30 firms lauded at diverse 2023 MCA Awards

10 October 2023 Consultancy.uk 9 min. read
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The annual MCA Awards has seen 30 consultancies share the spoils, after another year of growth across the sector. PwC and KPMG picked up the highest number of wins and highly commended finishes – but the night saw firms beyond the Big Four very well represented too, with representatives from Mott MacDonald and North Highland scooping the prestigious Consultant of the Year and Project of the Year categories respectively.

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has marked the beginning of a new era for its showpiece awards ceremony, hosting the event in a glamourous new venue. The 26th edition of the MCA Awards saw more than 1,100 consultants, clients, government officials and media representatives converge on the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Mayfair district.

Adding to the sense of spectacle, guests were treated to a lightshow before the event and at half-time, as well as cannons of gold confetti at the end, reminiscent of the stadium experience many football stadiums now lay on for supporters. The sporting atmosphere was something the event’s guest host – sport-broadcasting legend Clare Balding – further played up by comparing the event to “your version of the Olympics”.

30 firms lauded at diverse 2023 MCA Awards

After a difficult few months of uncertainty for the consulting industry, however, the organisers also sought to highlight the importance of consulting beyond economics and expansion. With many of the industry’s largest operators reportedly mulling personnel cuts and hiring freezes, MCA CEO Tamzen Isacsson used her annual address to remind attendees of consultants to adapt and pull through tough times – while still making important contributions across society.

At the start of her 5th awards as MCA CEO, Isacsson noted, “In recent years, as a sector, we have enjoyed a period of sustained growth, despite the economic circumstances that have surrounded us. But we are not immune to them, and we are mindful of what they mean for our clients, our people and ourselves. But our growth as a profession is about so much more than about the size of our sector. We have grown in the services we provide. Raising our standards of delivery. Committing to Consulting Excellence. Increasingly we play a vital role in future proofing British and global businesses and enabling them to grow and prosper… As the challenges become more daunting - we respond as a profession, head on, always raising our standards.” 

Reflecting this growing diversity, five more firms were lauded by the event than last year’s raucous ceremony in Westminster. Across 25 categories for firms and individuals, representatives from 30 consulting firms shared the spoils of the night, ranging from the Big Four to fledgling boutiques across Britain.

PwC picked up the highest number of wins and commendations, at 12 – including the Commercial Impact Award for a project with the Home Office supporting asylum seekers. The firm was followed by Big Four rival KPMG at 11 – including a Lifetime Achievement win for Lisa Fernihough, Chief People Officer at KPMG. But the night’s two climactic awards belonged to mid-sized firms.

Drawn from the winners of all the collective categories, North Highland was handed Project of the Year for its work with the Ministry of Justice – using digital transformation in prisons, to help improve efficiency and reduce reoffending. Meanwhile, the Times Consultant of the Year trophy was presented to David Orr, of Mott MacDonald – who had earlier prevailed in the Chartered Management Consultant of the Year category – lauding his work with clients across the globe helping to reduce carbon emissions on major infrastructure projects.

As the event drew to a close, MCA President Yunus Ozler praised the strength and depth of the industry, as exemplified by those companies. He concluded that the “diversity of skills and expertise” which consultants provide clients with, will ultimately make the advisory market “a sustainable industry, and add to the sustainability of our clients.” 

Whatever uncertainty awaits in the next 12 months – alongside continued economic instability, and a general election – that means consultants will likely be the ones public and private clients turn to for help weathering the storm. And come next year, the door is wide open to those firms, whatever their size, to be the stars at the next awards ceremony in Mayfair.

MCA Awards 2023 – Winners List

Projects

Best Use of Thought Leadership

Winner
Deloitte with the Home Office and Companies House

Highly Commended
CF with the NHS Confederation
KPMG with NatWest Group

Change and Transformation in the Private Sector

Winner
Deloitte with SSEN Transmission

Highly Commended
EY with Estée Lauder Companies
PwC with Lipton Teas and Infusions
Vendigital with the Club Company

Change and Transformation in the Public Sector              

Winner
North Highland with the Ministry of Justice

Highly Commended
BJSS with NHS England
Eviden - an Atos business with the DE&S

Commercial Impact

Winner
PwC with the Home Office

Highly Commended
KPMG with Kantar

Technology Transformation (Sponsored by Kantata)

Winner
EY with esure Group

Highly Commended
BearingPoint with Volta Trucks
KPMG with Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council

International

Winner
Deloitte with Sanergy

Highly Commended
EY with MSD
KPMG with FCDO

Performance Improvement in the Private Sector

Winner
Arca Blanca with McCarthy Stone

Highly Commended
KPMG with London Stock Exchange Group
Managementors with ReAssure, part of Phoenix Group

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector

Winner
IMPOWER Consulting with Lincolnshire County Council

Highly Commended
PwC with London Borough of Hillingdon Council
PwC with the Ministry of Defence

People and Leadership

Winner
PwC with Legal and General

Highly Commended
Gobeyond Partners with First Bus

Social Value

Winner
Mason Advisory with Northumberland County Council

Highly Commended
EY with UK Finance/Cash Access UK
PwC with Birmingham City Council

Strategy

Winner
Propaganda with BSW Group

Highly Commended
Arup with Birmingham City Council
Moorhouse Consulting with Barts Health NHS Trust

Sustainability Award

Winner
Arup with Glasgow Life

Highly Commended
AtkinsRéalis with Portsmouth City Council            
Deloitte with Ordnance Survey and Climate Investor

Young Consultant of the Year

Winner
Rhys Thomson, CF

Highly Commended
Mitra Seirafi, Deloitte
Michael Wyatt, IMPOWER Consulting
Jonny Brighton, PwC      

Apprentice of the Year

Winner
Olivia Sullivan, Arup

Highly Commended
Joe Shepherd, AtkinsRéalis          
Lewis Gough, Deloitte    
Helen Jones, KPMG         

Rising Star (Sponsored by Grayce )

Winner
Muneeb Sheikh, Vendigital          

Highly Commended
Archie Cobb, IBM Consulting       
Uzoma Mezue, KPMG                   
Joseph Kleeman, Simon-Kucher  

Team Leader Consultant of the Year

Winner
Andrea Poore, PwC        

Highly Commended        
Christie Fearnside, Deloitte         

Thought Leader Consultant of the Year

Winner
Steve Gwynne, GHD Advisory     

Highly Commended        
Mark Essex, KPMG
Tara Shrestha Carney, PwC                        

Technology Consultant of the Year

Winner
Raj Cheema, KPMG         

Highly Commended
Edward Burrows, GHD Advisory                
Sumitha Fernandez Musoles, PwC           

Inclusion Award

Winner
Anna Nation, Eviden - an Atos business                 

Highly Commended
Tori Roberts, EY
Georgina Pipe, Gate One             

Experienced Leader Award

Winner
Susan McDonald, Deloitte

Highly Commended                       
Will Shaw, EY    
Nick Durrans, PwC          

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner
Lisa Fernihough, KPMG  

Highly Commended       
Hugh O’Reilly, KPMG      

Chartered Management Consultant of the year

Winner
David Orr, Mott MacDonald

Highly Commended
Ellie Wilkes, EY
Georgina Letts, PwC

Overall

Best New Consultancy (Sponsored by Equiteq )

Winner
Enfuse Group

Highly Commended
Clarity Consulting Associates Limited
MH&A

Project of the Year

Winner
North Highland with the Ministry of Justice

The Times Consultant of the Year

Winner
David Orr, Mott MacDonald