McKinsey also dominates a number of practice areas, ranking as Vault’s top consulting firm in the economic, energy, financial, health care, management, retail, and strategy sectors. To put it another way, only Accenture holds the top spot in more than one area (IT operations and IT strategy, to be exact). Even more, McKinsey ranks among the most diverse companies, claiming the top spot in overall diversity, accommodating disabilities, and employing military veterans (with Bain ranking first with the LGBT community).
Some might argue that McKinsey and Bain are rather similar. Both are performance-based cultures, no doubt. But each mixes in their own wrinkles. Based on employee perception, Bain pays more, with McKinsey offering better benefits. Bain provides better training, but McKinsey counters with more internal mobility and international options. And McKinsey is considered more responsive to market innovations, while Bain invests greater faith in their leadership. In other words, it all comes down to inches. For exit opportunities, McKinsey outpoints Bain by a 9.874-to-9.796 margin. For overall business outlook, the difference is 9.901-to-9.894 in favor of Bain. Inches. With McKinsey’s fixed advantage in prestige, Bain needs to play the proverbial perfect game to rank first. This year, McKinsey snatched the #1 spots from Bain in three areas: Internal mobility, promotion policies, and relationships with supervisors. While Bain held its traditional edge in compensation, culture, leadership, training, and satisfaction against McKinsey, it just wasn’t enough in the final analysis. Bain lost by inches. Game over. Better luck next year.
Beyond McKinsey and Bain, The Boston Consulting Group retained the #3 spot in for the fifth consecutive year with an 8.991 score that was only .267 of a point below McKinsey. However, there was a major drop-off after BCG. Deloitte Consulting – the top players in operations consulting – climbed a spot to #4, with a score of 8.063 – nearly an entire point below by BCG. PwC, which ranked 8th just three years ago, closed out the top five.
- See next page for the rest of the Vault 50 ranking.