The top 30 finance and consulting employers in the UK

07 December 2015 Consultancy.uk

Peninsula Business Services, Bain & Company, Newton Europe, McKinsey & Company and Thomas International are according to employees the five best UK employers in the area of finance and consulting. The top 30 includes seven other consultancies.

Every year career platform Glassdoor and the FT conduct research into the employership of UK companies. The ‘finance and consulting’ ranking includes firms that specialise in management consulting, financial analytics and research, financial transaction processing, insurance, investment banking, asset management and lending. The list was created by analysing the tens of thousands of anonymous reviews left on Glassdoor.com (based on a five point scale) by people in the UK for their employers, with those with fewer than 30 reviews excluded.

Top 10 finance and consulting employers in the UK

Peninsula Business Services, a Manchester headquartered firm that specialises in HR advisory and health & safety consulting, garnered the top rank, endorsed by employees for its sound management, strong benefits, excellent career development and training opportunities as well as its efforts to make the workplace fun and rewarding. Bain & Company, a US strategy consulting firm, came in second, a position which it also holds across Europe according to another survey, trailing just McKinsey & Company, arguably its largest rivals in its field. In the Glassdoor ranking McKinsey ranks 4th, with Newton Europe in third position, a consultancy with three offices globally – in Oxfordshire, Amsterdam and New York. The top five is completed by Thomas International, a firm that focuses on the people assessment industry. 

Oliver Wyman, the management consulting unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies – the parent of also Mercer, NERA Economic Consulting, Guy Carpenter and Marsh – ranks 6th on the list, followed by GE Capital, the first finance company on the list, highlighting the consulting industry’s dominance in the top of the ranking when it comes to workplace satisfaction. Three other big names in the financial sector complete the top 10: US investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Macquarie Group.

The top 20 includes mainly finance companies, with Deloitte, JDX Consulting (a company that provides advisory and flexible resourcing to financial services clients) and Accenture the three representatives from the advisory landscape. Three other business advisory firms have made the top 30 cut – Big Four giant EY, ranked 21st, customer experience specialist Dunnhumby and HR services firm Towers Watson.

Top 11 - 30 finance and consulting employers in the UK

Finance versus consulting
Comparing to the period before the crisis, financials have across the board lost some of their workplace appeal, reveals the ranking. The financial crisis and a host of scandals have had an impact on workplace pride and satisfaction, say the researchers, also making it much more difficult for banks and companies that serve the financial sector to attract top quality recruits. The consulting industry to the contrary has over the past years put more of an effort into elevating its workplace culture, by embracing more flexible and inclusive HR policies, with success, as demonstrated by this year’s Glassdoor and FT ranking and a host of other recognitions recently also featured by Consultancy.uk*.

Independent of the industry, the researchers have unravelled that good employership has a clear link with company performance. “Our analysis found that if investors had bought shares in Glassdoor’s 50 ‘Best Places to Work’ in 2009 and held them until the end of 2014, they would have outperformed the S&P 500 by 116%.” Their message is clear: there is a meaningful economic link between employee satisfaction and stock market performance, and those who ignore the importance of corporate culture may be doing so at the expense of their companies’ financial detriment.

Best consultancy rankings
Consultancy.uk recently featured similar ‘best-of’ rankings for UK employers. At an undergraduate level, 13 consultancies made a top 100 published by Universum, while 14 advisories made the top 100 released by RateMyPlacement. At a graduate level, 14 consulting firms have made The Times ‘Top 100 Graduate Employers’ list, including the Big 4 and top three strategy firms, with PwC even taking top spot for the twelfth year in a row. In the case of school leavers EY ranks first, with in total 14 consulting firms making the top 60 cut. 

* In October for example 15 advisories made the 2015 edition of the ‘Best Companies for Working Mothers’ ranking. See the section Career news section for more examples and information.

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Six attractive professional services firms to work for in UK

23 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Consulting firms dominate the 25 companies named by LinkedIn as the most attractive organisations to work for in Britain. JLL, Engie, CBRE, Atkins, Schroders and GE each made the grade, with the professional services sector putting in the strongest showing of any industry in the UK.

Each year, the editors and data scientists of social business platform LinkedIn examine which firms are the most attractive to job seekers, as well as which are the best at retaining their talent. Utilising information gathered from billions of actions taken by more than 433 million members, LinkedIn leverages a data-driven approach to consider what members are doing – not just saying – in their search for fulfilling careers. The result is the Top Companies list, an annual ranking of the most sought-after companies – now in its fifth year.

Each of the previous incarnations of the list has seen a strong showing from the UK consulting industry, with its contingent including McKinsey & Company, EYBoston Consultancy Group and Accenture in 2018. This year has seen the sector continue to see its stock rise, with the diversity of the sector’s workload buoying six professional services firms which were not on the previous ranking to prominence.

Analysing the anonymised actions of British-based LinkedIn members, the company determined which firms were the most attractive through four main pillars: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention. As a result of this, real estate professional services firm JLL was found to be the most attractive consulting firm to LinkedIn members in the UK.

Six most attractive professional services firms to work for in UK

Ranked sixth in the overall list of companies, 2018 saw the commercial real estate services consultancy expand its London-based Ratings practice in anticipation of growing demand for real estate valuations in the UK. JLL, which boasts a global headcount of 82,000, holds UK locations in London, Norwich and Manchester, and the firm was recently named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 12th year in a row by The Ethisphere Institute. 

Sitting 10th in LinkedIn’s ranking, Engie is a French multinational professional services firm, headquartered in La Défense, Courbevoie. While the firm primarily operates in utilities – specifically in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy and petroleum – its investment in cleaner tech has also seen it come to offer a host of engineering consulting services, including feasibility studies, engineering, project management and client support. The firm’s 19,000 UK staff work from offices in London, Leeds and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

With a global headcount of 90,000, CBRE, which was ranked 13th by LinkedIn, is a real estate advisory firm, with UK offices in London, Birmingham and Glasgow. The firm oversaw the sale of a number of major locations over the course of 2018, including a key residential site in North Leigh, and an office belonging to the British Steel Pension Fund.

Atkins, which was listed 23rd, is a British professional services firm which was purchased by the SNC-Lavalin Group for £2.1 billion in 2017. With 7,300 employees in the UK, Atkins operates from locations in London, Bristol, Kingston-upon-Thames, and offers services in engineering, operations, programme and project management. Late in 2018, the firm was named one of the top employers in the UK for working mothers, receiving plaudits for its innovation in flexible working from Workingmums.co.uk.

Schroders, a global asset management firm with UK offices in London, Bromley, Chelmsford, ranked 24th. Asset management is a fast-expanding segment of consulting, and according to LinkedIn, 43% of the professional services firm’s staff have been at the company for at least six years, while nearly a third of UK roles were filled with internal candidates in 2017. Schroders boasts a global headcount of 4,600.

Finally, multifaceted professional services firm GE was ranked 25th. The engineering, operations, information technology and advisory firm has its hand in everything from energy to health care – where it was recently nominated for a prize at the 2019 Management Consultancies Association Awards. The long-standing conglomerate said 2019 is set to be a “reset year”, while it seeks to revamp its power-related businesses at the same time that it builds on strong growth within the aviation scene.

Other sectors

Elsewhere, the financial services industry saw a high level of representation in LinkedIn’s ranking. JP Morgan was listed in second place, while Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Aviva also made the grade. This represents a decline of one listing since 2018’s figures, perhaps reflecting the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s financial sector, amid the continued twists and turns of the Brexit saga.

Retail saw a slight rebound on its decimation in last year’s ranking. Having seemingly fallen out of favour in 2018, Sainsbury’s returned this year, sitting in third place. It was joined in the top 25 by fellow ‘Big Four’ supermarket Asda – though the news that some 60,000 Asda staff could be in line to lose their paid lunch breaks under new contracts could well see the company drop off the list in 2020. Marks & Spencer also made the list. The historically up-market supermarket now runs a work-placement programme called Marks & Start, which helps single parents, people with disabilities and the homeless to build careers within the company.

Healthcare and pharmaceuticals saw three entrants in the list too. Britain’s 50 fastest-growing privately-owned pharmaceutical companies have all increased sales by at least 10% in each of their last two financial years, facing down headwinds such as Brexit and NHS spending pressures to deliver rapid growth. GSK represented the pharmaceutical sector in fourth place, while Bupa and Johnson & Johnson stood for the healthcare and hospital industry in fifth and 16th respectively.

While the technology sector ultimately hosted the ranking’s top performer, Amazon, the only other sector incumbent was Google parent company Alphabet, in 19th. Salesforce and Dell Technologies, meanwhile, dropped off the ranking, having both been present in 2018.

The oil and energy sector’s representation is supplemented by hybrid firm Engie; however, the sector only fielded two pure-play members. BP, in eighth, and Shell, in 11th, have both spent time attempting to diversify in recent years, prompted by public image crises relating to the negative impact of fossil fuels on the planet, as well declining oil prices and the rising demand for renewable energy. These dynamics have, in turn, led to new skills coming into demand within the companies. 

Finally, the list was rounded off by singular representatives of five separate industries. Representing leisure in 12th was TUI, followed by food producer Associated British Foods (17th), building materials firm Travis Perkins (20th), telecommunications giant BT (21st) and utilities firm Centrica (22nd).