Most Prestigious Management Consulting Firms

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Consultant and customer looking at statistics

Consulting is known to be a prestigious industry. However, when it comes to prestige, not all consultancies are created equal., a career website, has released a list of the most prestigious firms today.

They conducted a survey among consultants wherein the participants were asked to rate prestige of consulting firms on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest score. However, to observe fairness, respondents were not permitted to rate their own firm and were only asked to rate those firms with which they are familiar with.

Based on the perceived prestige by consulting professionals, here are the latest rankings of the most prestigious firms for 2014.

#1: McKinsey & Company

Still securing the top spot is the firm founded in 1926 by a CPA and management professor, James O. McKinsey. This privately owned management consulting firm has always been considered to be the most prestigious company in the industry.

The esteemed company was founded to give local companies sound financial and accounting advice. While McKinsey doesn’t really divulge the names of its clients, they claim to advise more than 80% of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list. They also claim to serve around 90 of the top 100 corporations globally, has served five out of the ten largest foundations in the U.S.

As for the range of expertise, the firm has a diverse list of clients – from commodities and natural resources to media and modern technology.

Aside from providing advice, McKinsey professionals also produce works of business scholarship. They regularly publish reports and studies, and even have their own business journal called McKinsey Quarterly. They even have a blog (Voices on Society), which tackles issues related to global society, featuring commentaries of world experts, and their own consultants.

#2: The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.

Remaining at second place is the firm founded in 1963 by Bruce D. Henderson. BCG now boasts around 5,000 consultants in 78 offices in 43 countries. According to Forbes magazine, this reputable firm ranks as one of America’s Largest Private Companies. They claim to serve numerous clients from the world’s 500 largest companies. Although BCG is known worldwide for helping multinational corporations, they also cater midsized businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

As expected from a renowned firm, they have a wide range of specialties. However, one of the innovations that the firm is known for is its growth-share matrix.

BCG consultants often come from the best business schools, such as Harvard, INSEAD, Kellogg, Stanford and Wharton. But they also have consultants who don’t have a business background and hold degrees ranging from economics, biochemistry, engineering, psychology, to law.

#3: Bain & Company

Still clinging at the third spot is Bain & Company. Currently they maintain 50 offices in 32 countries. This world renowned consultancy work across numerous economic and industry sectors – from media to healthcare to technology and alternative energy. While the firm keeps their client list confidential, word has leaked about some of its biggest clients, such as Dell, Ford, Charles Schwab, Starbucks, and Del Monte.

Bain also takes pride to be the first consultancy to work with private equity firms. Some of the services they provide for such firms are fund strategy, sector screening and deal generation, portfolio company performance improvement and exit planning.

#4: Booz & Company

The company founded in by Edwin Booz in 1914 grabbed the fourth spot in the most prestigious firms today. This highly regarded firm is one of the oldest consultancies in the world. Originally, it was called The Business Research Service of the lone staffer Booz.

In terms of specialties, they have a wide range of industries – including automotive, consumer, energy and utilities, financial services, health, industrials, media, oil and gas, transportation, retail, and many more.

They are also credited for some of the most revolutionary ideas in the consulting industry, like the concepts of human capital, product life cycle, supply chain management, smart customization, and organizational DNA.

#5: Deloitte Consulting LLP

Claiming the fifth spot is one of the leading tech service providers worldwide – Deloitte Consulting. Industry analysts are consistently impressed by this firm’s portfolio of client support, from advisory services to implementation to operations assistance.

The esteemed organization caters majority of the companies on the Fortune 500. They are also regularly cited in prestigious publications’ lists, such as Consulting Magazine’s Best Firms to Work For, Fortune’s annual 100 Best Companies to Work For, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Best Places to Launch a Career.

#6: Booz Allen Hamilton

Jumping at the sixth spot is the Virginia-based consulting firm. Booz is known to be an indispensable advisor to the US federal government, especially in IT strategy and integration to several agencies.

In its 100 years of existence, this renowned firm has gone through some name changes such as Edwin G. Booz, Business Engineering Service; Edwin G. Booz Surveys; Edwin G. Booz and Fry Surveys; Booz, Fry, Allen & Hamilton; Booz, Allen & Hamilton; and now Booz Allen Hamilton.

#7: PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) LLP (Consulting Practice)

Sliding down a notch is PWC LLP. They are headquartered in New York and operate in 72 offices across the US. They also claim to serve 81% of the companies on the Fortune 500.

In terms of advisory services, this reputable organization focuses on management, technology and risk consulting. They also offer forensics services, such as anti-corruption/fraud, forensic investigations, and cyber security.

#8: EY (Ernst & Young) LLP Consulting Practice

Grabbing the eight spot is the U.S. member firm of Ernst & Young Global – Ernst & Young LLP. They boast over 40,000 professionals working with clients in diverse industries, including automotive, banking and capital markets, biotechnology, consumer products, media and entertainment, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, power and utilities, retail and wholesale, and technology and telecommunications.

EY also claim that they don’t “consult”, rather “advises” their client. In fact, there is no such thing as a “consulting” wing at their company. This move to adopt “advisory” instead of “consulting” happened after the sale of its original consulting unit to Capgemini.

#9: IBM Global Business Services

From being twelfth last year, IBM GBS bounces to the ninth spot this year. This huge organization employs more than 100,000 professionals across continents, and is divided into IBM’s consulting, systems integration and applications businesses.

They also maintain the IBM Institute for Business Value, a foundation dedicated to providing strategic insights to help clients realize on new profitable opportunities. Their consultants around the world help in conducting research and analysis across numerous functional disciplines, such as corporate strategy, customer relationship management, financial management, human capital management, and supply chain management.

#10: Accenture

Employing more than 266,000 professionals across 120 countries, Accenture is one of the most prestigious consultancies in the world today. This global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, delivers its services in several industry-focused operating groups, including media and technology, financial services, products, health and public service.

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