Today, we highlight another one of those consulting firms you may never have heard of – yet another reason why MC is here!
Insightful Thinking. Real-world solutions. That’s what Buck Consultants stands for – driving thinking-real-world solutions. A 104-year-old HR consulting and global employee benefits company that helps clients better manage their ‘human resources’, Buck is an independent subsidiary of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., A Xerox Company.
With 46 offices in 12 countries, Buck Consultants is recognized as one of the largest HR consulting firms in the U.S. (and the world). The firm is headquartered in New York and holds the #20 position in Vault’s top consulting firm rankings for 2016. Pretty crazy – and lots to learn about this gem of a firm.
Firm Profile Overview (click to jump to section):
BUCK CONSULTANTS KEY STATS
- Buck Consultants Website: www.buck.com
- Buck Consultants Headquarters: New York, USA
- Buck Consultants Employees: 2,250 employees
- Buck Consultants Locations: 46 offices, 12 countries
- Buck Consultants Chief Executives: Mike Roberts, President & Executive Managing Director
- Buck Consultants Revenue: $500M
- Buck Consultants Engagement Cost: $150K
BUCK CONSULTANTS HISTORY
The story of Buck Consultants goes way back to the early 20th century, a period known for its stark economic conditions. In 1912, George B. Buck helped to found Brown & Buck Consulting Actuaries, the first company to specialize in setting up and valuing employee benefit funds. George B. Buck Sr. started his own consulting business in 1916 on Wall Street, when the idea of human resources and of consulting was extremely new.
Born in Baltimore in 1891, Buck earned a Bachelor of Law degree from George Washington University. After being admitted to the Bar of the District of Columbia, he became involved in the actuarial discipline of the life insurance business, which used statistics to determine life expectancy and calculate annuity premiums–pivotal considerations in life insurance and pensions field, where Buck moved and made his reputation.
Buck Sr. started with only two employees and developed several revolutionary human resource concepts. Some of these include establishing the first global employee stock ownership plan, developing the first fully integrated health savings account and offering innovative severance solutions. George Buck’s ideas revolutionized the concept of human resources and became widely recognized.
In 1997, Mellon Financial corporation acquired Buck Consultants, ending its 80-year stint as a rogue firm without a parent company. In 1999, Buck was singled out amongst his peers and named one of the ‘Men of the Century’ by Pensions & Investments (we’re sure he had to beat out a ton of competition to win this accolade). Specifically, though not exactly thrillingly, he was credited for, “pioneering the application of sound actuarial principles to retirement plans” and for leading one of the first consulting firms to specialize in the valuation of pension plans.
Perhaps due to its rockstar status in the world of pensions and investments, Affiliated Computer Services bought Buck in 2005. Then, in 2010, Xerox acquired ACS for $6.4B, making Buck a Xerox company and a global leader in HR solutions.
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BUCK CONSULTANTS ORGANIZATION
Buck Consultants now operates out of multiple offices globally with a clientele that includes 45% of Fortune 100 companies. Buck Consultants at Xerox offers advisory, technology, and administration solutions to help companies effectively operate talent management programs while engaging employees each individually in his or her health, wealth, and career. Buck Consultants also provides exciting survey reports & publications across various industries and functions. Some of the survey report categories are in communication, compensation, health & productivity, retirement, complementary reports.
Buck Consultants’ HR Survey Suite is backed by the combined experience of Buck Consultants, a leader in retirement, health and welfare, and compensation consulting, and its parent company Xerox, the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. The result is a set of tools designed specifically for Human Resources professionals in mind.
- HR technology
- Health and productivity
- Human capital management
- Aerospace & Defense
- Automotive Services
- Healthcare Payer Services
- Healthcare Provider Services
- Healthcare Solutions
- High Tech Communications
- Pharma & Life Sciences
- Retail & Consumer Products
The career path that Buck offers is wide and promising. They provide many opportunities to experiment, and here is their career path: Actuarial Intern-> Associate-> Senior Associate-> Consultant-> Senior Consultant-> Manager-> Director-> Principal.
Buck Consultants offers a variety of summer internships, provided you are pursuing a Bachelors degree and have a minimum of 3.0 grade point average. Once you receive an offer from Buck Consultants, your internship will be in actuarial, health & productivity, retirement, communication, or wealth & investments.
When it comes to exit opportunities, consultants leaving Buck Consultants have a few options open to them. Most consultants move to other financial service companies like Deloitte, A.T. Kearney, Mercer, E&Y, Bates White, or PwC. Others move into HR roles at different companies, while some go back into education, and others, drawing on Buck’s impressive Fortune 100 network, take a deep dive into the corporate world (but outside HR).
Interested in charting the next steps of your consulting career. Schedule a Power Half Hour with one of our ex-MBB consultants to get pointed in the right direction.
BUCK CONSULTANTS CULTURE
At Buck Consultants, it’s all about people. Buck Consultants is a company that values people integration and builds strong foundations on health and wealth management, so its culture is designed to bring people together and make work interesting and easy. Buck Consultants employees love the interesting work they get to do, projects they get to work on, and ways in which they can build their expertise in fields like retirement, actuarial, research, document management and business processes.
Another thing employees love is the investment made in their development. The Actuarial Student Academic Program (ASAP) offers students time off with pay to prepare for actuarial exams, financial support for study materials and seminars, and rewards for successful completion of exams and designations! Buck also provides in-house, professor-taught actuarial study courses (in their largest offices) to help its employees as they strive to pass their exams.
Another program offered is the Professional Credentials Support Program (PCSP), providing financial support and time off with pay to earn professional credentials and advanced degrees and access to broader business courses that will help employees build management, communication, project management, and analytical skills.
As if all of that isn’t enough, Buck also gives its workers some pretty sweet benefits, including generous time off, a 401(k) with a company match, and comprehensive healthcare benefits. A good work/life balance is promoted through flexible work arrangements, and it also provide assistance to those wishing to pursue advanced actuarial designations or professional certifications.
The downside is that high volumes of work come in during peak hiring seasons, leaving you open to 12+ hours work days. Plus – who REALLY dreams about being an actuary when they grow up? In addition to this, integrating Xerox and Buck hasn’t gone very smoothly, left some people feeling like raises, promotions and bonuses are now hard to come by. In addition, employees have reported that the unrelenting focus on reducing costs and increasing revenue is hard to take as stunted department growth has left employees feeling like there has been an overall loss in leadership and focus.
BUCK CONSULTANTS INTERVIEWS AND RECRUITING
After Buck receives your resume, successful applicants are shortlisted and a time is set up for a phone interview. Next, a couple of weeks later, you will have a 45-minute phone interview, and right after that an email is sent out inviting the candidate to the office for an interview.
The preliminary interview consists of a 20-minute conversation with the office manager, and after that you can expect 5 or 6 total 30-minute interviews with junior and senior actuaries, and a wrap up with a senior manager/director depending on which level you’re applying for. It’s a full day, to say the least.
If you’re applying for manager level and above, word of mouth and referrals are to way to go to open the initial door , so make sure your networking skills are on point. Typically the complete processing time – senior hire or not – can take about 2-6 months.
During the interview process itself, you can expect situational question about managing time, working in teams, and typical strengths and weaknesses questions. There is also a lunch interview, where the interviewer, usually a manager, takes you out and checks you out in an informal setting. The key here? Be ready to pass the Airport Test.
Nervous about your case and behavioral interview chances? Check out our interview prep options to give you a leg up on the competition!
Networking your way into a position at Buck Consultants is not very difficult if you’ve got the right education and experience. The firm is growing, and currently looking to fill multiple positions. The firm hosts info sessions and career fairs at dozens of schools across the US. Access their events calendar to find out when and where you can network with someone from the firm and make sure you have your consulting-ready resume ready to leave with them.
Secondly, set up your LinkedIn profile and search for Buck Consultants employees in your network. LinkedIn shows around 1100 firm employees worldwide, so it’s possible you know someone who knows someone at Buck. For tips on planning your approach and delivering your elevator pitch, read The Networking Bible.
If providing strategic HR solutions is your passion, you’ll be a great fit at Buck Consultants.
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