Top Ranked

Best Boutique Consulting Firms

Which are the best small, mid-sized and specialist consulting firms to work for?

  • Survey Methodology

    What is a boutique firm?

    While there is no hard and fast definition, the term is generally understood within the consulting industry to refer to firms that are narrower in focus and smaller in size than the larger, generalist firms that can offer advice across a wide range of practice areas and industries. Thus, each of the firms on the this ranking are specialists in their practice areas--some have, in fact, just one area of specialization, and all had fewer than 750 consultants at the time of publication.

    Why work for a boutique?

    There are many reasons why someone would choose to work for a boutique consulting firm over one of the larger competitors in the industry. For example, boutiques tend to offer better work-life balance opportunities. Some staff employees locally, as opposed to firms that operate on 100% travel models. And sometimes, it just comes down to specialization: if you're only interested in economics or public sector consulting, it might not make sense to work at a firm where you'll be expected to rotate through a variety of practice areas in your first two years.

    Every year, we look at our consulting survey data from a number of angles, trying to find insights and takeaways about the consulting industry that we haven't seen before. One of those insights led directly to the creation of the Best Boutique Firms ranking--that when you compare responses of employees from large firms and those who work for boutiques, one major factor stands out: big firm consultants are much more likely to value the prestige of their organization than those who work for boutiques.

    Interestingly, the remaining factors that motivate employees at the two groups of firms are almost identical and, when prestige is excluded, are also weighted almost identically.

    As a result, we decided to examine our data from that perspective: to eliminate prestige as a concern, and simply rank the boutique firms based on the remaining factors that consultants identified as being important to them, weighted as closely as possible to their relative importance in our survey data. The result is this ranking, which is weighted as follows:

    25% Culture
    20% Satisfaction
    20% Work-life balance
    10% Ability to challenge
    10% Compensation
    10% Outlook
    5% Promotion

    As ever, our survey is only open to consultants who are currently employed at reputable firms in the industry. When rating quality of life issues, consultants are only permitted to rate their own firm. For prestige and practice area rankings, however, consultants are only allowed to rate competitors, and NOT their own firms.

  • Ranking History

2017 Best Boutique Consulting Firms

1
SCORE
9.397

Putnam Associates

Over the last 25 years Putnam Associates has grown into a premier strategy consulting firm serving biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics, medical...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
2
SCORE
9.356

Eagle Hill Consulting

Billing itself as a "family-run, woman-owned company," Eagle Hill Consulting serves clients in three distinct sectors: financial services, public...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
2
3
SCORE
9.347

Insight Sourcing Group

Founded in 2002, Insight Sourcing Group is a consulting firm that focuses exclusively on strategic sourcing and procurement. Led by alumni of some of the...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
1
4
SCORE
9.220

The Brattle Group

The Brattle Group answers complex economic, regulatory, and financial questions for corporations, law firms, and governments around the world....

TRENDING

2016 Rank
3
5
SCORE
9.180

ClearView Healthcare Partners

ClearView is a boutique consulting firm in the life sciences strategy field. The company has enjoyed exponential growth since its founding in 2007,...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
4
6
SCORE
9.080

The Bridgespan Group

The Bridgespan Group is a consulting firm that serves the nonprofit sector by collaborating with mission-driven leaders, organizations, and...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
9
7
SCORE
8.914

ScottMadden Management Consultants

ScottMadden is a management consulting firm that operates in four main practice areas: Energy, Grid Transformation, Clean Tech and Sustainability, and...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
7
8
SCORE
8.875

CapTech

Richmond, VA-based CapTech was founded in 1997 by two colleagues at Accenture-Sandy Williamson and Slaughter Fitz-Hugh-with a focus building corporate...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
10
9
SCORE
8.853

The Cambridge Group

If the consultants at The Cambridge Group were your Economics 101 professor, you would not have learned supply and demand, but rather demand and supply....

TRENDING

2016 Rank
12
10
SCORE
8.847

Health Advances, LLC

The professionals at Health Advances consult about one thing and one thing only: health care. Established in 1992, the firm's core belief is that...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
19

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