Vault: Top 50 global management consulting firms

01 September 2014

Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are globally the best consulting firms to work for, according to the just released ‘Vault Consulting 50’ ranking.

Every year analyst firm Vault conducts research on the reputation of the globe’s most renown consulting firms and the quality of life they offer their consultants. The ranking is based on three factors: prestige (30%), employee satisfaction* (60%) and overall business outlook (10%). Hundreds of consultants working at a reputable firm in the consulting industry participated in this year’s survey**.

The most recent edition of the Vault ranking – the so-called ‘Vault Consulting 50’ – reveals that that Bain & Company has displaced rival McKinsey as the best consulting firm to work for. The Boston-based strategy consultancy thanks its #1 spot mainly on top scores in the ‘quality of life’ area: the firm is praised by the researchers for offering excellent training and career development opportunities, and a best practice approach for work-life management. “Supporting consultants with maintaining a work-life balance is a growing trend in the industry over the past few years, and Bain is definitely a leader among large consulting firms in that respect,” says Vault.

Vault Consulting 50

McKinsey & Company has dropped to from 1st place last year to 2nd place in this year’s ranking, From a prestige perspective McKinsey (by a distance) however managed to retain top spot for the 13th straight year – “there's no doubt that McKinsey is the most prestigious firm in the industry” says Vault – yet slightly lower scores in the quality of life area mean that overall McKinsey trails Bain, although by the slenderest of margins. The Boston Consulting Group again finds itself on third spot, reconfirming the global domination of the three large American based strategy consulting players, known as the ‘Big 3’.

An overview of the top 10 best consulting firms to work for:

Vault - Top 10 Consulting Firms

The top 25 includes several other large names in the industry, including Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), Deloitte, PwC, Oliver Wyman, Accenture, L.E.K. Consulting, A.T. Kearney, KPMG, Alvarez & Marsal and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

Vault - LEK - ATK - KPMG - AM - RB

Global vs European

Important to keep in mind is that the ‘Vault Consulting 50’ is a global ranking, and as a result several firms in the list may be less well known across the ocean. For instance, number 9 and 14 on the list, The Cambrige Group and Insight Sourcing Group, are boutique American advisory firms with just two and one office(s) in the U.S. respectively, while Point B (#16 in the ranking) has seven office, however none outside North America There are also firms on the list that do have a presence in Europe, yet in terms of reputation and footprint find their European operations (still) lag the U.S. continent, such as for example The Brattle Group (7 offices globally, including London). Lastly, vice versa, there are a number of firms that enjoy a leading reputation in Europe yet score lower on the global list due to their smaller track record in the U.S. Examples include Roland Berger, Simon-Kucher & Partners (both German origin) and OC&C Strategy Consultants (UK origin).

An overview of the management consulting firms between positions 25 – 50 that have a presence and (generally considered) a leading reputation in Europe:

Vault - OCC - Protiviti - SKP - Mercer - AlixPartners

See the section Rankings & Awards for an overview of all global and local rankings.

* To measure employee satisfaction the researchers looked at satisfaction (15%), culture (15%), compensation (15%), work-life balance (10%) and promotion policies (5%).

 ** When rating quality of life issues, consultants were only permitted to rate their own firm. For the prestige dimension, consultants were only allowed to rate competitors, and not their own firms.