Top 25 Consulting Firms

Management consulting firms exist in every corner of the planet and serve virtually every industry niche. But you want to work at a top consulting firm. While everyone knows about McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company, there are numerous other consulting firms that offer great client service and fantastic professional experience. But how do you know which consulting companies would be best for your chosen career path? Well, we’ve aggregated a list of top management consulting firms for you.

If you’re an aspiring consultant, don’t stop at the Top 3 (MBB) consulting firms. There are a lot of different aspects to consider when looking at which consulting firm would be the best fit for you.

Jump to Rankings

Top Consulting Firms, top 25 consulting firms

What Makes a Top Consulting Firm?

Yes, MBB firms offer the greatest prestige, but there actually may be other firms that fit your specific career path better. Do you know what you want to do after your time in consulting? Are you just going to pick the consulting firm with the largest reach? If so, you might be surprised to learn that neither McKinsey, BCG or Bain are even in the top 10 in terms of revenue generated.

Some consulting firms require almost 100% travel, others require much less. Some charge by the hour and others by the project – there’s a big cultural difference between being incentivized to complete your work quickly and maxing out your billable hours. You may want to be involved with a specific diversity group or live in a specific city. All of these are important considerations as you narrow down your personal list of target firms.

A quick note on the Top 25 consulting firms list below. We’ve first organized this list around types of consulting firms, and then alphabetically within each category. There are many, many ways to categorize consulting firms.

However, to use a consulting term, we wanted to be MECE, or mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. In other words, we wanted each of our top 25 firms to fall into only one category. However, as you’ll see, we do reference the notion of “prestige” in our evaluation.

Types of Top Consulting Firms

We put the MBB – McKinsey, Bain, BCG – in their own category, MBB. Each firm has a foundation in core strategy, but now offers many other services as well. And each has a prestige level that is high enough that creates the need for a separate category.

We also have a General Management and Strategy consulting category for top consulting firms. What these firms do is somewhat similar to MBB. In addition, they also tend to have relatively high levels of prestige. These types of firms work on projects focused on setting strategic direction, pricing, organic and M&A growth strategy, sales, and organization. They also spend a lot of time focused on operations, financial engineering, and turnaround consulting. The top firms in this category are: Strategy&, Kearney, LEK, Oliver Wyman, and Roland Berger.

The Accounting, Finance & Technology category consists of Accenture, Booz Allen, Deloitte, KPMG, EY-Parthenon, and PwC. These firms tend to have organizational histories in accounting, but technology consulting also plays a huge role in their service offerings. At the same time, firms in this group also do strategy consulting and operations consulting. If we had to choose a “one-stop-shop” moniker, this might be it.

Economic and litigation consulting is its own beast. Firms in this part of the consulting market use advanced economic theories, tools, principles, and applications to help companies understand the value of assets or develop unique strategies. But they also tend to work alongside law firms to help place a value on the impact of illegal market behavior. Brattle and Analysis Group are both top economic and litigation consulting firms.

Operations and turnaround consultants work on the front lines with clients. They might design new pricing strategies, get involved in sourcing key inputs, or be heavily involved in sales execution. When firms are facing or are actually in bankruptcy, they may need to hire a turnaround consultant. AlixPartners, Alvarez and Marsal, and Insight Sourcing Group fall into this category.

Mercer is the lone member of our HR consulting category. Other HR consulting firms exist of course, such as Hewitt, but in our list of Top 25 firms, Mercer is the only HR consulting representative.

We have one more category with only one member. Bridgespan comprises the totality of our Non-profit consulting category. It, and firms like it, can work on strategy development, operations, HR, or organizational issues, but focus on non-profit clients only. Oftentimes, strategies for fundraising are a key issue faced by nonprofits.

And finally, our list of Top 25 consulting firms contains some Industry or Function-focused players: Clearview, Guidehouse, Putnam, and Gartner fall here. These consulting firms focus on particular industries (i.e., healthcare, energy, financial services) or functions (i.e., supply chain, market research).

For each firm, we provide a summary of what they do. Then, we offer details on:

  • Revenue
  • Prestige level – Highest, high, average, and boutique (our perspective on prestige comes, in part, from this article)
  • Key employee considerations – could be related to professional opportunities, work-life balance, compensation, etc.
  • A consulting firm directory link – for your convenience, we’ve also compiled a Consulting Firm Directory, with hundreds more consulting firms listed. Office locations, diversity groups, practice areas and salaries are included in our listings.

List of Top 25 Consulting Firms

 

Jump to Ranking Category:

  1. MBB Firms
  2. General Management and Strategy Firms
  3. Accounting, Finance & Technology Firms
  4. Economic and Litigation Firms
  5. Operations and Turnaround Firms
  6. Human Resources Firms
  7. Non-Profit Firms
  8. Industry-Focused Firms

 

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MBB

The most prestigious consulting firms on the planet. Generally, the foundation of their offerings is strategy consulting, but these firms offer surprisingly broad services.

bain and company logo

Bain & Co.

Bain is the youngest of the world’s top three consulting firms. The company places a large emphasis on camaraderie and has the “frattiest” culture out of the Big 3. Bain currently employs over 8,000 people across 50 offices worldwide, and the company generated an estimated $4.5B in revenue in 2019.

Though “Bainees” build strong relationships amongst their teams, consultants are still required to work long hours in return for interesting projects and excellent exit opportunities. The firm utilizes a local staffing model, meaning that projects are as near each local office as possible. Bain has also differentiated itself through its expertise in private equity through Bain Capital, made even more famous by previous leader Mitt Romney. Bain has also earned a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign for 12 years and was named ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.’

Annual Revenue:
  • $4,500,000,000
Prestige:
  • Highest
Employee Considerations:
  • Good Benefits
Ranked as top company to work for:
  • Long Hours
  • Constant Travel
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

bcg, boston consulting group

Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is known as an innovative thought leader in the consulting industry with a strong focus on strategy. BCG has an intellectual culture that prioritizes creativity and academia. The firm has roughly 21,000 employees across 90 offices around the world. The company generated $8.6B in revenue in 2020.

BCG is consistently ranked as one of the best places to work even while demanding long hours out of its consultants. The firm offers unique programs to its top performers, such as the Strategy Lab and BCG Fellows program. BCG also offers several programs and internships that focus on diversity, one of the firm’s core values. Consultants who leave BCG are provided with top notch exit opportunities across almost any industry.

Annual Revenue:
  • $8,600,000,000
Prestige:
  • Highest
Employee Considerations:
  • High turnover for great exit opportunities
Ranked as top company to work for:
  • Long Hours
  • Demanding Culture
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

mckinsey, mckinsey and company,

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey is a company that needs no introduction. The company is consistently ranked as the #1 most valued brand in the consulting industry, making it the most prestigious company on the list. Since its founding in 1926, the company has grown to over 30,000 employees across more than 120 offices around the world. The company generated a whopping $10.5B in revenue in 2019.

McKinsey’s recruiting process is one of the most competitive in the world. The firm typically hires candidates with Ivy League backgrounds and/or prestigious work histories. McKinsey is also known for pioneering the recruitment of advanced professionals with non-business degrees to its consulting teams. McKinsey consultants are known to be amongst the hardest workers in the industry, which in turn result in outstanding exit opportunities.

Annual Revenue:
  • $10,500,000,000
Prestige:
  • Highest
Employee Considerations:
  • High turnover for young adults
  • Great future career opportunities
  • Long Hours
  • Constant Travel
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

 

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General Management and Strategy Consulting Firms

These firms are extremely well known, pay well, and offer excellent professional development opportunities.

EY-Parthenon

EY-Parthenon

Ernst & Young acquired The Parthenon Group in 2014, increasing EY’s presence as a Big 4 consulting firm. EY-Parthenon focuses on strategy consulting and currently employs over 6,500 professionals worldwide. The firm advises C-suite, business, and organizational leaders across multiple sectors, including consumer, diversified industrial products, education, financial services, health care, life sciences, oil and gas, private equity and technology, media and telecom.

While EY-Parthenon may be able to access the power, global reach, and capabilities of one of the world’s corporate giants, the firm still retains its trademark boutique culture. The organization’s leadership has remained intact, along with functions critical to retaining culture. As a result, consultants at EY-Parthenon highlight the firm’s strong collegial atmosphere, entrepreneurial environment, and transparent management as key benefits of working at the firms.

Annual Revenue:
  • $37,200,000
Prestige:
  • High
Employee Considerations:
  • Great professional development
  • Great people
  • Some have experienced a consistent need to reprioritize their work
  • Some bureaucracy
  • Average consulting work-life demands
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

Kearney

Kearney

Kearney (formerly known as A.T. Kearney) is an American global management consulting firm that focuses on strategic and operational CEO-agenda issues facing businesses, governments and institutions. Kearney maintains offices in more than 40 countries globally. The company generates roughly $1.4B in consulting revenues every year.

The company is known for advocating strongly for female leaders, especially in countries such as India. Kearney offers several programs focused on diversity and inclusion.

Annual Revenue:
  • $1,410,000,000.
Prestige:
  • High
Employee Considerations:
  • Good Culture
  • Well Balanced
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

LEK Logo

L.E.K. Consulting

L.E.K. Consulting is a management consulting firm founded in 1983 by three individual partners from Bain & Company: James Lawrence, Iain Evans, and Richard Koch. The company’s primary service lines consist of corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and operations. The firm employs a generalist model across all major industries, including a large presence in defense, aviation, life sciences, healthcare, energy, entertainment, transport, retail, consumer products, financial services, and private equity (note: a majority of the firm’s expertise is in life sciences and healthcare).

The company is extremely selective, and its consultants are known to work long hours, sometimes resulting in feelings of being understaffed. L.E.K. offers attractive bonuses and incentive programs, including benefits for families. The average tenure for new associates is roughly 2 years. The firm is known for its strong diversity programs, including for LGBTQ, women, and minorities.

Annual Revenue:
  • $500,000,000
Prestige Level:
  • Average
Key employee Considerations:
  • Long work hours
  • Understaffed case loads
  • Bonus and incentive programs
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

oliver wyman logo

Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a quickly growing strategy consulting firm with deep connections in Europe and Asia Pacific. The firm is known for quick career progression – you’ll hit a new promotion cycle every 18-24 months. The firm generates roughly $2B in revenue every year.

Oliver Wyman consultants express that it can be challenging working long hours at a growing firm but generally enjoy the fun work atmosphere. Fortune points out that the company is particularly popular with millennials, and the firm makes substantial accommodations for working mothers. Oliver Wyman also doesn’t have requirements for an advanced degree, unlike many other top consulting firms.

Annual Revenue:
  • $2,000,000,000
Prestige:
  • High
Employee Considerations:
  • Fun Atmosphere
  • Positive Feedback
  • Growing Firm
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

roland berger logo

Roland Berger

Roland Berger is a strategy consulting firm headquartered in Munich, with 52 offices in 35 countries. Roland Berger operates as a generalist strategy consultancy and advises clients on management issues ranging from strategy development to performance improvement. Roland Berger also advises in the fields of restructuring and marketing, with a focus on the Automobile Industry and the capital goods sector.

The company employs roughly 2,400 consultants worldwide and generated roughly $670M in revenues in 2018. The firm is known for its European culture and roots and for having bonuses that contribute to a major portion of compensation for employees.

Annual Revenue:
  • 670,000,000
Prestige:
  • Average (High in Europe)
Employee Considerations:
  • Major Bonuses
  • Good Benefits
  • Sabbaticals Offered
  • Telecommuting
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

Strategy&

Strategy&

Strategy& is a strategy consulting firm previously known as Booz & Company, which was acquired by PwC in 2014. Strategy& focuses on executive level strategy, similar to the projects you would find at McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. To help its clients compete, Strategy& places a heavy emphasis on foresight and innovative thinking – a trait that goes all the way back to founder Edwin Booz.

Annual Revenue:
  • $1,300,000,000
Prestige:
  • High
Employee Considerations:
  • Highly Recommended
  • Great place to work
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

 

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Accounting, Finance, & Technology

Many of these firms have historical foundations in accounting but have built excellent general management and technology-based consulting offers.

Accenture logo

Accenture

Accenture is a technology consulting firm with a strategy consulting arm. The firm’s footprint is massive, with an estimated 506,000 employees across the world. Accenture is especially great for aspiring consultants who value opportunities to learn about technology.

Accenture is known to have a challenging work culture. Overtime is optional, but many consultants reportedly need to work the extra hours. In order to excel at Accenture, its consultants say networking is essential in order to land the best teams and projects.

Annual Revenue:
  • $44,300,000,000
Prestige level:
  • High
Key employee considerations:
  • Optional Overtime
  • Good opportunities to learn about technology
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

booz allen logo

Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton offers management and technology consulting services, with an emphasis on technology and services to the U.S. Federal Government. The firm previously spun off Booz & Co., which was acquired by PwC. The firm generates roughly $6.7B in revenue on an annual basis.

Booz Allen Hamilton consultants are known to work hard but not travel as much. On Glassdoor, employees give a 75% approval rating to the firm. The firm proclaims that it invented the management consulting profession in 1914. Booz Allen Hamilton has also worked on several interesting projects, including helping the U.S. Navy reinvent itself into a force critical in aiding in America’s World War 2 victory.

Annual Revenue:
  • $6,700,000,000
Prestige:
  • Average (High in Middle East)
Employee Considerations:
  • Mid-range benefits
  • Hard Work
  • Less Travel
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

Deloitte

Deloitte Consulting

Though the company’s original expertise is in accounting, Deloitte Consulting has made a big name for itself in the consulting world. Deloitte enjoys #1 market share in terms of revenue, generating roughly $47.6B on an annual basis. The firm is consistently ranked as the fourth most prestigious consulting firm (after MBB) and has more than 334,000 professionals worldwide.

Deloitte’s consulting services are divided into three practice areas: Strategy and Operations, Technology, and Human Capital. Consultants typically recruit for and advance their careers through one specific practice area. Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations arm is essentially its management consulting arm, while its other two practice areas have less to do with overall corporate strategy.

Annual Revenue:
  • $47,600,000,000
Prestige:
  • High
Employee Considerations:
  • Upward Mobilization
  • Lower morale than at Top 3
  • Long Hours
  • International Travel
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young’s advisory business is known for services similar to those provided by other consulting firms. The firm focuses on four core areas: performance improvement, risk, IT risk and assurance, and other cross-advisory teams. EY is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and generates roughly $11.6 billion in annual revenue from consulting. The firm is ranked 7th in prestige amongst all consulting firms.

EY is known for having a significantly better work life balance compared to some of the other top consulting firms. The firm’s is known to have good communication across hierarchical levels and most employees are known for collegial personalities. Bonuses and raises at the firm are performance based.

Annual Revenue:
  • $11,600,000,000
Prestige:
  • High
Employee Considerations:
  • Performance-based bonuses and raises
  • Good work-life balance
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

KPMG

KPMG

KPMG is well known as one of the Big Four accounting firms. The company has experienced massive growth in China and Hong Kong and generates roughly $29.2B in consulting revenue annually.

The main differentiator for KPMG is its work life balance. The firm offers great benefits, flexible hours, and a relatively mellow culture. KPMG consultants are known to be extremely supportive of one another and the firm places a high emphasis on feedback from supervisors.

Annual Revenue:
  • $29,200,000,000
Prestige:
  • Average to High
Employee Considerations:
  • Good Culture
  • Good Benefits
  • Flexible work hours
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

PwC

PwC Consulting

PwC provides a mix of industry and functional expertise to help clients address their most complex business issues and opportunities – from strategy through execution. PwC advises a significant number of the Fortune 500 and generates roughly $14.7B in annual consulting revenue.

As standard with most of the top firms, hours tend to be long for consultants at PwC. Promotions don’t happen as quickly at the firm compared to others, but PwC is a great place to start a career. PwC has numerous diversity groups and works with employees with disabilities.

Annual Revenue:
  • $14,700,000,000
Prestige:
  • High
Employee Considerations:
  • Good place to start career
  • Valuable work experience
  • Frequent Travel
  • Long Hours
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

 

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Economic and Litigation Consulting

These firms use deep economic analysis to help both corporations and law firms make better decisions.

analysis group Logo

Analysis Group, Inc.

Analysis Group is the world’s premier economic consulting firm. What is economic consulting? This branch of consulting supports clients (mostly law firms and governments) with research and insight during litigation. If you’re a numbers geek and econ whiz, Analysis Group offers you the chance to conduct economic analysis within an advisory function.

Annual Revenue:
  • ~$250,000,000
Prestige:
  • Boutique
Employee Considerations:
  • Great professional development opportunities
  • Demanding clients often lead to late nights
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

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Operations and Turnaround Consultants

These firms tend to work on ‘front line’ issues like pricing, sourcing, sales execution, and other topics that can help companies improve the bottom line in the immediate term.

AlixPartners logo

AlixPartners

We’ve got two competitors coming up back-to-back. AlixPartners, founded in 1981, is one of the world’s premier turnaround consulting firms. It has advised on some of the most famous Chapter 11 reorganizations in history, including Enron, GM, and Kmart.

The firm is known for its long work hours and meritorious culture, but compensation reflects this. If a fast-paced work culture and tight deadlines get your heart racing, as does bringing companies back from extinction, AlixPartners should be on your list of target firms.

Annual Revenue:
  • $1,200,000,000
Prestige:
  • Average to High
Employee Considerations:
  • Front-line work with great client and partner exposure
  • Work hard, play hard
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

Alvarez & Marsal Logo

Alvarez & Marsal

Alvarez & Marsal, also known as A&M, is a bankruptcy, turnaround, and restructuring firm made famous during the 2008 financial crisis, when it took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The firm is a premier player in the consulting world, with the reputation and compensation to boot. If rescuing distressed companies sounds like fun to you, A&M may just be the firm you’ve been looking for – providing great strategy, operations, and finance exposure.

Annual Revenue:
  • ~$1,000,000,000
Prestige:
  • Average to High
Employee Considerations:
  • Turnaround Management and Performance Improvement – you’re on the front lines
  • Work hard, play hard
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

Insight Sourcing Group logo

Insight Sourcing Group

Insight Sourcing Group is the world’s premier strategic sourcing and procurement consulting firm. Founded in 2002 by consulting alumni from the likes of Accenture and Deloitte, the firm takes special pride in helping clients navigate the challenges – and costs – of procurement and sourcing. A relatively small firm (~165 employees) the firm boasts a culture of tight-knit expertise across just a handful of offices, with Atlanta serving as HQ.

Annual Revenue:
  • $36,000,000
Prestige:
  • Boutique
Employee Considerations:
  • Open door policy with leadership; great work/life balance for consulting
  • Well Balanced
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

 

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Human Resources Consulting

These firms help companies manage their talent, from compensation to organizational design to leadership and development training.

mercer logo

Mercer

Mercer is known as the world’s largest human resources consulting firm. Headquartered in New York City, Mercer has more than 25,000 employees, is based in more than 44 countries, and operates internationally in more than 130 countries. The company generates roughly $5B in revenue on an annual basis.

Annual Revenue:
  • $5,021,000,000
Prestige:
  • Average
Employee Considerations:
  • Good Culture
  • Flexible
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

If you’re looking for more firms specializing in HR consulting, check out Aon-Hewitt.

 

Non-Profit Consultants

These firms engage in many of the same activities a member of MBB might but do so to meet the needs of non-profit organizations.

Bridgespan Group Logo

Bridgespan Group

The Bridgespan Group is a global consultancy that collaborates with mission-driven leaders, organizations, philanthropists, and investors to break cycles of poverty and dramatically improve the quality of life for those in need. The company aims to find solutions to ensure equal opportunity and core human and civil rights.

Bridgespan concentrates on four broad fields: education; children, youth, and families; public health; and global development. The firm’s services include consulting to nonprofits and philanthropists, leadership development support, and developing and sharing insights – all with the goal of scaling social impact.

Annual Revenue:
  • $39,288,000
Prestige:
  • Average to High
Employee Considerations:
  • Well Balanced
  • Tough Workload
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

 

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Industry-Focused Firms

Our final category captures firms that tend to develop solutions around industries or functions (i.e., healthcare, financial services, energy, market research).

Clearview Healthcare Partners logo

Clearview Healthcare Partners

If your passions lie at the intersection of life sciences and strategy, Clearview Healthcare Partners is for you. A young buck in the consulting space (founded in 2007), the firm has quickly gained a reputation as one of top boutiques – in any sector. If you’re ready to brand yourself a life sciences specialist and have a role in the future of the business of healthcare, Clearview is a great place to be.

Annual Revenue:
  • $41,200,000
Prestige:
  • Boutique
Employee Considerations:
  • Prestige factor in the life sciences space
  • Work life balance is hit and miss, but gets better as you become more senior
Consulting Firm Directory Link:

Gartner Logo

Gartner

Gartner was founded in 1979 and is recognized as the world’s top research consulting firm. Gartner’s more than 15,000 employees are located in 100+ offices worldwide. The company generates roughly $4.25B in annual revenue.

Annual Revenue:
  • $4,250,000,000
Prestige:
  • Average
Employee Considerations:
  • One of the best mid-sized employers
  • Well Balanced
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

guidehouse logo

Guidehouse

Guidehouse is headquartered in Washington, DC and is a specialized, global professional services firm. The firm employs almost 7,000 consultants across almost 40 countries and generates close to $1B in annual consulting revenue. The firm focuses on three key business segments: healthcare, energy, and financial services advisory and compliance, serving clients in both the private and public sectors. The company was ranked 72nd in Forbes for America’s Best Midsize Employers in 2019.

Annual Revenue:
  • ~$1,000,000,000
Prestige:
  • Average
Employee Considerations:
  • Well Balanced
  • Exposure to private and public sector clients
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

Putnam Associates Logo

Putnam Associates

Founded in 1988, Putnam Associates focuses on serving healthcare, private equity, and venture capital clients through sophisticated and robust analytics. The firm focuses on providing customized, actionable recommendations that draw on problem framing, cutting-edge methodologies, deep therapeutic area knowledge, extensive global networks of health care stakeholders, and expert synthesis across scientific, clinical, and business disciplines.

Putnam consultants have similar professional and educational backgrounds to those at strategy consulting firms. Uniquely, 100% of Putnam’s work is dedicated to maximizing the value of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic and device products. The company serves clients that market many of the world’s best-known biopharmaceuticals and who are leveraging the genomics and “big data” revolutions month by month with new breakthrough therapies and higher quality patient care.

Annual Revenue:
  • $27,900,000
Prestige:
  • Boutique
Employee Considerations:
  • Good Benefits
  • Good Supervisors
  • Well Balanced
Consulting Firm Profile Link:

Conclusion

Consulting firms differ in culture, workload, philosophy, and compensation, so choose wisely!

We trust this list of top consulting firms has been helpful for you in your search for your perfect fit. If you have questions as to which consultancy might be best for your desired career path, book a 1hr session with an expert coach.

 

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