2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
"Ability to work at home occasionally"
"Lack of cooperation between practices"
"Tendency to run activities 'by the book'"
"Base pay could be higher"
About PA Consulting Group
It might sound like it originated in the Keystone State, but PA Consulting Group's home base is actually in London, where it was founded in 1943. With offices in 14 countries, the firm has a presence in nine U.S. cities: Boston, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Madison, New York, Princeton and Arlington. The firm employs more than 300 professionals in the States, serving clients in a number of industries, with particular emphasis on communications, media and entertainment, defense and government, energy, financial services, and health care and life sciences.
Elsewhere in the world, PA Consulting has offices in Europe and Latin America, with around 2,600 employees reaching clients in approximately 35 countries. These employees are owners, too: the firm is independent and owned by its people. Its consulting expertise covers a wide range of services and solutions, including management strategy, information technology, human resources, complex program delivery, operations improvement, risk management, sourcing and more.
From war machines...
PA's roots lie in war-torn Great Britain. With the country desperate to churn out weaponry and supplies at a faster-than-usual rate, but with so many workers on the front lines, its remaining workforce was relatively unskilled. Entrepreneur Ernest Butten and two associates founded Personnel Administration Ltd. to advise the manufacturing sector on improving management and boosting productivity. Even in its earliest days, the firm was prepared to take bold steps--it solved two problems at one stroke by training women (then a very controversial act) to assemble bombers, thus maintaining productivity in factories while freeing up more men to head off to the front.
The firm continued on a growth path through the postwar years, and by the 1970s it was ranked with Booz Allen Hamilton and McKinsey as one of the largest consultancies in the world, boasting offices across Europe, Australia and Asia. That proved to be the firm's pinnacle, however, as several years of low revenue, coupled with an overall decline in the consulting industry left the firm with a fraction of its former headcount, and flirting with bankruptcy by the 1990s.
...to computing machines
Under the leadership of Jon Moynihan, who took over in 1992 and remains at the firm today, PA became an early competitor in the technology consulting field, developing expertise in both tech selection and application. Accordingly, the firm has enjoyed a period of growth that has once again established it as a big player in the industry--although not quite as big as it once was. That's not to say that the company doesn't still consider itself a competitor to the biggest names in its industry, however; on its website, the firm claims its consultants' skills "span a wider range of capabilities than any major consulting firm."
Within the U.S., that wide range of skills translates into a wide variety of consulting services, all of which are geared toward transforming clients' businesses. And while the list of specific consulting disciplines and solutions may be lengthy, they're all aimed at producing the same core outcomes, as far as PA's clients are concerned: "managing risk, mobilizing staff and integrating initiatives to deliver sustainable change quickly."
The firm claims to work with companies "from insight to implementation"--an approach that sees the company developing unique insights for clients, as well as delivering end-to-end solutions. Its insights don't stop coming once a job is done, however, nor are they forgotten when a contract is completed; PA dedicates sections of its website to insights on a dozen different business areas--ranging from capturing customer value to lean organization consulting to supply chain issues. In addition, the firm puts out a publication for senior executives called Viewpoint. Published on an occasional basis, the magazine examines major competitive issues facing organizations.
4601 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (571) 227-9000
Employer Type: Private
CEO: Alan Middleton
Employees (All Locations): 2,546