Top 8 management advisory firms in Germany

10 March 2014 4 min. read

McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Roland Berger belong to the largest consulting firms in Germany. Furthermore, the Big Four, Accenture and Oliver Wyman are also listed in the top 8.

Despite the economic crisis, the German consultancy market has been fruitful over the past ten years. Since 2013, when the market value was estimated to be €12,2 billion, the market grew every single year (except in the year 2009) to a current value of €22,3 billion. In sum, during the past decade the German consultancy market has grown by €10 billion. That is an estimated growth of little over 7% a year. With a current magnitude of €22,3 billion, Germany may proclaim itself as having the largest advisory market in Europe*. 

Germany consulting markt

McKinsey & Company

For years the market is being ruled by the American McKinsey & Company. This worldwide strategic consultancy company has been one of the pioneers at entering the German market. They did so by opening an office in Düsseldorf in 1964. This ‘early-mover advantage’ has always been a huge advantage McKinsey has when competing with rivalry companies. In comparison, Boston Consulting Group opened its doors for the first time in 1975 (Munich) and Bain and Company followed in 1982.  A.T. Kearney also opened an office in 1964 (the establishment in Düsseldorf even was the first office outside of the United States) although its scale was a lot smaller internationally and in Germany.

In the year 2014, McKinsey has 2.300 employees working in seven offices in Germany. The advisory consultancy firm was led by Cornelius Baur (51) who was recently named successor of Frank Mattern, who currently occupies a worldwide role.

Boston Consulting Group

The second company in the market is the Boston Consulting Group. Having 1.800 employees, this strategic advisory firm has a €490 billion turnover. Just like McKinsey it has 7 offices in Germany, also in the same cities as its rival. For the year 2014, Boston Consulting Group announced a positive prognosis. BCG expects to grow by a “one digit percentage” said Carsten Kratz, BCG Managing partner, in Handelsblatt (German newspaper). To facilitate growth, the recruitment goal is set to hire 200 new consultants this year.

Management Consulting Duitsland

Roland Berger

Roland Berger has 1.250 employees and a €445 million turnover, thereby being the third largest advisory consultancy firm in Germany. Even though the German advisory consultancy firm had, as a consequence of future uncertainty, a though last year, it decided to remain functioning independently. Consequently it reaffirmed its ambition at staying a worldwide top 5 player. With the recent selling of Booz & Company to PwC it may proclaim itself as the number 4 in the (pure play) Strategy & Operations domain.

Big Four

In the worldwide top 8 management consultancy firms, unsurprisingly, the Big 4 offices are also listed. Having 2.150 employees and a turnover of € 403 million KPMG holds a fourth place in Germany, followed by PwC having 1.470 employees with a €315 million turnover. Deloitte has 1,405 employees and is listed on the eighth place. Surprisingly EY, being the largest business services company in The Netherlands, is not listed in this top 8.

Grootse management consultancybureaus van Duitsland

Accenture and Oliver Wyman

With a €296 million turnover and 825 employees hired, Accenture is listed as number six in the German market. Its total turnover is actually a lot higher, but Technology and Outsourcing business units’ turnover is not included in the procedure. Also the non-advisory turnover of the Big 4 organizations were not included.  Oliver Wyman, the strategic and management consulting branch at Marsh & Mclennan, has 703 employees and is listed as number seven. The office has a well-known reputation within the financial sector.  As such, it assists the ECB with the screening of the European banking sector and it helps multiple big banks with updating their business models.

* According to FEACO, the German consultancy market has a value of over €30 billion (2012). FEACO does include outsourcing in its definition, even though Handelsblatt only was interested in pure management consulting and financial advisory services. If outsourcing is deleted from the FEACO data, different values are approximately the same.

** The exact difference depends on the source used. FEACO data points out that the market is robustly 10x larger than the Dutch market. When the estimates of the market size by screening company Source are used (€1,5 billion), this difference increases to an average 15x.