Best Consulting Firms To Work For In 2017

A.T. Kearney consultant meeting in the New York office

A.T. Kearney consultant meeting in the New York office


Beyond the Big Three, there were several changes in the upper echelon of the Vault 50. While Deloitte and PwC retained the 4th and 5th spots respectively, Oliver Wyman was able to tie PwC.  A.T. Kearney, which ranked 17th just two years ago, climbed two more spots to rank 7th — just .06 of a point short of forcing a three-way tie at 5th. They could rise even higher, Stott adds.

“Taking a longer-term view, A.T. Kearney has traditionally been a top 10 firm on our ranking —the year they finished 17th was something of an anomaly, while last year was more a reversion to the norm. In terms of its improvement this year, that was driven largely by improvement in quality of life scores, indicating that the firm has also been paying attention to that as a way to differentiate itself and retain and appeal to talent. There’s no reason I can see why they couldn’t crack the top 5 in years to come — although the competition will be fierce, given the way the Big 4 firms are attacking the market as well!”

Compared to the 2016 ranking, nine firms remained in the top 10, with L.E.K. Consulting, a Boston-based strategy firm, crashing the party at 8h, the spot that Cornerstone Research held in 2016 before nose-diving down to 22nd. KPMG also made waves, going from being unranked in 2016 to 13th, buoyed by a high prestige factor. Accenture also began to rebound from a rough 2016, when it fell out of the top 10, by climbing from 20th to 14th.

Of special note, Strategy&, the product of a merger between Booz & Company and PwC’s strategy practice, was once seen as being poised to compete with the Big Three. Instead, it floundered and dropped from 4th to 14th in 2016, before climbing two spots in 2017. According to Stott, the change in the name is a big part of the firm’s struggles.

“In 2015, the last year it appeared on our survey as Booz & Co., the firm ranked 5th for prestige. Last year, its first year as Strategy&, it ranked 19th, but climbed back to 13th for prestige this year. To put it simply, the change in brand meant that many people didn’t recognize the new name when they were voting, which led to the fall-off in scores.” However, Stott is also optimistic about Strategy&’s long-term prospects. “The more established the new brand becomes, the better the firm’s prestige scores will get. And if they can continue to look after the quality of life piece for their employees, there’s no reason that they won’t climb the rankings in years to come.”

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