Financial Advisory

The Financial Advisory (or financial consulting) segment encompasses services that are based on financial analytical capabilities. Although offerings may address a variety of business issues – including the handling of mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, real estate advisory, litigation, forensics, risk or regulatory compliance – financial and accounting skills always provide the basis for service delivery.

Financial advisory services

The market for financial advisory services consists of six main disciplines: Corporate Finance, Risk Management, Transaction Services, Restructuring, Real Estate Advisory and Forensics & Litigation. An overview of the key expertise areas per discipline:


Financial advisory market

The financial advisory segment is estimated to be worth $61.3 billion, roughly a quarter of the global consulting market. Between 2011 and 2015 the market is forecasted to grow with a CAGR of 3.6%, although growth rates are expected to decline further every year to just over 3% next year.


What does a financial advisory consultant do?

Unlike other consulting segments, the main disciplines within Financial Advisory are less related from a functional perspective - the grouping is based on the dependency on rigorous financial analytical skills. As a consequence the disciplines can to a larger extent be seen as separate service areas: a Corporate Finance or M&A consultant for example performs substantially different activities than a Risk expert. 

In addition, a portion of financial advisory services overlaps with other consulting segments and even non-consulting industry services. For instance, Corporate Finance and M&A services are also offered by strategy consultants and investment bankers, while Litigation & Forensic services also are part of the service portfolio of (specialised) law firms.

Financial advisory firms

Traditionally the market for financial advisory services is dominated by firms with a legacy in tax and audit services, such as the large accounting- and consulting firms. Yet over the past years firms from other segments, such as strategy consultants, process specialists, economic experts and systems integrators have developed their skills in the area of financial advisory. As a result of the variety of services within financial advisory, each discipline tends to have a relatively large group of different players, such as Corporate Finance boutiques, Real Estate experts or Risk Management specialists.

See the 'M&A' and 'Financial' section under Consulting Firms for a list of financial advisory firms.