Growing UK consulting industry lauded at 25th MCA Awards

15 November 2022 Consultancy.uk 6 min. read
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A historic night for the MCA Awards saw its 25th annual event attended by almost 1,000 industry figures. The gala in London saw the Management Consultancies Association reveal the winners of 25 awards, with 22 firms winning or receiving special commendations, with mid-sized firms performing strongly, picking up 11 of the prizes.

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has celebrated a quarter-century of celebrating the best and brightest of its industry, with the hosting of its 25th annual MCA Awards. On a lively night in Westminster, close to 1,000 consultants, industry experts and clients packed out the hall of the Park Plaza Hotel, in the largest MCA Awards attendance to date. The ceremony was presided over by respected broadcast journalist Sir Trevor McDonald – who stepped in at the last minute for the originally billed host Huw Edwards.

Reflecting the rapid growth of the UK’s management consulting industry, the growth of the awards has necessitated a number of changes going forward. The 2022 gala will be the last MCA Awards to be hosted at Park Plaza – moving to The Grosvenor Hotel next year.

MCA Awards 2022 - The winners

This was symptomatic of a wider sense of change in the consulting sector, which was referenced repeatedly throughout the event. Yunus Ozler, who became the MCA’s President in the spring, said in his speech that he believed “the next President of the MCA is somewhere in this room”. The EY Partner added that on the basis of “the talent, expertise and insight” of the diverse representatives before him, the organisation would be “in great hands.”

MCA CEO Tamzen Isacsson was similarly keen to highlight the rapid expansion of Britain’s advisory market – not just in terms of revenues, but also in terms of opening itself up to new pools of talent. Noting that as demand from clients for support during periods of major change, “new jobs are being generated across our sector with new opportunities for graduates, apprentices and school leavers across the nation.”

Reflecting the shifting shape of the consulting sector, this year’s MCA Awards added several new categories to the event. The first ever Inclusion Award for an individual who had excelled at championing and building an inclusive workplace and demonstrating the impact of their work in their firm was handed to Sonia Sharma of EY. A new Sustainability Award was awarded to IBM Consulting with the UK Fashion and Textiles Association, after the firm helped the fashion industry to make its supply chains more sustainable. And Susannah Lindsay from IBM scooped the inaugural Chartered Management Consultant of the Year category, created to celebrate those making use of the MCA and CMI’s Chartered consulting certification.

The diversifying nature of UK professional services was also embodied by the number of different winners at the event. Overall, there were 25 award categories in this year's MCA Awards with 12 project awards, 10 individual awards and three overall awards.

The evening saw larger firms pick up numerous awards including 12 wins and highly commended accolades for PwC – including an individual prize for Marnie Grant, who was named Times Consultant of the Year – 10 for EY and six for IBM. But many medium and smaller firms also secured winning entries in both project and individual categories. Overall, 13 mid-sized firms such as Atkins, BearingPoint, Curzon Consulting, Proxima, Arca Blanca and CF racked up 11 winning awards, and 11 highly commended nods. 

Explaining why it was important the MCA Awards included such a range of firms, Isacsson added, “This is our biggest ceremony ever. We have never had so many awards and we have never had so many entrants competing for them. And our industry has never been this size before. But the evening is about even more that. It is a celebration of all we do to make our industry better. To deliver for clients. To deliver for our communities. To raise our standards. To improve ourselves as individuals.”

Full list of winners:

Projects

Best Use of Thought Leadership

Winner
PwC with Children in Care

Highly Commended
EY with the UK Climate Business Forum
PwC with Green Jobs Barometer

Change and Transformation in the Private Sector

Winner
PwC with National Grid

Highly Commended
Arca Blanca with Landsec
Deloitte with AstraZeneca

Change and Transformation in the Public Sector

Winner
Atkins with the Ministry of Defence

Commercial Impact

Winner
Curzon Consulting with Ramsay Health Care UK

Technology Transformation

Winner
PwC with London South Bank University

Highly Commended
Coeus Consulting with Shell Energy

International

Winner
EY with SAP

Highly Commended
Arup with the Authority for Reconstruction with Changes

Performance Improvement in the Private Sector

Winner
Proxima with Baxters

Highly Commended
KPMG with Tesco

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector

Winner
CF with the NHS England Breast Screening Recovery Programme

Highly Commended
Arcadis with Network Rail
Atkins and Faithful + Gould with High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd

People and Leadership

Winner
BearingPoint with Bupa

Social Value

Winner
Propaganda with GenM

Highly Commended
IBM Consulting with the UK Health Security Agency (HSA)
Netcompany with the Department of Health & Social Care

Strategy

Winner
CF with North Central London Community and Mental Health

Highly Commended
Arca Blanca with Avast
PwC with Network Rail

Sustainability

Winner
IBM Consulting with Fashion Trust

Highly Commended
Arup with Health Care Without Harm
KPMG with UCL

Individuals

Young Consultant of the Year

Winner
Marnie Grant, PwC

Highly Commended
Elizabeth Bradley, Proxima
Adam Kavanagh, PwC
Aakash Phulwani, EY

Apprentice of the Year

Winner
Alicia Leavitt, PwC

Highly Commended
Akram Halim,  Arcadis
Grace Blake, IBM Consulting
Honor King, PwC

Rising Star

Winner
Yeshua Carter, EY

Highly Commended
Tim Deeker-Harris, Proxima

Team Leader Consultant of the Year

Winner
Matthew Nimmo, Inner Circle Consulting

Highly Commended
Will Browne, CF
Caroline Canham, PwC

Thought Leader Consultant of the Year

Winner
Angela Spatharou,IBM Consulting

Highly Commended
Catriona Campbell, EY

Technology Consultant of the Year

Winner
Jonathan McNaught, EY

Highly Commended
Akhil Nair, GHD Advisory
Lee Crooks, KPMG

Inclusion Award

Winner
Sonia Sharma, EY

Highly Commended
Josh Graham, Deloitte
Aidan Moran, IBM Consulting

Experienced Leader Award

Winner
Julie Neal, Vendigital

Highly Commended
Sean Casey, EY
Adam Smith, NECS Consultancy

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner
Michael Robinson, KPMG

Highly Commended
Tracey Gilbert, IBM Consulting

Chartered Management Consultant of the Year

Winner
Susannah Lindsay, IBM Consulting

Highly Commended
Matt McCabe, EY
Guy Watmore, PwC

Overall

Best New Consultancy

Winner
Blurred

Project of the Year

Winner
CF with the NHS England Breast Screening Recovery Programme

The Times Consultant of the Year

Winner
Marnie Grant, PwC