L.E.K. CONSULTING INTERVIEWS & CULTURE
Today we continue our firm profile series with an in-depth review of L.E.K. Consulting.
A global consulting firm founded in London, England in 1983 and containing the heart and of Bain & BCG, L.E.K. is a Life Sciences and Healthcare powerhouse with expertise across a growing number of fields including Private Equity, Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions.
KEY STATS FOR L.E.K. CONSULTING
L.E.K. Consulting Website: www.lek.com
L.E.K. Consulting Headquarters: London, England
L.E.K. Consulting Employees: 1000+
L.E.K. Consulting Locations: 14 countries, 21 offices
L.E.K. Consulting Chief Executive: Iain Evans
L.E.K. Consuting Revenue: $500M
L.E.K. Consulting Engagement Cost: $400K
L.E.K. CONSULTING HISTORY
An offshoot of Bain & Company, L.E.K. was founded in 1983 in London, England by James Lawrence (the client handler), Iain Evans (the analyst) and Richard Koch (the commercial one), three partners from Bain & Company’s London office who had a vision to build something on their own. So instead of naming themselves Lawrence, Evans and Koch, they broke all the rules and called themselves L.E.K., which is consulting badassery of the highest order.
From the beginning, the founders said L.E.K. was going to be a leading global firm and that they were never going to compromise. With all the best intentions in the world, however, it wasn’t always plain sailing. According to Iain Evans, L.E.K. Chairman, the early days were so lean, they thought the company wasn’t going to make it. Without the help of two of his close friends, Evans contends, L.E.K. would have failed.
But fail it did not, and after weathering the early years, L.E.K. managed to establish themselves in the market and grew into a global firm with 1000+ employees and 21 offices.
If you look closely at L.E.K., you’ll see they aren’t shabby at all. Richard Koch, one of their founders, is a bit of a rock star. Starting his consulting career at Boston Consulting Group in 1976, he joined Bain in 1980, becoming a partner in 1981 and then leaving to form L.E.K. in 1983.
He retired in 1990 to write books and authored The 80/20 Principle in 1997. Koch currently resides in Gibraltar where he continues to write, make private equity investments and bask in the glory of his success and his place on The Sunday Times’ Rich List.
An interesting fact: of all the major global strategy firms, L.E.K. is the only one to have grown from a UK base.
L.E.K. CONSULTING ORGANIZATION
Along with a Chairman, L.E.K. has a global leadership team consisting of 11 members spread across their offices.
Known within the firm as, “Key Capabilities”, L.E.K.’s 4 practice areas are:
- Marketing & Sales
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Aerospace & Defense
- Aviation & Travel
- Biopharma & Life Sciences
- Business Services
- Consumer Products
- Energy & Environment
- Financial Services
- Healthcare Services
- Media, Entertainment & Technology
- Natural Resources
- Private Equity
- Surface Transport & Logistics
L.E.K Consulting has over 21 offices located in 14 different countries:
- Seoul, South Korea
- Singapore, Singapore
- Shanghai, China
- Beijing, China
- Tokyo, Japan
- Mumbai, India
- Chennai, India
- New Delhi, India
- Sydney, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
- Paris, France
- Munich, Germany
- Milan, Italy
- Wroclow, Poland
- London, United Kingdom
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Los Angeles, CA
- New York, NY
- San Francisco, CA
- São Paulo, Brazil
The L.E.K. Consulting career path is pretty standard: Associate – Associate Consultant – Consultant – Manager – Principal – Partner.
Undergrads can expect to join L.E.K. Consulting at the Associate level with the chance to become Consultants after 2 years. MBAs will join as a Consultants and work their way up to a Manager and beyond.
L.E.K. offers two types of paid internships, both of which start in June and last anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks. The first, their Summer Associate Program, is for undergraduates who are between their junior and senior years. As a Summer Associate, you will essentially have the same job as a full time Associate, which consists of basic research and analysis.
The second internship opportunity, their Summer Consultant Program, is for 2nd year MBAs. Summer Consultants, like Summer Associates, will spend 8 to 10 weeks at the firm, although they will usually dedicate 100% of their internship on one single engagement.
The Summer Associates can apply to any of L.E.K.’s global offices, but Summer Consultants can only apply at their U.S and London offices. If you are an international candidate, then don’t worry, L.E.K. sponsors visas.
To apply for the internship opportunities, you must submit a complete application consisting of a resume, cover letter stating geographic preference, and a copy of your transcripts online or at your school’s career service office between January 1st and the end of February.
As it is with all top consulting firms, exit opportunities abound. Some L.E.K. Consulting alumni have landed positions at other prestigious firms, as senior managers while several other alumni have moved on to found their own companies. A small select few have even branched out into some unexpected areas such as politics and journalism.
- Kevin A. Mayer – Executive Vice President – The Walt Disney Company
- Robert Boyle – Commercial Director – British Airways
- Richard Koch – Author and Entrepreneur, author of The 80/20
- Jim Lawrence – CEO – Rothschild North America
- Coline McConville – CEO – Clear Channel Europe
- Phillip Goulding – CFO – Allegheny Energy
- Christian Purslow – Co-founder & Managing Director – MidOcean Partners/Liverpool Football Club
- Oliver Duha – Co-founder & Co-chairman – WebHelp France
- Tim Sims – Managing Partner – Pacific Equity Partners
- Reinhard Gorenflos – Managing Director – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
- Richard Fuller – Member of Parliament – Bedford
- Boris Johnson – Journalist, MP & Mayor – London
- Andre Sillitoe – CEO – Apax Partners
- Damon Buffini – Managing Partner – Permira
Smaller firms like L.E.K are operating on smaller budgets than their colleagues at MBB etc. Because of this, if you aren’t at one of their target schools, you’ll probably find it harder to break in than you would at a larger firm.
- University of Chicago
- UC Berkeley
L.E.K. CONSULTING CULTURE
Two things that stand out about L.E.K are the amount of responsibility Consultant level hires are given from the get go and the low amount of travel their employees do. In terms of responsibility, Consultant hires are brought in after their MBAs and are expected to manage projects of their own, so it’s very much sink or swim. Some people love this responsibility-heavy approach to life and some people find it daunting. Either way, you’ll have to ramp up hard and ramp up quickly if you want to get up to survive.
With regard to travel requirements, L.E.K is very unusual in that it is a very low travel firm. This approach has at least two very positive outcomes. The first effect is it helps promote a healthy work-life balance and the second effect is it helps create an unusually strong bond of unity within the team because, by and large, they see each other every day. But don’t let the low travel nature of the firm fool you: you will still be putting in 60-80 hour weeks, you’ll just get to sleep in your bed each night.
Intelligent: L.E.K. encourages and expects their employees to continually learn, to understand and be motivated by complex problems, and strive for fresh insight and understanding.
Honesty: The company does not lie, when they give a yes its a yes and when they give a no its a no. They adhere to the highest professional standard at all times, maintain strict confidentiality and are open about what they do and don’t know.
Diligence: They continually strive to do their best by delivering the highest quality products and by never stopping to challenge, question and respond to clients needs.
Employee-driven: L.E.K. encourages employees to take the initiative on a variety of things ranging from cases, personal responsibility, employee-directed social and community efforts.
Collaborative: L.E.K. is not afraid to share their knowledge and insights and expect employees to be willing to do the same with different personalities and cultures.
Ownership-taking: L.E.K. takes ownership over their responsibilities and work and they equally expect their employees to do the same.
Personable: They keep the pressures of uncertainty and complexity in perspective, keep ego in check, are respectful of others and enjoy the work place.
- Queens Award for Enterprise (2007)
- “Specialist Due Diligence Provider of the Year” – British Private Equity Awards (2012)
- “Management Consultants of the Year” – Independent Healthcare Awards (2012 & 2013)
- Stuart Jackson (Global Managing Partner) – Consulting Magazine’s Top 25 Consultants worldwide (2012)
L.E.K. CONSULTING INTERVIEWS AND RECRUITING
Generally speaking, interview are held across two rounds. The first round can be done on campus or over the phone, with second round taking place at their offices with senior staff members.
In the interviews themselves you can expect to deal with cases in both rounds, with a particular focus on both market sizing and strategy questions. In particular L.E.K is really known (especially in the U.S.) for its Healthcare and Life Sciences practice, so if you’re interviewing in the U.S be prepared for at least some cases focusing on, Biopharma, Life Sciences, Healthcare Services and MedTech.
More importantly, L.E.K. consultants create their own cases, from their own case experience, so if the office you’re interviewing with has a particular area of expertise (e.g. Aerospace and Defense), you can expect that area to be covered in the interview.
For the fit portion of the interview, be prepared to answer questions about working in teams, resolving conflict and building expertise. If you come from a healthcare or Life Sciences background, make sure to highlight that experience, but do not nerd out. L.E.K focuses on the commercial side of science and not science itself, so it’s important to speak their language.
If you’d like some help with your interview preparation, get in touch with us here to book a coaching session with us.
Are you an undergrad, MBA or intern who’s interested in working at L.E.K., but you don’t know how much you’ll make? Check out our latest Management Consulting Salaries post to find out!
L.E.K prides itself on the diversity of its workforce and the fact that over 30 different nationalities are represented within the company. Some of the initiatives taken to foster diversity include:
- L.E.K. Women’s Network – An internal network designed to invest their female staff members and develop them as future leaders.
- L.E.K. LGBT – L.E.K is one of the few U.S. consulting firms to expand the value of benefits for same-sex domestic partners, by covering the additional IRS requirements for employees who wish to insure their same-sex domestic partners.
L.E.K. CONSULTING LINKS
We’ll wrap up with some quick links to all the L.E.K articles on the MC site, as well as Twitter handles, key reading for anyone that wants to jump on board L.E.K.’s team, and more. Enjoy!
- How to win at the L.E.K. interview process even when applying from abroad
- Required Reading For Prospective Consultants
- How To Write a Management Consulting Resume
- L.E.K. Consulting Books
- L.E.K. Consulting Press Releases
- L.E.K. Consulting In The News
- L.E.K. Consulting Events
- L.E.K. Consulting Published Articles
- L.E.K. Consulting Facebook
- L.E.K. Consulting Google+
- L.E.K. Consulting LinkedIn
- L.E.K. Consulting Twitter
- L.E.K. Consulting Youtube