Top 10 Consulting Firms In New York


This week, we bring you the Top 10 Consulting firms in New York – the power center of the world.

How do we know New Yorkers think the universe revolves around them? Well, for one, when we set our calendar in West Coast time, they show up on East Coast time – because who (that matters) lives outside the Big Apple?

Jokes aside, we love the great city of NYC. If you are a New Yorker, just moved there with hope and zeal to conquer the consulting world, or are just looking for some world-class information on the top consulting firms in New York, here is what we have for you. Drum roll…

1. McKinsey & Company

Yes, the great McKinsey has its headquarters in New York, located at 55 E 52nd St on the 21st Floor. Founded in 1926, McKinsey now has its largest global office in New York with more than 500 consultants. The current staff are connected with more than 3000 alumni in the melting pot city area who are business founders and CEOs. The office is incredibly diverse, with some of the best talent from 35+ countries and folks that speak 29 languages.

In the New York office, the industries McKinsey caters to are financial services, healthcare services, advanced electronics, aerospace and defense, and TMT (technology, media, and telecommunications). McKinsey’s New York office recently received a perfect score for the 10th year in a row for the Human Rights Campaign Foundations 2016 corporate equality index, which focuses on the best places to work with regards to LGBT equality and gender equity for women.

In New York, McKinsey’s presence is way stronger than the other Big 3 – which is why they win our #1 spot in NYC. The culture is really crisp with very intelligent people around; in fact, some of the “best” longest-standing McKinseyites in the world are in NYC and McKinsey has significant support staff in the office as well.

Compensation and benefits are on par to the market, but not adjusted for NYC living (so for take-home pay you might be better off in Atlanta or Dallas as a young McKinseyite, unless the magnetic draw to the Big Apple is just too much). As usual getting into McKinsey is tough, but it’s even tougher in NYC – with many target recruiting schools nearby and hundreds of aspirants swarming to locate in NY, it’s a highly competitive office.

2. The Boston Consulting Group

BCG has a strong presence in the New York, Boston and New Jersey regions – almost as strong as McKinsey. Currently located on 430 Park Avenue, the latest buzz on the street is the new office being built for BCG New York – they are moving from midtown Manhattan to the colossal state-of-the-art Hudson Yards development. BCG’s new home, 10 Hudson Yards, is like a city within a city and is considered the largest real estate deal in US history (jaw drop!). A second, 90-story office tower, 30 Hudson Yards, is also almost fully booked and will serve as the new corporate headquarters for Time Warner and KKR. All of the 500+ BCGers in New York will be moving to the spacious office location; a birdie told us that the consultants at the New York office helped design the office space for the new location because their current Managing Partner said “People should be the author of their own space” – classic BCG creativity at work. 

Some of the major practice areas that the NYC region focuses on are corporate development, corporate finance, digital economy, globalization, growth, information technology, marketing & sales operations, people and organization, post-merger integration, risk management, strategy, sustainability, and transformation.

Compensation is on-par with the top players in the market, but hours are long and hard (isn’t that why you signed up in the first place though?). Overall though, BCG NY is an amazing place to work.

3. Deloitte Consulting

The global behemoth, Deloitte Consulting, is headquartered in New York with offices located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Deloitte’s offices in New York have over 5,000 professionals in Audit, Advisory, Financial Advisory Services, Tax, and Consulting – so not all in consulting, but almost a city inside a city! Interesting, the office in New York is very transient and has a hoteling system (so you don’t have an assigned desk) – so if you sign up for Deloitte NYC, be prepared to travel all the time.

The Manhattan office was awarded the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification at the Gold level for commercial interiors in 2013. They have designed their national office to be state of the art and a next-generation workplace. Fun fact: 30 Rock is where you get to see NBC anchors and other TV stars on their way to work! (That’s pretty cool, but the cool factor may wear off after many long days and nights in a row).

The New York office is known to have a large diversity pool, although it’s a heavy-hitting office; most of Deloitte’s top leaders work out of the NYC office. Deloitte is big on community service, and in NYC they have a famous IMPACT day where all their 5000 employees spread out across New York. Deloitte workers as an organization are involved with New York Cares Day, Big Brother Big Sister of New York City Race for the Cure, the New York City Marathon, and the NYC Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour.

4. PwC

PwC, another shining star in NYC, is headquartered in New York at 300 Madison Avenue. PwC’s mothership manages a network of member firms with 83 offices across the US.

The functions and services the New York office is involved in are cyber security, consulting, financial services, International tax, and advisory. The employees have a decent work-life balance and get to work with some of the creme de la creme of PwC – like Deloitte, the big brass hang out in the NYC offices.

The work culture at PwC is quite laid back – but even though the office is buzzing, it’s not as prominent for consulting as Deloitte Consulting (especially S&O) is.

The office environment can be quiet on weekdays, and even Fridays – working remotely is permitted as long as the work gets done. PwC does offer great flexibility – their vacation and holiday policies are very good. The NYC office skews young – staff members are heavily junior.

5. Bain & Company

Bain, one of the world’s most prestigious consulting firms, was founded in 1973. In New York, Bain is located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas on the 43rd Floor. To support the office’s growing employee base, Bain moved in 2015 to a new location in the fashionable Grace Building, which is located directly across the street from historic Bryant Park. The office has a very hi-tech conference room that is used to connect with global Bainies at all levels.

What does the New York office specialize in? Although Bain is a big revenue generating firm, this office also has a huge pro bono case practice area. They provide free consulting services for not-for-profit organizations every year. In 2015, New York office staff worked for NYC DOE design, a project which was received very favorably by the city’s mayor, who even visited the office. Previously, the New York office also worked for the Alliance for Downtown New York. After 9/11, they were left rudderless, lacked vision, and lost their luster – so they reached out to Bain. The Alliance implemented Bain’s recommendations and has become a successful advocate for transportation issues, enlisting the help of many large businesses in the downtown area (e.g., Bank of New York, AIG, Depository Trust, Standard & Poor’s, etc.)

Bainies in NYC work to support their clients on nearly every industry and across all ranges. The teams are comprised of enthusiastic, intelligent, outgoing and dynamic people from all walks of life. In the NYC office, they are open to hiring into Associate Consultant and Consultant full-time positions from top tier universities and leading business schools but focus specifically on Northeast Ivies as their core recruiting base. Their summer internship programs are open to both first year MBA students as well as undergraduate students, and the office has recently begun focusing extensively on APD recruiting as well.

6. EY Consulting

As with Deloitte and PwC, EY Consulting is headquartered in New York and is located at 5 Times Square, right in the heart of it all.

EY is the world’s 2nd largest accounting firm, but is not as strong in consulting – however, for two decades, the firm has served various financial institutions and other organizations with diligence efforts.

Ernst & Young recently announced the completion of a lighting retrofit project in its U.S. headquarters in New York City. Fun fact: the project’s installation of energy-efficient lighting was one of New York City’s largest lighting retrofits ever.

Before the acquisition of Parthenon, consulting at EY was really synonymous to Advisory (not strategy). Some of the major Advisory practice areas this office is involved in include: Performance Improvement, Risk, and IT. Parthenon brings in a new flavor, but actual integration is still a bit up in the air.

We’ve heard that the atmosphere at EY is far better than Deloitte – more collegial and focused on personal development, although skills training is not usually as strong. Recently, new things are happening in the SAP consulting side – if you are big on that, then it’s the right place to be now and also likely for at least the next couple of years.

7. Accenture

While the firm is technically headquartered in Chicago, the New York office is considered somewhat of another HQ; with an employee count of close to 2000, it’s one of the largest consulting offices in all of New York. This New York Office is located at 1345 Avenue of the Americas. The office is not as fancy as many of the top firms, however, which dinged it in our book – for a large global firm to have an office that requires a facelift, with the global image team of Accenture sitting there, is ironic.

The main industries served out of New York include Public Services, Products, and not surprisingly, the Financial Industry. Accenture has a nearly-secret, much smaller, unofficial office on 11 Broadway. A few dozen consultants working in technology for the financial service industry are based at the Broadway office.

Their functional areas are analytics, high-end information technology, BPO, healthcare, marketing & sales, media & communication, finance & risk, cyber security & financial services. The office at NYC has grown quite a bit the past ~7 years. The employees have never-ending career opportunities, a great atmosphere in which to work with colleagues (including many tech geniuses), great benefits and the compensation is competitive. However, the New York office is not for those who do not want to work – this is a place where tons of work is distributed across teams, and work-life balance is a challenge – so go young, work hard, and move on!

8. KPMG

Located at 345 Park Avenue, KPMG’s newly renovated New York office located in the heart of Manhattan is the U.S. HQ for the audit, tax, and advisory firm. This office is home to over 2300 employees in the Audit and Risk, Advisory Services, and Tax practices, including 152 Audit and Risk Advisory Services partners and 61 Tax partners. KPMG was recognized as the best place to work in by major organizations and publications. Corporate social responsibility is at the heart of the firm’s core values.

Like EY, KPMG has called practice areas consulting that aren’t really pure consulting in the way the rest of the strategy and management industry thinks about it. Heck – you could call tax advice “consulting” if you really wanted to. Therefore, they got demoted on our overall list.

The functional areas focused at the NYC office is tax, regulatory, audit, advisory, financial services, and technology. The NYC office offers a great place to start a career; there is a great training system and great working environment. However, the pay is not great compared to other offices and the number of managers available to invest in your career are limited.

9. Booz Allen Hamilton

For a firm that is over 100 years old, it’s not surprising that this one has a prominent presence in New York. Located at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, BAH’s New York office offers a dynamic number of services but focuses specifically on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, Modeling & Simulation, Organization & Strategy, and Systems Engineering & Integration.

In short, it’s a pretty back-end focused office with a lot of technical people working there. The office sponsors typically lively extracurricular entertainment and has food and beverages galore at its events, but is known for high utilization, lots of work, and relatively low pay for NYC compared to its peers. There is a ton of government-centric consulting work at Booz Allen, if you’re not interested in that area, then it will be mundane and is clearly not a good fit for you. However, it is on the Federal holiday schedule (yippee) but you do have very few opportunities for commercial work.

10. IBM Global Business Services

Welcome to old school IBM: IBM Global Business Services. This corporate office is located at 1 New Orchard Road, and automatically gets the ding for most consultants because the office is not in Manhattan, so either your commute is gnarly or you’re resigned to suburban living.

The latest news at IBM is that the firm recently revamped many processes and laid off many employees across U.S., Asian and European offices. By the end of 2016, the firm had cut around 700 high-technology jobs in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Should you apply for this office? It is focused on the key practice areas of IT infrastructure, analytics, mobile, customer service, cloud computing, and security. It’s a highly technical office, and strategy work you do will largely be diagnostic – pre-sales to IBM’s implementation services.

Honorable Mentions for boutique consulting firms in NYC (not big enough to make our top firms list, but still cool places to work and great places to start or advance careers):

  • The Brattle Group is an economic anti-trust consulting firm with an office in New York and HQ in Cambridge, MA.
  • MindStrong is a strategic and consulting firm based in New York.
  • Cornerstone Research provides attorneys with consulting for many facets of the litigation process – they have an office located in New York, but HQ in San Francisco, CA.
  • The Chartis Group provides strategic planning in clinical transformation and information technology consulting services with an office located in New York.
  • Stern Value Management is a consulting firm on value management, value strategy, and value creation. With HQ in New York, firm practices are based on the EVA methodology.
  • Marakon (recently acquired by Charles River Associates) is a corporate strategy firm with the experience and track record of helping CEOs and their leadership teams achieve winning performance and build stronger organizations.
  • Novantas has HQ in New York and is an analytic advisory services and technology solutions for financial institutions around the world.

Each of these companies have a great set of pros. Know what you’re looking for, and get ready to rumble in New York! If you are in New York, reach out to firm members directly – and make the best of the opportunities you have as you explore the world of consulting.