The top 3, and Big 4 consulting firms. Who are they, and who are the CEO’s that run them? When talking about the big 4, and top 3 firms you are discussing the very top tier of accounting and consulting firms. The big 4 are the biggest firms in the entire world. They have the expertise and resources to handle any of their clients needs. The top 3 also known as MBB, aren’t as big as the top 4, but are typically considered to be the very best. Their skill and specialization put them at the top, over any other firms currently.
These seven firms are the very elite in the accounting and consulting world. Getting hired at these companies is difficult, and reaching the top positions of leadership is even tougher. Roughly only 2-3% of new hires will make Partner at these firms. In this article we will break down who is at the top of each company, and a few of the alumni’s that have gone on to top levels of leadership in other prestigious companies. Here are the Top 3 & Big 4 CEO’s and the firms they run.
Big 4 Firms
The Big 4 firms are the leading providers in accounting and consulting services. Together they generated over $148 billion in revenue in 2018. Many of their clients are big Fortune 500 or Fortune 1000 type companies. The Big 4 are sometimes referred to as the Titans of the industry. These firms can all trace their roots back to the 1800’s and have become the largest in the world. The CEO’s of the Big 4 as well as other top positions are highly sought after, and only the dedicated and elite will reach the top of these companies. Here’s who’s currently leading the Big 4 firms and the revenue each company generates.
- Headquarters: New York, New York
- Revenue: $43+ Billion
- Employees: 280,000
- Notable Alumni: Orin Smith, former CEO of Starbucks.
- Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of FIAT.
- Head of Company: Punit Renjen – CEO of Deloitte Global.
Punit Renjen has been with Deloitte for 32 years, and became CEO of Deloitte Global in June 2015. As of June 2019, he has been elected to his second term as CEO of the company. Before being elected CEO of Deloitte Global, he was CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP. After graduating from college, he was hired by Touche Ross, which then merged into Deloitte in 1989.
Education: Masters Degree in Business Management from Willamette University.
- Headquarters: London, United Kingdom.
- Revenue: $41+ Billion
- Employees: 250,000
- Notable Alumni: Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines.
- Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island
- Head of Company: Robert Moritz – Global Chairman, and Senior Partner
Robert Moritz been with PwC for his entire career, since joining the firm in 1985. He became a partner of the company ten years later, to advance on to becoming Global Chairman.
Education: Robert Moritz earned B.S. in Business Administration from New York College at Oswego.
Ernst & Young
- Headquarters: London, United Kingdom.
- Revenue: $35+ Billion
- Employees: 260,000
- Notable Alumni: Arthur Blank, Owner of Atlanta Falcons
- Jan Peter Balkenende, former Prime Minister of Netherlands.
- Head of Company: Carmine Di Sibio – Global Chairman & CEO.
Carmine Di Sibio was elected to become EY’s Global Chairman and CEO, effective July 1st, 2019. He has been with EY for the last 33 years. Over the past few years Di Sibio has been one of the key designers in the company’s acquisitions and alliances strategy.
Education: Di Sibio is a first-generation college student, and received his B.S. in Chemistry from Colgate University. He then went on to earn an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business.
- Headquarters: Amstelveen, Netherlands.
- Revenue: $29+ Billion
- Employees: 210,000
- Notable Alumni: Nate Silver, Statistician, and NYT’s Bestselling Author.
- Sir Michael Rake, Former Chairman of BT Group.
- Head of Company: Lynne Doughtie – U.S. Chairman, and CEO of KPMG
Lynne Doughtie was first hired on by KPMG in 1985 in their audit practice after graduating from college. Moving on in her career to serve in a number of national, regional, and global leadership roles. She has acting as lead partner for a number of the firm’s biggest clients as she moved up the ranks of the company.
Education: Doughtie earned a B.S. in accounting from Virginie Tech University.
Top 3 (MBB)
MBB is the abbreviation for McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group. These firms are widely regarded as the most prestigious in the world. They have a great reputation as being very reliable and innovating in their problem solving. They will often work with CEO’s of large companies on strategy and implementation of new strategy. MBB are elite firms, and many of their alumni have continued on to top positions in other companies such as Google, Pepsi, Hewlett Packard, Facebook, and more. Here we have the Top 3 revenue and their CEO’s that keep everything running smoothly.
McKinsey & Co
- Headquarters: New York, New York.
- Revenue: $10+ Billion
- Employees: 27,000
- Notable Alumni: Sherly Sandberg, COO of Facebook.
- Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google.
- Head of Company: Kevin Sneader- Global Managing Partner.
Kevin Sneader was elected as McKinsey’s Global Managing Partner, effective as of July 2018. Before becoming what is essentially the CEO in 2018, Sneader was regional leader of the Asian offices. He has been with the company since joining the London office back in 1989. Only 12 other people have been the head of this company since 1926.
Education: Sneader graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Law, and then a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
Boston Consulting Group
- Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts
- Revenue: $7.5+ Billion
- Employees: 18,500
- Notable Alumni: Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi.
- Bob Kagle, Director of eBay, and partner at Benchmark.
- Head of Company: Rich Lesser – CEO
Rich Lesser has been acting CEO since January 2013. Prior to being elected as CEO, Lesser served as BCG’s Chairman for the North and South America regions. He has been with the company since 1989, and much of his work has focused on strategy, operations, leadership, and large-scale transformation.
Education: Lesser earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from University of Michigan, and then went on to earn an MBA from Harvard’s School of Business.
Bain & Company
- Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts.
- Revenue: $4.6+ Billion
- Employees: 8,000
- Notable Alumni: Meg Whitman, former CEO of Hewlett Packard.
- Mitt Romney, United States Senator, former Governor of Massachusetts.
- Head of Company: Manny Maceda – Worldwide Managing Director.
Manny Maceda took over the lead of Bain in March 2018. As Worldwide Managing Director, he is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s strategy, team, and operations across all global offices in the company. He has been with the company since 1988, being hired on as a consultant.
Education: in 1984 Maceda graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology with a B.S. in engineering. He then went on earn his Masters Degree in Management from MIT Sloan School of Management.
The Top Accounting Firms in The World
These 7 firms are the elite. As you can see from the numbers there are significant differences in the sizing of the Top 3 & Big 4. The Big 4 firms are massive with hundreds of thousands of employees and generating revenue in the tens of billions globally. The Top 3, are much smaller with far less revenue generated. Becoming the CEO of any of these firms is a huge accomplishment. Most of the CEO’s of these Big 4 & Top 3 put in the time, staying with their firms for 30+ years. The prestige of these top firms shows in the standard of leadership represented by the CEO’s, and the alumni that have gone on to lead other world class companies.
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