McKinsey Takes Top Spot for 9th Straight Year; A.T. Kearney, ZS Associates, Diamond Management & Technology Consultants Make Big Jump
New York, NY, (August 31, 2010) Vault.com, the source of ratings, rankings and insight for the consulting industry, has released its annual Top 50 Consulting Prestige Rankings. For the ninth straight year, McKinsey & Company, regarded by consultants as “the gold standard,” has been ranked No. 1.
The Vault Consulting Prestige Rankings provide a comprehensive roadmap of who's who in the consulting industry—ranging from big consulting shops to smaller, niche firms, and spanning a vast swath of industries. From March through July, over 4,500 consultants of all levels were asked to rate consulting firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige. (They were unable to rate their own firm, and were asked to rate only firms with which they were familiar).
The 2011 Top 10 Most Prestigious Consulting Firms are:
1. McKinsey & Company
2. The Boston Consulting Group
3. Bain & Company
4. Booz & Company
5. Deloitte Consulting
6. Mercer LLC
7. Monitor Group
9. Ernst & Young
10. Oliver Wyman
“McKinsey & Company cannot be beat in the prestige category,” said Brian Dalton, managing editor at Vault.com. “The firm has achieved a certain mystique that has gone unmatched since we began conducting our consulting survey, so much so that respondents go so far as to state that McKinsey has ‘invented the industry.’”
Survey respondents call the consulting juggernaut a “powerhouse,” “the name for strategy,” “the best of the best,” an “industry leader” and a “founding father.” But while the firm might be the “gold standard,” prestige comes with a price and detractors are quick to criticize McKinsey for being “arrogant, overpriced and very junior,” “disconnected,” “pretentious,” “egotistical,” and “not invincible.”
But that has not stopped jobseekers from wanting to work at McKinsey. As one associate at McKinsey notes, “although I do occasionally feel overworked, I cannot imagine a more interesting place to work or a better set of folks to work with.” Another associate describes McKinsey as “a great group of very smart and motivated people who are good at working in team settings. People here work hard together and develop strong bonds.”
Much in line with McKinsey’s repeat at the top, this year's prestige ranking showed a remarkably low rate of movement from last year. The Top 10 firms are entirely the same, with some slight adjustments in positioning, as HR consulting firm Mercer LLC moved up two spots, while Monitor Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers each moved down one notch.
Rankings See Big Increases From Several Firms In Wake of Recession; Welcome New Additions
Among the firms that made larger jumps in the rankings are A.T. Kearney, which jumped from No. 16 last year to No. 11; ZS Associates, which rose from No. 28 in the 2010 rankings to No. 21 for 2011; and Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, which jumped five spots from No. 36 last year to No. 31.
“These jumps suggest that the factors that improved firms' perception in the industry are stability in the face of the recession and targeted industry focus,” added Mr. Dalton. “For instance, strategic IT consulting is on the rise as companies seek to streamline their processes and cut down on back-office costs, and health care consulting will continue to play an integral role as the new legislation continues to unfold.”
This year’s rankings also saw new firms enter into the mix this year. Grant Thornton (No. 28) is a large, well-known accounting/consulting shop, while The Cambridge Group (No. 35) has made a name for itself in the growth strategy space, focusing on customer demand.
View the entire Top 50 Consulting Prestige Rankings.
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