quantitative
undergraduate majors and real work experience.” At the research analyst level, the firm seeks undergraduates with majors such as mathematics,
economics, engineering and some physical sciences. Personality-wise, at all levels the firm seeks out “intellectually curious” types, also preferring
those who are “down-to-earth enough to deal with some of the very ‘unique’ personalities of the principals.”
Once identified as an appropriate applicant via an HR screening and an initial interview (phone or in-person), candidates are flown to an office to
engage in a daylong meeting, in which they are met and evaluated by a handful of Brattle consultants (“HR, analysts, associates and principals”).
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Brattle Group
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Here, candidates should “be prepared to discuss their academic and work experience in detail, and communicate clearly and thoughtfully,” as their
sample case study progresses under watchful eyes.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Brattle consultants seem happy about the tradeoffs they’ve selected by choosing a small firm; what they forfeit in broad industry
recognition is replaced by a wealth of learning opportunities and a less bureaucratic culture.
Overall Satisfaction
• “This has been a wonderful place to work for the last year or so; I have been very impressed by the quality of my colleagues and senior advisors,
as well as by the diverse and challenging nature of my work. I have the opportunity to work with and lead teams, and am given a great deal of
responsibility, which I relish.” – Cambridge insider
• “For those new graduates with an aptitude for quantitative analysis and an interest in economics, Brattle provides a distinct and rewarding
experience.” – Energy consultant
• “The consensus among analysts is that better project management from higher-ups would make life for us better, as we would be better able to
handle our responsibilities.” – Finance consultant
Firm Culture
• “The work is demanding, high profile and intense, but everyone is laid back and has a calm and level-headed approach to the work. The
culture is extremely collegial, collaborative and supportive of each other’s goals and improving the overall quality of work produced.” – Associate
• “Brattle does a good job of trying to make the time we spend at the office pleasant. There’s a Friday party every week, which is a great time
to relax with co-workers and mingle with principals. They also celebrate significant events in employees’ lives (weddings, etc).” – Litigation
consultant
• “Everyone is always helpful and willing to provide good resources or whatever else is needed; we always have complementary drinks, lots of
coffee, snacks, weekly Friday parties; great holiday party and summer outings.” – Research associate
Supervisor Relationships
• “I have a very good relationship with my supervisors. I feel that I get honest feedback both in the semi-annual review process as well as
throughout the year. Furthermore, I feel that I can go and discuss problems with my project managers without fear of retribution.” – Finance
consultant
• “When I have a question about a task that I am doing, the associates and principals that I work with take time to talk to me about the issue and
answer my questions.” – Cambridge associate
• “The biggest treat for me working at Brattle has been working closely and learning directly from experts in their fields. The supervisors are eager
to teach and ensure that everyone is engaged and learning.” – D.C. insider
• “I feel really great about my relationships with some supervisors. My mentors have been wonderfully helpful. On the other hand, I have had
some bad experiences with supervisors treating employees in unprofessional ways.” – Senior associate
Interaction with Clients
• “Plenty of client contact—lean staffing means everyone is working above their level, which helps us grow quicker as professionals.” – Finance
consultant
• “As an analyst, I don’t have much direct interaction with clients. I attend meetings and conference calls with clients, but I am always with an
associate or principal. I email back and forth with clients, but generally don’t call them up on my own.” – Research analyst
• “I have had good clients, but I know that others have horror stories.” – Senior associate
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: With several notable exceptions, management is typically responsive enough to give consultants real flexibility on projects. Those
outside of senior roles find themselves with exceptionally low travel requirements.
Work Hours
• “Work hours are not excessive unless solicited.” – East Coast consultant
• “The firm makes an honest effort to allow employees time off, or a couple of days with less work after a prolonged period of working. This helps
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Brattle Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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to lessen the stress of long hours.” – Research analyst
• “Depending somewhat on your luck and assigned projects, work hours are actually quite flexible, and there is some control on how much you
need to work.” – Energy consultant
• “I have had many experiences with project mismanagement, where projects were understaffed and there was a complete lack of planning. I do
not mind late nights, but it is extremely frustrating to have as many as I have had when it was completely unnecessary.” – Litigation consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “I can shape my schedule how I want it, even when I have a lot of work. I personally don’t care about working late all week, as long as I’m free
most of the weekend.” – Research analyst
• “The key to work/life balance from an associate’s perspective is that, for the hours outside the standard 40, unless there’s a looming deadline,
I have a great deal of autonomy on getting work done. This means at night after I put the kids to bed, or from home on the weekends if need
be.” – Finance associate
• “Sometimes the balance can be a struggle, but the firm does indeed recognize this, and often tries to help alleviate the stress with social
functions and time-off recommendations.” – Litigation consultant
• “I haven’t yet had a problem scheduling a holiday or out-of-town trip. I definitely haven’t had to cancel any planned trips. Sometimes a project
manager has blocked off a set of weeks when s/he knows that a deadline is upcoming. The trick seems to be to not plan a very long trip too far
in advance.” – D.C. consultant
Travel Requirements
• “There is almost no travel required at our firm. Very occasionally, perhaps twice a year, there may be a travel opportunity for campus recruiting
or a client meeting.” – Research analyst
• “Travel for research analysts is almost non-existent. I haven’t personally had to travel at all for my job.” – Research analyst
• “I travel primarily to our other offices in San Francisco and D.C.; I was out of the office approximately 40 to 50 days last year, but probably not
quite enough to average one day per week.” – Associate
Compensation
• “Compensation is competitive, and there are financial incentives as part of our bonus to branch out and explore areas of personal interest, (such
as researching potential cases, working on articles and newsletters, preparing seminars, and so on).” – Finance first-year
• |“Very transparent—it is obvious how my bonus is calculated on the basis of performance and utilization, and there are multiple people to talk to
if there are questions.” – Senior associate
• “The Brattle Group’s salary is clearly laid out and is competitive in the consulting industry. One shortcoming of the salary structure is that
because it is so clearly defined and not subject to adjustment, analysts who have much more responsibility on their shoulders because of the
principal they work for are not adequately compensated.” – Litigation consultant
• “I think the financial incentives are a bit strange at the entry level. There is a lot more emphasis on amount of time worked rather than
efficiency.” – Cambridge insider
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Formal training offerings are good enough, but the emphasis is clearly on building personal relationships with experienced
mentors and colleagues.
Formal Training
• “The Brattle Group has extensive formal training for entering consultants through the new consultant training (NCT) program. This training gives
consultants the beginning tools to start off with. However, a lot of unofficial training happens through project work with associates and more
senior research analysts.” – Energy associate
• “The firm has a large deal of initial training, which then trails off as you gain more experience. However, the company often has training brown-
bag seminars on various industry subjects.” – Research analyst
• “The firm definitely tries to encourage formal trainings, but not all of them have been useful. Some of the more pertinent trainings have been
the crash courses in coding and ‘managing’ supervisors. Some of the less pertinent trainings have been grammar and finance basics.” –
Economic consultant
• “Almost everyone in the office is willing to train and teach in the course of completing a project.” – Senior associate
Promotion Policies
• “There is a significant emphasis on growth, development and promotion at our firm—entry-level associates are groomed from day one to
become revenue-generating principals, and we have regular performance assessments and discussions with our mentors to check whether we
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Brattle Group
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career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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are on track.” – Research analyst
• “Consultants advance based on their skill development. It’s a pure meritocracy. There are opportunities for people that enjoy the work but don’t
want to be business generators.” – Senior associate
• “Generally, consultants advance to a higher level each year, given that they meet the requirements of that promotion. These promotions are
based mainly on the intense review process carried out within the company.” – Research analyst
• “The firm has reviews twice a year, and you are notified on your progress and what you need to work toward to get promoted. It is difficult to
move from an analyst to an associate without a higher degree.” – Telecommunications consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: The non-leadership ranks are fully diversified, with regular workshops and social opportunities that help the community fully
embrace its varied, international-heavy population.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “The firm makes an extra effort to seek out minorities and the office has a strong international contingent that greatly adds to the working
environment and experiences of the employees.” – D.C. consultant
• “Being a woman and a minority myself, I think Brattle is a very comfortable environment to be in, no matter what your background.” – Associate
• “Principals are almost all white men. Associates are more mixed between male/female and different ethnicities. Whether this difference is
a systematic issue in terms of retention/promotion/mentoring is not known, or whether during early days the associate ranks were white and
male.” – Consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Brattle proved to be a high-performing private practice in low-performance times, and consultants anticipate smooth sailing as the
economy returns to normalcy.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We have done extremely well so far through a down economy, and work seems, if anything, to be picking up. Employee morale is quite high.”
– Cambridge associate
• “We are always expanding, and we weathered the financial crisis with no lay-offs. In particular, we are expanding in areas that the firm believes
will be huge growth areas in the future.” – Senior associate
• “As a private company, we continue to grow at the pace driven by our clients’ needs, not shareholder needs. We continue to make good money
and get good bonuses.” – Energy consultant
• “As the economy improves, we’re in a better position to take advantage of additional opportunities than other firms who have had to cut back.”
– Research associate
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Brattle’s senior partners are totally competent and elicit a great deal of respect and confidence from the rest of the firm.” – Energy consultant
• “Very strong, competitive leadership who are always focused on growth and development of the business, as well as the employees themselves.”
– Research analyst
• “Overall, I’m very confident. My only question is how adept they will be at integrating lateral hires into the firm’s culture as we grow. This has
proved a challenge, but one of which management has indicated full awareness.” – East Coast insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
The Brattle Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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MONITOR GROUP
Two Canal Park
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02141
Phone: (617) 252-2000
Fax: (617) 252-2100
www.monitor.com
LOCATIONS
Cambridge, MA (HQ)
20 offices worldwide
PRACTICE AREAS
Economic Development & Security • Innovation • Marketing
& Pricing • Organization & Leadership • Integrated Strategy •
Social Action
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Chairman: Mark Fuller
2010 Employees: 1,200
2009 Employees: 1,200
• “Good at thinking differently; cerebral”
• “Porter is so last year”
• “Strategic; value-creators”
• “Surviving on brand halo from 15 years ago”
157
25
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Global footprint”
• “More transparent now than ever”
• “The size of the firm and the ability to know everyone”
• “Long holiday break”
DOWNERS
• “Ad hoc pay”
• “Lack of choice in project allocations at junior level”
• “Antiquated IT infrastructure”
• “Ambiguity - this is not a place for someone who needs a lot
of structure”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.monitor.com/Join
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Switched on
Monitor Group is a professional services firm focused on strategy consulting, capability building and capital services. Its services include marketing
and growth strategy, organizational analysis, corporate finance, leadership development, operational and corporate planning, and competitive analysis.
Founded in 1983 in Cambridge, Mass., the firm’s footprint expanded rapidly for the first 25 years of its life, topping out at 25 offices in 19 countries
by 2008. While no official announcements were made in the media, it would appear that the company’s 25
th
anniversary wasn’t quite as smooth as it
would have hoped; by 2010 it had shrunk to 20 offices in 16 countries.
Clients come from nearly every industry, including automotive, health care, telecoms, energy, consumer products, financial services, tourism, media
and advertising, and computers, as well as the public sector. For the most part, the company works with Fortune 500 companies, but occasionally
serves mid-tier organizations, government agencies and nonprofits, as well. Monitor prides itself on the long-lasting impact it has on clients. Work is
done in highly collaborative environment in which consultants and clients work side by side to solve problems. Moreover, Monitor places significant
emphasis on achieving a knowledge transfer to its clients by “teaching them how to fish,” as the firm calls it.
Putting ideas into practice
Monitor was founded by a group of six former Harvard University professors and students intent on finding practical applications for the theory then
being taught in the institution’s business school. Within five years, the group had expanded from the doorstep of its alma mater into Europe and Asia,
with a London office arriving as early as 1985. Global expansion has not dimmed the firm’s Harvard connection any, however—current Chairman Mark
Fuller is a former assistant professor at the university, while Monitor’s “thought leaders” include at least seven further Harvard alumni and current or
former professors.
Among those thought leaders is co-founder Michael Porter, who still serves as a Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard, and
whose books, Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance and Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries
and Competitors, provided the backbone of ideas around which Monitor Group was formed. Accenture named Porter one of the top-50 business
intellectuals of our time, and he has since written 14 more books and over 80 articles on business.
Breadth of activities
Monitor’s core competitive strategy capabilities are practiced throughout the organization. Meanwhile, there are several business units that focus on
developing and applying cutting-edge thinking in key growth-related disciplines: Monitor innovation, which helps companies develop comprehensive
innovation strategies; the management leadership and organization group, which assists clients seeking to transform leaders, teams and organizations,
and helps align organizational design and strategy; m2c (market 2 customer), which develops marketing and pricing strategies for Monitor’s clients;
economic and development security, which works with national and regional governments to help them grow their economies; and social action, which
advises nonprofit, philanthropic and social-sector institutions.
Monitoring money
Monitor has distinct capabilities in financial and capital markets, with specific expertise in both mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance advisory
services. Monitor Clipper Partners, focused on the middle market, and Monitor Ventures, focused on the early stage, are affiliated private equity funds.
Monitor has access to the expertise of managing partners of both Monitor Clipper and Monitor Ventures, which gives Monitor real-world insight into
transaction design, maximizing value and growth in acquisition targets, and maximizing exit values where appropriate.
Monitocracy
Purely on a philosophical level, Monitor understands that career development is individualized, coming about from different choices and rates of
advancement, rather than demanding that employees adhere to a set pace and promotion track. This means that Monitor does not have an up-or-out
policy that many of its competitors do. Nor are consultants at Monitor tracked within “classes” of peers the way they are at other firms, thus leaving
the possibility for much more rapid advancement compared to firms with a more conventional cohort-based promotion system. In fact, some Monitor
consultants have been known to make the transition from undergraduate consultant to the associate partner level (or candidate leader, as it is called)
in just five years.
Conscientious corporation
Monitor shows a great deal of social awareness, and acknowledges its larger responsibilities as a prominent global institution through several initiatives.
The firm is the signature partner to New Profit, Inc., a U.S.-based venture philanthropy fund that provides strategic counseling and financial support
to social entrepreneurs. It is also a partner of Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a nonprofit that grooms African-American, Hispanic and Native
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Monitor Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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American youth for leadership positions in companies, nonprofits and entrepreneurial ventures. Collaborating with New Profit, Monitor advised MLT
on growth strategy, and has supplied consultants as faculty for the program’s career prep classes. The firm also partners with Teach for America, a
domestic educational Peace Corps, of sorts, which places recent college grads in teaching positions in impoverished towns and cities across the United
States. As a partner of the organization, Monitor agrees to hold positions for recruits who accept a two-year term with TFA, while also giving those
recruits career support and summer internships. Recruits are also selected from existing TFA corps members.
GETTING HIRED
“Having been involved in a number of interviews and with the firm’s recruiting apparatus, I can testify to the fact that Monitor has a very high bar for its
candidates.” Take this consultant’s words as you will—warning or challenge. For those put off by Monitor’s “extremely competitive” selection process,
it’s best that they not waste their time anyway. All applicants will be pre-screened for capability (think “smart, personable, innovative, creative, well
rounded, worldly, driven, ambitious, unique”) as well as fit.
For those who fit the bill, the interview process consists of two rounds of intensive interviews designed to test, above all, the candidate’s proficiency and
analytical aptitude. The first is a written case study in examination form; the second is a “truly unique” group role play, of sorts, in which a candidate
is evaluated in a high-pressure, high-demand situation. Its purpose? “I think it is very effective at simulating real-world consulting environments,”
one interviewer suggests.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: The recession was certainly a blow to Monitor, resulting in cutbacks of many of the “non-essential” perks that employees loved.
But in the past year, the firm has been systematically turning things around and bringing back these perks, and most respondents say they are
quite satisfied with their quality of life.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Monitor is basically all that I could ask for in a consulting firm: terrific people, interesting work and a learning- and feedback-oriented culture.”
– Health care consultant
• “If you want to have an impact that defies traditional entry-level analyst responsibilities, Monitor should be of serious consideration.” – Strategy
first-year
• “I love my job and love my company. It has warts just like all other organizations, but it is truly a great place to work.” – East Coast higher-up
• “The recession has affected [us], but I believe that, despite these challenges, Monitor has been able to more effectively engage its employees
over the past 12 months.” – New York staffer
Firm Culture
• “Monitor’s culture is like no other. It’s a no face time, down-to-earth environment that rewards people for their contribution. The people are
amazing and have a strong bond amongst each other.” – Toronto midlevel
• “We tend to attract people who are naturally friendly, fascinating and genuine. They are team-oriented and a lot of fun to spend time with—at
work or afterwards. Anytime I go out with Monitor people socially, I feel like I’m guaranteed to have a terrific time, even if I’ve never met them
before.” – Senior consultant
• “Monitor is full of very bright, but somewhat quirkier, more academic consultants. The firm has an extremely friendly and casual culture, and I
socialize very frequently with colleagues outside the office. In fact, many of my best friends are former colleagues.” – Experienced source
• “The economy has dampened some of the ‘non-essential’ spending, which used to be more abundant.” – Health care insider
Supervisor Relationships
• “One of Monitor’s greatest strengths is team dynamics. I have had strong supervisors that lead case teams very well.” – East Coast staffer
• “Monitor is a very friendly, down-to-earth, noncompetitive environment. As a result, I’ve found that my supervisors take a vested interest in
me and my development. It’s a constant-feedback culture, but one about learning, and I’ve always felt extremely supported.” – Entry-level
respondent
• “I have yet to work on a team where I didn’t, at the bare minimum, like everyone from junior consultants to account managers.” – Strategy first-
year
• “In consulting, if you don’t get along with your superiors, you’re screwed. Luckily, that is uncommon at Monitor.” – Los Angeles midlevel
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Monitor Group
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Interaction with Clients
• “We develop uniquely strong relationships with clients because we eschew the stereotypical, ‘we’re smarter than you so just do what we say’
approach to consulting.” – Public-sector insider
• “I feel that my clients respect and appreciate my work, and feel comfortable looking to me for meaningful advice on the questions they are
facing.” – East Coast consultant
• “Clients are a complete shot in the dark because we don’t always know who we’ll be working for when we sell into a company.” – New York
associate
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: The hours at Monitor are predictably rough, and some consultants gripe about their overall pay. Still, some say they are able to
manage a balance between work and home life, and they appreciate the fact that Monitor’s is a no-face-time culture.
Work Hours
• “[Hours are] incredibly variable, but not as bad as banking!” – Experienced consultant
• “Although my work hours are high, they are on my terms, which is most important. Work is completely flexible and I work when I need to; we’re
not confined to an office with a ‘face time’ policy.” – Executive-level insider
• “Short cases are the ones to avoid in terms of being burners.” – Health care analyst
• “I don’t work weekends—except maybe one to two hours on Sunday—but I’m sick of working until 10 p.m., 11 p.m., midnight, 1 a.m., every
night of the week. I can never make and commit to plans during the week. It’s very frustrating.” – Midlevel source
Work/Life Balance
• “With a one-year old at home, I am extremely pleased at my ability to balance work and life. I’m measured and rewarded on my output, not my
input.” – Senior consultant
• “You must learn to manage your time, and by doing so you can maintain a good work/life balance. There is no face time policy at Monitor, so if
you don’t have anything to do you are encouraged to go home!” – Chicago analyst
• “I can manage a life outside of work, as the hours are not terrible. The real problem is that I can never let myself stop thinking about the work I
am doing.” – Cambridge insider
• “During my first year, balance was possible. Now that I’ve taken on more responsibility and the economy turned south, I pretty much work all
the time.” – Midlevel consultant
Travel Requirements
• “Travel is minimal for junior levels. At most, I travel four to five times a month for meetings. This varies on a project-by-project basis, but that’s
been my experience so far.” – New York staffer
• “Monitor has optimized this model: Don’t travel for the sake of travel, work where you are most comfortable, contribute to the office environment,
build your network at home and charge the batteries for intensive travel when necessary.” – First-year associate
• “It’s nice to not always be on the road, though it means junior consultants get little exposure to clients.” – Health care analyst
Compensation
• “Compensation is meritocratic—as a strong performer, I’ve received generous raises even during the economic crisis.” – Public-sector midlevel
• “Financial compensation is not top of market, but, I am more than willing to make that tradeoff for the nonfinancial compensation of less travel,
more flexible time, more customized career path and promotion.” – Senior source
• “Overall, I’m satisfied with compensation, but I could make more at competitor firms.” – Toronto insider
• “Monitor did not provide bonuses in 2009 (as in 2008). Two years without bonuses has been a tough pill to swallow. I was very satisfied with
base salary increases at the end of 2009 and into 2010 and have high hopes for a full bonus pool at the end of 2010.” – Senior consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Respondents give credit to Monitor’s informal mentoring, but the limited amount of formal training is a real concern for new and
prospective hires. However, in 2010, the firm has reinstated global training sessions for consultants, so change is underway in this area.
Formal Training
• “Most of our training is on the job and through mentoring. I personally find this type of training most effective.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Training is very minimal if you are not part of m2c, although the firm has announced they are going to provide more options moving forward.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Monitor Group
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Monitor Group
Most training is on the job.” – Senior source
• “Historically, we have received far too little training, particularly at an interoffice level, and this problem has been exacerbated by the crisis.
However, local office trainings on more random topics (typically topics of expertise amongst local senior partners) have increased recently.” –
San Francisco staffer
Promotion Policies
• “Consultants here advance very quickly, especially in terms of the responsibility they are able to take on at a relatively young age.” – Health care
analyst
• “It’s totally meritocratic—you move up as quickly as you demonstrate your capabilities. There are no classes that advance at predetermined
levels.” – First-year
• “It’s no up or out, but I think that hurt the firm in the downturn.” – West Coast respondent
• “I like that the place is flat and that we’re not obsessed with titles, but it can sometimes make you feel like ‘success,’ whatever that means, is a
long way off.” – New York higher-up
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Monitor has done a commendable job on this front, and its consultants are hungry for more.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Monitor is one of the most GLBT-friendly professional environments I’m aware of.” – Senior consultant
• “We have a very extensive diversity program at Monitor. In addition, we have a Women’s Leadership Initiative lead by two very senior women
with real budgets attached.” – Executive-level source
• “The firm is generous with a full three-month paid maternity leave, and for high-performing women, Monitor is willing to explore different
arrangements for your transition back after leave.” – Midlevel consultant
• “We’re a very supportive community, but our numbers (especially for post-MBA level women and underrepresented minorities) aren’t where
we’d like them to be, hence the increased focus on recruiting relative to retention.” – Public-sector insider
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Monitor has emerged intact from what was, for them, a seriously damaging recession. Prospects are strong, and while the outlook
isn’t perfect, it’s a massive step in the right direction.
Overall Business Outlook
• “Monitor’s pipeline continues to grow and strengthen. It’s an exciting time to be at the firm.” – New York associate
• “I think the firm is in a better position to truly thrive than at any point I’ve been here (in the past five years).” – Health care consultant
• “We are busy, busy, busy! The only issue is as the economy picks up, jobs will become available for people who stayed but were interested in
leaving. [We] could see some acceleration in voluntary turnover.” – Executive source
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The recent effort to define and articulate Monitor’s ‘purpose’ demonstrates that Monitor’s leadership is mindful not only of the firm’s financial
but also its emotional health.” – Cambridge consultant
• “There’s a new partnership structure in place—we’re definitely already seeing positive effects, and I’m optimistic about the future.” – Junior
staffer
• “The firm’s leadership has steadily improved since I’ve been here, though communication is still a bit of an issue.” – East Coast midlevel
• “The leaders in the firm are some of the smartest people I have ever met, but I still feel we need to closely look at our own organization in the
same way we do for our clients.” – First-year associate
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ALIX PARTNERS, LLP
2000 Town Center, Suite 2400
Southfield, Michigan 48075
Phone: (248) 358-4420
Fax: (248) 358-1969
www.alixpartners.com
LOCATIONS
Southfield, MI (HQ)
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Detroit, MI
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC
Dubai
Düsseldorf
London
Milan
Munich
Paris
Shanghai
Tokyo
PRACTICE AREAS
Enterprise Improvement • Turnaround & Restructuring •
Financial Advisory Services • Information Management
Services
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Chairman: Philip Hammarskjold
CEO: Fred Crawford
2010 Employees: 900
2009 Employees: 1,000
UPPERS
• “Leaving your footprint all over corporate America”
• “More autonomy to get your work done”
• “No micromanagement”
• “Entrepreneurial spirit”
DOWNERS
• “Lack of promotion criteria”
• “Inconsistent workloads”
• “Complete lack of care about community involvement”
• “Scarce IT resources”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Go to the careers section of the firm’s website.
• “Able to lead and implement what the traditional guys can’t”
•” Inflexible, self-absorbed”
• “Cowboys “
• “You’re never home”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Financial facelift
AlixPartners is an international business advisory firm that has made its name and earned its reputation through its work in the corporate turnaround
and restructuring industry. Although it can provide other services, the firm’s four main business functions are enterprise improvement, turnaround and
restructuring, litigation consulting and financial advisory services, and information management services. AlixPartners is most known for its services
aimed at reversing the fortunes of struggling companies, but it also offers nip-and-tuck and growth services, such as performance improvement and
strategic consulting services, for companies that are not in financial straits but may still be looking to improve operations. Operating globally out of
offices in the United States, Europe and Asia, AlixPartners has been retained by major companies including Cadbury Schweppes, GM, Kmart, Toys
R Us and more. Best of all for its clients, AlixPartners works on a pay-for-performance system, aligning its compensation structure with its clients’
success.
There must be a better way
Jay Alix & Associates PC was conceived by Jay Alix in 1981, when he observed that companies in trouble needed help saving assets and jobs and had
little resources for doing so. The company’s early years included aiding notable clients such as DeLorean Motor Company, of Back to the Future fame,
and Phoenix Steel Corporation. The firm began to evolve in the 1990s, taking on more staff and serving major clients, such as Unisys, Phar-Mor and
General Motors’ National Car Rental subsidiary, and it expanded from 33 employees to over 100.
The firm’s current incarnation was born in 2002. At the time, Co-Chairman Alix said that the name AlixPartners was chosen to reflect the firm’s central
premise that it is a partner to it employees, clients and referral sources. But the new millennium brought more changes to the firm than just the name
alone. In 2001, it began to expand from a national to an international entity, now totaling 15 offices in eight countries. Although originally based in
Detroit, New York and Chicago, it soon began a rapid expansion into Europe by opening offices in London, Munich, Milan and Düsseldorf. The next
major market was Asia. In 2003, the Japanese government invited AlixPartners to come to Tokyo to help launch the Japanese Association for Business
Recovery—the country’s first-ever business turnaround industry and association. An office in Los Angeles followed in 2003, two more in Tokyo and
San Francisco in 2005, and another in Paris in 2006.
GETTING HIRED
The hiring process at AlixPartners is uniquely intense; as one recent successful candidate states, it’s “like no other you will find in consulting.”
Candidates can expect to face a veritable barrage of tests spanning an impressive (and intimidating) spectrum of subjects. For a brief synopsis, see
this consultant’s laundry list: “IQ tests, personality tests, accounting tests, cash flow modeling tests, an interview with a psychologist”—and the list goes
on, also including at least one six-hour skills examination designed to evaluate logic and problem-solving talents.
Candidates with a shot at overcoming this interview gauntlet must be extremely intelligent, personable and, above all, experienced. The firm almost
never recruits those without direct consulting or operational experience, though the absolute best of the best of recent MBA grads might sneak through
the door.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: We can’t say if Tolkien was inspired by AlixPartners or vise-versa, but the consensus among the firm’s consultants is downright
epic. “It has been an incredible adventure,” states one insider. “I hope there are a few more turns in the road.” Insiders feel consistently
appreciated by clients, if not always by their supervisors.
Overall Satisfaction
• “AlixPartners is a fabulous place to work, and does fabulous work for its clients.” – Experienced New Yorker
• “The firm quenches the thirst for exciting, real-time, technical projects, and rewards those efforts through expressed gratitude, solid
compensation and excellent benefits.” – Detroit consultant
• “I’m extremely proud to be here and to be part of such a successful growth story.” – Operations executive
• “I would like more variety of clients and less travel.” – AlixPartners insider
Firm Culture
• “The people and culture of this firm are second to none. I’ve worked in many environments and this is definitely the place with the best people
and culture. Our strong culture is jealously guarded and our core values are taken very seriously.” – Business advisor
• “They value the people, their individuality and creativity. They respect everyone and try very hard to maintain a close team approach to
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Alix Partners, LLP
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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everything.” – Executive consultant
• “This is a Type-A culture across the social, political and professional dimensions.” – Midlevel source
• “It is changing. It was very much a family, caring environment that is changing as a result of the growth of the organization.” – New York
executive
Supervisor Relationships
• “The flat organizational structure makes supervisors much easier to approach; there is no visible or invisible wall between levels.” – Junior
consultant
• “[My supervisors are] absolutely effortless to work with and to spend time with socially. Open, honest, modest and great sense of humor are
characteristics that I find common among my superiors.” – First-year staffer
• “Relationships vary by superior, with some very close relationships and some not so close relationships—most are somewhere in between.” –
Restructuring insider
• “Mentoring and career guidance are not institutionalized, and are only available if you’re lucky enough to be staffed with a supervisor who cares
about that.” – Bankruptcy consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “Due to the sensitive nature of the work and the amount of time spent with clients, you will build strong relationships on every engagement.” –
Midlevel Texan
• “Clients consistently appreciate us—we get stuff done and deliver results. And the results are lasting since we focus on implementing process
improvements that can be sustained by the client long after we’re gone. That’s important to us.” – Detroit consultant
• “If the client understands the advisor’s role, then the relationship is usually quite good. In fact, I have run into clients after an engagement and
the friendly relationship continued.” – Entry-level advisor
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: The client always comes first at AlixPartners—the firm wouldn’t be so profitable otherwise—and although this can take its toll a
consultant’s work/life balance dearly, this crop of consultants seems up to the challenge.
Work Hours
• “AlixPartners consultants work the number of hours needed to get the job done. Our work is important to the outcome for our clients. We enjoy
our work. The hours are acceptable.” – Detroit executive
• “No matter how much or how long you are required to work, your time is valued.” – Junior source
• “The work is intense but interesting. Hours translate into overtime, which greatly impacts compensation, so we are incentivized to work hard
when it makes sense.” – Midlevel advisor
• “Work hours are solely a function of the engagement, the managing director on the engagement and the deadlines and workflow of the
engagement. There is absolutely zero face time.” – Crisis management consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “Even with the monstrous hours when on the road, there’s a real effort to ‘protect’ everyone’s weekend time when possible (sometimes client
work requires weekends, and that’s perfectly fine).” – Senior consultant
• “In line with the motto of ‘When it Really Matters,’ there are occasions when much is asked of you. Finding a balance when trying to solve a
critical business problem can be challenging, but the people at the firm make it work.” – Entry-level consultant
• “Work/life balance is an individual choice. I have small children. I work 60 to 80 hours, Monday through Friday, and weekends only during
crisis periods. Traveling during the week means that I allocate weekends to be entirely family time.” – Executive source
• “They are very, very stingy with vacation, but that is my only major complaint.” – Dallas higher-up
Travel Requirements
• “Travel differs by engagements. Some require extensive travel and much hand-holding at the client site; others can be managed without travel.
It depends on the nature of the service.” – Texas-based consultant
• “Excessive. We travel more than we need to.” – New York midlevel
• “Don’t underestimate a five-day-a-week travel expectation; it makes for difficult lifestyle choices.” – Operations consultant
• “The travel policy at AlixPartners does not skimp on making you comfortable when traveling, which alleviates stress and allows you to focus on
what really matters.” – Junior source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition Hewitt
Alix Partners, LLP
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Compensation
• “I don’t really hear anybody arguing about pay. People work really hard and get compensated well. You will receive a good base, plus a good
utilization bonus monthly, plus a good year-end catch-up. You can’t look at just any one of these by itself.” – Entry-level insider
• “Great special perks, like wonderful insurance coverage, cell phones, etc.” – Financial consultant
• “The firm is a top payer in the industry, giving generous bonuses and benefits. Everyone at AlixPartners feels that, for their current level,
they are well compensated. The issue is long-term compensation—it doesn’t keep pace. You could stay at the same level for a long time.” –
Executive source
• “AlixPartners has an earned bonus or ‘overtime,’ which is supposed to put the firm on average with other similar firms in the market. However, if
you are not utilized over 100%, you do not see any impact.” – Experienced Dallas consultant
• “While the compensation structure suggests “market” rates, in practicality very few associates can reach the appropriate level of billable work in
order to receive full pay increases and significant bonuses.” – Senior associate
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Only the strong survive at AlixPartners, so it’s little surprise that formal training is minimal. Consultants are largely left to their own
devices to make their way up the promotional ladder.
Formal Training
• “The training is improving, with more formal in-house programs developed and offered.” – Executive source
• “We train people in turnaround techniques and personal presentation, but basically expect folks to come in with clear competency.” – Senior
business consultant
• “Training is offered internally; however, it is not always relevant to the types of situations that we have. The firm allows you to pursue training
opportunities outside of the firm where appropriate.” – Midlevel insider
• “The firm’s service offerings are very experience-driven, and our employees join the firm with years of experience in hand. You’re expected to
bring this experience to the table and execute. This is not a place for entry-level employees to cut their teeth.” – New York-based respondent
Promotion Policies
• “The firm is very sensitive about who is hired and who is promoted. There are no hard and fast rules about up and out; those things tend to
work themselves out due to the intensity of the job.” – Midlevel consultant
• “[Promotion is] mostly merit based, and depends entirely on the person and the needs of the firm at the time.” – Senior source
• “There is no official policy—how to get promoted is quite nebulous. But so far, everything seems fair. People are promoted when they should
be.” – San Francisco insider
• “Very few directors advance beyond this level to managing director. The general feeling is that all consultants below MD, regardless of level, are
completely fungible, so rank has relatively little meaning.” – Higher-up in the Midwest
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: In this area, the firm fails to live up to its own lofty standards. Little attention is paid to fostering an open, hospitable and diverse
community of consultants.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “[Diversity] seems invisible. I do not sense anything proactive, but I also sense no need for it.” – Chicago source
• “We recently instituted domestic partner benefits after a long, arduous internal fight; firm culture still needs much improvement in order for
GLBT employees to feel comfortable coming out at work.” – Bankruptcy consultant
• “The firm has a very old-school approach to these issues—[there are] no programs or proactive management, and some cultural sensitivity
training is required as MD’s can have some very backward perceptions.” – Strategy executive
• “Seems kind of like a boys’ club, but it could be due the nature of the industry and the number of hours we put in for client work.” – San
Francisco-based respondent
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: One of the few firms to profit from the recession, AlixPartners is structured to reap the benefits of other companies’ instabilities.
While this could cause business to cool somewhat in a healthier economic climate, the firm’s diversification efforts could bear fruit in a more
stable business environment.
Overall Business Outlook
• “The firm is extremely well positioned to capitalize on the increasing need for restructuring/turnaround professionals. As debt on levered
companies begins to mature in the next two to three years, many companies will find themselves unable to refinance and will need experienced
advisors to guide them through in-court and out-of-court restructurings.” – Junior source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Alix Partners, LLP
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “We work with distressed and bankrupt companies. Our business is solid when times are good and off-the-charts when the economy tanks.” –
Operations advisor
• “The firm’s model is to thrive in a restructuring and healthy company environment. 2010 will be a tough year, but we are positioned to exceed
the performance of other consulting firms.” – Texas executive
• “The firm is soft right now as potential clients are delaying decisions and deciding to save on consulting fees. Employee morale is not great.” –
Energy specialist
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Terrific leadership—they put clients first and they put team members first. They also take the time to listen, even with their incredibly busy
schedules.” – Experienced business consultant
• “Competent, professional, balanced, reasonable, intelligent.” – Entry-level insider
• “The leadership has the right experience and the right strategy to continue to outperform all other consulting firms.” – Senior source in Detroit
• “Exceptional leadership at the top; more pragmatic than any other consulting firm I’ve ever worked for.” – Operations consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition Hewitt
Alix Partners, LLP
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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1 New Orchard Road
Armonk, New York 10504
Phone: (914) 499-1900
Fax: (914) 765-7382
www.ibm.com/consulting
LOCATIONS
Armonk, NY (HQ)
Offices and operations in 170 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Application Services
Application Management • Custom Application Development
& Systems Integration
Business Services
Business Analytics • Customer Relationship Management
• Financial Management • Human Capital Management •
Strategy & Change • Supply Chain Management
THE STATS
Employer Type: Division of IBM, a Public Company
Ticker Symbol: IBM (NYSE)
Senior Vice President: Frank Kern
2009 Employees: 100,000+
2008 Employees: 190,000
2009 Revenue: $17.7 billion
2008 Revenue: $19.6 billion
• “Becoming top tier”
• “Technologically sound, business blind”
• “Good global firm, very deep bench”
• “Challenging culture”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
168
IBM GLOBAL BUSINESS SERVICES
27
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Everyone treasures life and family”
• “It means something to say ‘I am an IBMer’”
• “Being a part of something my father was eons ago”
DOWNERS
• “Too many layers for decision making”
• “They need to learn that a report that was good enough 10
years ago isn’t now”
• “Too much turf protection and political maneuvering”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.ibm.com/consulting/careers
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THE SCOOP
A new meaning to “business machine”
IBM Global Business Services works hard to make clients’ businesses work better. The group includes IBM’s consulting, systems integration and
applications businesses, which together employ more than 100,000 professionals in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
GBS is one half of IBM’s Global Services division, but only in the sense that it’s one of two units within that division (Global Technology Services is the
other). Global Services is responsible for over 50 percent of IBM’s total revenue, with GBS’ contributing roughly 20 percent of the company’s annual
income.
GBS’ offerings are broken down into two primary practice areas: business consulting and systems integration, and application management services.
The first of these offers six areas of specialty assistance to clients: customer relationship management, financial management, human capital
management, strategy and change, business analytics and supply chain management services. The unit’s clients work in a number of industries,
including aerospace and defense, automotive, banking, chemicals and petroleum, consumer products, education, electronics, energy and utilities,
financial markets, government, health care, insurance, life sciences, media and entertainment, retail, telecommunications, travel and transportation.
The second practice area—application management services—offers expertise in application development, management, maintenance and support
services for software and applications.
A chip off the old PwC
For those that knew IBM from its reputation as a manufacturer of hardware, the current iteration of the company may be hard to recognize; the
company that exists today is the result of two major business events early in the millennium. The first occurred in post-Enron-scandal 2002, when
IBM emerged from the feeding frenzy of Big Four accounting firms grasping the prize of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting arm—the tech firm’s
first major foray into the world of service provision. Two years later, the historic $1.75 billion sale of its computing systems and PC hardware side of
the business to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo completed the change of direction for IBM, sending the firm inexorably down the consulting path, and
ensuring a bright future for the Global Services division.
Having thus moved away from its traditional business model into the realm of consulting services, IBM has made a concerted effort to attract clients
to its higher-value corporate services packages of research, software and services, specializing in providing the best skills, not the best prices. At the
same time, the firm has focused on globalizing its business, moving away from a country-by-country business model.
Research readiness
Effective consulting requires access to fresh research and analysis. The company maintains sources for both through the IBM Institute for Business
Value. The institute provides strategic insights and recommendations to help clients capitalize on new opportunities. It is comprised of consultants
around the world who conduct research and analysis in 17 industries and across five functional disciplines, including human capital management,
financial management, corporate strategy, supply chain management and customer relationship management.
GETTING HIRED
Despite enduring a series of three to six interviews with different recruiters in different locations, IBM consultants call the process “very fast and
responsive,” which must take genuine effort given the sheer size of the organization. Screening takes place via an on-campus or telephone interview,
in which a candidate must demonstrate the basic qualities and aptitudes necessary to succeed as a strategy consultant. Candidates should expect a
range of behavioral and situational examinations, as well as a case study question.
Successful candidates then face a second round that focuses “more on fit.” Expect “three separate interviews with your potential supervisors and
co-workers,” all of whom will be judging personality and ability to communicate—both informally and in a business setting. “They are looking for
someone who understands the importance of networking in a large firm, someone personable and a thinker that can articulate ideas and thoughts,”
says a veteran of the process.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Being part of a corporation as “gigantic” as IBM affords its staffers “an infinite amount of resources and opportunities.” As one insider says, “You
can connect with Nobel Prize winners, travel to the numerous client or philanthropic sites around the world, and be at the forefront of technology and
innovative solutions for clients.”
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
IBM Global Business Services
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Consultants sometimes find it difficult to access those vast opportunities and resources because of “red tape” and the typical bureaucratic woes that
saddle such massive organizations. The same is true within the firm’s “diverse” and “interesting” culture. “There are social and professional activities
if you know where to find those listings and take the initiative to connect to other groups/forums,” a junior source reports. The debate over the merits
of working for an international conglomerate continues, as an associate reveals some brewing resentment over outsourcing and global sprawl: “Cutting
U.S. jobs and hiring overseas does not make for a pleasant work environment.” That said, IBM’s size and brand does work in its favor with regard to
overall business outlook and faring well in a turbulent economy. As one respondent puts it, ““It’s IBM. It’ always there, and it rebounds like a rubber
ball.”
Hours & Pay
“IBM expects us to make Big Blue the main priority in our life,” says a worn-out staffer, when asked to comment on his work hours. A colleague,
agreeing that work hours can take their toll, admitted that positive work/life balance is possible at IBM, though it must be explicitly demanded (others
say “it sure isn’t encouraged”). In general, we’re told that consultants put in between 40 and 60 hours each week.
Travel also figures into the mix, but respondents say they knew exactly what they were signing on for from the gates: “Everyone agrees to travel 100
percent as part of employment with the firm”—in principal, at least. This typically translates to about four days per week on the road, but weary
travelers are well compensated by “the best benefits in the industry,” complete with “free health care, 28 days of holiday/vacation, unlimited sick leave,
matching up to 6 percent of 401(k) vested immediately, and discounts for IBM stock.”
Professional Development
Training is inherently tied to the nature of IBM’s organization; the firm large enough to provide “as many training sessions and online eLearning modules
as probably all of the colleges on the East Coast added together.” But, like any massive university, those training resources are “left almost exclusively
to employees to seek out.”
When they’re able to get their hands on them, insiders appreciate the variety and depth of the training offerings. “I have been impressed with many
of the in-person sessions that I’ve attended, both in depth of offerings (the new-hire Strategy Consulting 101 brought in professors from Harvard to
teach the course) and the breadth of topics,” an insider says. However, others bemoan the complications of accessing courses and sessions while
balancing business obligations. “It’s difficult to get management approval for training that will take you away from the client or cost money,” an
associate reveals.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
IBM Global Business Services
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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OC&C STRATEGY CONSULTANTS
6 New Street Square
London EC4A 3AT
United Kingdom
www.occstrategy.com
LOCATIONS
London (HQ)
Boston, MA
New York, NY
Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Düsseldorf
Hamburg
Hong Kong
Mumbai
New Delhi
Paris
Rotterdam
Shanghai
PRACTICE AREAS
Business Unit Strategy • Group Strategy • M&A & Transaction
Support • Organization & Change • Product/Market/Channel
Strategy • Strategy Realization
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Worldwide Managing Partner: Michael Jary
2010 Employees: 475
2009 Employees: 465
UPPERS
• “Young, informal and fun culture”
• “Absolutely no bureaucracy”
• “Partners don’t take themselves too seriously”
DOWNERS
• “Not enough diversity in cases”
• “Little effort devoted to associate development”
• “Black-box staffing”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.occstrategy.com/join
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THE SCOOP
The name says it all
While OC&C Strategy Consultants keeps coy about its client list, there’s nothing secret about what the firm does—it’s right there in the title. Focusing
on strategic analysis, the firm breaks the concept down into six organizational areas: group strategy, business unit/divisional strategy, product/market/
channel strategy, transaction support, strategy realization, and organization and change. And, like any strategy master or tactician, the firm’s emphasis
isn’t always on speed—it tries to pace itself during consulting contracts, finding all the possible solutions to a problem before jumping into operational
issues. That’s a strategy, the firm says, that ensures clients benefit from truly custom-built solutions, rather than off-the-shelf methodologies that may
not fit the client’s needs.
Although OC&C has stopped publicizing its client list, it does claim to work not only with major corporations, but also welcomes contracts from smaller
companies that need strategic help in rapidly changing industries, stating that it wants to work with “ambitious organizations that understand the
importance of excellent strategy.” Its industries include business services, consumer goods, financial services, industry and infrastructure, media,
private equity, retail and distribution, technology, telecommunications, and travel, transport and logistics.
Expanding the footprint
Chris Outram founded OC&C in London in 1987, as part of a team that included the current head of the firm, Worldwide Managing Partner Michael
Jary. After several years at other consulting firms, including BCG and Booz Allen Hamilton, Outram and a colleague had tired of the fact that
their employers devoted so much time to operational issues while neglecting strategic analysis. So they decided it would be “more fun and more
challenging” to start their own firm.
While it may have been founded in Europe and still concentrates most of its services there, the firm has been trying to create a stronger presence in
the United States. To gain greater access to the American market, the firm merged with Boston-based Callidon Group in June 2007. Callidon was
especially prized for its contacts and skills in media and publishing. Also in 2007, OC&C acquired Middle East Strategy Advisors (MESA), increasing
its presence in that region through MESA’s network.
Over the past three years under Michael Jary, the firm has successfully opened offices in India (New Delhi and Mumbai) and China (Shanghai and
Hong Kong), taking OC&C into the fastest growing markets in the world.
Specialized generalists
One business area in which OC&C takes particular pride is its expertise in consumer goods. Within this area, it tries to provide solutions in three key
sections: growth stakes, profitability issues and category management. In connection with consumer goods, retail and distribution have also long
been an OC&C focus. The firm claims to have been one of the original advocates for the importance of emerging value offers, private label goods
and battling category killers. In addition, OC&C has recently made heavy investigations into retail brand development, strategic implementation and
internalization strategies.
The firm has made a significant effort to advise media outlets since its founding. Some of the media-related services it offers are strategy reviews, advice
to governments on broadband policy, transformational performance improvement, profitable use of the digital arena, and go-to-market strategies for
new services and products. Several major media outlets have looked to the firm for analysis of their own industry, concerning subjects ranging from
the use of free newspaper copies to boost circulation, to the decline of magazine readership in the face of internet competition.
Next to its work for corporate clients, OC&C has special expertise in supporting the world’s leading private equity firms in such areas as potential
investment scoping, vendor and buyer due diligence, and post-acquisition strategy and/or integration.
Strategizing a better world
OC&C enjoys highlighting its charitable efforts, and has a section dedicated to pro bono work on its website. The majority of the firm’s philanthropic
work is in helping charities “achieve a step-change in performance.” For example, in partnership with the venture philanthropy group Impetus Trust,
the firm has given strategy advice to charities such as St. Giles Trust (helping both current and former criminal prisoners) and Leap (helping youth
resolve conflicts peacefully so that they don‘t end up needing help from St. Giles Trust). OC&C also aided the largest charity merger ever in the U.K.,
when the Cancer Research Campaign joined with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund to become Cancer Research U.K., and it helped the International
Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies launch The Sylvia Lawry Centre for Multiple Sclerosis Research—the world’s largest project to develop tools
to help deliver new MS therapies. Moreover, the Benelux office helped the leading MS charity to develop a new direction and funding strategy.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
OC&C Strategy Consultants
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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GETTING HIRED
Most of the firm’s tangible recruiting efforts can be seen at undergraduate campuses near OC&C offices, where recruiters seek outstanding students
from all disciplines, ranging from sciences to humanities. However, soon-to-be graduates with demonstrated quantitative aptitude have an edge over
their qualitative counterparts. But don’t be fooled; the firm isn’t looking for rigid, analytic types. “A sense of business acumen is important,” an insider
points out. “The firm is only interested in people with the potential to quickly grow into a client-facing role,” adds a colleague, highlighting the need
for candidates show off their presentable and personable sides.
“The process is pretty straightforward” for candidates who fit within the firm’s hiring parameters. For pre-MBA interviewees, a numerical aptitude test
is a key part of the evaluation, followed by three to six standard case studies (two of which are administered by partners). Those cases will be difficult,
insiders report, but applicants should use them as an opportunity to display their analytical prowess.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Despite its youth, OC&C has forged a truly exceptional firm culture which, along with the quality of work and opportunities, keeps
consultants far happier than the average working stiff.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Great people, stimulating work. Overall, great experience.” – Midlevel consultant
• “I am constantly presented with new challenges, but equally receive support from others within the firm to develop the skills necessary to meet
those challenges.” – Associate
• “The partners are very invested in my personal development and have taken me out to lunch to discuss my career plans, in addition to
explaining specific industry trends or difficult concepts on each of my cases.” – Boston first-year
• “OC&C offers a ton of client exposure and project management opportunities for newly minted MBAs. The pre-MBA staff is hardworking and
competent. Great atmosphere.” – Telecommunications consultant
Firm Culture
• “The firm has the autonomy and energy of a startup, but with the power and critical mass of a scale organization.” – Strategy analyst
• “There are no cliques and no pretention—you can and do have a personal and professional relationship with anyone in the office.” – Midlevel
insider
• “The culture within the office is extremely pleasant, with all levels interacting well and respectfully with one another, both professionally and
socially. Outside of the office, members participate in semiannual volunteering opportunities, and other optional activities such as cart racing
and obstacle race challenges, among others.” – Entry-level analyst
• “This is one of the best firm cultures I have been a part of—friendly, nonpolitical, cooperative, and at the same time driven and achievement-
oriented. It also manages to be very family-friendly for the older folks, while at the same time having a very fun culture of 20-somethings.” –
Senior source
Supervisor Relationships
• “We Consultants, managers and partners are all very accessible to associate consultants, and the architecture of the office makes it very easy to
have ongoing conversations with all levels.” – Entry-level staffer
• “Our office culture is very relaxed, and thus everyone gets along very well with each other—across all levels of the firm. It’s a very supportive
culture with more focus on continual improvement and feedback, rather than standardized and bureaucratic performance evaluations.” – New
York insider
• “Partners in the Boston office are very interested in my personal development and offer lots of responsibilities to the associate consultants,
creating many learning opportunities.” – Junior source
Interaction with Clients
• “Clients respect our work and our opinion. We are viewed favorably relative to other consulting firms.” – Experienced consultant
• “Our clients know that we are not going to provide stereotypical cookie-cutter consulting answers to their business challenges.” – East Coast
staffer
• “There’s lots of rope in dealing with clients, especially for strong performers.” – Associate consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
OC&C Strategy Consultants
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Minimal travel requirements and flexible managers help OC&C consultants balance work and life, with a genuine emphasis on the
latter.
Work Hours
• “Work hours are generally good, but when you’re working on a due diligence you can spend many late nights in a row at the office. Managers
are usually conscious of trying to get their associates out of the office by 7 p.m. if there isn’t anything pressing to attend to.” – Midlevel
consultant
• “We have made a significant effort to avoid a culture of face time, which enables our consultants to take advantage of lighter periods and to
maintain a good overall balance.” – East Coast higher-up
• “Hours are very reasonable for the profession. If a project requires significant time working on the weekend, or an otherwise grueling schedule,
we are typically compensated with ‘free’ day(s) off at the end of the project.” – Senior consultant
• “While it would be nice to work less, I would expect to earn less; the amount of time put in is in line with my expectations relative to
compensation and managers’ perception of my contribution to the business.” – Boston associate
Work/Life Balance
• “Work hours are generally good, but when you’re working on a due diligence you can spend many late nights in a row at the office. Managers
are usually conscious of trying to get their associates out of the office by 7 p.m. if there isn’t anything pressing to attend to.” – Midlevel
consultant
• “We have made a significant effort to avoid a culture of face time, which enables our consultants to take advantage of lighter periods and to
maintain a good overall balance.” – East Coast higher-up
• “Hours are very reasonable for the profession. If a project requires significant time working on the weekend, or an otherwise grueling schedule,
we are typically compensated with ‘free’ day(s) off at the end of the project.” – Senior consultant
• “While it would be nice to work less, I would expect to earn less; the amount of time put in is in line with my expectations relative to
compensation and managers’ perception of my contribution to the business.” – Boston associate
Travel Requirements
• “Associate consultants rarely travel, and consultants travel only slightly more frequently, depending on the case. There are, however, various
opportunities to travel every now and again. I spent three weeks in London on the client site last fall.” – Junior staffer
• “We travel for significant presentations, but most of the work is done out of the home office. Most of the clients are close enough for day trips
when travel is necessary, so you are almost always sleeping in your own bed.” – Experienced consultant
• “If we are working remotely on the client site, it is almost always no more than Monday through Thursday for a given week. If the location is far
from the office, there is always the option of staying in town over the weekend with your hotel costs covered. I’ve certainly used this option to do
some ‘free’ travel and sightseeing.” – Senior source
Compensation
• “From my knowledge of acquaintance’s compensation at peer firms, I believe our compensation is very competitive. We are receiving a bonus
for 2009, but it is being paid later this year in 2010.” – Midlevel associate
• “My compensation has grown an average of 20%+ per year in every year that I have been at OC&C.” – Senior consultant
• “Compensation is growing, but the gap between senior and newer partners is probably tighter than at the big three strategy firms, as we typically
do less operational/implementation work, and therefore deploy less leverage.” – East Coast executive
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: While the firm does offer formal training opportunities—largely for new hires—most respondents say they learn the bulk of what
they need to know on the job. When formal training does occur it’s often laid-back, in “exotic locales,” with ample opportunities for firmwide
socialization.
Formal Training
• “Not a lot of formal trainings, most of it is done real time on the job. This is probably the most practical way to manage it.” – Senior consultant
• “In September we’ll be flying to Lisbon, Portugal, for a week of formal training called OC&C International Training Week.” – First-year consultant
• “There is not a significant amount of formal training outside of what is delivered to new employees, but it is adequate.” – Boston staffer
• “International Training Week brings together all offices at a single location for training, though the social component often outstrips the training
component of the week.” – Analyst
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
OC&C Strategy Consultants
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Promotion Policies
• “Consultants should advance within two to three years. The culture is not up or out.” – Consultant
• “We are growing rapidly, so unlike larger firms, partners aren’t trying to stifle promotion due to worries about shrinking their slice of the profit pie.
We are looking for people to step up and take on more leadership roles and responsibilities.” – New York partner
• “There’s an expected level of performance and progression, but it’s a range, not a formula set in stone.” – Midlevel source
• “There is no clear promotion plan for entry-level hires.” – Associate consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: The firm’s international presence is a big boost to its overall diversity; plans to boost female representation are well under way and
seem promising.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “It’s a very diverse office—receptive and considerate of women, minorities, GLBT individuals and internationals. We actively seek to maintain
and enhance diversity each recruiting year.” – Midlevel consultant
• “We have senior partners who are openly gay.” – Associate strategist
• “There are too few women, but that is primarily a factor of the MBA programs we recruit from. We have started to recruit at the PhD level to try
to redress the balance.” – Senior source
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: OC&C’s pipeline is nearly bursting, and the only way to cope is to expand rapidly. It’s an exciting time to be at this upwardly-
mobile firm.
Overall Business Outlook
• “Our office has grown solid double-digits over the past few years despite the awful market.” – First-year source
• “We have been bringing in new clients, and developing lasting and lucrative relationships with previous clients. Our reputation is growing, and
with it our client base and demand for additional seats in the office.” – Boston insider
• “Our business is exploding, and we are constantly understaffed as a result. Still, it is exciting for people to see. It feels like we are on the
ground floor of something big.” – Associate consultant
• “We’re in place to continue to expand in 2010, though probably not at the same rate as in 2009.” – Junior source
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “We’ve got an extremely talented and caring partnership. They deliver outstanding work for clients and care passionately about their staff.” –
Senior source
• “Our leadership is very knowledgeable across many industries.” – Consultant
• “Our leaders are experienced professionals who know the industry really well and have deep connections.” – Midlevel staffer
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
OC&C Strategy Consultants
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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485 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10017
Phone: (212) 953-4444
Fax: (212) 972-4602
www.novantas.com
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Madrid
Toronto
PRACTICE AREAS
Customer Strategy • Distribution • Marketing/Sales
Effectiveness • Merger & Acquisition Support • Operations
& Systems • Pricing • Risk Management • Segmentation •
Workforce & Performance Management
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Managing Partners: David G. Kaytes & Richard W. Spitler
2010 Employees: 132
2009 Employees: 125
2009 Revenue: $40 million
2008 Revenue: $37million
• “Innovative concepts, cool company”
• “Incredibly nerdy”
• “Top of class in financial consulting”
• “Lacking name recognition”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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UPPERS
• “No cutthroat competition”
• “Persistent entrepreneurial spirit”
• “High degree of contact with the directors”
• “Economic equity”
DOWNERS
• “Drudgery”
• “Lack of name recognition”
• “No time to stop and smell the roses”
• “More technical in nature than strategic”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.novantas.com/careers_students.php
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THE SCOOP
Getting the financial house in order
As the world’s financial markets recover from the meltdown of 2008-2009, the financial industry has a friend (for a fee) in Novantas. The New
York-based firm offers management consulting and information services to clients mostly in the retail banking, corporate and institutional banking,
wealth and brokerage, insurance, and payments sectors. In recent years, however, customers in industries as varied as the utilities, gaming and
online services markets have asked for Novantas’ help with customer strategy, distribution, marketing and sales, operations and systems, pricing, risk
management and segmentation services. Most of Novantas’ clients are headquartered in North America and Europe, though the firm has increasingly
served financial institutions in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Those clients include 20 of the top-30 banks in
the U.S., and four of the top-10 banks in the world.
There’s no “I” in team
Novantas was founded in the mid-1990s by consultants and practice leaders from Booz Allen Hamilton, Bain and First Manhattan Consulting Group,
who realized that their clients were looking something different from the traditional group-think consulting model. Clients were tired of working with
large consulting teams with generally inexperienced staff, who came up long on writing reports but short on delivering results. Some clients, the
founders realized, were growing so tired of the traditional consulting model that they short-circuited the consulting process by picking off individuals
from their consulting teams to do research in-house, often for lower costs.
The firm that came about as a result of these observations seeks to break out of the old consulting mould. Novantas vows to deliver tangible changes—
not mere paperwork and studies. Generally, its consulting teams have a higher partner-to-staff ratio, and consultants are selected based on their
expertise—whether it be financial analysis, statistical modeling or customer research. Teams are typically comprised of three to five professionals, led
by one or more managing directors, who bring a combination of industry insight and practical solutions.
The science of consulting
Novantas has turned its practical approach to consulting into a near-academic discipline. “Customer science,” according to the firm, is everything that
goes into boosting revenue. Often a wishy-washy promise from some firms, Novantas’ customer science claims to boost revenue by defining, building,
managing and measuring revenue-generating capabilities. These include branding, market mix management, segmentation, product design, pricing,
distribution management, sales execution effectiveness and customer experience—all tools in Novantas’ consulting laboratory.
At the heart of these analytical methods are the firm’s proprietary tools: MindSwift, the BranchScape database suite and PriceTek, to name a few.
MindSwift, deployed as an application service provider, or ASP, systematically reviews a company’s interactions with a customer, gauging the value and
impact of the interactions and then designing possible improvements in technique, both conversational and online. These techniques can be instituted
in existing customer relationship management applications or implemented through MindSwift on the client’s desktop. Products in the BranchScape
database suite are designed to help retail and business banks market and sell more effectively by tracking client performance by location against
econometric potential. PriceTek is another ASP service that analyzes how current and prospective customers respond to changes in a bank’s interest
rates, relative to the competition. Based on these elasticity measurements, PriceTek creates predictive models of how balance acquisition, growth,
diminishment and attrition could be affected by pricing. Traditionally, these services and products have been sold exclusively to the financial services
industry, though, with new information-based products in the pipeline, Novantas has expanded these offerings into the insurance and brokerage
industries.
Entrepreneurs as well as advisors
Novantas partners see themselves as a collection of entrepreneurs as much as business consultants—they are constantly on the lookout for new
businesses to build to serve financial industries. Their information services business evolved from its consulting practices just five years ago. And two
years ago, they launched a syndicated research startup called Novarica to help insurance executives navigate the rapidly changing technology world,
bringing expertise in areas such as web-based agencies and advanced decision technologies for claims. Together, the consulting, information and
research businesses bring insights to clients across a range of different industries, and provide employees with the opportunity to work in different
areas throughout the course of their careers.
GETTING HIRED
“Novantas does not hire many applicants, despite increasing need for labor,” says an associate, illuminating that the firm keeps its eyes peeled for
perfect candidates, not just warm bodies. The firm looks for well-rounded individuals who don’t fit with one particular sector or expertise, instead
preferring smart, utilitarian, generalist applicants. Practically speaking, the firm looks for “high IQ self-starters” who possess both quantitative and
qualitative skills.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Novantas LLC
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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“We have a number of gating points in the hiring process,” an insider tells us. Ultimately successful candidates will have gone through several rounds
of interviews, both in-office and over the phone. While not exceedingly popular among applicants, candidates can also expect to face brainteasers at
least once in the process.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: The people at Novantas are excited about where their firm is headed—and for good reason. As long as leadership can continue
to maintain the small-firm culture amid sustained growth, consultants will be happy here for a long time to come.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I’ve been here for over 10 years because I love the people I work with and the challenging work that we do.” – East Coast higher-up
• “On bad days, I feel fabulous—good days are even better. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that we are the intellectual engine
that is driving an analytical revolution.” – Midlevel source
• “The firm provides an ideal balance of collegial partnership and entrepreneurial energy, a combination most consultants strive for in their
careers.” – New York consultant
• “Day-to-day job satisfaction primarily depends on the clients I’m working with, and the level of trust we achieve with them.” – Finance executive
Firm Culture
• “A touch nerdy, but in a good way. Very much an ‘I can prove it, and I’m happy to help you do the same/show you how’ culture. Socially
diverse.” – Consultant
• “The people here are great to work and play with—self-selecting in the sense that those who decide to work with us are those who want the kind
of culture that we have.” – Senior source
• “The people are the best part of Novantas. Historically, it’s a very tight-knit culture; it has suffered a little bit with a big jump in work demand
(less time to hang out), but still strong.” – First-year analyst
• “We have a strong support network, shared values, exciting vision for the future and few politics. And it’s working very hard toward achieving its
goals. A great social environment – we have happy hours and other get-togethers at least monthly, if not more.” – New York executive
Supervisor Relationships
• “Management is very close to the analysis in general. There’s a good sense of teamwork and contribution.” – Senior consultant
• “Executive leadership is extremely fair and trustworthy. Contribution to revenue is rewarded.” – Midlevel insider
• “Supervisors put a lot of effort into making sure their teams are getting the correct level of responsibility and develop accordingly.” – Financial
analyst
Interaction with Clients
• “Client personnel have great relationships with Novantas people. Since Novantas’s primary business is helping clients generate revenue (as
opposed to cost-cutting as practiced by most other consultancies), we have a common objective, and client personnel don’t feel that we are
judging or potentially downsizing them.” – East Coast staffer
• “Our projects are generally high profile, with senior clients who are interesting to work with.” – Consultant
• “Within your first six months you’re speaking directly with clients.” – Entry-level source
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Insiders rave about their flexible work schedules and high compensation—undoubtedly a winning combination.
Work Hours
• “We work a lot but are flexible—you can leave the office, enjoy dinner at home with the family and then do a little email before going to sleep.” –
Midlevel respondent
• “Hours blow hot and cold, as always, but as long as you work smart, you get quality of life.” – Experienced insider
• “Hours are long, but always interesting. Management works just as hard as the staff.” – Chicago midlevel
Work/Life Balance
• “I’ve never had to cancel or postpone a vacation, and I seldom work weekends.” – Senior consultant
• “Through good project planning, adequate staffing and team communication, we can ensure we find the right balance.” – Chicago insider
• “Work/life balance is something that you need to take the initiative to manage. I have learned to manage my work/life balance and my
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Novantas LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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expectations, but at times it is taken for granted that weekend time could be work time.” – Associate
• “As a partner, I’m more in control of this. I try to balance heavy work periods with some time off for staff.” – New York insider
Travel Requirements
• “We do not generally believe we need to be on client site every week of a project. In general, we go to the client for major deliverable
presentations or working sessions, when we need to interact with the client. Analytics and planning can be done from the home office.” –
Senior consultant
• “I travel once every two to three weeks for a client meeting. Not a huge commitment.” – Midlevel source
• “Individual appetite for intense travel demands and personal circumstances are taken reasonably into account in staffing decisions.” – Associate
• “Consistent with the philosophy of measuring results, not effort, an individual determines how much travel is really necessary to get the job done
well.” – East Coast partner
Compensation
• “Novantas pays well; I am very satisfied with my salary and bonus.” – Analyst
• “Staff base salaries are competitive, and bonuses are among the highest in the industry at each level. Partner compensation is directly tied to
objective measures of performance.” – East Coast higher-up
• “I was frankly amazed at the bonus I got—no complaint on compensation here.” – Consultant
• “One of the best in the market.” – Chicago midlevel
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Consultants recognize the need for more comprehensive, hands-on training, but also see marked improvements in this area over
the last few years.
Formal Training
• “There is an official week of training that helps get your feet wet, but most of what you learn is on the job. We do have mentors assigned to all
new associates.” – Junior strategist
• “We’ve developed this area more over the last few years. We have training for new hires and midlevel staff. We will continue to develop in this
area.” – Executive-level insider
• “The firm has made real efforts to develop new training programs to help new associates acclimatize to the type of work they will actually be
doing.” – Senior consultant
Promotion Policies
• “New hires move in lockstep with their class for the first three years. After that, it’s merit-based promotion, which can be very rapid for some.” –
Experienced consultant
• “If you’re ready for the next position, you’ll be promoted. Promotions are not as qualitative in the first few years, as we have a program where
each year of graduation is dependent on fulfilling various training and skills requirements. But afterwards, both you and the firm know when
you’re ready and you will be promoted as deserved.” – East Coast partner
• “You are not required to get an MBA to advance.” – Midwest staffer
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Novantas consultants boast of a diverse community, and feel that their firm is going through the necessary steps in order to
promote both a welcoming and meritocratic environment.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “The firm has staff from many different countries and cultures, is doing a much better job with women (recent classes have been a majority
women) and has GLBT employees at all levels (including several partners).” – Midlevel respondent
• “Diversity is well represented in junior ranks—we’re working to beef up representation in more senior roles.” – Midlevel strategist
• “We hire based on merit, without regard to other factors. We do not discriminate in any way.” – Chicago higher-up
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Insiders dismiss Novantas’ typical small-firm issues, particularly in this economy, as irrelevant to their cause; they feel that the
firm’s outlook is stronger than it’s ever been, and big growth is imminent.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Novantas LLC
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Overall Business Outlook
• “We are growing by leaps and bounds in this crappy economy; last year was the best year ever!” – Senior consultant
• “Our business outlook is so strong that employees have been somewhat overworked, which, given the state of the economy, is certainly better
than the alternative.” – Midlevel staffer
• “We’re a growing firm, and my unit is a contributor to that. We’ve hired more people, continue to raise the bar for financial targets and morale
is great.” – Junior-level source
• “Novantas is getting a huge amount of business helping companies navigate the new banking landscape.” – Associate
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The firm is constantly pushing us to enhance and develop our methodologies to stay at the forefront of the market. We are paid to think and
we want to make sure we’re the best at that.” – Finance consultant
• “Leadership has learned from past experience, having seen multiple economic cycles.” – Midlevel strategist
• “We run a very tight ship. The firm’s best year was 2009 in the teeth of the recession.” – East Coast higher-up
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Novantas LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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PUTNAM ASSOCIATES
25 Burlington Mall Road
Burlington, Massachusetts 01803
Phone: (781) 273-5480
Fax: (781) 273-5484
www.putassoc.com
LOCATIONS
Burlington, MA (HQ)
London
PRACTICE AREAS
Economic Analysis • Organizational Strategy • Portfolio
Management • Product Strategy
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Managing Partner: Kevin Gorman
2010 Employees: 50
2009 Employees: 45
UPPERS
• Manageable travel
• “Fascinating industrial challenges
• “Red Sox tickets”
DOWNERS
• “Rigid office hours”
• “Suburban location”
• “Everyone confuses us with Putnam Investments”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.putassoc.com/careers
• “Seems like a nice firm that gives junior folks good
opportunities”
• “Too much face time and too formal”
• “Family friendly”
• “Currently understaffed
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Pharma fans
Since 1988, Putnam Associates has developed its niche as a specialized strategy consulting firm for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology,
diagnostics and medical device industries. The Burlington, Mass.-based firm works with clients to plan corporate growth, structure a company or
business units for improved performance, position a product for competitive advantage and develop pricing strategies for revenue enhancement. In
the past five years alone, the firm’s roughly 50 professionals have completed more than 250 projects. Most of the firm’s clients have stuck with the
firm for more than five years, while the rest, the firm notes with pride, have signed on because of firsthand experience or referrals.
Product placement
Given its singular focus on the health care industry, most of Putnam’s services focus on maximizing clients’ investment in new products. That’s good
news for clients, who can spend more than 10 years coddling new products before they are launched, wading through discovery, tedious testing,
regulatory reviews and market research.
Putnam works with clients to develop product strategies based on data-driven analyses collected from Putnam’s network of physicians, patients,
managed care, hospitals, pharmacies, wholesalers and government representatives. Services in this segment include market opportunity evaluations,
pricing strategies, competitive landscape assessments, product positioning and marketing, launch and growth strategies, sales force effectiveness and
product lifecycle planning. Putnam works with four of the top-five and nine of the top-20 pharmaceutical companies.
The firm also advises three of the five most successful biotechnology companies, but is continually on the hunt for fresh young upstarts with high
potential. Since new biotech companies are always scrambling for funds, they can sometimes make deals that leave them at a disadvantage. So
Putnam helps biotech firms figure out, for example, whether to outlicense products to pharmaceutical companies, and what rights they should give
away in exchange for funding.
Making the tools to get the job done
Putnam helps makers of diagnostic instruments, consumables, arrays, reagents, molecular tests and similar products for the medical community and
clinical researchers. For one diagnostics company developing an automated system for molecular identification and analysis, the firm had to figure
out the best way to market it to laboratory researchers. Putnam segmented the customer base, created price ranges, then benchmarked those prices
against other diagnostics companies. The client went on to become a leading supplier of molecular diagnostic tests.
GETTING HIRED
Putnam recruiters can be found on top undergrad campuses across the country, battling the bigger fish for the same top talent. Where they set
themselves apart, though, is their huge focus on fit. “The thing that sets offers apart from rejects is often the sincere desire to work for the firm,” one
consultant explains. “Anyone coming out of a local university can respond to the demands of the work, given enough time,” another echoes, “but we
go the extra mile to make sure we actually want to work with the people we hire.” The takeaway message? High GPA and academic success matter,
but when it comes down to it, you’ve got to want to work at Putnam to work at Putnam.
Favored applicants travel to a Putnam office for a round of four to five interviews with current staffers, including a lunch where candidates mingle and
socialize with would-be colleagues. While interviews and more explicit examinations are meant to affirm basic aptitudes and capabilities, the focus
remains on culture and personality. The firm wants “exceptional people of integrity” and, as always, fit trumps all else; “it’s easily the most important
factor,” a senior consultant notes.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Besides having to put on a tie in the morning, Putnam consultants genuinely enjoy going to the office each day—largely because
of the invigorating work and the “smart, motivated, but down-to-earth people” they work with.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Putnam is a great place to work. Smart, motivated, but down-to-earth people, a dynamic mix of case work, and a strategic focus on an industry
that continues to expand and prosper even in this economy.” – Consultant
• “I am definitely happy at Putnam. Our work in health care is interesting and we are given a great deal of responsibility early on. The small size
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Putnam Associates
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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of the firm and the collaborative environment make Putnam a great place to work. They expect a lot from you, but care about you as a person
and your growth at the firm.” – First-year
• “Great culture, steep learning curve with a lot of opportunity for growth and to contribute” – Senior source
Firm Culture
• “The firm is a collegial, friendly, easygoing place. You feel like you fit in soon after joining.” – Associate
• “Putnam’s culture is very young and energizing. People here are truly excited about the work that they’re doing, making Putnam a very
enjoyable place to work.” – Junior source
• “The analysts like each other a lot, but management is closed off and the environment is somewhat hierarchical.” – Consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “The managers and consultants here are the saving grace—they keep it all together.” – Analyst
• “Supervisors are incredibly approachable and, on the whole, care greatly about their staff.” – Midlevel consultant
• “We have an open-door policy, and I feel comfortable going to my manager or even some other senior members of the firm that I know well if I
am having a problem or would like advice.” – Entry-level staffer
Interaction with Clients
• “At Putnam we place a huge emphasis on our client relationships. The returns are evidenced in the high volume of repeat work we have.” –
Senior source
• “Client relationships vary: Some partners let you develop them, others are very protective of their clients.” – Experienced consultant
• “Compared to my friends at larger firms, or even other small firms, you get much less client exposure here.” – Analyst
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Face time requirements are typically sources of resentment among consultants, but Putnam has reversed the trend, largely
leaving consultants free to roam after office hours.
Work Hours
• “Other consulting companies make the analysts work until late hours at night every day, while at Putnam that only happens when there is a
presentation coming up or a client meeting.” – First-year analyst
• “I am still able to participate in activities outside of work, like mentoring programs, cooking classes and personal travel.” – Consultant
• “Face time is expected everyday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and often beyond. You can expense dinner if you work past 8 p.m.” – Senior
consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “I think this is one of our key assets. Most employees here are committed to something outside of work, whether it is classes they are interested
in, volunteer work or personal hobbies like painting or sports.” – Analyst
• “While we work hard when at the office, there is no pressure to work late or work on weekends unless absolutely necessary. We also receive
three weeks of vacation, which I find generous.” – Entry-level source
• “Work/life balance has been a challenge for Putnam this past year, mostly due to a steady if not overwhelming flow of business and case
work. I’d worked more reasonable hours in years past, but Putnam’s partners have acknowledged this and make sure that we know we’re
appreciated.” – Consultant
Travel Requirements
• “We hardly travel, which makes moving to a new city more tolerable and exciting. You can get to know the place where you live instead of living
out of a suitcase.” – First-year
• “Other than at senior levels, traveling is very rare. It’s nice in that it develops a strong culture at the office, since everyone is usually around.” –
Junior consultant
• “I have been here nearly three years and have never traveled for client work—it is a huge advantage.” – Analyst
Compensation
• “Compensation is generous relative to industry, but low relative to other consultancies.” – Analyst
• “Pay is probably about average, but the recession took a toll on us with regard to scheduled raises.” – Midlevel source
• “Salaries are OK—somewhat less than my friends at other firms. If this really was a lifestyle firm, comp would be decent. But for the hours, its
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Putnam Associates
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Putnam Associates
really not great.” – Consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: While most insiders are satisfied by the firm’s onboarding training for new associates, they see formal training largely dropping off
after that point. Most of what they learn beyond those sessions comes informally, on the job. And with a purely merit-based promotion system in
place, consultants need to soak in as much information as they possibly can along the way.
Formal Training
• “There are 10 basic slide decks for entry-level starts. Nothing for anyone post entry level.” – Junior source
• “Training is mostly a hodgepodge of one-hour presentations that is very informal. Most of the training is done on the job.” – Experienced
consultant
• “We don’t prioritize training. After the initial training, we don’t really have any more—either live or electronic. It just doesn’t exist.” – Analyst
Promotion Policies
• “It’s definitely not up and out. We value the long-term contributions our employees can make.” – Senior consultant
• “Analysts become associates in one year, and will then move up to senior associate in one to one-and-a-half years, assuming performance is
good. Generally, Putnam is good about providing experiences for advancement and for building skills.” – Junior source
• “Though Putnam is not an “up or out” firm, promotion qualifications are not as well defined as in other firms.” – Associate
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: While it may be true that Putnam’s relatively obscure, suburban location “does not attract a lot of diversity,” the firm is sorely
lacking in this regard. Retention of women is certainly an area that needs improvement.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “We hire the best candidates that want to come here. Burlington, Mass., does not attract a lot of diversity.” – Consultant
• “We have a single woman in upper management, and two women in midlevel positions. We have very few minority positions.” – Analyst
• “Putnam is very children/family-friendly” – Senior source
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Putnam was not terribly punished by the recession, and business should only get better as the economy recovers and health care
reforms are implemented.
Overall Business Outlook
• “Putnam has been oversold all the way through the recession. The business has been, and continues to be, very strong.” – Analyst
• “We have more business than ever—strong repeat business with existing clients and a growing base of new clients. Putnam has outstanding
prospects.” – Senior consultant
• “Putnam is especially well positioned considering its health care focus and all the questions and uncertainties regarding changes in the health
care system.” – Entry-level source
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “[The leaders are] seasoned vets with an eye for the importance of firm culture.” – Strategy consultant
• “Based on my interaction with senior management, I believe in their abilities and their leadership. They are incredibly intelligent and actually try
to have you learn from their experience and knowledge.” – Associate
• “It does not always seem to be a united front, but the firm has developed a strong track record and should continue to make prudent decisions.”
– Experienced consultant
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EASTON ASSOCIATES, LLC
119 West 40
th
Street, 19
th
Floor
New York, New York 10018
Phone: (212) 901-0999
Fax: (212) 901-2999
www.eastonassociates.com
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
London
PRACTICE AREAS
Business Development • Due Diligence • Opportunity
Assessment • Strategy
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Managing Directors: Robert Friedman, Michelle Hasson,
Kristine Lowe, Marie Cassese & Nicolas Touchot
2010 Employees: 50
2009 Employees: 46
UPPERS
• “The intellectual challenge”
• “People, people, people”
DOWNERS
• “Still struggling to differentiate from other life science boutique
firms”
• “Clients often don’t know what they don’t know”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.eastonassociates.com/careers
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THE SCOOP
Size doesn’t matter
Strength is not always in numbers. Easton Associates, a small health care consulting firm, has never let its size influence its reach and effect on the
industry. The professionals at Easton Associates draw on a wide range of industry and business expertise. This includes in-house experts who hold
advanced degrees in science, business or medicine. They also use resources, such as knowledge of past projects, professional and trade literature,
community practitioners and opinion-leading physicians to formulate business and marketing strategies for their clients in the fields of pharmaceuticals,
biotechnology, diagnostics and medical supplies and devices. The firm, which employs around 50 people, conducts business for clients in the United
States, Europe and Asia. Headquartered in New York, EA recently opened a London office to better serve its European clientele.
The (now) three musketeers
Easton Associates was founded by a team of health care consulting professionals who worked together at the Wilkerson Group, another health care
consultancy. Robert J. Easton, together with three other professionals from Wilkerson, started the company in 2000. Several years later, in October
2006, Easton announced that he was leaving the company to pursue other interests in the industry.
Three of the original founders remain at EA as managing directors. Robert Friedman has an MBA from Johnson School of Management at Cornell
University, and also holds advanced degrees in biochemistry and biology. He combines these areas of expertise with nine years of consulting
experience prior to joining Easton, and a five-year stint working on Wall Street as a senior equities analyst. Michelle Hasson received her graduate
degrees from Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to her five years with the Wilkerson Group, Hasson held health care industry positions in
market strategy development, consulting, strategic planning and managed care management, and she has extensive expertise in the oncology field..
Finally, Kristine Lowe, formerly a senior executive at the Wilkerson Group, is an expert in opportunity assessment, strategy development, due diligence
and corporate development.
Rounding out the management team
Also part of that group is Managing Director Marie Cassese, a former Wilkerson Group client. Marie draws on her expertise as a senior executive in
several multihospital systems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And in February 2008, Nicolas Touchot, another Wilkerson Group alumnus, who had
been with the firm since 2001, was promoted to managing director. Touchot, backed by 20 years of experience in European markets, is an expert on
pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, particularly medical devices. His education includes a PhD in molecular biology and an MBA.
GETTING HIRED
Demand for specialized fields like Easton’s is fueling an increasingly selective hiring process at the firm. “Getting a position here is tough—everything
counts,” warns a midlevel consultant. “Which college, GPA, which major, number and length of outside activities in health care (e.g., ambulance tech,
lab tech, summer job on a clinical trial) and, of course, the interviews.” The firm simply isn’t looking for consultants who can work in the health care
field—it’s looking for health care consultants.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: What others call work, Easton consultants call studying and shaping their passions. It’s not surprising, then, that they are eager to
walk through the door each morning.
Overall Satisfaction
• “This is a great place to work—exceptionally smart people, challenging assignments and a fun atmosphere.” – New York higher-up
• “Easton Associates has the best of all worlds. The work, in general, is very satisfying and intellectually engaging. I learn new stuff every day
about the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, and I’m involved in projects that are very current in the industry. Not to mention, I have the ability to
work with some of the biggest pharmaceutical/biotech companies in the world, along with their senior executives.” – Junior consultant
Firm Culture
• “People are really friendly and social. It makes for a fun office atmosphere. In many ways, Easton is almost like an extended family. People
truly care about one another.” – First-year consultant
• “The firm is young, creative and diverse.” – Senior source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Easton Associates, LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Supervisor & Client Relationships
• “Our supervisors are great people—smart on the subject matter, understanding and sensitive on the human side.” – Experienced staffer
• “Our clients are very reasonable, and they ask us important questions with reasonable expectations on how to answer them. We have solid
longstanding relationships with many, who treat us as partners/external advisors.” – Midlevel consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Unlike many large consulting firms, Easton has earned the privilege of being able to call itself a true “lifestyle” firm.
Work Hours & Compensation
• “The firm is flexible; the deliverable is to get the job done well, not to clock more hours.” – Senior consultant
• “I work essentially from 9-6 every day. Occasionally, I may have to work until 7 or 8 p.m., but that is rare.” – Analyst
• “Compensation is very good. I could make slightly more elsewhere, but at much greater risk of losing the job and with much greater pressure.”
– New York higher-up
• “Work comes in waves; some days I sit down and before I know it it’s 8:00 PM; other days I do nothing but surf the internet.” – Litigator
• “I wish we had a more constant work flow and there was no stress about meeting our requirements.” – Junior associate
Work/Life Balance
• “I never have to bring work home on the weekends, and the firm is very respectful about personal/family time. I have plenty of time to do other
activities in my life (e.g., going to the gym and running half marathons, joining clubs).” – East Coast entry-level
• “I have a disabled son and have always been able to spend enough time with him. I can work at home one day a week, leave early when
necessary and fill in this time when I am free to do so.” – Midlevel source
Travel Requirements
• “I travel about once a month. Often enough to keep it interesting, not so often that it’s bothersome.” – Senior consultant
• “The only time people really travel is for kickoff, interim and final client meetings. You also may travel to the occasional conference to learn
more about a specific field in therapeutics.” – Junior staffer
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Easton associates are far more likely to collaborate and provide each other with the secrets to success than to partake in sterile
formal trainings. Promotion is based on individual merit, rather than a prescribed time frame.
Formal Training & Promotion Policies
• “Training is pretty minimal at EA. People usually just learn things on the fly, which in many ways is good.” – Recent hire
• “Promotion time is usually every 20 months to two years. This is across the firm. There is no formal up-or-out policy, and even people without
advanced degrees can progress.” – East Coast associate
• “Advancement is fairly rapid, and very fair.” – Experienced insider
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: In spite of its size, Easton Associates seems to have a diverse bunch of employees. And, likely because of its emphasis on work/
life balance, the firm doesn’t seem to face the same retention issue for women that plagues many larger firms.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Three of five partners are women.” – Midlevel strategist
• “The firm is very diverse. A few of our consultants are members of the LGBT community. The firm also plays an active role in recruiting in the
LGBT community by sending representatives to the Out for Business Conference in New York City.” – Analyst
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: With the nation’s attention turned to health reform issues, Easton’s business prospects are superb. Morale is also excellent, a rare
luxury in today’s business climate.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Easton Associates, LLC
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Overall Business Outlook
• “Given the recent health care bill, the biotech/pharmaceutical industry has really boomed and business has drastically picked up. EA has a
bright future ahead of itself, and should remain one of the top health care management consulting firms in the U.S.” – Midlevel source
• “New project flow is good, and morale is great.” – Senior consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “They have a great touch across all the variables: generating new business, hiring great people, being attentive to each person’s needs and
making the culture work.” – East Coast staffer
• “They try hard to be transparent about all processes in the firm, and care about people.” –Analyst
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Easton Associates, LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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ACCENTURE
1345 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10105
Phone: (917) 452-4400
Fax: (917) 527-9915
www.accenture.com
LOCATIONS
Offices and operations in more than 200 cities in 52 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Management Consulting
Customer Relationship Management • Finance &
Performance Management • Process & Innovation
Performance • Risk Management • Strategy • Supply Chain
Management • Talent & Organization Performance
Outsourcing
Application Outsourcing • Bundled Outsourcing • Business
Process Outsourcing • Delivery & Operational Excellence •
Infrastructure Outsourcing
Systems Integration & Technology
Application Renewal • Business Intelligence Services •
Custom Solutions • Data Center Technology & Operations •
Enterprise Architecture • Emerging Technology Architecture
• Functional Solutions • Information Management Services
• IT Strategy & Transformation • Microsoft Solutions •
Network Technology • Open Source Solutions • Oracle
Solutions • Performance Engineering • SAP Solutions
• Security Solutions • Service-Oriented Architecture •
Software as a Service (SaaS) • Workplace Technology &
Collaboration
Operating Groups
Communications & High Tech • Financial Services • Health
& Public Service • Products • Resources
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Ticker Symbol: ACN (NYSE)
Chairman & CEO: William D. Green
2010 Employees: 190,000+
2009 Employees: 181,000+
2010 Revenue: $21.58 billion
2008 Revenue: $23.39 billion
UPPERS
• “Encourages entrepreneurs”
• “The ability to move up quickly”
• “Everyone is willing to help you in your career, no questions
asked”
• “Variety of work”
DOWNERS
• “Bureaucracy of being part of an 190,000-plus person
organization”
• “Higher expectations and fewer resources to support you
along the way”
• “Bad executives”
• “Excessive travel”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
careers.accenture.com
• “Good place to start career”
• “Technology company / big ERP implementations”
• “High volume”
• “The Wal-Mart of associates”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
189
32
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THE SCOOP
Mashed-up moniker
Accenture—whose name derives from “accent on the future”—was formally established by partners from the consulting division of various Arthur
Andersen firms in 1989 as Andersen Consulting. Their goal: to create a new consulting and technology services company built on the idea of “business
integration,” or aligning a company’s people, processes and technology under one strategy to improve business performance. Within 10 years,
Andersen Consulting had grown into a global brand.
On January 1, 2001, the company cut its ties to Arthur Andersen and renamed itself Accenture. Shortly thereafter, rumors swirled that the name
change was an attempt to conceal involvement with Enron (Arthur Andersen performed accounting for Enron, and was completely ruined by its
implication in the scandal), the historical timeline proves this impossible. Accenture also went public in 2001, listing its stock on the New York Stock
Exchange under the symbol ACN.
Strive for five
Accenture delivers its services via five industry-focused operating groups: communications and high tech, financial services, products, health and
public service and resources. In FY09, the products group—which serves clients in the air freight and travel services, automotive, consumer goods
and services, industrial equipment, infrastructure and transportation services, and life sciences industries—outperformed all others, making up 25.6
percent of net revenue. The second-highest performing group was communications and high tech, pulling in 22.3 percent of net revenue, which serves
clients in the communications, electronics and high tech, and media and entertainment industries.
Accenture anywhere
Today, Accenture is one of the largest companies of its kind in the world. It prides itself—and capitalizes—on being able to deliver its services from
more than 50 centers in its global delivery network, as well as from many Accenture and client sites, depending on skills and language requirements,
costs and the client’s location. As of May 2010, more than 80 percent of the company’s 190,000-plus employees live outside the United States. Of
those living outside the U.S., slightly more than half are based in Asia Pacific, Accenture’s fastest growing region—mostly in India and the Philippines.
It’s that kind of reach and flexibility that has insulated the firm from direct hits in the market and made it a “recession-resistant … one-stop-shop IT
services company,” as BusinessWeek described it in December 2008. As an added boon, the publication noted, Accenture “is able to use exactly the
right resource in the right place at the right price to service its clients.”
Reporting from the frontlines
When they are not helping multinational companies improve their performance, Accenture’s consultants keep themselves busy working to put together
a number of reports and papers. These are published through the Accenture Institute for High Performance, which applies academic research to the
problems facing today’s businesses and organizations. Many of the papers published appear in major international newspapers, such as the Financial
Times, Harvard Business Review and The New York Times, as well as magazines and journals, while others have a more limited circulation as research notes
and papers in books.
So ingrained is a culture of staying ahead of the game that Accenture even has its own research and development technology labs where it investigates
new and emerging technologies, uncovering new trends and helping clients take advantage of the opportunities they offer. Made up of 150
professionals, the technology R&D team operates from four labs in the U.S., France and India, and like the Accenture Institute for High Performance,
they too produce volumes of research known as Points of View. In addition, the firm publishes the online journal Outlook, released three times a year,
which focuses on high-performance business strategies written by industry experts. It also produces a newsletter called The Point, written by its global
financial services executives. The publication delves into current trends and analysis in financial services, covering topics such as risk management,
deregulated markets and customer retention. Each operating group and growth platform within Accenture contributes to getting the word out by
publishing their own external publications.
GETTING HIRED
The firm hires from a limited (“elite”) undergraduate pool that has produced several generations of effective Accenture consultants. In general, there’s
a particular emphasis placed on recruiting “well-rounded” individuals; more specifically, engineering, business and economics majors garner the most
attention from recruiters.
Applicants or recruits can expect to face three rounds of “rather extensive” interviews after their initial callback, which typically last 60 minutes each.
The first is a standard initial screening, in which “they can already tell if a person is going to fit with the culture,” which isn’t as routine as it sounds;
incompatible personalities can definitely be deal-breakers. From there, the process moves forward to a skills test—a candidate’s opportunity to show
he has the chops to hang with the top consultants in the field. The third and final round is a behavioral study, in which a senior executive will evaluate
the candidate to be sure he possesses all of the personal qualities needed to integrate seamlessly into the Accenture fold.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Accenture
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Consulting is an exceptionally demanding industry, requiring rigorous travel commitments and unique attitudes and abilities.
Accenture, then, should be lauded for its ability to generate genuine praise for its consultants’ quality of life.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Accenture is a great company to work for. There are many opportunities for growth, and you always have someone you can reach out to when
you need guidance or simply have questions.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Accenture continues to meet or exceed the reason I joined the company: the people; continuous learning and variety of work.” – Texas higher-up
• “I am completely satisfied with Accenture. I feel that I am highly valuable to the firm, and my rewards reflect that.” – Senior consultant
• “Sometimes the travel and work hours get to be a bit much. The career opportunities could be more diverse, but overall I am happy with my
firm and what they provide for their employees.” – Energy specialist
Firm Culture
• “Young, fast paced, intelligent and diverse.” – Midlevel consultant
• “I love my firm’s culture. The people are always a joy to be around. I have always had the pleasure of working with very diverse and friendly
people whom I remain connected to from project to project.” – Senior source
• “Accenture does a lot to give back to local communities and nationally. It is important to them for their employees to be involved in community
outreach and volunteer programs.” – Denver associate
• “Accenture is historically focused on growing from within. This can be a challenge for experienced hires—however, they are working to improve
this.” – Health care executive
Supervisor Relationships
• “My current supervisor is amazing and has done wonders in my career development.” – Strategy consultant
• “My supervisors have been of the highest quality. They are very available for coaching and career guidance.” – D.C. senior source
• “Most of my supervisors have been excellent—real ‘people developers.’ However, there have been a few who are way too focused on their own
career development.” – Public-sector insider
Interaction with Clients
• “The ‘thought capital’ we provide to the project is just incredible, and the client greatly respects our team.” – Senior consultant
• “The environment today has people focused on making things work. Relationships are easier when there is a common goal.” – Executive-level
respondent
• “We only want the best for our clients, and in most cases we are able to accommodate their requests. However, getting them to see that adding
additional work or changing scope could significantly affect the project is sometimes a difficult task.” – Energy consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: It’s a poorly kept secret that consultants work “very intense” hours, especially when on site with clients. But Accenture employees
know what to expect, and appreciate their leadership’s flexibility regarding family commitments.
Work Hours
• “Work is very intense during most of the week, but flex scheduling and most Fridays at home help.” – Chicago staffer
• “Hours will vary depending on if you are booked to a project. When booked to a project, you work the hours necessary to get the job done.” –
Midlevel consultant
• “Accenture provides a generous paid-time-off benefit, and provides resources to help employees manage time and stress.” – Senior source
• “This is up to you. Some weeks I work more, but that’s the nature of project work. Good project planning mitigates the overtime and limits it to
key times during a project.” – Telecommunications consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “Even with the hours I am putting in for work, I am still able to find the time to do the things I want to. At the moment, I am pursuing a Ph.D.
on nights and weekends—the company is allowing me to do so and gives me flexibility to leave a bit early on nights I have class.” – Midlevel
consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Accenture
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “There is always the ability to work from wherever you are. In the few cases where I have had to work weekends, I have been able to do it and
still balance personal commitments.” – Midwest insider
• “It is difficult to find a good work/life balance when you are traveling, but Accenture does whatever it can within the confines of the client to help
facilitate that balance.” – Experienced source
• “It’s a challenge. It takes focus and good prioritization to maintain balance.” – Senior staffer
Travel Requirements
• “Travel requirements follow the 3-4-5 rule: three nights away from home, four days on the client site and five days working for your client.” –
Health care insider
• “Travel is dictated by the client culture and needs. Some clients are more open to remote interaction than others. Sales requires face time.” –
Operations consultant
• “I’ve been lucky that I’ve been on a local project the entire time. However, I’ve heard horror stories from other employees.” – New York midlevel
• “Travel demands are the same, but travel policies get less flexible. Clients are willing to pay less and projects fail to budget appropriately for the
realities of travel.” – Public-sector consultant
Compensation
• “Compensation is not the best and not the worst; steps have been taken to bring people closer to market rates lately.” – HR consultant
• “No raises last year was discouraging, in light of the additional workload that many have had to bear.” – Denver staffer
• “Bonuses here are a joke—typically no more than 5 percent of annual salary.” – Health care senior
• “I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but for the work I do, I feel like I’m robbing the bank. That said, I know a lot of other people don’t feel the
same way.” – New York consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Accenture takes training seriously, and as a result, garners praise for its efforts. After weeks of substantive, informative training
each year, the firm’s consultants feel well prepared to meet the needs of their clients.
Formal Training
• “Online and in the classroom, nobody can match the number of options and level of quality Accenture provides for training.” – Digital marketer
• “I think our formal training is second to none and provides intense learning sessions that don’t take you away from your client work for long
periods of time.” – Energy midlevel
• “It’s expected that each employee has a minimum of 2 weeks of training per year. Much of this is off site and away from our project site.” –
Canadian midlevel
• “There is a good amount of both formal and informal training; however it is up to the individual to make time for them, which doesn’t always
happen.” – Health care consultant
Promotion Policies
• “The promotion policy is moving away from true up or out. At the lower levels, it is still up or out, but as you advance, there are opportunities to
‘land’ in different places. I think this is very fair.” – St. Louis staffer
• “They’ve just moved to a new system that is based more on ability rather than time. I’ve been happy with it, as I’ve been promoted early, but
I’m still unclear how the new system will work.” – Public-sector insider
• “You can advance as soon as you are ready; you can make partner from undergrad in nine years now.” – HR midlevel
• “Consultants can typically advance to the next level within two to five years, depending on performance. The firm determines promotions using
a meritocracy, so those that perform the best will advance the quickest.” – Cleveland midlevel
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Insiders say Accenture does a good job of recruiting and accommodating consultants of all backgrounds, without losing sight of
the all-important fit factor.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “This is a strong suit of Accenture’s. There are a number of women in high-ranking positions, as well as a number of GLBT individuals
throughout the firm as well.” – D.C. staffer
• “The firm strives to offer a very diverse culture, and just seeing the diversity on our project teams really speaks volumes to the firm’s
commitment to diversity.” – Energy consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Accenture
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “The company establishes many forums and networking opportunities for women, minorities and GLBT individuals. At the executive level, I
believe the company could do more to attract and retain talent, especially for our strategy consulting service line.” – Senior source
• “Accenture is very good at creating flexible work arrangements, but ultimately, it’s a very difficult career for a mother who wants to care for her
family.” – Seattle respondent
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Confidence is flowing freely from the consultant ranks at Accenture, sustained by a high volume of work and the sense of security
that it affords. Young leaders appear poised to lead the firm into an extremely profitable future.
Overall Business Outlook
• “Can we pick a number higher than 10 to rank outlook? If anything, we have too much work and not enough people to do it.” – Senior
consultant
• “Employee morale is picking up with the midyear promotions and the surprise base salary increases. We also seem to be selling more client
engagements than we can staff and, as a result, we are heavily recruiting experienced hires to make up for the high demand.” – New York
staffer
• “Accenture will continue to be a dominant player in most markets in which it competes.” – Strategy associate
• “I love the fact that we have a lot of cash on our balance sheet.” – Atlanta source
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Leadership changes have brought fresh blood and bold ideas into the top leadership roles.” – HR consultant
• “The leadership, especially over the last year, has made significant strides to increase the situation of employees in this difficult economic time.
They have asked even the lower levels of the firm for opinions, ideas, examples and thoughts to help mold their decision making.” – East Coast
analyst
• “The old guard is retiring; a new batch of younger executives needs to take the helm.” – Seattle staffer
• “They did way too many layoffs too late in the game, and then put us at great risk when just a few months later we had roles that could not be
filled due to a lack of bench.” – Public-sector insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Accenture
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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1919 North Lynn Street
Arlington, Virginia 22209
Phone: (571) 303-3000
Fax: (571) 303-3100
www.executiveboard.com
LOCATIONS
Arlington, VA (HQ)
Chicago, IL
Minneapolis, MN
Needham, MA
Rochester, NY
San Francisco, CA
Scottsdale, AZ
Westchester, PA
London
New Delhi
Sydney
Toronto
Singapore
PRACTICE AREAS
Corporate Leadership Council • Finance & Strategy •
Financial Services • Government • Information Technology •
Legal & Compliance • Sales, Marketing & Communications
• “Good brand recognition”
• “Fluffy; just research, no insights”
• “Young, friendly atmosphere”
• “Cold calls”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
194
CORPORATE EXECUTIVE BOARD
33
PRESTIGE
RANKING
THE STATS
Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: EXBD (Nasdaq)
CEO: Thomas L. Monahan III
2010 Employees: 1700+
2009 Employees: 1,742
2010 Revenue: $442.9 million
2009 Revenue: $558.3 million
UPPERS
• “‘Make it happen’ work ethic”
• “Young crowd”
DOWNERS
• “Sometimes it feels a bit too much like a school fraternity”
• Micromanagement
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.executiveboard.com/careers
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THE SCOOP
Safety in numbers
The largest network of major executives in the world, The Corporate Executive Board draws on its collective brainpower so members “avoid reinventing
the wheel” when solving similar problems other CEB members may have already overcome. CEB is a membership-based organization that provides
best practices research, decision support tools, meetings and executive education seminars (in person and online) focusing on corporate strategy,
operations and general management issues. For a fixed annual membership fee, corporate, government and nonprofit members subscribe to one or
more of the company’s programs on areas covering corporate finance, financial services, human resources, information technology, innovation and
operations, legal issues and corporate governance, sales and marketing, and strategy and management.
Founded in 1979 as the Research Council of Washington, then renamed as The Advisory Board Company in 1983, CEB’s network now boasts more
than 5,100 participating members and includes 85 percent of the Fortune 500, more than 60 percent of the world’s top-300 financial institutions and
members in more than 50 countries; around a third of the firm’s revenue comes from international members. Generally, CEB’s clients break down
into two groups: large companies with annual revenue of at least $750 million and midmarket enterprises with annual revenue of between $50 million
and $750 million, though the membership list also includes non-profit organizations.
Spreading the wealth
CEB’s membership-based model means two things: For CEB, it can glean information from its wide-ranging membership to produce up-to-date best
practice and performance data on and for its members. For CEB members, meanwhile, the shared cost research model means they get similar
information to what they would receive from premier strategy consulting firms, but at a fraction of the cost. The average annual membership fee is
around $30,000, although this varies depending on the size of the company. For those bucks, CEB promises its members a whole lot of bang, offering
“four unique assets” that include an extensive global network of peer executives, “unrivalled” best practices and data, unlimited service from CEB’s
1700-plus employees throughout the year, and unbiased advice.
Companies can choose from CEB’s seven practice areas, which include more than 40 different membership programs. In the course of a year, CEB
staff create and distribute hundreds of new strategic research studies, hold hundreds of membership meetings and provide several thousand on-site
executive education sessions. Subscriptions also cover CEB-produced studies and briefs, “decision-support tools,” access to CEB’s newly developed
web-based research and networking tools, support from its account management teams and executive education seminars. Members cannot normally
access information in programs to which they don’t belong, but the firm tries to accommodate them if the request is isolated.
GETTING HIRED
Recruiting specialists and managers are responsible for screening applicants for appropriate qualifications, which include “communication skills,
experience and level of interest.” For those with the requisite qualities to pass the resume review, another round of screening takes place through a
formal telephone interview, after which the most prized candidates are invited in for face-to-face interviews. Those might involve writing skills and case
studies, in an effort to identify a candidate’s ability to think conceptually.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
There are few better compliments an employee can give his employer than “I love my job and coming to work in the morning.” There’s no shortage
of enthusiasm for life at Corporate Executive Board, as evidenced by a slew of similar remarks. It’s the “most exciting, challenging and innovative
company I’ve ever worked for,” one insider reports. “It is always interesting and exciting,” echoes another who adds, “My colleagues are nice, smart
and accomplished.”
As far as culture is concerned, “ambition” and “energy” are the most oft-recognized qualities CEB consultants possess; “engaging,” “young” and
“sales-driven” round out the description of a typical CEB employee. Of course, like any workplace, there are some drawbacks “backward-thinking
HR” is one that consultants suggest here), but on the whole, consultants are quite satisfied with their workplace.
Hours & pay
“It requires hard work to excel at CEB,” a respondent says, “but you can manage your hours to mostly fit your lifestyle.” We’re told the firm is a pure
meritocracy, where both compensation and promotion is based on the amount and quality of work one puts in. Being an ambitious bunch, this settles
well with CEB consultants. “Something is always expected of you. And that’s OK. I’m driven like they are,” says an experienced source.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Corporate Executive Board
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Work/life balance is helped along by “pretty flexible” travel demands; as one insider reports, “They make it as easy as possible for you to travel.” And,
characteristic of a meritocracy, “all compensation is performance based and equitably distributed across functions.”
Professional Development
Consultants are quick to praise CEB’s extensive training offerings—both formal and informal. “There are multiple e-learning opportunities offered
through HR’s learning and development group,” one source says of the more formal opportunities, also noting the availability of “graduate study and
tuition reimbursement.” For those who prefer a more informal education channel, insiders appreciate the firm’s “excellent” mentoring program.
“There’s lots of informal training and coaching,” a consultant affirms. “It is almost constant,” he continues, going as far as to label it too much—“that’s
the bad part!”
Diversity
Diversity is easily one of the firm’s strongest points; with high marks across the board, leadership has invested enough time and resources to cultivate
a truly diverse and vibrant community. “Roughly 40 percent of partner-equivalent staff are women,” says one respondent, citing a CEB reality that is
unusual in the industry. While any firm can assume diversity in low-level batches, the real indicators of a firm’s diversity are retention and promotion.
CEB excels here, as one midlevel associate corroborates, citing “many openly gay members of leadership” as an example of across-the-board
diversity.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Corporate Executive Board
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
34
ZS ASSOCIATES
1800 Sherman Avenue, 7th Floor
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Phone: (847) 492-3600
Fax: (847) 864-6280
www.zsassociates.com
LOCATIONS
Evanston, IL (HQ)
Boston, MA • Chicago, IL • Los Angeles, CA • New York,
NY • Philadelphia, PA • Princeton, NJ • San Mateo, CA •
Barcelona • Frankfurt • London • Milan • New Dehli • Paris •
Pune • Shanghai • Tokyo Toronto Zurich
PRACTICE AREAS
Marketing
Customer Insight • Integrated Product Launch Planning
& Management • Marketing Performance Measurement •
Marketing Planning • Segmentation • Value Proposition
Sales
Incentive Compensation Design & Goal Setting • Sales Force
Design • Sales Performance Management • Sales Process
Development • Territory Design
Sales & Marketing Operations
Data Management, Performance Reporting & Analytics •
Incentive Compensation & Goals Administration • Territory &
Account Planning
UPPERS
• “Private ownership”
• “You get to sleep in your own bed!”
• “75 percent of my friends outside work are from work”
DOWNERS
• “Too narrow of a focus”
• “Low name recognition outside the sector”
• “Expense and accounting system is archaic”
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Founding Directors: Andris Zoltners & Prabhakant Sinha
Managing Director: Jaideep Bajaj
2010 Employees: 1,500
2009 Employees: 1,300
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.zsassociates.com/careers
Email: careers@zsassociates.com
• “Best-in-breed pharma”
• “Boutique that may get overrun long term”
• “Hire a lot of great young people”
• “Cookie-cutter, machine-like”
PRESTIGE
RANKING
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THE SCOOP
Mind your Zs and Ss
ZS Associates is a global management consulting firm specializing in sales and marketing consulting. Founded in 1983 by Kellogg School of
Management marketing professors Andris A. Zoltners and Prabhakant Sinha, the firm now employs more than 1,500 professionals who offer sales and
marketing strategy, implementation and operations consulting advice out of ZS’ 19 offices in North America, Asia and Europe.
While it has served more than 700 companies since its founding, ZS Associates is no fly-by-night operation; indeed, the firm still counts its first client
from 1983 as a client today. In fact, most of its business comes from returning clients, who appreciate ZS Associates’ niche services. Most are Global
500 companies, although the firm does work with a number of midmarket, small and startup companies, hailing from a broad range of industries.
While 90 to 95 percent of ZS’s clients work in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical products and services space, the rest hail from the
high tech, telecommunications, transportation, consumer products and financial services sectors.
Into S&M
The firm’s three targeted practice areas are marketing, sales, and sales and marketing operations. The marketing practice area works with clients
to help them understand and develop the capabilities they need to commercialize a new product or service, and to improve the performance of their
existing products and services. ZS’ offerings include assistance with customer insights (know your customer), segmentation (divide and conquer your
customers), value proposition (look good for your customer), marketing planning (reach out to your customer and offer a good price), and product
launch planning and management services (give customers what they want, when they want it).
The sales practice area complements the marketing practice, working with customers to design, implement and manage their sales infrastructure, all
in an effort to maximize clients’ sales effectiveness. Services include sales process development (how will you sell your product?), sales force design
(who will sell your product?), territory design (where will you sell your product?), incentive compensation design and goal setting (how will you motivate
employees to keep selling your product?), and sales performance management (who is selling how much?).
While it may sound like a mere amalgam of the other two units, the sales and marketing operations segment provides the left-brain analytical side to
sales and marketing. Services include business process support, analytics, software tools and information technology services for developing cost-
effective sales and marketing operations. The firm also provides outsourcing services, either on an ongoing or temporary basis, to clients to help them
focus on their core business.
A sweet suite
ZS Associates began developing sales- and marketing-specific software in 1983, with the creation of the first personal computer-aided territory mapping
system. By 2008, it had created 12 standalone software products, which were then integrated as one unified sales and marketing software platform:
the Javelin software suite.
The suite includes the “incentives” software program, which manages incentive compensation programs, including quotas, objectives and payouts;
the “call planning” software, which helps companies design strategies for reaching out to sales representatives and customers; “forecasting” software,
which helps plan for the future, integrating product and market dynamics, assumptions and analytical metrics; “account management” software, to
support the entire sales process, coordinating activity, customer preferences and producing customized sales documents; and, finally, the “territory
design” software, which helps companies create balanced sales territories by analyzing sales and product data, and modeling teams of sales people,
customer service reps, telesales staff or other customer contact personnel.
A class act
Throughout the years, ZS Associates has kept up its ties with the Kellogg School of Management—where Zoltners remains a faculty member,
teaching marketing—as well as with the Indian School of Business, where Sinha teaches courses on sales force effectiveness. The firm—including
its co-founders—offers executive education courses at these and other business schools on sales force performance, sales force incentive planning
and other special executive-level programs.
GETTING HIRED
ZS consultants make it clear that their hiring process is “extremely selective,” particularly when it comes to more measurable gauges like GPA and
test scores. “Because we are a smaller firm, we go to a few select schools and maintain strict GPA standards,” one insider explains. But some
suggest that these rigid requirements be loosened. As one midlevel source ponders, “Does somebody really need a 4.0 GPA and 800 GMAT to
work here? Sometimes I wonder if our strict standards are keeping out the more socially talented.” Whatever the verdict, it’s clear that pre-interview
resume screening is a huge hurdle for most to overcome. In terms of academics, analysis is king. “Quantitative and analytical skills are the hallmark
characteristics of the typical ZSer. As a result, the firm often has to compromise on ‘softer’ consulting/management skills.”
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
ZS Associates
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Interviews present chances for the ZS team to affirm a candidate’s aptitude and to identify those who fit in most with the office culture. Even here,
though, ability trumps all else. “ZS is looking for highly analytical employees who are comfortable dealing with highly quantitative work,” one source
says. “That sometimes leads to a lack of diversity in terms of the personality and professional style of employees.” Successful candidates will endure
two rounds of intensive interviews and case studies, and for MBA candidates, the process culminates in a high-pressure (“exciting” and “terrifying”)
presentation before a panel of “clients” (managers in disguise).
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: ZS consultants are generally quite satisfied with their quality of life. According to a number of sources, however, one of the
detracting factors is a measure of tedium involved in project work.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I’m very happy to be working at ZS. The intellectual challenges coupled with the relaxed and friendly firm culture make my job very enjoyable.”
– Philadelphia analyst
• “ZS does an excellent job making sure that all of their employees are developed, and understand their future career path. You are very open to
being entrepreneurial once you establish the core skills to add value.” – Associate
• “Hours are pretty easy, as far as consulting goes. The atmosphere is friendly and not many people are stressed out. It is easy to have an
outside life here while still making a good impression at work. The one downside is that many of our projects are routine and in the pharma
practice space; I think job satisfaction would increase with greater project diversity.”- East Coast insider
• “The hours can be bad, and the focus on one industry can be a little tedious. But I like many of the people I work with.” – Entry-level analyst
Firm Culture
• “The ZS culture is very inviting. People are open to sharing ideas and making the entire office better. Like any firm, there are definitely some
political aspects, but they rarely seem to influence anything that personally affects individuals.” – Junior source
• “ The firm is values-based, egalitarian, friendly and fun. People enjoy working together, and many are friends outside the office.” – HR
consultant
• “Most people are pretty laid-back, but intense. I love that you can wear (nice) jeans to work every day.” – Senior source
• “If your idea of cool is a guy with the pocket protector, then this is a firm for you.” – Strategy consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “There’s a great rapport between all levels of our organization. I can talk openly to a principal just as I would talk to my peer.” – Analyst
• “The principals and managers can be demanding, but usually have team members’ best interest in mind, even when facing challenging client
demands.” – Midlevel consultant
• “People at ZS do have to seek out feedback because managers aren’t necessarily sharing informal project feedback outside the performance
review period.” – Senior-level staffer
Interaction with Clients
• “My relationships with clients tend to be close and trusting.” – Experienced consultant
• “Our clients are demanding, but show great appreciation for our work.” – Partner
• “Clients generally like us, though some view us as a ‘vendor’ that they can push around.” – Chicago insider
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Hours fluctuate dramatically from person to person; some coast while others break their back, and high performers feel they’re
undercompensated for picking up the slack.
Work Hours
• “While they fluctuate some, the hours are typically quite reasonable, with major crunches coming mainly when client deliverables are due.” –
Consultant
• “The hours are very person- and project-dependent. I successfully average 54 hours a week, but I’ve seen colleagues who consistently put in
70-plus hours.” – Boston source
• “Our stated capacity is 50 to 55 hours of work per week, but we are often asked to work 65 to 70 hours.” – Senior associate
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
ZS Associates
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “If lucky you’ll get 40- to 50-hour weeks consistently. If unlucky, you can be looking at 70- to 80-hour weeks.” – New Jersey source
Work/Life Balance
• “ZS feels that when you have the opportunity to leave work, do it!” – Midlevel consultant
• “Keeping a work/life balance isn’t rocket science at ZS. Managers are typically very accommodating of outside commitments. I can’t even
remember a time when my request to attend an outside function was denied.” – Entry-level analyst
• “I know people that have no life, but they seem to like that. I also know people who manage this well. Accordingly, it seems to be mostly
dependent on the individual, and somewhat so on the project team.” – Health care associate
Travel Requirements
• “Few people have to travel, and there is no specific push to do so. Mostly, executives in leadership positions will travel in order to support
specific business development efforts.” – Associate
• “This is one of the best benefits of working at ZS. I get to sleep in my own bed every night.” – First-year analyst
• “I don’t travel often, and when I do, it’s usually a day trip. It’s probably, on average, two to four per month, with the occasional multi-day trip.” –
Philadelphia staffer
• “Usually travel is binary—you either have none to minimal, or you will be staffed on site at a client and expected to travel Sunday night, work
a 50-hour week on site and come home late Friday night. The firm has no stated travel policy with regard to what is reasonable, and project
managers are free to make whatever commitments to clients they deem appropriate which leads to excessive travel demands.” – Senior
consultant
Compensation
• “Compensation is pretty good here. We make good money for the time we are required to put in and the minimal amount of travel required.” –
Experienced source
• “I can confidently say that pre-MBA positions are compensated at above-average levels relative to industry. This is especially true when cost-of-
living adjustments are factored in.” – New York insider
• “I consider our compensation to be fair for the work we do, but I’ve heard some grumblings about rival firms being more generous. I’m happy
with my annual bonus, but the way they are calculated is only known by a handful of partners.” – Consultant
• “I have been at ZS for six years, work very long hours, and I do not feel I am paid appropriately. In addition, the bonus system is a black box,
and there seems to be little to no connection between personal performance, hours worked, firm performance and your ultimate bonus.– Health
care consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Training, while not ideal, is what every ZS consultant makes of it; the resources are in place, but it’s typically up to the individual
to seek them out.
Formal Training
• “ZS does a great job setting up formal trainings through our ZS University initiative.” – Senior associate
• “ZS offers a ton of informal and formal training. If you feel like you are not learning, it is your own fault.” – Health care insider
• “We offer a fair number of training courses that span the basics of Excel, PowerPoint, etc., as well as management-related trainings. Most
training, however, does not go very deep into the subject matter, and we don’t have much training available for more complex applications of
Excel, SAS, etc.” – First-year analyst
• “There is a strong mentorship/apprenticeship philosophy. Training for midlevel and higher people is generally informal.” – Chicago staffer
Promotion Policies
• “ZS is a meritocracy—people are reviewed after every project, and overall twice yearly. There are clear definitions on promotions, and people
progress accordingly.” – East Coast analyst
• “We have an extensive review system that involves a competency model with a number of different dimensions. I’ve felt that all of my reviews
have been a very fair reflection of my performance. The typical time to promotion is two to three years, but it can be shorter or longer
depending on the individual’s performance and goals.” – Los Angeles respondent
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: The firm relies on its meritocratic nature to identify and retain those who make the cut, regardless of background. This ethos
extends to recruitment, as well.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
ZS Associates
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Policies are supportive of all employees, not just specific groups. The focus of memberships is about the work, so it stays a true meritocracy.
It’s about fairness to all.” – Senior staffer
• “ZS has no specific hiring programs for diversity, but there are some affinity groups in place (women, GLBT). There is a retention initiative for
women, and we’ve recently changed the maternity/paternity leave to be more generous.” – HR consultant
• “There is one openly gay manager, but beyond that it isn’t discussed. There is no observable bias or policy either way.” – Midwest midlevel
• “There are a lot of guys here. If they could find out a way to attract and retain more women, that would be great.” - Entry-level analyst
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Health care was among consulting’s strongest sectors in the recession, allowing companies like ZS to emerge relatively unscathed
and primed to grow in healthier climates.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We are a frugal company dedicated to cash accounting with zero debt. This financial management approach, coupled with strong relationships
in niche services with all major and midsized pharma companies, means that ZS is geared to do really well under all kinds of circumstances.” –
New York insider
• “We get a tremendous amount of repeat and referral business, and demand for our services appears to be as strong as ever.” – Midlevel
consultant
• “Company morale has been down a bit lately, and I expect some of the unhappy people will leave as the economy improves.” – Analyst
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “There is a good system of checks and balances. Additionally, there is no sense of complacency. We really want to keep getting better and
better as a firm.” – Senior consultant
• “ZS has a very talented and engaged senior leadership. Despite the economic downturn, ZS has expanded its global reach through additional
offices and maintained its headcount.” – Associate
• “Unfortunately, there are some principals who treat associates like worker bees, while spending firm dollars inappropriately. Lack of respect
reflects poorly on the firm.” – Philadelphia insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
ZS Associates
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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28 State Street, 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
Phone: (617) 951-9500
Fax: (617) 951-9392
www.lek.com
LOCATIONS
Boston, MA (US HQ)
London (Worldwide HQ)
20 offices in 13 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Finance • Marketing & Sales • Operations • Organization •
Strategy • Transaction Services
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Co-Founder & Chairman: Iain Evans
2010 Employees: 850+
2009 Employees: 900
• “Growing consulting boutique”
• “Banker hours, consultant pay”
• “Very due-diligence focused; short term projects”
• “Overexposed to PE”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
202
L.E.K. CONSULTING
35
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Opportunities for personal growth”
• “Large amount of client and partner interaction”
• “Sociable, approachable and young people”
• “Ability to manage a team of associates as a first-year
consultant”
DOWNERS
• “L.E.K. does not allow unallocated staff beach time”
• Information technology could be improved
• “Associates often required to cold call”
• “Tough to work past midnight four nights in a row”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.lek.com/careers
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THE SCOOP
Getting to like L.E.K.
Founded in 1983, L.E.K. Consulting is a management and strategy consulting firm that offers services in six categories: finance, marketing and sales,
operations, organizational development, strategy and transaction services. Founded in London, the firm maintains some 20 offices around the world,
while its clients range from small businesses to Fortune 500 members, and hail from a wide variety of industries.
Digging in
Underscoring all its services, says L.E.K., are its data-driven research capabilities. “The most valuable service that L.E.K. provides,” the firm says,
“is to gather, distill, and analyze vast amounts of data.” The firm’s data-crunchers dig into the numbers to provide clients with clear, actionable
recommendations using advanced research, benchmarking, modeling, analysis and strategy development methods.
Offering a helping hand
L.E.K. takes its responsibilities—especially its social responsibilities—seriously. As part of its environmental and social responsibility program, the
firm works with governmental and charitable organizations on projects to improve the environment and to strengthen social services. One such client
is Medicines for Humanity, a nonprofit that helps local health care partners implement effective health care initiatives for children and become self-
sustaining organizations. L.E.K. worked with MFH to develop a business model that combines health care services and microenterprise lending.
And, when it comes to going green, L.E.K. is more than just talk, working with clients on issues related to climate change, such as policy and
regulation, green investments and developing low-carbon business strategies. In January 2008, L.E.K. became carbon neutral, making it the first major
consultancy to implement such a policy across its global operations. The firm hopes to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2011.
GETTING HIRED
“L.E.K. is known for being data-driven and highly quantitative,” says one consultant, so it’s no stretch to assume that the firm looks for candidates with
a demonstrated history of quantitative proficiency when hiring. When directing efforts at undergraduate institutions, recruiters typically seek “excellent
critical thinkers,” “motivated students” and “overachievers.” Make no mistake, it’s a very selective process; consultants estimate that “less than 5
percent of those who get a first-round interview” will receive an offer.
Candidates worthy of an initial interview can expect two to three rounds of case and behavioral questions. As a candidate moves on, the focus shifts to
proficiency, not personality; case studies, typically one strictly quantitative and one strategic in nature, are administered examination-style. For those
who deem this an ideal interview process, it’s best to act quickly, since it seems there are some changes to the process on the horizon: “We have
implemented a candidate presentation during MBA interviews,” says one associate in the know.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Whether it’s gathering at some of the firm’s “truly great” social events or sharing beer from a cart each Friday at 5 p.m., L.E.K.
consultants genuinely appreciate one another’s company. And that camaraderie makes it far “easier to go to work each morning.”
Overall Satisfaction
• “The work is interesting, colleagues are competent, there’s a sense of camaraderie, an effort to keep weekends sacred and upper management
takes vacations, which means you can, too.” –Consultant
• “L.E.K. is a great place to start a career. The firm provides many opportunities for employees to gain experience in a variety of settings, both
case-related and otherwise. The firm hires great people that help make the experience truly special.” – Experienced associate
• “I have been very pleased that I have worked primarily on strategy projects. There is very little operations or implementation work at L.E.K.”
–Chicago consultant
• “I like the job but I don’t like not having long-term ownership of anything—I’m basically a fungible cog in the machine, which I have trouble
with.” – Associate
Firm Culture
• “This is the best working culture I’ve ever experienced or heard about. Amazing people. Everyone says ‘hi’ and genuinely wants to know how
you are doing—even partners. The workweek is punctuated with various activities to encourage social, non-work behavior, including a beer cart
pushed around every Friday at 5 p.m. by employees.” – First-year respondent
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
L.E.K. Consulting
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “L.E.K. is a very young firm, and as such everyone tends to be at similar points in their life. Going to work each morning is easier knowing you
have a friendship bond with almost all of your co-workers, in and out of the office.” – Associate
• “Since we do very little travel, we get to see most of our co-workers every day in the office.” – Experienced insider
Supervisor Relationships
• “I consider many senior partners at L.E.K. to be friends of mine. They are very approachable and anxious to help out with career advice or
anything else.” – Health care consultant
• “Managers at L.E.K. take special care to get to know everyone who is working for them, from the first-year associate to the second-year post-
MBA consultant.” – Consultant
• “The partnership is open and ready to help as soon as a request is made. In many cases, once a person makes it known they are looking to
leave the firm, VPs will open up the Rolodex and help find them the type of job they are looking for.” – Boston staffer
Interaction with Clients
• “There are a lot of client-facing opportunities very early on, and supervisors will give you that responsibility without hesitation.” – First year
consultant
• “A person with my limited tenure has limited client contact, but I’ve been surprised with how much I’ve been given already. If you show you’re
trustworthy, the partners will give you more access to clients.” – Consultant
• “As a first-year associate, there is not too much face-to-face client interaction, although you will be on phone calls with clients.” – Associate
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: L.E.K. consultants are quick to point out that they work too much, but most schedule-driven dissatisfaction is countered by their
minimal travel requirements.
Work Hours
• “I am constantly busy, so the hours go by fairly quickly. Weekends are usually my own.” – East Coast staffer
• “Some weeks can be pretty light, and you’ll be out by 6:30 p.m.. Other weeks, especially the last few weeks of a case, you can usually expect
long hours, somewhere in the 70 to 80 range.” – First-year associate
• “As you become more senior, you get better control of the hours you work.” – Chicago insider
• “Despite the long hours, at the end of a case, I have always found the experience to be rewarding based on what I learned and what our case
team produced.” –Consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “Balance varies a lot by case—some cases you can go to the gym in the evenings, some cases you’re working until midnight every night. It
really depends, but there’s an honest effort to create balance when possible.” – Chicago first year
• “I don’t have much of a social life during the week, but I make up for it on weekends.” – Associate
• “To do well in this firm, you must make the firm No. 1 and all other things in your life a low priority (including sleep)!” – Associate
• “The firm is a hardnosed competitor, and is working hard to build upon its market position as a leading strategy, M&A and performance
improvement advisor. As such, it does feel, at times, that your sacrifice and extra hard work is helping the firm meet that goal.” – Senior
consultant
Travel Requirements
• “Extremely low travel for everyone below the manager level. Managers and partners travel the most for client meetings, but we rarely do a lot of
on-site work.” – San Francisco associate
• “This is a perfect place for people with families—you can see your kids and family at the end of the day most days, as we don’t travel as much.”
–Consultant
• “Ninety-five percent of my co-workers never travel. I am on one of the only travel cases we’ve ever seen, and I am therefore traveling three to
four days a week for a few months. This is extremely a-typical.” – First year
• “Unless you’re 100 percent opposed to traveling for work, it really is a great model.” – Experienced consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: The firm has made great strides here recently, bolstering its formal offerings while leaving an appreciated degree of independence
for L.E.K.’s on-the-job learners.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
L.E.K. Consulting
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Formal Training
• “We have official professional development trainings frequently, and are also set up with office ‘buddies’ and career development coaches. It
was made clear from day one at this firm that L.E.K. is very invested in our potential and wants to develop it the best way they can.” –Consultant
• “Training is comprehensive for high- and medium-level skills and knowledge regarding all of our service lines, industries and technical skills.” –
Associate
• “There are many formal presentations and training sessions to help new employees get up to speed, especially in the life sciences industry.
There are also extensive internal resources available, and colleagues are very willing to help one another.” – Entry-level source
• “While we have regular formal training, most skills are learned on the job and from colleagues.” – West Coast manager
Promotion Policies
• “Promotion is tenure-based for the first year, then becomes performance-based.” – First-year source
• “For associates, there is a typical track that nearly everybody follows and graduates from. The expectations as you progress become higher and
more difficult to meet.” – Chicago staffer
• “You can move from consultant to partner in six years for star performers.” – Senior consultant
• “On the one hand, promotion is relatively quick and it is not strictly up or out. On the other hand, I find it frustrating that you are tied to your
class, and that the year you joined could limit how senior you can be at a particular point in time.” –Associate
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: As one consultant tells us, the firm “could definitely do better” in promoting a diverse workforce, but most respondents are
confident that this situation will improve as the L.E.K. continues to grow.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “L.E.K. employs individuals from a diversity of backgrounds, and has GLBT partners. However, there are very few women in the manager and
partner ranks, at least in the U.S.” – Senior source
• “The firm could definitely do a better job in this regard. I don’t think it’s an intentional exclusion of particular groups of people, but more effort
could be put into identifying and recruiting a more diverse pool of candidates.” –Consultant
• “As a small firm growing into a bigger one, L.E.K. is working on building more structure in these areas.” – San Francisco manager
• “Recently, the firm developed a women’s initiative, which focuses on bringing women together to discuss issues, mentor and engage in
volunteer activities.” – Consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: L.E.K. is just one of those firms that does well in rough economic climates. While others have downsized and readjusted, L.E.K.
has persisted and continued to succeed.
Overall Business Outlook
• “The North American offices are so busy that we have people outside the country working on our cases! The partners are doing an amazing job
at selling cases.” – Senior consultant
• “We typically emerge from recessions with better market share than when the recession began. And this recession looks like it will have the
same outcome.” – Consultant
• “We have continued strength in our life sciences practice. Other practice areas are picking up after the economic slowdown.” – Life sciences
specialist
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “You can always count on the partners to sell projects. Even during the recession, there were quite a few number of projects sold.” – Chicago
associate
• “They navigated us through the economic storm without anyone leaving and without layoffs. The partners also busted their butts over the last
18 months to get business. I know that they are personally motivated, but I was impressed overall.” – Senior source
• “Worldwide, our partners are highly respected within industry. Above that, firm leadership is working to grow the firm and they have actively
addressed areas with a need for that growth.” –Consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
L.E.K. Consulting
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
36
1166 Avenue of the Americas, 29
th
Floor
New York, New York 10036
Phone: (212) 345-3000
Fax: (212) 345-4650
www.nera.com
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
26 offices in 13 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Antitrust & Competition • Asset & Contract Valuation •
Auctions • Bankruptcy • Class Actions & Class Certification
• Commercial Litigation & Damages • Consumer Protection
in Financial Services • Corporate Governance & Compliance
• Employment & Labor • Energy • Environment & Climate
Change • Financial Institutions & Banking • Financial Risk
Management • Health Care & Life Sciences • Insurance •
Intellectual Property • Mass Torts & Product Liability • Postal
Services • Regulatory Economics • Risk Advisory Services
• Securities & Finance • Statistical Sampling & Analysis •
Survey Research, Design, & Analysis • Telecommunications
• Transaction Advisory & M&A Support • Transfer Pricing •
Transport • Valuation • Water
THE STATS
E mployer Type: Subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc., a Public Company
Ticker Symbol: MMC (NYSE)
President: Dr. Andrew S. Carron
2010 Employees: 500+
2009 Employees: 600+
2009 Revenue: $1.25 billion*
2008 Revenue: $1.55 billion*
*All Marsh & McLennan Oliver Wyman Group divisions
UPPERS
• “Global presence”
• “Control of one’s own destiny”
• “Easy access and communication across the firm”
DOWNERS
• “Aloof partners”
• “Sharp dichotomy between senior and junior staff”
• “Overly siloed into practices”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.nera.com/216.htm
• “Brilliant”
• “Super niche”
• “Solid work product”
• “Too big; fiefdom”
NERA ECONOMIC CONSULTING
PRESTIGE
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Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
207
THE SCOOP
It’s the economy, stupid
NERA Economic Consulting makes its buck off understanding what many people can’t: the economy. The New York-based firm provides economic
advice, analysis, expert testimony and regulatory insight for clients throughout North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Employing more than
500 professionals, including 425 economists, the firm has been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony and policy recommendations for
government authorities and the world’s leading law firms and corporations for half a century. It specializes in bringing academic analysis, objectivity
and real-world industry experience to bear on issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance and litigation using hard
economic data to make its case, drawing on its professionals’ expertise in statistics, econometrics, game theory, mathematics and computer science.
A big umbrella
NERA was founded in 1961 as National Economic Research Associates by Dr. Jules Joskow—a professor of economics—and Dr. Irwin Stelzer, an
economist. In 1983, global professional services firm Marsh & McLennan bought out the firm, with Joskow staying on with the company under Marsh
& McLennan’s direction, and Stelzer acting as president for several years before he opted to strike out on his own. Today, NERA exists as a business
unit of Marsh & McLennan’s subsidiary the Oliver Wyman Group, operating alongside other Marsh & McLennan professional services units, such as
risk and reinsurance specialist Guy Carpenter, insurance broker and risk adviser Marsh and human resources solutions provider Mercer.
NERA know-how
Among NERA’s many service offerings, it is often called on for its antitrust capabilities. Respected and experienced in the world of antitrust and
competition authorities, clients call on NERA professionals to provide economic analysis and testimony on business issues related to mergers and
acquisitions, antitrust litigation and competition policy. Consultants are able to look at economic matters arising in antitrust cases and to help clients
deal with issues such as market definition and power, market structure and entry conditions, pricing, profitability and damages.
With total write-downs and losses stemming from the credit crisis reaching $1.8 trillion worldwide as of May 2010, financial institutions facing an
emerging regulatory and competitive environment come to NERA for assistance in securities and commercial disputes, market efficiency and trading
analysis, valuations of fixed-income and derivative products, and risk management. NERA also provides expert advice on commercial litigation and
damages. Consultants in this area provide analyses of clients’ competition, regulatory environment and management decisions; cost, pricing and
product strategies; risk management, business valuation and dispute avoidance—and if that doesn’t work—dispute resolution, among other services.
NERA is also deeply involved in climate change analysis. As policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are proposed and implemented, NERA
economists help government entities and companies understand the complex effects of those regulations, promote renewable energy and improve
energy efficiency.
Publish and be…recognized
Not surprisingly, for a company boasting a plethora of academics, NERA’s consultants like to publish their findings in formats that range from journal
and magazine articles to white papers and books. Interviews with NERA consultants also pop up regularly in publications the world over.
GETTING HIRED
The firm makes a point of only recruiting from “the most prestigious” of top undergraduate schools—almost to a fault. As one insider quips, “NERA
likes to look at top schools and pretend to be elitist.” Elitist or not, it is true that NERA looks for candidates with only the most distinguished academic
records; one insider quotes “3.4 or better” as an acceptable GPA for successful candidates. On campus, recruiters also look for detail-oriented
students who “don’t mind working long hours at a fast pace.” Graduates with an eye toward a PhD in economics are often looked upon favorably.
After screening, select candidates will be brought to the office for a Super Day of around four interviews, ranging in nature from conversational to coldly
analytic. As far as interviewers are concerned, it’s somewhat of a crapshoot. “It’s luck of the draw whom candidates interview with,” according to one
experienced consultant. “There are some people who conduct interviews who are out to make the candidate nervous and incompetent, while others
are much more pleasant and easygoing.”
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: It takes a certain type to be a NERA consultant—“nerdy” and “interested in applied microeconomics” are characteristics that
spring to mind—but if you’re a good fit, chances are you’ll be quite happy at the firm.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
NERA Economic Consulting
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Overall Satisfaction
• “If you are interested in applied microeconomics, there is no better place to work.” – Consultant
• “I’m extremely satisfied with my job at NERA. I’m very proud of the high-quality work we produce and the level of cases we take on. The work
is very interesting, and supervisors seem to really value our input on cases.” – Antitrust consultant
• “The firm is a meritocracy—you can accomplish whatever your preparation, luck and energy allow.” – Executive-level source
• “When it’s bad, it’s bad, but when it’s good, it’s great.” – New York staffer
Firm Culture
• “We have many introverts because of the nature of our business; some of my colleagues like to call it NERDA. The people can be awkward
at times, but in general they are very friendly, and people hang out after work for happy hour all the time. We recently got a ping-pong table,
which the researchers use often to stay awake if they have been looking at spreadsheets all day.” – D.C. staffer
• “The atmosphere is fairly collegial, and many of the researchers are very close friends. For the most part, the senior staff is also very
approachable and laid-back.” – Analyst
• “The culture is neo-academic.” – Executive-level source
• “People are friendly but maintain their distance. I don’t think there is any cohesion across different groups.” – Energy consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “I enjoy working with my supervisor. He does a good job making sure we are staying on task, but also not micromanaging.” – Associate analyst
• “It really depends on who your supervisor is. Some are more lenient, and some are very demanding.” – Midlevel source
Interaction with Clients
• “Clients vary widely by assignment. Some are great, some are more difficult.” – East Coast higher-up
• “The clients are usually very demanding and don’t always understand the data or time constraints.” – Antitrust consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Managers at NERA are generally understanding of outside commitments—that is, until things get busy. This can make work/life
balance seem like a pipe dream when deadlines come into play.
Work Hours
• “Most weeks are 40 to 50 hours, yet you occasionally have the 70- or 80-hour workweek.” – Senior consultant
• “The workload fluctuates depending on our client needs, but in general, if the head of your group is organized and can keep everyone busy at
all times, the workload doesn’t become too overwhelming.” – East Coast associate
• “Since the recession, work has been much slower. It means little to no bonus, but much less work.” – Experienced source
• “Extra work is generally well rewarded.” – Los Angeles consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “NERA rarely invades my life outside of work.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Seniors are generally fairly flexible with working hours, as long as you get your work finished on time. Everyone understands that you have
commitments outside of work, and they are, for the most part, willing to work with you.” – New York analyst
• “When there are deadlines, work takes priority and there is little sympathy for family obligations. When work is light, people are very
accommodating.” – Associate analyst
• “While they respect if you have a class or something at night, generally the attitude is that work comes first. If you go on vacation during a
deadline, you will be working from vacation or you may be asked to cancel it.” – San Francisco staffer
Travel Requirements
• “[Travel is] nearly nonexistent, except at senior levels.” – New York higher-up
• “Only the seniors travel for depositions and client meetings; usually the clients seem to come to us, or we talk on the phone using a conference
call or a video chat.” – Junior consultant
• “We travel only when it’s requested by client, and that is generally for short time periods. Occasionally a litigation engagement will require a
longer stay.” – Senior source
• “[I’ve] been on a plane for work about five times in four years.” – Boston insider
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
NERA Economic Consulting
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Compensation
• “It’s good compensation for the industry and economic climate.” – New York staffer
• “I think that NERA’s compensation regarding bonuses and utilization rates is similar to that of other firms. I am generally satisfied with the
salary and bonus.” – Analyst
• “While you do get paid well, you get paid the same if you work 40 or 80 hours a week. Technically, it should be reflected in your bonus, but
those have been cut back due to the financial crisis.” – San Francisco respondent
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: When training opportunities arise, NERA consultants are content with the typical content and volume. But when, like now, it gets
cut due to budgetary constraints, everyone loses.
Formal Training
• “Basic training is good and thorough, but most of the learning is on the job.” – Senior analyst
• “They used to have more training opportunities, but since the financial problems, this has been heavily cut back.” – IP consultant
• “[There is] next to no required in-class training. Optional courses are taught by senior employees, not academic/profession instructors, so I
think a lot is lost in the process.” – Midlevel source
Promotion Policies
• “It’s a well structured system, career-oriented and motivating. No up or out.” – Chicago higher-up
• “Almost all research associates (people who start right out of college) get promoted according to a fixed schedule: associate analyst after one
year, analyst after two years, and senior analyst after three-and-a-half years. If you want to rise to the title of consultant, several additional years
are required.” – Energy consultant
• “Without a PhD, you start to hit a ceiling after three or four years.” – Antitrust consultant
• “Consultants ultimately advance by being intellectually strong and bringing in business. To get to the highest position, you need to have your
own clients.” – Senior associate
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: NERA consultants are typically pleased with the diversity policies currently on the books, though the details seem to elude them.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Women occupy many of the top posts at NERA; women are also actively recruited.” – Antitrust consultant
• “I don’t think NERA has much of a diversity problem, since most people who are economic- or science-oriented tend to be minorities to begin
with.” – East Coast analyst
• “There are barely any GLBT employees at NERA; it’s an open and welcoming atmosphere though.” – Energy analyst
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: NERA is a prestigious firm with a respected name, which has certainly helped it through the tough economic climate. That, and
its niche focus on economics, of course. The firm is now looking to rebound strongly.
Overall Business Outlook
• “Our reputation and credibility position us well to grow following the current downturn.” – Senior analyst
• “The firm made strategic lateral hires through the recession, and our business was affected less than our peers. We’re poised to grow quickly
out of recession.” – Consultant
• “Some training programs are coming back, which is a good sign. Hiring is picking up again.” – IP analyst
• “Some groups are very busy—others, not so much. There will probably be a lot of turnover this year, which could be problematic for the busier
groups.” – Associate analyst
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The firm leadership has little idea about what is going on in the smaller offices.” – Consultant
• “We have strong governance processes and organizational discipline.” – Senior analyst
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
NERA Economic Consulting
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THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
37
100 Half Day Road
Lincolnshire, Illinois 60069
Phone: (847) 295-5000
Fax: (847) 295-7634
www.hewittassociates.com
LOCATIONS
Lincolnshire, IL (HQ)
110 offices in 33 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Actuarial • Communication/Employee Behavior Change
• Compensation & Rewards • Corporate Transactions
• Employee Engagement • Executive Compensation &
Corporate Governance • Global Risk Services • Health Care •
Human Resources Effectiveness • Investment • Leadership •
Retirement • Sales Effectiveness • Talent & Performance
UPPERS
• “Working for an industry leader”
• “Flexibility in work hours and being able to work from home”
• “I can wear jeans to work”
• “I have been able to work in different jobs in different areas
of the company”
DOWNERS
• “Unrealistic financial goals”
• “Time card system”
• “Lack of job security”
• “No more free food!”
THE STATS
Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: HEW (NYSE)
Chairman & CEO: Russell Fradin
2010 Employees: 23,000+
2009 Employees: 23,000
2009 Revenue: $3 billion
2008 Revenue: $3.2 billion
* In July 2010, Aon Corporation announced its acquisition of
Hewitt Associates for $4.9 billion. Hewitt will be merged with
Aon’s current consulting and outsourcing unit under the new
brand Aon Hewitt. The deal, which is expected to be finalized
by November 2010, is the largest in Aon’s history, and will
nearly triple the size of its HR operations, making it a $4.3
billion business by revenue.
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.hewitt.com/careers
• “Compensation experts”
• “Large and inflexible”
• “Widely used”
• “Recent college grads churn-and-burn”
HEWITT ASSOCIATES
PRESTIGE
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211
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Hewitt Associates
THE SCOOP
Resourceful human resources
Hewitt Associates is one of the world’s largest management consulting firms specializing in maximizing organizations’ investment in human resources
solutions. Its claim to fame: It is the world’s largest provider of benefits and multiservice HR business process outsourcing, and integrates HR
outsourcing and consulting. The firm’s 23,000 employees, working from 110 offices in 33 countries, serve more than 3,000 clients, which include
nearly two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies and more than a third of the Fortune Global 500.
Hewitt might be big, but it’s likable, too—nearly 95 percent of Hewitt’s largest clients have worked with the firm for at least five years. In fact, the firm
has been recognized as one of America’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine every year since 2004.
A list of firsts
The firm was founded in 1940 by Ted Hewitt as an insurance brokerage in a bank building in Lake Forest, Ill. As Hewitt Associates grew, so did its
expertise, and the firm pioneered a number of now-standard HR functions. In the 1940s, it designed the first noncontributory employee savings and
pension plan recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. In the 1950s, it was the first to measure ongoing investment performance for defined benefit
plans. In the 1960s, Hewitt was one of the first consulting firms to tie benefits and compensation to corporate goals and missions, communicating total
compensation as part of a business plan. In the 1970s, it designed the total compensation measurement methodology to gauge the value of salary
packages, and in the following decade it was the first to design a large employer 401(k) plan. In the 1980s, Hewitt created one of the first full-service,
outsourced benefits centers.
In 2000, Hewitt became the first firm to provide HR benefits process outsourcing services—including benefits, payroll, HR information systems,
recruiting, learning and other HR services—integrated with consulting expertise. Today, the firm provides services annually to more than 20 million
employees around the globe.
HR, covered
Hewitt’s business is broken down into three business segments: HR consulting services, HR benefits outsourcing services and integrated HR business
process outsourcing solutions. The firm works with clients to create and manage retirement programs; design and deliver health plans; help attract,
keep and reward the best employees; find ways to reduce HR costs; address HR and people issues in mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; administer
HR and Benefits programs; communicate and drive organizational behavior changes; and develop comprehensive HR solutions to improve clients’
bottom lines.
In 2009, Hewitt’s HR consulting business saw its revenue drop by 1 percent, after seeing it grow by 12 percent the previous year. The segment,
which comprises 33 percent of the firm’s total revenue, consists of four main practices: retirement and financial management, health management,
communication, and talent and organization consulting.
Making up slightly more than half of Hewitt Associates’ revenue in 2009, however, was its benefits outsourcing segment. The unit offers clients a
way to outsource their defined benefit, defined contribution, and health and welfare administration services, as well as absence management, flexible
spending and participant advocacy programs. Pulling up the rear in Hewitt’s 2009 ledger books was its HR BPO segment, which made up 16 percent
of revenue.
GETTING HIRED
For the people already at Hewitt, going public has changed much about the culture and relationships within the firm; for those hoping to join, change
has arrived as well. “Since they contracted out some of these functions,” says a midlevel consultant, “the quality of the candidate selection process
has suffered.” Before any prospective applicants rejoice over lower standards, they should be warned that Hewitt’s hiring process remains a “long
and difficult one”—the firm is still prestigious, which generally translates to extremely high demand for spots. Most applicants will not make it past
the screening stage; the firm looks for students with “strong performance in quantitative courses, such as accounting, economics and finance, with a
preference for candidates with dual major with liberal arts component.”
Pre-screened candidates can expect at least four behavioral interviews before approaching any sort of confirmation of their progress. The ensuing
decision process is quite lengthy (“it can be very frustrating”), often requiring the candidate to submit to further interviews or examinations. Well-
rounded candidates capable of becoming proficient generalist consultants will do well on the firm’s SAT-like aptitude tests. Once on board, new
consultants can either become Hewitt “lifers” immediately, or follow a more recent trend that has seen frustration get the best of associates: “They talk
about hiring the best, but turnover is 50 percent in the past three years,” vents a senior consultant. “And they continue to hire subpar!”
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OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: There’s no question that culture and satisfaction have been negatively impacted by the firm’s transition from a private to a public
entity. Perhaps it’s a testament to Hewitt’s past successes, then, that satisfaction among employees remains relatively high.
Overall Satisfaction
• “Hewitt is growing and changing, which has created a number of new opportunities for me (and others) during my 19 years here. I have worked
as a consultant, led a startup business, managed a practice, and worked in sales and account management. I’ve been able to travel globally
and domestically. I’ve had a very rewarding career.” – Manager
• “I knew on my second day of work that I’d be a lifer at Hewitt. The team structure promotes contact with other Hewitt associates, 98 percent of
which embody Hewitt’s ‘one firm’ mantra and work efficiently, together, to serve our clients.” – Senior consultant
• “Overall, it’s a good job. The work does become mundane at times. Hewitt’s consulting is based upon very cyclical work, so that is a cause for
repetitive assignments.” – Houston midlevel
• “Unfortunately, in the last few years, it’s been a waiting game to see which area of the company is going to have the next layoffs and whether
you’ll be next.” – Senior source
Firm Culture
• “No egos; all people work together as a team. Everyone is highly professional and motivated. The people are the real reason that people stay at
Hewitt.” – Finance consultant
• “We have a very cooperative, supportive culture. There is a strong norm to give the benefit of the doubt when you disagree, and to be very
supportive of others when they are performing well or when their performance falters.” – Executive-level insider
• “It’s changed since we went public—there’s much more focus on results versus effort, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It helps all of our
job security when we’re successful. Still, relative to other consulting firms, we hear we’re a much more collaborative place to work.” – Phoenix-
based higher-up
• “Hewitt’s culture within its consulting business could be described as disjointed and passive aggressive. Socially, employees do not care much
for one another and no camaraderie exists”. – Midlevel consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “One of Hewitt’s strengths is our managers. I have had a series of excellent managers who have pushed me to grow and mentored me toward
success.” – Senior source
• “I really don’t feel like my supervisor is my supervisor. He is just senior on the national legal team. Even corporate leadership is very
transparent and open. It is not unusual for a meeting to have a senior leader listening to an entry-level student.” – Litigation consultant
• “My supervisor goes out of her way to make sure I am included in communications, even though I work remotely. She is supportive and able to
both mentor and champion me.” – Chicago staffer
• “It’s very hit-or-miss with manager relationships. Again, we pay a lot of lip service to manager training and associate engagement, but I feel they
fall short once they reach the unit manager level.” – Senior consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “Client relationships are very strong—they appreciate our commitment to outstanding service and the value we can create.” – Midwest insider
• “I love two-thirds of my big clients. They are appreciative of my work and respectful of me and of my time. One-third isn’t as understanding,
but they are still good to work with.” – Consultant
• “In some cases, my client relationships have been developed over many years, and are more like a relationship with a co-worker working
toward a common goal. Others are still being developed, where client contacts have been changing, but have the potential for the same type of
relationship.” – Retirement consultant
• “If we could travel more to see our clients, as we used to do, I would have stronger relationships with my clients.” – Atlanta staffer
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: You won’t find too many “slept at work” horror stories here; Hewitt consultants typically work standard industry hours, with a bit of
extra flexibility built-in.
Work Hours
• “Half of the year I work 60 to 70 hours a week, and half of the year 40 to 50. So there’s a nice balance between the peak busy season and
having some more relaxed hours in other times of the year.” – New Jersey insider
• “Hewitt is very flexible in allowing consultants to work a fairly strict 40-hour workweek, or to work additional hours and be rewarded accordingly.”
– Midlevel source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Hewitt Associates
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “We do have a generational issue, where younger associates simply won’t work the hours that consultants have historically worked, and work
‘back-delegates’ to the more senior consultants.” – Connecticut higher-up
• “I’ve had many occasions where I’ve slept at work, or continuously worked for 45-plus hours.” – Technology consultant
Work/Life Balance
• “I can definitely balance work and life. The firm has given me a laptop so that I can work from home in an emergency, as well. This comes
in handy if my kids have to stay home because they’re sick. I am also pursuing a master’s degree, and this does not conflict with work.” –
Experienced consultant
• “I was considering working on my 30th birthday (which was a Saturday) to make things better in a few client situations. My family had flown out
to celebrate with me. Leadership worked very hard to make sure I at least took my birthday off to be with family and celebrate together. It really
made me feel like part of a team.” – Finance consultant
• “In my role, my hours are really dictated by my client’s needs. I am able to control my schedule to a great degree, allowing me great freedom.
I will say not all of my colleagues are able to do that due to the type of work they do. There is great disparity in this area due to the varied
demands of roles.” – Senior source
• “With fewer resources and ever-increasing focus on revenue growth, if one wants to do a good job and accomplish all that is asked, internally
and externally, it takes much more than a 40- to 45-hour work-week.” – Charlotte insider
Travel Requirements
• “Hewitt’s model does not involve a lot of on-site work with clients. We’re organized to serve mostly local markets and, when travel is required,
it’s usually a day trip or just one night away from home.” – Chicago higher-up
• “I used to travel one to two days per week, but when my home situation changed, my boss worked it out so someone else could take over my
territory so that I can stay home. Amazing flexibility and respect!” – Account manager
• “The more experienced consultants are expected to travel fairly regularly, but it is quite minimal for an entry student.” – Finance junior
• “The choice to travel is mine, as I believe it is what I need to do to make a difference at Hewitt.” – Strategy executive
Compensation
• “I am comfortable that the combination of base salary, variable pay and long-term incentives is competitive and generous.” – Executive source
• “At higher level pay grades, there are performance bonuses tied to the firm financials, the practice financials and the individual performance.” –
Midlevel consultant
• “I had two offers on the table and choose this one because I was told the annual increase would range anywhere from 5 to 10 percent by the
recruiter. Once getting in and going through my first review cycle, I was informed that in some lines of the business that was true, but not in the
one I worked in. Annual increases have forced me to fall well below my expectation.” – Houston analyst
• “Hewitt is not known for their compensation. We typically underpay our associates and try to get the most bang for our buck. As a recruiter, I
spend more time negotiating offers with the business than closing a deal.” – Experienced consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Insiders tend to feel that Hewitt University and other formal training initiatives are little more than that: a formality.
Formal Training
• “I’m an actuarial student, and the company provides all the necessary training materials and fees.” – Analyst
• “They mention Hewitt University all the time, but I still don’t see how it pertains to my role. My manager hasn’t mentioned training at all.” –
Senior consultant
• “Training? Hah! It’s minimal, and more often learn by doing or by making mistakes. Basically, it’s online and you must find what you need
yourself. There is mentoring, but you need to identify what you need and who can help you.” – Midlevel source
• “Jump right in and get your feet wet.” – Entry-level staffer
Promotion Policies
• “Hewitt is a relatively flat organization. I value the opportunity to create my own path, which is highly valued at Hewitt. My supervisors have
always been great advocates for me as I strive toward a subject matter expert position, rather than a traditional people management path.” –
Midlevel consultant
• “In general, we have moved to a more performance-based system, and have moved people out who have not been successful. If the consultant
is good with clients, works well internally and makes his numbers, he doesn’t have anything to worry about.” – Senior source
• “Hewitt strongly believes in promoting from within, however the process of finding opportunities and getting through the HR red tape can be
daunting.” – Senior consultant
• “Promotion is completely at the manager’s whim.” – Operations consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Hewitt Associates
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Insiders tell us the firm does a good, earnest job of promoting a tolerant, open-minded workplace.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “Diversity is widely and effectively promoted at Hewitt Associates; I know, being a minority myself.” – Chicago midlevel
• “Fifty percent of the Greater Toronto workforce was born outside Canada; I’m confronted daily with the excellence of Hewitt’s diversity
initiatives.” – Senior consultant
• “Some programs may not be as formal as in other companies, but at Hewitt they don’t need to be—everyone is equal and performance is what
matters.” – Executive-level source
• “Offering on-site child care would be extremely beneficial in helping improve women’s positions. I’ve seen many women leave the firm to
become stay-at-home moms.” – Entry-level analyst
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Hewitt has certainly seen better days, but ultimately it belongs among the top tier of international consulting firms. Its
performance in 2010 and beyond should affirm this notion.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We have done the hard work to reform our culture to fit the public company we’ve become in the competitive landscape we have.” – Atlanta
senior
• “In a number of practice areas, I feel Hewitt is at the leading edge. For example, our work in helping clients change their HR operations to
meet the talent challenges is unique among our competitors.” – Experienced consultant
• “Employee morale is on its way up. There seems to be a lot of client interest in our products right now. I think we’re in a much better position
this year than last.” – Midlevel staffer
• “We are facing increasing competition and need to find better ways of differentiating ourselves. We have been trying to do this for years and
have not seemed to get there.” – Midwest insider
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “From our CEO down (he has a blog he updates regularly), I am confident the leadership is looking for ways to deliberately grow and produce
value to shareholders, solid, desired products and methods to clients, and a great place to work for associates.” – Legal consultant
• “Our current CEO, Russ Fradin, is a very competent leader, and I have full faith in his ability to lead us through the economic situations.” –
Senior source
• “We have a strong leadership team that is focused on making us as successful as possible. They delegate responsibility to the business
leaders, and reward successful performance.” – Health care executive
• “At times I believe leadership looks only at the bottom line and not at how to keep associates motivated and engaged.” – Chicago higher-up
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Hewitt Associates
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
215
38
BATES WHITE
1300 Eye Street, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 408-6110
Fax: (202) 408-7838
www.bateswhite.com
LOCATIONS
Washington, DC (HQ)
San Diego, CA
PRACTICE AREAS
Antitrust & Competition • Communications & Media • Energy
• Environmental & Product Liability • Finance • Healthcare
• Intellectual Property • International Arbitration • Labor &
Employment
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Chairman: Charles E. Bates
Managing Partner: David DeRamus
2010 Employees: 150
2009 Employees: 175+
UPPERS
• “Very academic atmosphere”
• “No ‘eat what you kill’ compensation structure”
• “Being able to work across practices”
• “Strong sense of teamwork”
DOWNERS
• “Unresponsive career mentors”
• “There is a limited amount of client interaction”
• “ Whatever the client wants, the client gets—no matter how
ridiculous”
• “Has become more bureaucratic as it has gotten larger”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.bateswhite.com/careers.php
• “Quant economics”
• “Nerdy”
• “High pay”
• “Committed a huge blunder by growing too quickly and
overpaying for talent”
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Bates White
THE SCOOP
The sum of diverse parts
Bates White is a small, two-office consultancy specializing in economics, finance and business strategy. The company’s professional staff—among
them economists, econometricians, financial analysts and IT specialists—provide law firms, corporations and government entities with economic
analysis to help address complex litigation and business challenges.
The firm is uniquely focused on the cultivation of diversity within its ranks. In the first decade since its founding in 1999, it established a diversity/
inclusion council that tests, implements and evaluates initiatives aimed at the heterogeneous widening of the staff and corporate culture, and ensures
that all employees, regardless of their differences, have opportunities to learn, develop and contribute to the firm’s success. Employees come from
an array of ethnicities and backgrounds, having been recruited from many different institutions and an alphabet soup of academic fields, including
biology, business administration, chemistry, economics, engineering, finance, mathematics, physics, political science, and statistics. Their linguistic
capabilities include Czech, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Nepali, Persian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and
Turkish.
Primo pedigree
Co-founders Charles Bates and Halbert White set the bar as high for excellence as they do for diversity. Bates, now chairman, was formerly a vice
president at A.T. Kearney, and prior to that he served as a partner at KPMG, overseeing the economic analysis group. He led the firm’s 1999 team
working on behalf of class plaintiffs in the largest price fixing case in U.S. history, In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation. Bates and his team proved that vitamin
manufacturers conspired throughout the 1990s to inflate product prices. He has testified in a variety of forums, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary
Committee, Federal Bankruptcy Court, United States Tax Court, California Supreme Court and arbitration hearings.
White, chief scientist of the company, carries an equally distinguished, though more rigorously academic, background. Also a professor of economics
at the University of California at San Diego, his works of scholarship include more than 100 articles and books. Known for his expertise in econometrics,
predictive modeling and artificial neural networks, White has merited inclusion in Who’s Who in the World. He is, additionally, a fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow and a fellow of the Econometric Society. As an economic theorist, White has achieved a level
of notoriety that borders on ubiquity; based on a September 2006 citation analysis of peer-reviewed economics literature, a 1980 paper of White’s
emerged in 4,318 citations, making it the most referenced work on economics from the last 35 years.
Experts at antitrust
The vitamin antitrust case was not just a feather in the firm’s cap—it was an early foray into what has become Bates White’s strongest practice area.
The company’s squad of antitrust professionals, on which there are more than 50 PhDs, advises clients on case development and strategy, evaluating
economic arguments with regard to evidence and analyzing the likelihood of litigation or settlement. Despite having been in business for only 11
years, the firm has been involved in some of the highest-profile antitrust cases in history, tackling and, in some cases, helping to define issues of
monopolization, cartel activity, pricing, damages and liability, class certification, mergers and acquisitions, and competition suppression.
GETTING HIRED
With its focus on data-intensive consulting, recruiters are on the hunt for recent graduates or industry professionals with highly relevant experience.
“The primary focus in hiring [students for summer positions or recent graduates for consulting positions] is on the relevance of the major (economics,
mathematics, statistics, and engineering are in particularly high demand) and the GPA,” an insider says of the firm’s undergraduate hiring practices.
The firm seeks individuals who are creative, motivated by intellectually stimulating work and possess strong leadership skills.
To kick off the process, prospectives submit “resumes, cover letters, transcripts and writing samples, which we review and conclude whether the
person will receive a first-round interview.” Successful applicants will be invited for a day’s worth of on-site interviews, which span the typical range of
behavioral and hands-on case examinations. While the process isn’t exceptionally rigorous, success only means being hired in a summer or entry-level
consultant position. From there, it’s up to the fledgling consultant to prove his worth in the industry at large.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: The variety of work might not be as broad as some would hope for, but to be a Bates White consultant is to work in a perfectly
agreeable setting with similarly congenial colleagues.
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Overall Satisfaction
• “I find my work to be very fulfilling. I have been staffed on the same variety of case for the duration of my time at Bates White. This sounds
like it could be a recipe for boredom and discontent, but my continuing evolution as a consultant and escalation of responsibilities ensures that I
enjoy coming to work every day.” – Senior source
• “Bates White has been great. I really enjoy the people that I work with and, on the whole, the work can be pretty stimulating. Sometimes it gets
repetitive, but for the most part, I’m doing new things.” – Consultant
• “The quality, quantity, and overall enjoy-ability of the work varies highly from project to project; but overall, the firm is a pleasant place to work.”
– Entry-level insider
• “People here want to not only do good work, but also to figure out how to make it an even better place to work.” – Senior consultant
Firm Culture
• “One of Bates White’s strongest traits is its open-door culture. Being able to talk to practically any of my co-workers, be it about work or more
personal matters, is incredibly reassuring.” – Junior source
• “Co-workers are very friendly and people have a cooperative attitude. There is no cutthroat competition here, and there are many opportunities
to get together with other employees outside of work. The firm also promotes a number of community-oriented service activities.” – Health care
insider
• “We have firmwide] basketball teams, Frisbee teams, happy hours, office parties, and an endless stream of charitable events.” – Consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “I love my managers. Everyone is very approachable and tries to constructively educate, as opposed to bring you down.” – Associate
• “My supervisors provide me with feedback regularly and respect my work. There is a strong sense of empowerment among my peers and I.” –
Entry-level insider
• “My supervisors are generally useful and available. But often they aren’t good at communicating their needs or periods when they won’t be
available.” – Experienced staffer
Interaction with Clients
• “Client interaction is somewhat limited—there is [not a lot of] client interaction between junior staff and the clients on large engagements.” –
Midlevel source
• “The one thing that I would change is for more client interaction at an entry level.” – Antitrust consultant
• “Bates White typically has very strong relationships with just a few key clients in each practice area.” – Consultant
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Overall, consultants feel that their work schedules are reasonable. What stands out here is the very limited nature of the firm’s
travel requirements; most travel is relegated to the higher-ups, while consultants fulfill assignment needs on their home turf.
Work Hours
• “Work hours vary widely depending on particular engagements. The official stance of the firm is 50 hours a week, but working weekends/nights
during busy points in a project is often required. However, when things slow down, it is usually acceptable to take off early or give yourself a
long weekend.” – Bates White higher-up
• “Project crunch time can be rough, but otherwise work is very flexible and the hours are not generally bad.” – San Diego midlevel
• “Overall, the managers expect the consultants to step up when the work demands it, but they do try and rotate big projects so you aren’t at red
line all the time.” –Consultant
• “A pleasant upside is the fact that there is no set 9-to-5-type workday; employees are expected to arrive no later than 10 a.m. and leave no
earlier than 4 p.m., but otherwise, they are largely free to determine their own schedule.” – First-year insider
Work/Life Balance
• “My weekends are almost always free, and assuming that I get in at 8 a.m., I am usually off from work by 7 p.m., with no extra work to do at
home.” – East Coast staffer
• “The firm is willing to work to accommodate strong candidates’ needs and be flexible on hours. There is not a formal flex-hour program, but
[there’s] a strong informal culture of project teams working together to figure out a program that works.” – Senior consultant
• “The firm’s hours requirements strain this balance. In the heat of litigation, hours can balloon and it becomes even harder.” – Consultant
• “There are slow times and peak times. Peak times always happen during holidays, weekends and late in the afternoon. This is the nature of
the job.” – Junior source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Bates White
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Travel Requirements
• “There is no travel at all required at the consultant level, and only minimal travel for client meetings at the very top levels of the firm.” – Entry-
level consultant
• “Most of our work is done in the office. We do not staff employees at client sites. Travel generally is limited to more senior management who
attend meetings with clients, depositions and trials.” – Senior consultant
• “Little travel is required. Maybe quick day trips to somewhere close. I’ve been overseas a couple of times in the last couple of years. These
trips are usually short.” – Experienced staffer
• “I wish I could travel more.” – Junior source
Compensation
• “My compensation is certainly competitive, if not extremely generous.” – Energy-sector source
• “I am paid well enough to live a comfortable life in Washington, D.C., and still have savings for future investments.” – Associate
• “As an economic consulting company, the firm has spent time and figured out fair incentives that provide proper motivation.” – Consultant
• “I feel like I am paid fairly. At the same time, I know of colleagues who have departed and in doing so secured raises of 20 to 30 percent.” –
Senior staffer
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Formal training isn’t a big part of Bates White’s M.O., but that follows suit with the firm’s noncompetitive ethos. “You are welcome
to stay for as long as you are a productive consultant,” one respondent articulates.
Formal Training
• “The first week at Bates White is nothing but official training. It is pretty much a crash course on everything that could be useful to someone
starting at the company—everything from statistical software training to the basics of litigation to research materials that are available and how to
access them.” – First-year
• “The firm cannot offer as much formal training as some other large institutions, but it has worked to put a more robust program in place.
Moreover, there is a strong culture of direct mentorship that makes up for this.” – East Coast source
• “There is a flurry of training that starts when an employee starts, but beyond that there are very few formal training opportunities. The firm is
small, so people generally learn on the job.” – Senior consultant
• “Most of our training is on the job. We clearly could do more here.” – Consultant
Promotion Policies
• “The firm consistently recognizes and promotes talented individuals who have demonstrated the skills necessary for increased responsibility.” –
Environmental consultant
• “Historically, the firm has had a very rapid promotion cycle. More recently, the business environment has slowed the promotion cycle, but I
believe it is still comparable to our competitors, if not accelerated. The firm does not believe in up-or-out policies.” –Executive-level respondent
• “There is an effort to rationalize promotions, which is somewhat successful.” – Midlevel source
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Bates White suffers from the typical lack of diversity seen throughout the industry. The institutional effort to foster diversity is
there, but few minorities or women advance high up in the ranks.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “I know a number of GLBT individuals at the firm, as well as minorities, and I have encountered no problems with regard to discrimination or a
hostile work environment.” – Midlevel respondent
• “Bates White has an internal diversity council that helps shape and facilitate policies to ensure diversity and inclusion in hiring, promotion and
day-to-day work issues.” – Financial consultant
• “I think we do reasonably well on diversity metrics. More and more female managers and principals have developed during my tenure here.
We don’t have a lot of minorities in management positions.” – D.C. midlevel
• “We don’t have many women or minorities [at the highest ranks], but I don’t think that’s the firm’s fault. I think it more has to do with the
nature of our business and the typical people drawn to it.” – Economic consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Bates White’s status as a privately held firm was a major factor in its survival through volatile market conditions. This will continue
to act as a shield as the company seeks to grow and diversify in the future.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Bates White
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Overall Business Outlook
• “Prospects are improving and we are set for success for the second half of 2010.” – Consultant
• “The fact that Bates White is privately held is a big benefit to the firm in terms of being able to focus a little more on the long run instead of
short-term performance. Hence, the firm is, in my opinion, well-suited to both weather the downturn and take advantage of any increase in
activity.” – Midlevel source
• “Layoffs in 2009 significantly weakened employee morale in a firm that had previously built a very strong workplace culture. Still the firm may
be better positioned than competitors to rebound because of the small size and flexible business model.” – Consultant
• “The firm as a whole will probably do fine, but there will be variation by practice area.” – Energy executive
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The firm’s leadership is always looking to improve the organization and management of the firm. They are very responsive to introspection and
feedback, which is one of our greatest strengths.” – Executive source
• “Partners are very candid regarding the firm’s prospects and hold open Q&A sessions with employees semiannually.” – D.C. business advisor
• “They seem to have a good handle on where the problems are and what to do about them. Some of them could do a better job of retaining
business, but for the most part, we have enough healthy practice areas to keep the firm going.” – Senior consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Bates White
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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570 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10022
Phone: (212) 644-2300
Fax: (212) 644-2320
www.pearlmeyer.com
LOCATIONS
New York, NY (HQ)
Atlanta, GA
Boston, MA
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
Los Angeles, CA
San Jose, CA
PRACTICE AREAS
Compensation Surveys • Director Compensation • Employee
Compensation • Executive Compensation
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
President & CEO: David N. Swinford
2010 Employees: 100+
2009 Employees: 100+
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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PEARL MEYER & PARTNERS, LLC
39
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Managers that fight for team members”
• “Flexibility in work schedule, telecommuting”
DOWNERS
• “Disconnect with promotions and pay increases”
• “Few MDs are good mentors because they don’t have the
time”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.pearlmeyer.com/firm/careers
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THE SCOOP
How much are you worth?
For more than two decades, Pearl Meyers & Partners (PM&P) has provided compensation consulting services and compensation survey data to clients
ranging from Fortune 500s to emerging, high-growth companies and not-for-profits. At a time when executive pay is under the regulatory microscope
and shareholders are demanding more value for their money, PM&P promises a comprehensive approach to compensation planning. The firm’s
100-plus professionals work with boards and senior management to create reward strategies and broad-based compensation programs for employees
and sales professionals.
All of the firm’s core practices deal with compensation, with consulting services that range from compensation strategy design to implementation and
communication of pay programs. Capabilities include compensation philosophy and guiding principles, salary programs, annual short-term and long-
term incentives, value creation and performance measurement, contracts, severance agreements, change-in-control arrangements, equity programs,
competitive intelligence and compensation surveys. The firm also conducts extensive research, ensuring that it can serve as an up-to-date resource
with trustworthy benchmarking.
Winding path to PM&P
PM&P was founded in 1989 and acquired in 2000 by Clark Consulting. Seven years later, in March 2007, AEGON N.V., a Dutch life insurance and
pension group, bought out Clark Consulting. Under a special asset exchange agreement between Clark Consulting and AEGON, PM&P and other
divisions that had been part of Clark Consulting were sold to Clark Wamberg, LLC, an investor group created to absorb the former Clark Consulting
assets made up of Clark Consulting executives Tom Wamberg, Jim Benson and Ken Kies. Once the M&A dust settled, in May 2007, David N. Swinford,
then head of PM&P’s New York office, succeeded Joseph R. Rich as the firm’s CEO and president.
Lay of the land
Knowing what your competition is paying its executives and employees is important to keep the right people in the right jobs. PM&P’s compensation
survey practice publishes the CHiPS compensation survey series, managed surveys, as well as custom surveys. The CHiPS family of surveys are
broad studies that provide data on segments of the employee population, such as recent college grads, customer-focused positions and, of course,
upper-level executives and managers. Managed surveys look at specialized job areas, such as scientists and engineers, or salaries within outsourcing
environments. PM&P’s custom surveys are usually designed to tackle a single organization’s unique employee population segments, which may have
unique credentials or backgrounds that would make benchmarking difficult. PM&P also conducts custom surveys; for example, a company employing
a large number of expatriates, or with positions requiring high skill and experience, may require a more focused or specialized competitive assessment.
All surveys are available in print and online formats.
A recognized resource
A longtime provider of compensation information and services, industry professionals have come to rely on PM&P for its expertise and advice, which the
firm offers via research reports, articles and white papers, “As We See It” perspective pieces on industry trends and client alerts, which offer technical
advice on compensation developments in the disclosure, tax and accounting areas.
PM&P consultants also regularly participate in industry events and conferences, and are regularly quoted in industry publications—such as Directorship,
Workspan, Compliance Week, Financial Week, Pension & Benefits Daily and CFO—and in mainstream media, such as AP, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek,
the New York Post, and the Washington Post.
GETTING HIRED
As PM&P grows in size and reputation, it’s becoming more difficult for candidates to make the cut. That said, opportunities exist for the talented,
well-rounded candidate. Candidates can expect a “straightforward” and “very organized interview and selection process”—a real perk considering
the hoops applicants are required to jump through elsewhere. Two to three interviews complete the process, and entail position-specific evaluations
(including the Microsoft Office basics), as well as several high-level case studies.
Successful candidates will know their fate quickly; “with only one HR person in the entire firm, our response rate to candidates is exceptional,” one
recent hire attests.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Pearl Meyer is a small firm with typical small-firm challenges. But a lot of good comes from staying small, too; this firm is a first-
rate example of that.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Overall Satisfaction
• “I work with talented professionals on interesting projects.” – Senior consultant
• “Pearl Meyer & Partners has an extensive knowledge and understanding about its people. Our primary focus is providing a flexible work
environment where employees feel they can take time for personal needs. We have incredible management overseeing each office location.” –
East Coast staffer
• “I enjoy the work. However, I am rarely updated on the final recommendations or briefed on the meetings that were attended.” – HR consultant
Firm Culture
• “The culture is social, nonpolitical and professional. Our office holds luncheons/parties for special events such as baby showers, birthdays, etc.
The firm’s senior leadership works well together and makes a real effort to treat the employees well and give them the resources/tools to advance
within the profession.” –New York higher-up
• “We enjoy working together on project work, and we can enjoy each other’s company in social settings while discussing the latest “American”
Idol and other prime-time shows over lunch. We are uniquely positioned in that we have a generous size of employees, but not overly populated
to the point where we feel like a number.” – Midlevel consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “Relationships with my supervisors are great. I wouldn’t want to work for anyone else.” – Junior source
• “Everyone has a different managing style, so it is very important to make the adjustment with who you are working with.” – Analyst
Interaction with Clients
• “The relationships I have with clients are very strong. I have the real benefit of working with extremely talented clients and business leaders.” –
Senior consultant
• “As a junior, I don’t really work closely with clients, but when I do have interaction, it is uniformly pleasant.” – Associate
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Pearl Meyer consultants enjoy the benefits of having responsive, flexible managers, not to mention reasonable schedules and
compensation packages.
Work Hours
• “I am very happy with just working my 40 hours and the ability to go home at 5 p.m. every night, with minimal interruptions to that schedule.” –
Associate
• “Hours fluctuate based on seasonality—we’re very busy from September through February.” – Charlotte insider
Work/Life Balance
• “It hasn’t been a problem during the holidays or any time to take off time to spend with my family.” – Senior consultant
• “It is understood that a lot of the work can be executed remotely and at all hours. As long as the work gets done, management is flexible.” – HR
consultant
• “I am expected to be responsive via my BlackBerry when I’m out of the office.” – Entry-level analyst
Travel Requirements
• “Minimal travel is required, unless you’re a managing director. Our day-to-day client interaction is generally conducted by phone and email.” –
Junior source
• “Most meetings are local to the office location. We also have offices spread out in the country so that travel isn’t often necessary.” – Analyst
Compensation
• “The firm recognizes the importance of morale and motivating the employees. Even in an economic downturn, compensation was generous and
fair.” – Midlevel staffer
• “Our base salary pay is very competitive. Our bonuses are completely discretionary—I have no idea how they’re calculated, which is not
motivating.” – Financial consultant
• “The firm did not have a good year last year and, as a result, bonuses were extremely low.” – New York analyst
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: The few opportunities that exist are often outdated, impersonal or tricky to access.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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Formal Training
• “There are a few resources, but most seem somewhat outdated. I would say I have learned the most on the job, which has been held up when
there aren’t projects for me to work on. I wish I had access to a mentor or more official training resources.” – Analyst
• “The training offerings can definitely be better. Most senior-level staff prefer not to spend much time training the junior analysts.” – Midlevel
consultant
• “The company will cover expenses associated with professional coursework and exams.” – Los Angeles insider
Promotion Policies
• “They do a great job acknowledging the work you contribute, and they promote often.” – Senior consultant
• “The promotion policy is based on established criteria by position level. However, the promotion is not time-based. Some people advance very
quickly based on their ability to do superior consulting work.” – East Coast consultant
• “The promotion policy across all offices is very inconsistent.” – Consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: The firm doesn’t incorporate diversity into recruitment principles, but it goes out of its way to provide flexible options for
international and minority employees.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “We are an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate and believe in modern-day ideals. We celebrate everyone as an individual and
have respect embedded in our culture.” – Senior consultant
• “This firm has been extremely generous as it relates to women and minorities and any special requests that people may have. We have a
number of people that have family in India, and the firm has allowed people to go and work and take extended leaves. If someone would like to
move, they have allowed people to work from their homes or out of the country.” – Boston staffer
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Pearl Meyer is favorably poised to gain some weight after 2009 favored a leaner organization. Respondents seem to agree that
the firm has a bright future ahead.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We are hiring right now to replace positions lost during 2009. Business has definitely picked up and we are in a great position right now. The
future is looking bright.” – Midlevel consultant
• “This firm has had more business than staff to keep up. I feel that the next 12 months will continue to be the same.” – Analyst
• “We’ve been around for 20 years and will continue to be around for a lot longer.” – Senior consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Our leadership team has been challenged through economic hard times, yet they seem to steer the ship in all the right directions.” – HR
consultant
• “We are well positioned because of our independence and strong brand name.” – Experienced midlevel
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC
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career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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8 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, New York 10532
Phone: (877) 988 2100 or +44 (0) 1344 601324
www.quintiles.com/consulting
LOCATIONS
Hawthorne, NY
Boston, MA
Amsterdam
London
Parent company Quintiles Transnational Corp. has offices in
more than 50 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Market Access • Market Intelligence • Product Development &
Commercialization • Regulatory & Quality
THE STATS
Employer Type: Division of Quintiles Transnational Corp.
Chairman & CEO: Dennis Gillings
Division President: Jay Norman
2010 Employees: 350
2009 Employees: 350
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
224
QUINTILES CONSULTING
40
PRESTIGE
RANKING
UPPERS
• “Supported by a large and thriving company”
• “Broad reach of capabilities and geographic location”
• “All the perks of a large organization without the politics”
DOWNERS
• “Senior staff is inexperienced”
• “Arbitrary bonus decisions”
• “Krill in the ocean among the whales”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.quintiles.com/careers
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THE SCOOP
Quintiles’ quest
A division of global pharmaceutical services company Quintiles Transnational, Quintiles Consulting works with life sciences companies to maximize
potential and minimize risk through expert strategic, operational and technical advice. It leverages knowledge of clinical development and regulatory
and commercialization processes to swiftly transition products from discovery to development to market. These capabilities are clearly reflected in
its practice areas, which include product development and commercialization, regulatory and quality, market intelligence and market access. Since
October 2007, the division has been led by President Jay Norman, former chief operating officer and president of Diamond Management & Technology
Consultants and one of Consulting magazine’s top-25 consultants in 2006.
Good genes
Quintiles Transnational was founded in 1982 by then-University of North Carolina biostatistics professor Dennis Gillings, who got his idea for the firm in
1974 when he helped a European multinational pharmaceutical company with product analysis. His brainchild was eventually incorporated in North
Carolina as Quintiles Transnational, whose name comes from an abbreviation of quantitative information in the life and environmental sciences.
Quintiles Consulting came about in 1998. Its aim of being advice-givers to the world’s biggest pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies
is helped in no small way by its association with Quintiles Transnational, which has assisted in the development or marketing of all of the world’s
30 best-selling drugs. The consulting division sells itself by promoting its access to the insights and expertise of its parent company, as well as to
Innovex, Quintiles’ commercial group that provides primary care, specialty and secondary care sales and marketing strategies, sales representatives
recruitment, and training, and to NovaQuest, Quintiles’ division specializing in developing managed, peer-to-peer partnerships for pharmaceutical and
biotech companies.
Batter up
Companies in need of a home run look to Quintiles’ roster of former FDA and EU regulatory officials and industry veterans for consulting advice.
Since its founding, Quintiles Consulting has expanded from a traditional regulatory practice to a strategic management consulting firm. Its product
development and commercialization practice area offers process optimization, portfolio strategy, and due diligence and partnering services, while its
market access practice area provides insight into pharmaceuticals markets worldwide, helping clients determine early on which products or services
work best with which customers in which markets, using market research data. With the May 2008 acquisition of Eidetics, the firm’s market intelligence
practice offers services such as product positioning analysis, market landscape assessments, clinical trial readiness analysis and portfolio management
(segmentation) analysis.
Quintiles Consulting has also continued to offer first-rate regulatory and quality management services to clients, including preclinical and product
development strategy, documentation, submissions, quality systems, supplier qualifications and post-marketing surveillance services.
GETTING HIRED
While other firms tend to stick to undergraduate all-stars and recruit on campus, Quintiles prefers to tap into the market for experienced professionals.
“We tend to hire those with deeper industry experience than most,” a consultant notes, also revealing the firm’s preference for MBAs and PhDs. “You
need a proven track record and ambition,” adds another.
Initially successful applicants are treated to a “very intense” and “extremely long” interview process that includes at least three rounds of interviews.
Patience is a real virtue here—we’re told that candidates might expect the entire process to take, “from first phone interview to offer, around six
months.” As the rounds progress, candidates will meet a multitude of current associates and leadership, ultimately presenting a case study to a group
of potential colleagues. Other common examinations include an in-person writing sample and a host of analytical and quantitative skills challenges.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Consultants are quick to point out Quintile’s “growing pains” as it transitions under a new national banner, but are even quicker to
point to their overall satisfaction and their affinity for the firm’s values.
Overall Satisfaction
• “I am highly satisfied with the pace and workload. I am encouraged by the level of professionalism and knowledge of the industry of my peers.”
– Midlevel consultant
• “While most companies are taking out their economic malaise on their employees, Quintiles is a breath of fresh air.” – Senior source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Quintiles Consulting
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “I love this company. However, we’re going through a transition period since we were acquired by Quintiles Transnational in 2008, and I’m
unsure of how things will turn out in the end.” – Boston insider
• “The company is in its growing-pains stage, which impacts the overall satisfaction relative to more established firms. But, overall, this is a great
place to work.” – Entry-level respondent
Firm Culture
• “The culture is friendly and accomplished. We have a hardworking, very smart staff across several office locations, including international
colleagues—and remote staff makes a collegial atmosphere a must if you are to get anything done.” – Senior consultant
• “Everyone works hard and is more than willing to help a fellow analyst or manager in need. Many people are friends outside of the office, and
we tend to do some trivia nights at least once per month.” – East Coast analyst
• “I have regular, stimulating water-cooler conversations with well-seasoned consultants.” – Analyst
• “To date, the interaction between us and other divisions has been less than ideal. To be fair, part of this is due to the challenge of merging our
previously independent company into the broader Quintiles Consulting. Senior management has been working hard lately to improve the social
and professional interaction between divisions.” – Boston midlevel
Supervisor Relationships
• “I have the utmost respect for my supervisor and have been supported both professionally and personally, to the extent that I would say he has
been the best supervisor of my career.” – Senior consultant
• “My relationship with my supervisor is ideal! My supervisor is very highly respected and a person of integrity and exceptional knowledge,
experience and ability. My supervisor and I can be very candid with each other, learn from each other and have very high respect for each
other.” – Midlevel source
Interaction with Clients
• “Clients love that we can ‘do and think,’ seeing this as differentiated from ‘pure thinking.’” – New York higher-up
• “Much of our work comes from repeat clients, and it is quite satisfying to develop an ongoing relationship with some clients. Doing so makes
me feel more like a research partner rather than just another vendor.” – Analyst
• “While, on rare occasions, a client might voice frustration, or I might become frustrated with the client, these rare instances have been quickly
resolved with prompt and frank discussion.” – Maryland insider
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Scheduling demands are expectedly rigorous at Quintiles, but leadership has proven to be flexible, even allowing some
consultants to work from home.
Work Hours
• “Hours are long, but leading-edge work and stimulating colleagues make them pass quickly.” – Midlevel consultant
• “I recently returned to work from maternity leave, and was able to negotiate a 30-hours-per-week schedule.” – East Coast insider
• “As a home-based employee, I appreciate the flexibility Quintiles allows me in choosing my work hours.” – Senior source
• “It’s difficult to avoid early-morning, night and weekend hours, given workload and global clients.” – Analyst
Work/Life Balance
• “Quintiles staff are extremely adept at using work-from-home technology. I feel comfortable asking my boss not to schedule events when they
interfere with significant personal issues. Senior folks make a point of not responding to nonessential emails at night, and especially over the
weekend.” – Senior consultant
• “So long as your work is done on time and to the quality that is expected, how and when you do it is flexible enough to balance nonwork
demands.” – Boston analyst
• “I am driving the intensity of my workload, so I can ramp up and down as needed.” – New York insider
• “When I’m busy, I don’t have much time for anything else during the week, other than going to the gym in the mornings. Sometimes you can’t
do everything that you want during the week, but people around here are flexible if you have other things going on.” – First-year
Travel Requirements
• “This is probably the biggest area for improvement. In this day and age, it is no longer necessary to spend four days per week at a client site for
the long term.” – New York midlevel
• “While I personally do little travel, I am an exception. Most staff travel fairly frequently, with international travel around 20 percent of the total.” –
Senior consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Quintiles Consulting
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “The travel is project dependent. You may travel for two weeks to Europe, but then be back in the office for six months. Client visits are
generally at least once per month, and may require an overnight.” – Consultant
• “The 3/4/5 (three nights away/four days onsite/fifth day at home) policy is promoted by management and appreciated by staff. Often, less travel
is necessary.” – Senior source
Compensation
• “I am very happy with my overall compensation, bonuses and utilization rate.” – New York insider
• “Salaries are competitive. Bonuses are tied to overall company performance and are often generous. Executives have, in the past, been entitled
to additional financial incentives.” – Senior consultant
• “Base and bonus is good, but the lack of equity is a bit of a knock. Most private firms have some kind of profit sharing or private equity, but
Quintiles does not have anything in this area. This was a major minus against Quintiles when I was evaluating it against another job offer.” –
Executive-level respondent
• “In my role, I feel undercompensated for the various responsibilities I have. This is in the process of getting that remedied. I attribute it on the
state of transition we are in, and there has been a delay in my compensation due to it.” – Experienced staffer
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Everyone seems to have a different reason for why they are disappointed by the firm’s training efforts, but the bottom line is that
the offerings are largely inapplicable or difficult to access.
Formal Training
• “Quintiles has training through a mix of in-person events, web-based events and self-directed training through our QZone portal.” – Senior
consultant
• “There’s a lot of opportunity, there’s just not always the time to take advantage of the resources.” – Boston higher-up
• “Much of the training offered is not applicable to my position and needs. Quintiles has required formal training with respect to security and
confidentiality. Quintiles should encourage and fund professional training for professional licensing renewal.” – Associate
• “Due to high growth, we can still improve here and are now investing.” – Consultant
Promotion Policies
• “Promotion is definitely not up or out. We have several career tracks that allow consultants to focus on their strengths and how they want their
career to develop.” – Senior consultant
• “Promotion is generally rapid, objective and professional. While there is no formal fast track, per se, the talented and gifted (versus the self-
promoting) do move up rapidly.” – Executive-level insider
• “This is TBD since we were acquired. But since the acquisition by Quintiles, the criteria for advancement have been clearly laid out, and people
are being promoted at a much faster rate than under our old legacy system.” – Senior source
• “This has been in fits and starts, but appears to be improving.” – Technology consultant
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: Quintiles isn’t perfect here, but that’s hardly a knock. Minorities and GLBT employees feel sincerely welcome and cared for,
though they do note a dearth of women and minorities in leadership positions.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “As a white, lesbian professional, I find that the company has treated me with the respect and support that I would want to have. I am first and
foremost a professional while at work, and feel that I am treated very fairly.” – Senior consultant
• “Quintiles has excellent policies in place for ensuring equity in hiring and promotional opportunities. Many women in my office have taken a
maternity leave and then worked flexible schedules upon their return, with full support from management.” – Strategy consultant
• “I am gay and have domestic partner benefits.” – Technology associate
• “I’m not aware of any outright bias, but within the consulting practice there are no women in lead practice roles. As for minorities, I am also not
aware of any outright bias, but I am also not aware of any minorities in leadership positions.” – Midlevel consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Quintiles’ leadership transition has posed some difficulties to overall organization and communication efforts, but as things
continue to settle, the firm’s business prospects are more than promising.
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Quintiles Consulting
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
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Overall Business Outlook
• “The firm is growing very rapidly, taking market share and cherry-picking new hires from established competitors. The sky is the limit!” –
Analyst
• “I think that we will have a great year. It’s an exciting time with a lot of change in terms of product offerings and organizational restructuring,
but we should be able to thrive this year.” – First-year associate
• “In the midst of a challenging environment, the firm continues to invest in its people, and still has a backlog of business.” – Senior source
• “The company has been in transition the last three years. While some parts are strong, others in transition are disorganized and unfocused as
compared to past years. Morale is much lower than in past years.” – Midlevel consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “The company’s leadership is committed to growth, including new product-offerings, to continue the longstanding strength of the company.” –
Senior consultant
• “Inspiring leaders from McKinsey, BCG and other top-tier firms are extremely capable, and they are leveraging the tremendous capabilities,
as well as the brand and financial resources available to Quintiles, to grow the pharmaceutical industry’s finest consulting firm.” – Strategy
consultant
• “Leadership is open-minded and laid-back. They could be a bit more dynamic, though I trust them to strategize and execute well.” – Boston
insider
• “The senior management is well positioned against the industry standard. The senior staff of consultants, however, is quite young and
inexperienced relative to major competitors and industry leaders.” – Entry-level staffer
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Quintiles Consulting
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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SIMON-KUCHER & PARTNERS
One Canal Park
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02141
Phone: (617) 231-4500
Fax: (617) 231-2751
www.simon-kucher.com
LOCATIONS
Boston, MA (US HQ)
Bonn (World HQ)
New York, NY • San Francisco, CA • Amsterdam • Beijing
• Brussels • Cologne • Copenhagen • Frankfurt • London •
Luxembourg • Madrid • Milan • Moscow • Munich • Paris •
Singapore • Sydney • Tokyo • Vienna • Warsaw • Zurich
PRACTICE AREAS
Marketing Leadership • Sales Execution • Setting & Managing
Prices • Strategic Development
THE STATS
Employer Type: Private Company
Co-CEOs: Dr. Georg Tacke & Dr. Klaus Hilleke
2010 Employees: 450
2009 Employees: 450
2009 Revenue: $118 million
2008 Revenue: $129 million
UPPERS
• “There are always opportunities to take on more
responsibility”
• “Sense of cosmopolitanism”
• “Open, non-hierarchical structure”
DOWNERS
• “Lower level consultants often do not get the recognition
they deserve for the work they put in”
• “Mediocre compensation and perks”
• “Lack of focus on employee morale”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Visit the careers section of www.simon-kucher.com
• “Bookish niche player”
• “Heavy quant focus”
• “Young, spirited”
• “Very processy, uncreative”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
What does it cost? Ask SKP
Simon-Kucher & Partners is a worldwide leader in pricing consulting, helping its clients maximize profits by giving them the tools and recommendations
to correctly set prices for their products. It’s something the firm has done for six of the 10 best-selling drugs in the world, and more than 100 companies
on the Fortune Global 500 list. In addition to pricing, SKP works to streamline marketing and sales for clients, and assists them in developing corporate
strategies. SKP has brought rich reward, too, having grown into a 23-office boutique firm spanning 13 countries on three continents, employing around
450 consultants. It has carried out work in over 55 countries for clients including AstraZeneca, Barnes & Noble, BMW, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Johnson
& Johnson, LinkedIn, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Porsche, T-Mobile, Texas Instruments and many more.
Name your price
The firm was started in Germany in 1985 by business administration and marketing expert Professor Hermann Simon (who is chairman of the firm
today, having served as CEO from 1995 to 2009) and two of his PhD students. Believing that price is the “primary driver” of a company’s profits, but
that many manage it inefficiently, the consultancy began picking up business from companies eager to maximize their profit margins. SKP’s approach
to pricing involves extensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of market factors that boils down to one key element: identifying “what the market
will bear.”
There’s more to pricing than simply setting a level and charging it indefinitely, however, and it is here that SKP’s expertise in pricing strategy comes
into play. SKP has a holistic approach to pricing that encompasses everything from competitive strategy and product positioning to sales force
execution. Offering strategies and solutions for a range of possibilities over a product’s lifetime, the firm encourages clients to adopt a consistent,
targeted approach that anticipates the market, rather than reacts to it. For example, SKP research has shown that marking down an item aimed at
luxury consumers—even in tough economic conditions—can actually turn those consumers off the brand.
Growth by numbers
The firm attempts to practice what it preaches, and applies much the same philosophy to its own business as it recommends to clients and through
its publications (see below for details). The company explicitly states that it is not a general strategy shop, and does not take on projects, such as cost
cutting or restructuring, that require skills outside of its specialized purview. It remains committed to growth in its own niche, however, and has been
working hard to build on its existing client relationships, attract new clients, expand into new industries, and open offices in emerging and developed
markets, all the while focusing on what it does best: marketing, sales, strategy and pricing consulting. Its stated goal is to double its revenue every
five years.
You first
It should come as little surprise that a company founded by a professor of business, and with several PhDs on its staff, should commit to lifelong
learning and staff development. Nor that said company is supported in its endeavors by an international advisory board made up of academics at some
of the most venerable higher education institutions around the globe, including both the London and Harvard Business Schools, Stanford University,
HEC, Paris, IESE, Barcelona and several institutions throughout Asia.
The firm’s commitment to its staff, formalized in a program known as You First, begins with mentoring from partners and international orientation, as
well as a company training program—STEPS—to familiarize all new hires with how SKP operates. Additional education is actively encouraged, and the
firm arranges lectures by internal and external speakers for its consultants. Employees are also offered the opportunity to publish the results of their
work and experience in industry journals, and to present at conferences and seminars. As for a role model, consultants can look all the way to the
founder: Professor Simon is a renowned expert in his field, and has presented and published widely, including more than 30 books in 15 languages.
Those books include the best seller, Hidden Champions: Lessons from 500 of the World’s Best Unknown Companies, published in 1996. His most recent publications
are 2009’s Beat the Crisis and Hidden Champions of the 21st Century, which updates the ideas first presented over a decade earlier in Hidden Champions. It
celebrates smaller companies that focus on a niche market, are willing to venture into global markets and are often owned privately—all factors that
allow these companies to maximize profits ahead of market share. Those ideas were also evident in an earlier book from SKP—Manage for Profit, Not for
Market Share, which exhorts managers to … well … go after profits, rather than focus on volume of sales or market share.
GETTING HIRED
The hiring process at SKP is daunting, with a “less than 2 percent offer rate” applicants are faced with. “Our firm is looking to hire quantitatively
oriented, intelligent people who are both personable and creative,” offers an insider. Economics, science and mathematics standouts are most likely
to fit the bill, but the firm notes that it hires individuals from all backgrounds.
Those selected to interview face a number of hurdles, starting with multiple telephone interviews, which almost always involve case study work, and
culminating in interviews with several partners and senior staff. In between, candidates are subjected to at least three to five case studies, GRE-style
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Simon-Kucher & Partners
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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quantitative exams and informal personality tests. “The ability to work in teams, problem-solving skills and creativity” are among the oft-cited assets for
successful candidates. Simply put, it’s up to the candidates to convince SKP consultants that they’re worthy of sitting on the other side of the desk.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: SKP consultants claim to be pretty satisfied with their firm’s culture, attesting to high-quality work, little-to-no hierarchy and a
strong sense of teamwork.
Overall Satisfaction
• “My level of job satisfaction is high. It is rewarding to see my effort turn into a high-quality product and into measurable impact for the
company.” – Life sciences insider
• “I really enjoy the work I do. The firm is run by competent, knowledgeable people who are providing me the opportunity to learn a complicated
industry very quickly.” – Boston consultant
• “I’m content, but I’m not brimming with excitement.” –Consultant
• “I’m getting a bit bored with the subject matter, but at the same time, the specialization means that I really am an expert in my field within only
three-and-a-half years or so. Since it’s a small- to medium-sized firm, I’ve been able to move into managing projects earlier than perhaps at
larger companies.” – Consultant
Firm Culture
• “SKP’s greatest strength is its people. Almost all SKP employees are considerate, friendly, hardworking and good team players. There is very
little competition among consultants of the same level, like one might find in other consulting firms. Consultants of the same level tend to be
very close, which provides a strong social network.” – Entry-level source
• “Excellent teamwork! Everybody is sharing knowledge and helping each other. We have an open-door policy. Even partners’ doors are always
open.” – New York partner
• “Because we’re a relatively small organization, we work in a flat, open environment. Project teams have three to five members, including people
from entry level all the way up through partner.” – Senior consultant
• “Typical outside-of-work activities include karaoke nights, trivia, ski trips, summer softball leagues and, of course, happy hours.” – Senior
consultant
Supervisor Relationships
• “My relationships with my project managers are great. They are always interested in what is best for me and really listen to my ideas, even
when they don’t agree.” – Associate
• “No hierarchical barriers. They are always available for questions and support.” – Senior source
• “I have great relationships with my supervisors, but that’s because I’ve been at the firm longer and when the office was much smaller.” –
Cambridge insider
Interaction with Clients
• “Clients usually love us after having worked with us.” – Consultant
• “As an entry-level consultant, I have very little interaction with the client.” – Junior source
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Hours can be trying at SKP, and recession-fueled layoffs severely damaged the firm’s work/life balance. However, limited travel
and weekend work still set the firm apart from the competition.
Work Hours
• “I’m usually out of the office by 6 or 7 p.m., and rarely (less than once a month) do I work weekends.” – Life sciences staffer
• “Very good balance for consulting overall. However, it sometimes peaks with long workdays (up to 12 hours), and those peaks can be just days
or one to two weeks.” – East Coast insider
• “It’s very cyclical. Some weeks I work only 50 hours. Most weeks I work about 60 hours. Some weeks I work 70-plus hours. I would say that it
is very manageable though.” – Entry-level respondent
• “The hours have been getting longer since the economic crisis, with no sign of getting better.” – Senior consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Simon-Kucher & Partners
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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Work/Life Balance
• “There is a lot to do while here, but we rarely ever work on weekends and there’s always time after we leave to grab a drink with friends. I do
work hard, but I also enjoy a great life outside of the office.” – Consultant
• “Sometimes late hours are unavoidable, but I have been yelled at for staying too late working on something that could have been done the next
day.” – Analyst
• “I can prioritize what needs to be done today and what can wait until tomorrow. When thinking about work/life balance, you need to be realistic
and determine what will work for you and for the company.” – Senior consultant
• “There was more of a balance in the past than in the present. Everyone in the office is getting used to the longer hours and weekends that was
necessitated by a bad economy, making the culture a lot less focused on work/life balance than it was before.” – Consultant
Travel Requirements
• “We typically reserve travel for key meetings with clients. We try to work from our offices as much as possible.” – Senior source
• “Travel requirements are very, very minimal. For most projects, we’ll go to the client site for the [key] presentations. In two years, I’ve had one
project for which the client wanted us on site three days per week, but that is the exception to the rule.” – Consultant
• “I don’t have to travel every week, but rather once every two to three weeks for a couple of days.” – Experienced consultant
• “Travel requirements increase with seniority.” – Consultant
Compensation
• “Bonuses are always paid, regardless of firm performance.” – Junior source
• “It seems that the bonus scheme may be less compared to other top consulting firms, but work/life balance and culture seem great. I would
rather take an open, nonhierarchical structure over monetary competitiveness.” – Life sciences consultant
• “Compensation could be higher and is not terribly competitive, but it is not anything to sneeze at, either.” – Midlevel staffer
• “I’m not starving, but I’m not making it rain.” – Boston insider
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: After an initial weeklong formal training, new associates can expect a drop-off in formal training offerings, remedied primarily by
on-the-job mentoring. There are some supplemental formal and informal opportunities along the way.
Formal Training
• “There is some training for new hires, but most training is through mentoring and through project work. You can get help with anything, but you
have to seek it out.” – Consultant
• “We have a weeklong official training called STEPS (Strategic Training for Employee Professional Success), either in our headquarters in
Germany or in the Boston office.” – First-year staffer
• “Our formal training is lacking and very basic. However, on-the-job training is great, through formal and informal mentoring.” – Experienced
consultant
• “Because we run a relatively flat, entrepreneurial organization, people are almost always open to helping new hires with specific skills, software
know-how, etc.” – Senior source
Promotion Policies
• “With excellent performance, very quick advancement is possible. Typically it takes about one year to advance to the next level.” – Consultant
• “There is no up or out. If you’re performing well, you are welcome at your current level. Evaluations are every six months, and each one offers
the chance for promotion.” – Consultant
• “In the past year or two, they have been slowing down on the number promotions, where what used to be a half-year promotion now requires a
full year unless you performed extremely well.” – Boston insider
• “The expectation of being promoted every 12 months has become problematic. Some associates are under the impression that a promotion is
simply a reward for a job well done. It isn’t. It’s a reward for consistently executing at the next level and pairing the maturity necessary to go
with it.” – Life sciences partner
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: SKP is committed to maintaining a diverse future, having recently promoted its first female partner in the U.S. Insiders feel that
the firm already has an exceptionally open culture when it comes to the GLBT community.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “SKP promoted its first U.S. woman partner [second in the company] at the end of 2009, and there are many talented women in senior roles.”
– Boston partner
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Simon-Kucher & Partners
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “I am a GLBT male minority; the fact that I know associates and a partner who are out is significant within the small office setting.” – Consultant
• “Our office has strong representation of women and GLBT individuals. Minorities don’t make up as large of a population, but our office would
be receptive.” – Entry-level consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: At the tail-end of the recession, recruitment activity is a good indicator of a firm’s financial health; the busier, the better, and SKP
is aggressively hiring.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We weathered the recession well, and are now overextended with work—so much so that we are actively hiring for immediate starts.” – Junior
source
• “We are very bullish about the upcoming year, and have committed to invest in opening four new offices around the globe this year to continue
our globalization.” – Partner
• “It’s tough out there, but we’ll prevail.” – Life sciences consultant
• “Employee morale may be lower than it has been in the past (due to worse hours), but business has started to look significantly better than
during the crisis.” – Senior consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “As the firm is owned by the partners, they are fully incentivized to grow the company and make it successful.” – Consultant
• “We have some of the most experienced minds in the pharmaceutical industry working here.” – Life sciences insider
• “Given the diversity of backgrounds and specialties amongst firm leaders, I would give them a pretty high rating. Not everyone comes from a
strictly professional or academic background. There’s seems to be a healthy combination.” – Senior consultant
• “All partners are in their position because they are good at selling projects, but few are actually good at running a company. It would serve the
firm well to hire a few administrative people.” – New York staffer
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Simon-Kucher & Partners
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
42
7700 South Flagler Drive
Suite 1500 – West Tower
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Phone: (561) 515-1900
Fax: (561) 515-1990
www.fticonsulting.com
LOCATIONS
West Palm Beach, FL (HQ)
80 offices worldwide
PRACTICE AREAS
Corporate Finance/Restructuring • Economic Consulting •
Forensic & Litigation Consulting • Strategic Communications
• Technology
THE STATS
Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: FCN (NYSE)
Chairman: Dennis J. Shaughnessy
President & CEO: Jack B. Dunn, IV
2010 Employees: 3,400+
2009 Employees: 3,300+
2009 Revenue: $1.4 billion
2008 Revenue: $1.29 billion
UPPERS
• “Excellent team ethic”
• “Diversity of product offerings”
• “Ability to manage workflow”
• “Stability”
DOWNERS
• “No formal communication structure”
• “Reduced staff in current economic climate”
• “Lack of self confidence as a firm”
• “Tendency for the analyst/AC roles to be ‘data monkeys’ on
some projects”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.fticonsulting.com/en_us/about/careers
• “Great creditor side advisory firm”
• “Why we don’t want to ever be publicly traded”
• “Fun, good place to work”
• “Big conglomerate”
FTI CONSULTING, INC.
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Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
235
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
FTI Consulting, Inc.
THE SCOOP
Thriving in the silver lining
FTI Consulting thrives when times are tough—which means that business has been very good recently. Focusing mainly on services for companies
that are facing trouble, whether economic, legal or regulatory, the firm boasts 15 to 20 percent of the world market share in economic consulting, the
industry-leading corporate finance practice and the globally largest forensic and litigation practice. Most of its revenue (around 85 percent) comes from
within the U.S. market, but plans are afoot to expand on the dozens of FTI offices in Europe, Latin America and Asia in the coming years. Recently,
FTI has grown both its domestic and international operations through a number of acquisitions. Focused on providing specialized expertise to help
clients anticipate and overcome complex business challenges, the firm operates 80 offices worldwide and employs over 3,400 staff.
There are few industries that FTI won’t take on, with clients coming from sectors including automotive, chemicals, retail, pharmaceutical, health care,
insurance, real estate, financial services, fine arts, energy, construction, communications, and media and entertainment. Clients are often big fish—97
of the top-100 law firms and nine of the top-10 bank holding companies worldwide, as well as 85 percent of the Fortune 100. President and CEO Jack
Dunn told Accountancy Age that the firm “would like to have a global brand where companies feel as comfortable using us as the Big Four.”
The nuts and bolts
FTI divides its services into corporate finance/restructuring, economic consulting, forensic and litigation consulting, strategic communications, and
technology. The corporate finance practice focuses on financial and transactional issues, gathering a wide range of resources and experts to develop
and implement solutions. The economic consulting practice is comprised of two main sections: Compass Lexecon, which offers financial analysis of
competition and anti-trust policy and regulatory issues all over the world; and Network Industries Strategies, which helps network-oriented industries
such as telecommunications, transportation, energy and electric power to move out of regulated and into competitive markets. Forensic and litigation
consulting was the original focus of the firm way back in the 1980s, and as the global business advisory firm behind today’s headline-making
investigations, trials and regulatory matters, it continues to be a major revenue generator.
The technology practice offers a range of solutions, including e-discovery, enterprise information protection, and development of information
management policies and procedures. Strategic communication is handled through the firm’s global subsidiary, FD (formerly known as Financial
Dynamics), which concentrates on improving brand, reputation and valuation through communications, and has won several international PR awards
over the years.
A bull amidst bears
As the most recent economic bubble began showing signs of weakness in 2007, FTI’s business began surging, with the company taking advantage
of opportunities to leverage its expertise in practice areas that are in high demand as a result of the economic downturn. The stream of distressed
businesses knocking on FTI’s door has been long and steady. For example, its forensic accountants and forensic computer consultants collected,
processed and analyzed data for an internal investigation at New York-based financial services firm Refco. And, when troubled U.S. mortgage giant
Freddie Mac was audited, FTI was there to help it investigate transactions and accounting policies. Other cases of note include Bernard Madoff and
Stanford Financial.
Wanting to party with everyone else
While hard times have typically been boom times for FTI, in the past too much focus on that area has left the firm vulnerable when the economy
turned upward. In 2003, for example, 80 percent of the firm’s revenue came from its restructuring services, but an economic recovery in 2004 saw
FTI’s earnings fall by 18 percent.
Seeking to remedy its reliance on down cycles, FTI began a strategic shift in direction in 2004, concentrating on diversifying its portfolio of services—
something done largely through acquisition. The efforts paid off: By 2007, revenue was soaring, but the restructuring practice was only responsible
for 26 percent of it, with the firm’s technology and strategic communications practices gaining in prominence.
That new spread of abilities has meant that the firm is better prepared for shifts in the economy than in the recent past, an attitude perhaps summed
up best by Chairman Dennis Shaughnessy’s remark to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine in April 2008: “People ask us: Do you root for good times or
bad times? We root for interesting times.”
Snapping up the leftovers
Diversifying through acquisition is nothing new for FTI. In fact, the company’s whole focus on restructuring began with the buyout of two financial
consulting firms in 1998, prior to which the firm had specialized in litigation consulting. Founded by Daniel W. Luczak and Joseph R. Reynolds Jr. in
1982 as Forensic Technologies International, the fledgling firm began its existence concentrating on finding and preparing expert witnesses.
The company’s commitment to acquisitions has continued in recent years despite the downturn. Indeed, since 2006, FTI has purchased more than 10
companies across a range of consulting sectors. And it’s not only rival firms that the company has been snapping up; in the same interview with Kiplinger’s,
CEO Jack Dunn confessed that there is another upside for FTI in the downturn: The firm can hire “rock star” consultants with little competition.
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GETTING HIRED
FTI recruiters scour the country’s best business-oriented schools to funnel high achievers into their hiring process. A midlevel analyst elaborates:
“Majors with an analytical focus are looked upon more favorably at FTI, given the heavy degree of analytics expected from the consultants.” Applicants
are expected to have solid business acumen and be well versed in finance, accounting or economics and extremely comfortable with interpreting
massive amounts of complex information.
Interviews largely consist of candidates displaying their ability to process business information and data, typically using Microsoft Excel in a financial
modeling application. In this sense, the process is exceptionally results-oriented. Candidates can typically expect anywhere from two to eight
interviews, depending on the position sought, on a “super-day” that will ultimately decide their fate.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: Qualms exist concerning leadership and culture, but the typical FTI consultant is content working on the exciting, intellectually
challenging assignments the firm doles out.
Overall Satisfaction
• “My work is intellectually challenging, my work environment is collegial, I hold my colleagues in the highest regard both as economists and as
professionals, and I am treated well.” – Senior source
• “I appreciate the opportunities that a fast-growing practice can provide to motivated individuals. The technology aspect, in particular, evens out
the playing field for younger employees.” – Legal consultant
• “Work is challenging, interesting, relevant to today and intellectually stimulating. However, compensation is an issue. The firm will typically pay
you the minimum amount for you to stay. Also, human resource tasks are handled poorly.” – Senior consultant
• “The firm does not do a good job of ensuring that staff are utilized on engagements or other projects when engagements slow down. On top of
this, there is very little communication from practice and firm leadership regarding initiatives to boost utilization and develop new business.” –
Miami insider
Firm Culture
• “This is a team-oriented culture that rewards doing the right thing and providing top-notch client service. The firm has made a significant
investment in training and mentoring staff.” – Senior consultant
• “We believe in hard work and family life. The firm arranges for company socials to allow every level of personnel to come out and meet new
people.” – Finance executive
• “There is certainly a 24/7 culture and mentality. It is cordial, but does not coddle.” – Communications consultant
• “Social interaction is not encouraged … We maintain a professional environment.” – Atlanta-based respondent
Supervisor Relationships
• “My management team is incredibly supportive of individual initiative.” – Litigation insider
• “Supervisors are very hands-on with consultants, integrating us into the working team. This provides a great place to learn.” – Health care
analyst
• “It’s very supportive, friendly and team oriented. I work with very talented individuals—some at the top of their industry.” – Toronto higher-up
• “I am having difficulty with being micro-managed and being understaffed at the same time, which is making my job increasingly difficult on a
daily basis.” – Midlevel consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “Clients respect our work and look to us for guidance with respect to restructuring and insolvency matters. Our office culture is very client-
focused, and we go out of our way to be responsive and available at all times.” – Senior consultant
• “Client relationships seem to be strong and cultivated here. The client comes first in all cases.” – Finance consultant
• “Relationships are good, but being young and advising a client can cause hostility.” – Analyst
• “Clients can be difficult in a distressed situation, so you have to be sensitive to where they are coming from.” – Entry-level insider
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: Work hours at FTI are fairly good, compared to industry standards, but highly variable travel commitments tip the work/life
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
FTI Consulting, Inc.
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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balance heavily in favor of work.
Work Hours
• “Hours aren’t bad. I’m usually learning something new every day, so it is worth it. Bonuses are based on hours billed, so longer hours are
rewarded.” – Midlevel consultant
• “Working on the weekend doesn’t happen unless there’s a reason to or there are some housekeeping items that didn’t get done on Friday.” –
Boston analyst
• “Hours are fair. The only problem is that there are so many inefficiencies that a lot of time is wasted. I find I need to spend 60 hours at work in
order to get 40 hours of work done.” – Business consultant
• “It is extremely unpleasant to sit with nothing to do when not on an engagement, which is then immediately followed by long weeks and working
on weekends when projects arise.” – Senior source
Work/Life Balance
• “The work is subject to peaks where life outside of work is compromised. However, during periods that are more relaxed, I have the freedom to
enjoy time off without any impact on my professional advancement or compensation.” – Economic consultant
• “Professionals need to be available to clients and colleagues. Although I rarely am in the office on weekends, I often do billing, attend work-
related functions and read to stay current on weekends, which I believe to be appropriate.” – Executive-level insider
• “Only a small percentage of managers know how to properly manage an engagement, including client management, which leads to an excessive
amount of unnecessary work to be done.” – Chicago junior
• “The firm gives out BlackBerries so you always feel tethered to the job.” – Finance consultant
Travel Requirements
• “Really, it’s either all or none. You are sent away on a project or you work in the office.” – Forensic consultant
• “Typically, when staffed, you’re flying out Monday morning and flying back Friday afternoon. Some engagements are local, so there’s little to no
travel necessary.” – First-year consultant
• “I travel extensively, but that is part of what I enjoy, and it is part of the expectation associated with consulting.” – Senior consultant
Compensation
• “I think it’s a pretty good overall package. At the mid- to upper levels of staff, it includes a base, an annual bonus and additional bonus
opportunities based on high utilization.” – Energy insider
• “The salary is market, the bonus is not. Depending on deal flow, you either get big utilization bonuses or nothing. Wide variation within the staff
levels.” – Dallas staffer
• “Base compensation moves up extremely slowly compared to the demands required by this profession.” – Analyst
• “I have received a 1 percent raise in approximately two years and was promoted twice.” – New York senior
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: The firm’s weak official training offerings provide little aid to the challenges of navigating an inconsistent promotion system.
Formal Training
• “Baptism by fire.” – Communications consultant
• “There’s very little formal training for new hires, and the formal training that is offered is limited to the summers, with limited seats available.
Very little support of education is offered, and if there is support, there is very little that is done for us to know that it exists.” – Senior staffer
• “Almost all of the training is from working live deals and via interaction with one’s superiors. The training workshops that FTI offers are a little
useful, but may only provide you with 5 percent of the knowledge you need.” – Atlanta midlevel
• “The firm pretends to emphasize training, but they are ad-hoc and usually disorganized.” – Business consultant
Promotion Policies
• “It is very difficult to classify the promotion policies, as they are all over the board. Some people get promoted very quickly, for others it takes
years and years. This lack of transparency is very frustrating, but the lack of a formalized ‘ladder’ gives someone hope that they can be
promoted earlier than at another firm.” – Midlevel staffer
• “Junior (undergrad) staff are eligible for promotion at roughly the two-year mark. Those not promoted typically leave, and those who are
promoted tend to remain for another year. At the senior level, consideration for advancement occurs roughly every four to five years.” – Senior
source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
FTI Consulting, Inc.
Visit Vault at www.vault.com for insider company profiles, expert advice,
career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
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• “It’s flexible on the up-or-out, but if you’re not getting promoted, it’s not worth sticking around.” – Boston entry-level
• “The firm rewards excellence with fast promotion, but also seems to treat promotion as the rule versus the reward for excellence, which has led
to an inflated middle tier.” – Litigation insider
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: FTI can hardly be blamed for keeping merit as its supreme recruitment criterion, but some effort on the diversity front would help
warm the firm’s largely conservative executive ranks.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “I know of no programs targeting these groups, but in a company where we target high-performing individuals, specifically targeting these
groups to the detriment of merit standards would be a poor choice by firm leadership. I do feel that these groups are adequately represented
within the firm, but I know of no special focus on hiring and retaining these groups.” – East Coast respondent
• “We are an equal-opportunity employer. We hire the best people for the job. I would like to see more minorities, but most of that is a function
of the percentage of college graduates in the fields we hire from” – Senior source
• “Young people have no problem with any of the diversity groups. Older people are very non-receptive of GLBT hires.” – Business consultant
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: Prospects are improving dramatically of late, as FTI distances itself from previous damages brought upon by the recession.
Overall Business Outlook
• “We are at the top of our field and poised to distance ourselves still further from our rivals. We were hit by the downturn in 2009, but not nearly
to the same degree as our closest competitors.” – Senior consultant
• “As a restructuring, litigation consulting and forensic accounting firm, we have continued to thrive and grow in the economic downturn. The
firm continues to get interesting client matters, and I have stayed 95 percent utilized over the past year.” – Finance junior
• “The first half of 2010 is expected to be OK, while the second half is expected to be very busy.” – New York higher-up
• “Employee morale is much better than last year, but continues to be a challenge to keep it up. Hiring freeze, very minimal pay raises and
layoffs continue to make people uneasy. Most definitely, the 2009 bonuses turned morale around from almost complete devastation.” –
Experienced business consultant
Confidence in Firm Leadership
• “Extremely bright leadership committee. It knows how to position the company for success, and knows how to attract and retain the best
people.” – Economic consultant
• “I don’t get exposure to the highest levels leadership. I do get great exposure to the industry practice leader, and she is terrific, smart, driven
and strategic.” – Los Angeles insider
• “There does appear to be significant overhead consumed by leadership, which many feel is excessive and wasteful.” – Midlevel strategist
• “The executives provide zero transparency and do not look out for the employees, only the shareholders.” – Senior consultant
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
FTI Consulting, Inc.
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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CHARLES RIVER ASSOCIATES
John Hancock Tower
200 Clarendon Street, T-33
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Phone: (617) 425-3000
Fax: (617) 425-3132
www.crai.com
LOCATIONS
Boston, MA (HQ)
23 offices in 11 countries
PRACTICE AREAS
Management Consulting
Aerospace & Defense • Auctions & Competitive Bidding
• Chemicals • Climate & Sustainability • Energy &
Environment • Enterprise Risk Management • Industrial
Products • Life Sciences • Mining, Metals, & Materials
• Oil & Gas • Transfer Pricing • Transportation • Value
Management/Marakon
Litigation
Antitrust & Competition Economics • Damages • Financial
Accounting & Valuation • Financial Economics • Financial
Markets • Forensic Services • Insurance Economics •
Intellectual Property • International Arbitration • International
Trade • Labor & Employment • Mergers & Acquisitions •
Regulation
THE STATS
Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: CRAI (Nasdaq)
Chairman of the Board: Rowland T. Moriarty
President & CEO: Paul Maleh
2009 Employees: 777
2008 Employees: 823
2009 Revenue: $302 million
2008 Revenue: $377 million
UPPERS
• “Extremely supportive of junior staff”
• “Never pigeonholed into a specific future”
• “Managers who truly and genuinely invest in their people”
• “Makes it easy to get into top-10 PhD, MBA, JD programs”
DOWNERS
• “Too hesitant to let go of persistently underperforming staff”
• “Lack of cohesive cross-practice culture”
• “Poor name recognition”
• “Need for high-quality midlevel management”
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
www.crai.com/Careers
• “Exceptional in antitrust”
• “Public company makes for odd culture in professional
services”
• “Strong experts; overachievers”
• “Run like the large corporation that it is”
THE BUZZ
what other consultants are saying
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THE SCOOP
Ready to back you up
Founded in 1965, Boston-based Charles River Associates is a global consulting firm specializing in litigation, regulatory, financial and management
consulting. CRA advises clients on economic and financial matters pertaining to litigation and regulatory proceedings, and guides corporations through
critical business strategy and performance-related issues. CRA consultants are recognized for their creative and multidisciplinary approach to solving
clients’ complex business issues.
Clients include national and international companies; federal, state, and local government agencies and foreign governments; public and private
utilities; and trade associations, which operate in a number of industries. Among those industries are aerospace and defense, banking and capital
markets, capital projects, chemicals, energy and utilities, financial services, health care, insurance, manufacturing, media, mining, metals, materials,
oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, real estate, retail, sports, telecommunications and transportation sectors.
Doubling up
After a year of slimming down in 2009, CRA is focused on two main areas of business: management consulting and litigation services. Under the
former, its consultants offer advice on corporate and business strategy, performance improvement, portfolio management, market supply demand
dynamics, pricing, technology management, capital allocation, supply chain and sourcing, and shareholder value. Also in 2009, CRA announced its
asset purchase of Marakon Associates to build a larger presence in the management consulting space and to complement its litigation and regulatory
work.
Law firms, businesses and government agencies also turn to the firm for its litigation support, expert analysis, and guidance on regulatory and corporate
matters. CRA’s consultants and academic affiliates have in-depth industry knowledge and expertise in economics, accounting, finance and business.
Service offerings include class certification, damages analysis, expert reports and testimony, and regulatory analysis. CRA also offers business advisory
services, including strategy development, valuation of tangible and intangible assets, risk management and transaction support.
Minding your Is and Ps
CRA is a prolific publisher, regularly putting out studies, surveys and reports. It also has a number of newsletters that focus on the energy industry,
accounting and valuation, competition issues, financial markets, life sciences, transfer pricing, and the oil and gas industry, among other subjects.
GETTING HIRED
CRA consultants describe a successful candidate as “one who is capable of rising to the upper levels in the organization” and, similarly, one “who
can [adapt to] steep learning curves.” This illustrates an important point for potential applicants: CRA simply seeks those who can fit in and succeed
within its business model. More precisely, “candidates need to have a strong understanding of what CRA does, how we differ from other big firms.”
Applicants must be well educated and equipped with natural quantitative talents, and have the drive and communication skills to succeed.
Undergraduate applicants who make it past initial screenings will be sent to a Super Saturday, an all-day cycle of interviews and interactions with CRA
employees and executives. In place of the standard case interview examinations, candidates face the prospect of real, engaging conversations with
their interviewers, posed with questions designed to gauge a candidate’s capacity for success at the firm.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Corporate Atmosphere
Vault’s Verdict: While maybe not be viewed as a place to spend one’s entire career, most consultants are perfectly happy with their current
position.
Overall Satisfaction
• “My wife asks me at least once a year if I am happy with my job, and I’ve always been able to honestly answer yes.” – Energy consultant
• “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at CRA. The people you meet are extremely bright—some are the best in their industries. Because of the size
of the firm, there are a lot of great ways to get involved outside of project work.” – Midlevel respondent
• “CRA has done the trick for me as far as immediate career goals are concerned—a quality experience that has provided me with the tools/
experiences needed to get into a top MBA program.” – Boston staffer
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Charles River Associates
© 2010 Vault.com Inc.
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• “There are different opportunities, both project and non-project, but you have to seek them out. Professional development could be improved,
but they are currently making efforts on this front.” – Health care midlevel
Firm Culture
• “The culture is very academic, filled with smart people who are experts in their field. The junior staff are very close to one another and get
together socially outside of the office, which is nice especially if you are not originally from the area.” – Entry-level staffer
• “Everyone has an open-door policy, and I’ve found that people of all levels are accepting of your ideas and opinions.” – Boston midlevel
• “It’s a very collaborative atmosphere within practice areas; not overly competitive or cutthroat. The collaboration outside of practices or
functional areas needs dramatic improvement.” –Senior source
• “Our office is fairly isolated from the rest of the company. We carry with us much of the culture of the industry, which does not place much
value on work/home balance unless that balance favors work at most any cost.” – Junior staffer
Supervisor Relationships
• “Many of us, including myself, grow very close with our supervisors. My supervisor has been a great mentor to me, and has worked with me to
ensure that I achieve my goals at CRA and that I have experiences that will promote my career post-CRA.” – Antitrust consultant
• “My supervisors are great and easy to talk to. There is definitely an open-door policy, and the senior staff are very accessible.” – Boston
associate
• “CRA has recently revamped the official supervisory role, which has helped in this regard, but some supervisors take this duty more seriously
than others. More commonly, junior staff establish very good working relationships with project managers, as we have daily access to them.” –
Health care junior
• “Frustrations generally come about from unreasonable expectations about work hours and differential expectations of employees within the
office.” – Litigation consultant
Interaction with Clients
• “I feel fortunate to have very strong positive relationships with my clients. We typically work with large law firms and, in general, the attorneys
are really sharp and tend to respect the work that economists contribute to the project.” – Senior antitrust source
• “Although I am not usually directly involved in business development, the staff seem to be quite close and respected by the clients—thus
resulting in repeat work.” – East Coast consultant
• “Client relationships vary depending on the relationship the senior staff has with them and the access that junior staff have to them.” – Energy
entry-level
• “CRA’s rates and some of the accounting systems create tension with clients. In general, it’s not a client-focused organization; it’s an analysis-
focused organization. The communication of conclusions is poor, and at times is frustrating for clients.” – Senior source
Hours & Pay
Vault’s Verdict: The hours at CRA aren’t particularly attractive, but consultants appreciate the minimal travel demands. Compensation has sagged
a bit under the weight of recessionary concerns, though insiders expect it to rebound soon as the firm regains profitability.
Work Hours
• “Work hours are equitable. Given deadlines, workweeks will be 60-plus, and overnighters or very late nights (i.e., 2 a.m.) are common,
especially in litigation. Lately, project managers are becoming better about this (or client demands have become more reasonable), and these
are less frequent than when I first started.” – East Coast associate
• “Most weeks are bet ween 45 and 50 hours, which is ideal for me. Each year, there tend to be stretches of time, however, where hours push
into the 60-plus range, with weekends and holiday work expected.” – Midlevel source
• “CRA tends to be very deadline-driven (cost of working with a lot of academics); as such, late nights/long days and the occasional big push
week crop up around a big deadline.” – Experienced health care consultant
• “The number of work hours is never the issue; it is the unplanned variation in work hours that can be aggravating.” – Legal advisor
Work/Life Balance
• “Flexibility is the key to work/life balance, and CRA offers a lot of flexibility. Some of that flexibility has to be earned, but once earned, it allows
for excellent balance.” – D.C. staffer
• “Although average hours vary greatly between practices, and sometimes within practices, personal commitments are generally respected and
folks generally know ahead of time to allocate more time around deadlines to work.” – Health care insider
• “Junior staff need to be proactive to maintain a good work/life balance. It’s not necessarily promoted by the firm. That being said, it’s possible,
and most of us have achieved it.” – Antitrust source
Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Charles River Associates
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• “Client needs dominate everything. Most times this is reasonable, but there are many client requests that are not reasonable in a given time
frame (e.g., 40 hours of work to complete over a weekend) that are still expected to be met. Management is hesitant to ever push back on
requests.” – Senior consultant
Travel Requirements
• “The majority of the work in most practice areas is done in the home office.” – Energy specialist
• “I almost never have to travel for work because our work does not require being at the client site. There are other practices in the firm that do
work that requires being on the client site, but for the most part there is very little travel at the junior level.” – Strategy consultant
• “I love our firm’s travel policy: Travel only when needed. On average, I travel a few times a month.” – Junior staffer
Compensation
• “Starting salary out of college was in line with most other professional service firms. However, due the poor economy and poor company
performance, raises and bonuses have been lacking.” – Strategy associate
• “CRA could provide better financial incentives. Since this was not a good year and we are public, it is somewhat understandable that paltry
bonuses and tiny raises were issued. On the other hand, it is good to still be employed after several rounds of layoffs, so I’m not complaining too
much.” – Boston insider
• “For the amount and quality of work that we do, I think there should be better compensation, and more differentiation between the top of the
pack and the bottom.” – Health care source
• “I don’t agree with how bonuses are calculated. CRA uses utilization rates as the biggest weight, but very little attention is paid to other types of
work or achievement, such as marketing efforts. Also, quality of work isn’t taken into account as much.” – Business consultant
Professional Development
Vault’s Verdict: Maybe it’s unfair to criticize a program that is only beginning to take shape, but insiders don’t hesitate to call attention to the lack
of formal training efforts.
Formal Training
• “Historically, training has been a relative weak area for CRA, particularly at the senior level.” – Antitrust executive
• “The firm’s training program is still in its infancy, and in the past there has been very little training. However, the firm is currently making a
strong effort to develop its training program, and it should be more involved in the coming years.” – Entry-level strategist
• “Cutbacks and a general revamping of the program have left a gap this year. Mentoring and on-the-job training remain the primary methods.” –
Experienced consultant
• “Official training is very limited. My practice has specific programs you need to learn, but there never were any formal training sessions for
them. It might cost money, but it is worth the reward of investing in junior level employees. It would, at the very least, engage junior-level
employees and support their efforts of learning something completely new and foreign.” – Junior source
Promotion Policies
• “It’s not up or out, which is nice. For junior staff, the transition from analyst to associate is a given (virtually unheard of, but perhaps we hire apt
people and have already weeded out the inept ones).” – East Coast midlevel
• “It was a great feeling to get promoted after a year. I think that’s a good policy CRA has. It makes you feel like you accomplished something.
It’s sort of a stepping stone, much of what recent college graduates have been used to all their lives.” – Financial associate
• “Few entry-level staff stay with the company after a few years, so there is a natural break around the PhD/MBA entry level. However, the
company has something in the works to attempt to retain staff who leave for a graduate degree and may come back.” – Experienced health care
consultant
• “The path to VP is probably easier from outside the firm than from inside.” – Boston higher-up
Diversity
Vault’s Verdict: CRA insiders feel there’s no substitute for pure quality; as such, they are very much satisfied with the firm’s merit-based recruiting
policies, even if they produce a largely homogenous workplace.
Diversity Issues With Respect to Women, Minorities, and GLBTs
• “As someone who led recruiting efforts, I know that the selection of candidates is diverse but not prescribed. We look for the best candidates,
no matter what.” – Midlevel source
• “We have a fairly homogenous workforce, but I have found the culture to have a strong respect for diversity, and hiring and promotion decisions
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Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2011 Edition
Charles River Associates
are purely based on performance and capability.” – Valuation consultant
• “We certainly have a lot of women in our company. Race and sexual orientation is never a topic of debate when it comes to hiring and
promotions. I think we do everything right in this department.” – Entry-level staffer
• “The number of female VPs has increased significantly in the last few years.” – Energy executive
Overall Business Outlook
Vault’s Verdict: The recession was a cruel blow for this publicly-traded firm, and its effects are still being felt at the home office. Consultants are
reluctant, but ultimately confident about CRA’s future prospects for regeneration.
Overall Business Outlook
• “The economic situation has been very tough on the firm due to reduced compensation, multiple layoff rounds and fewer professional
opportunities. This has resulted in reduced morale and general frustration.” – Senior consultant
• “The first quarter of 2010 was bleak, but the firm is sound financially. If the economy picks up and clients loosen their wallets, we will be back
to normal soon. If not, probably more pain is to come.” – East Coast entry-level
• “CRA hit a trough over the past year and a half, but things are looking up. It will take a while f