Bain in Europe

Bain & Company BCG BCG Bain McKinsey McKinsey & Company
New answer on Jul 17, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 14, 2020

For the consultants working in Europe (mostly focusing on Western Europe, the UK, and Switzerland, but any insight is very much appreciated!), is Bain a tier below McKinsey/BCG? Reputation-wise they're on par in the U.S. but it seems to me that McK and BCG are much more well-known when it comes to Europe.

If I plan to start in the U.S. but eventually want to move back to Europe (say at the manager level), would you say Bain is the least favorable option (out of three very good options)?

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Francesco
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replied on Jul 14, 2020
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Hi there,

In Western Europe, the reputation of Bain is definitely solid. On the other hand, Bain is the youngest and smallest of the MBB group, which means they have fewer alumni and fewer offices. The main implication is that it is more difficult to use the alumni network when you exit since it is smaller.

On the other hand, Bain is very strong in some industries - luxury goods in Italy or PE globally, for example.

In other geographies, such as the Middle East and Russia, Bain is definitely behind McKinsey and BCG and also some 2nd tier (eg Strategy& in the Middle East).

If you got offers from Bain and another MBB, you like more the culture/people/industries at Bain and the only concern is the reputation of Bain in Western Europe, I would join Bain without worries.

Hope this helps,
Francesco

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Anton
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replied on Jul 14, 2020
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Hi,

You should take into account your goal and MBB country/ industry specifics when making any decisions between MBB firms.

If you want to spend 2-3 years in consulting and then exit to PE than you should target Bain London office (as an example).

Best,

Anton

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Axel
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replied on Jul 14, 2020
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Hi,

I think you need to look at it at a more granular level even than just Western Europe vs. US because it is going to vary as well within different Western European markets. In Germany for example, historically Bain was quite weak wheres in the UK the firm has held a very strong position and brand.

The other lense you can use to look at this is from an industry perspective. If you are interested in private equity, Bain has an extremely strong position for client work and exits.

-A

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Clara
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replied on Jul 14, 2020
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Hello!

I believe you are mistaking two concepts: reputation and size.

From a reputational point of view, Bain is totally eye to eye with the rest.

However, size-wise, things change, indeed is smaller.

Best,

Clara

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Giulia
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replied on Jul 14, 2020
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Hello,
No, I wouldn't say that. The most common ranking is: 1 McK, 2 BCG, 3 Bain. However, the differences are small.
I would rather think about which industrial / functional focus you would like to choose and who of the MBB companies is the leader in this area.
E.g. McK for strategy consulting, BCG for digital business building, Bain for private equity.
But take a closer look at each of them and define it for yourself!
All the best
Giulia

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Ian
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replied on Jul 17, 2020
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Bain is absolutely viewed less highly than BCG/Mckinsey in Europe.

If people know it, they view it below. However, more often than not, they have not heard of Bain.

BCG/McKinsey is coveted in Europe but Bain is not (apart from, perhaps, in London).

That being said, if you are in Bain US, you are still in an excellent position when returning to Europe...it's still viewed highly, and we're really just comparing the cream of the crop here!

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Anonymous replied on Jul 15, 2020

Dear A,

You're absolutely right. Bain in Europe is not as strong as in the US. In many countries the position of Bain or BCG as 2nd and 3rd player in the market is playing Roland Berger which is the only company of European origin, that was able to establish itself among the top consulting companies worldwide. So therefore it's your considering to move back to Europe is either better that you go to McKinsey, BCG or Roland Berger. This is particularly true for the countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Netherlands.

Hope it helps,

If you need any further advice or help, reach out.

Best,

André

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Robert
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replied on Jul 15, 2020
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Hi Anonymous,

In terms of reputation Bain is similar like McKinsey and BCG also in Europe.

Is it only 3rd in terms of general public brand recognition? Yes! Does it matter for you really? Don't think so.

What might matter is that Bain is has fewer offices and is smaller in Europe than McKinsey and BCG, so that might be a logistics issue to take care of.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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