L.E.K. Strategy Consulting Interviews and Culture

  

Today we continue our firm profile series with an in-depth review of L.E.K. Consulting.

L.E.K. is a global consulting firm founded in London, England in 1983 and containing the heart and soul of Bain & BCG. The firm has since expanded to 20 offices across 5 continents and has built a strong brand across numerous sectors including Life Sciences, Healthcare, Consumer, Industrials, and TMT. L.E.K. has strong expertise across a growing number of fields including Private Equity, Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions.

Is L.E.K. the right fit for you? Let’s explore.

Firm Profile Overview (click to jump to section):

KEY STATS FOR L.E.K. CONSULTING

  • L.E.K. Consulting Website: www.lek.com
  • L.E.K. Consulting Global Headquarters: London, England
  • L.E.K. Consulting U.S. Headquarters: Boston, MA  
  • L.E.K. Consulting Employees: 1,800+
  • L.E.K. Consulting Locations: 12 countries, 20 offices
  • L.E.K. Consulting Chief Executive: Clay Heskett
  • L.E.K. Consulting Revenue: $750M
  • 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 the 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 1,800+ employees and 20+ 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 Board of Directors consisting of 12 members spread across three operating regions: Europe, Americas, and APAC. Each region is led by a Managing Partner who is elected by their partner peers and sits on the firmwide Board.

L.E.K. Consulting Practice Areas

Known within the firm as, “Key Capabilities”, L.E.K.’s has numerous practice areas:

  • Business Unit Strategy
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Data & Analytics
  • Digital
  • Disruptive Management
  • Major Capital Projects Advisory
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Organization & Performance (e.g., Performance Improvement, Post-Merger Integration)
  • Private Equity Consulting
  • Strategy
  • Sustainability
  • Transformation Value Activation

L.E.K. Consulting Industries

  • Biopharma & Life Sciences
  • Business Services
  • Consumer Products
  • Education
  • Energy & Environment
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare Services
  • Industrials
  • Media & Entertainment
  • MedTech
  • Private Equity
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Travel & Transport

L.E.K. Consulting Office Locations

L.E.K Consulting has over 20 offices located in 12 different countries:

Asia Pacific
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Shanghai, China
  • Beijing, China
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Mumbai, India
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
Europe
  • Paris, France
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Munich, Germany
  • Wroclow, Poland
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • London, United Kingdom
United States
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
South America
  • São Paulo, Brazil

Career Path at L.E.K Office Locations

The L.E.K. Consulting career path is pretty standard: Associate – Associate Consultant / PhD Associate / Life Science Specialist – Consultant – Manager – Principal – Partner.

Undergrads can expect to join L.E.K. Consulting at the Associate level with the chance to become Consultants after 3 years.

MBAs will join as a Consultant and work their way up to Manager and then MD.

Internships At L.E.K Consulting 

L.E.K. offers two types of paid internships, both of which start in June and last 9 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 MBA students between the first and second year of b-school. Summer Consultants, like Summer Associates, will spend 9 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 and cover letter.

For any school specific requirements, please contact an L.E.K. recruiter or your school’s Career Services department. Further details and position deadlines are posted on L.E.K.’s website.

Exit Opportunities

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, some join private equity, and still others 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.

Notable Alumni

  • Kevin A. Mayer – Chief Strategy Officer / Chairman – The Walt Disney Company and former CEO – TikTok
  • Robert Boyle – Commercial Director – British Airways
  • Richard Koch – Author and Entrepreneur, author of “The 80/20 Principle”
  • 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 of London, UK Prime Minister
  • Andre Sillitoe – CEO – Apax Partners
  • Damon Buffini – Managing Partner – Permira
  • Andrew Rees – CEO – Crocs
  • Ania Smith – CEO – TaskRabbit (IKEA)
  • Carolyn Prowse – CCO – Vueling (IAG)
  • Catherine El Arouni – Secretary General – WWF France
  • Li Chen – VP Portfolio & Decision Analysis – Pfizer
  • Mark Dal Pra – CFO – Jetstar Airways (Qantas)
  • Peter Beermann – Executive VP – SIXTs
  • Selorm Adadevoh – CEO – MTN Ghana

Target Schools

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.

However, L.E.K. will consider applications regardless of its “target/non-target” status. The firm has an on-campus presence at the following schools:

Undergrad:

  • Boston College
  • Brigham Young University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard
  • Keck Graduate Institute
  • Northwestern University
  • Notre Dame University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Pennsylvania

MBA

  • Anderson
  • Booth
  • Columbia
  • Fuqua
  • Haas
  • HBS
  • Johnson
  • Kellogg
  • Sloan
  • Stern
  • Tuck
  • Wharton

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.

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.

Core Values

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 the ego in check, are respectful of others and enjoy the workplace.

Awards

  • Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies – Seramount (2022)
  • Jessica Thompson Yildiz – Working Mother of the Year – Seramount (2022)
  • Best Companies for Dads – Seramount (2022)
  • Chris D’Angelo – Working Dad of the Year – Seramount (2022)
  • Neil Menzies and Ilya Trakhtenberg – 2021 Emerging Leaders Award – The M&A Advisor
  • Maria Steingoltz – 2021 Women Leaders in Consulting – Consulting Magazine
  • Matt Wheeler – Rising Stars of the Profession, Excellence in Strategy Consulting –
  • Jonathan Kfoury, Andrew Kadar, Sheila Shah, and Tian Han – Top 50 Healthcare
  • Leaders in Consulting – Consulting Magazine (2022)
  • Top 10 Best Consulting Firms to work for – Vault (2022)

L.E.K. CONSULTING INTERVIEWS AND RECRUITING 

Generally speaking, interviews 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.

L.E.K. Salaries

Are you an undergrad, MBA, or intern interested in working at L.E.K., but you don’t know how much you’ll make? Check out our latest consulting salaries post to find out.

Diversity Programs

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:

  • [email protected] – An internal network designed to invest in female staff members and develop them as future leaders.
  • [email protected] – 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.
  • [email protected] – A growing affinity group within L.E.K. that seeks to provide guidance and support during the transition from the military to a business environment
  • [email protected] – L.E.K. has won several awards for its extensive family-friendly policies and culture for working parents; this group is aimed to foster a supportive environment that helps balance goals as professionals and parents
  • [email protected] – One of L.E.K.’s largest affinity groups dedicated to welcoming and supporting individuals who identify as racial and ethnic minorities. Included within [email protected] are several identity groups including [email protected], [email protected],
  • [email protected], and [email protected]
  • Achieving International Diversity Awareness (AIDA) – AIDA was founded in 2022. This group was formed to acknowledge and promote L.E.K.’s international talent pool and foster cross-cultural exchange with the firm.

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 social media handles, key reading for anyone that wants to jump on board L.E.K.’s team, and more. Enjoy!

MC Links

Reading

Social Media

Videos

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