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Future of Big 4

Anonymous A asked on May 19, 2018 - 4 answers

Hello all,

As the big 4 (except maybe KPMG) are strongly growing in strategy consulting, where would you see them within c.5 years? Do you think they will ever be able to overtake firms like Oliver Wyman, ATKearney or Roland Berger despite their lack of initial prestige?

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replied on May 20, 2018
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I see them playing a bigger and bigger role (pending their ability to keep audit and advisory/consulting independent and do not run into government limitations).

In the industry there is a lot of buzz about acquisitions of these three being very close (would add Bain too), the bigger question is whether once these are acquired the talent stays and customers will still be willing to pay a premium under a big4 name. Recent, similar acquisitions didn't seem to produce the hoped results.


Harsh replied on May 20, 2018

From my understanding in Asia, the Big 4 (-KPMG + Accenture) are doing quite well here and proving to be tough competition for MBBs as well, for the following reasons:

1) Ready clientele from tax and audit functions

2) Focus on implementation as well and (vs only strategy)

This makes them a one-stop shop for various needs and makes knowledge transfer and client interaction smoother, since they would have a working history with the client and strategy recommendation takes into account knowledge which a pure management consultant / strategy consultant may not delve deep into.

replied on May 20, 2018
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The future is bright I guess for a number of reasons:

  • Access to a lot of cash
  • Relatively cheap services
  • Digital capabilities are great and can be easily scaled
  • M&As of boutique firms that might continue
  • Broad client base from finance and audit to cross-sell consulting services


Anonymous A replied on May 22, 2018

That's very interesting. And how would you rank these new actors in the future? I guess Monitor Deloitte > Strategy& > Parthenon but looks like Strategy& has way more consultants than Monitor