MBB London Office - Functional, Domain & Industry Expertise

functional areas London MBB
New answer on Jul 25, 2022
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 23, 2022

Hi Experts,

I have 3 questions:

1) Are there any online resources that summarise the top 5 key functional and industry sector expertise of the 3 firms for the London office? 

2) I understand the office does work in many and almost all areas, but I am trying to establish what areas each MBB are renown for. 

I am aware Bain is renown for Private Equity, McKinsey for government, but are there any less publicised functional and industry expertise? Who would be considered as the best for the Digital space?

Most of the web pages, I have come across just list everything. 

3) If I was being realistic, what offices should apply for?

I am from the UK, so I have full work authorization to UK as well as a country in south east Asia, but I doubt I would meet the verbal and/or written local language skills requirement.

It would be nice to work in the USA and/or in ASEAN again, should I list them despite knowing it would almost impossible due to the H1B US visa process and the language barrier issue?

I have previously worked in the USA on an L1A, so I am aware of getting an intracompany transfer is slightly easier than getting on a H1B. Although, I don't think it will help my application, I have had the pleasure of filing up to 4 tax returns for 4 countries in 1 year. :)

Thanks

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Best answer
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 24, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

1) Are there any online resources that summarise the top 5 key functional and industry sector expertise of the 3 firms for the London office? 

Not in one place. But if you go to the company website and search by their offices you should find this! Note that it should be similar across offices (Financial Services, Healthcare, etc.)

2) I understand the office does work in many and almost all areas, but I am trying to establish what areas each MBB are renown for. 

I am aware Bain is renown for Private Equity, McKinsey for government, but are there any less publicised functional and industry expertise? Who would be considered as the best for the Digital space?

This is a really big question! It's going to depend on region, and specifically what you're looking for. BCG is probably the leader when it comes to Digital/Tech (they have Platinion, GAMMA, and Digital Ventures)


3) If I was being realistic, what offices should apply for?

It sounds like the UK is your best bet! Now, remember that you can apply to multiple offices! So, feel free to hedge your bets and select a few.

4) Critical Tip: NETWORK!

All of your questions (#1, #2, and #3) can be answered by networking!

Talking to people in each office will help you understand their main industries/functions. Talking to people at each firm will help you understand their strengths/focus areas. Talking to specific offices and getting referrals will help you see where your odds are best.

NETWORK!

 

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Cristian
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replied on Jul 24, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

1) Not that I know of but you can safely assume that it will be similar for all three and that Financial Services is likely the largest industry focus. 

2) I honestly feel these distinctions no longer stand between the firms as they've grown larger and more international. Re Digital, I would say McK now has the largest branch and network of experts - I might be biased here however. 

3) Don't make your life more complicated than it is. Try to pick the office based on where you would like to live and work as well as the projected competitiveness of that office. 

Best,

Cristian

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Ashwin
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replied on Jul 24, 2022
Ex Manager Bain and company | INSEAD

Hi there, 

1) Are there any online resources that summarise the top 5 key functional and industry sector expertise of the 3 firms for the London office? 

Not really, MBBs are private partnerships and not publicly listed so disclosures will be less and London office would be catering to multiple sectors and functional areas 

2) I understand the office does work in many and almost all areas, but I am trying to establish what areas each MBB are renown for. 

Both McK and BCG have strong digital presence. They have invested heavily in building teams with digital skills and both have expert career ladders. 

3) If I was being realistic, what offices should apply for?

London office seems a good bet. You can always seek internal transfer after few years of good performance 

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Ken
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replied on Jul 25, 2022
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

1. Client sectoral coverage can be very seasonal.  I've seen McKinsey London shift from oil & gas, travel, banking, telco, etc. over the last decade.  London will often be a hub office where you will find partners covering most industries, even internationally.  Private equity has been a growth driver over the last few years which I would argue is cross-industry depending on the deal.

2. Leading the Digital space would probably be shared by McKinsey and BCG.  It's now such a broad and diverse space, I would compare at a more specific level such as advanced, analytics, digital transformation, digital business building, core technology, etc.

3. Most SEA offices don't necessarily have a local language requirement and so I would be more open minded.  For the US, if you are not able to get the H1B then I wouldn't bother.

Good luck!

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jul 25, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

London is a global consulting hub, and is a global financial hub. Meaning that it will be quite strong in finance and private equity, but will also have capabilities in everything else. Meaning that if you know what their global strengths are, you can assume they have those same strengths in London. 

I am not sure what you mean by digital space. If you are thinking about “digital strategy”, beware. There is no such thing as a “digital strategy” (digital is embedded in the strategy and company capabilities). If you are thinking about “tech” companies in the digital space… then London is not the target office (except for tech financial services). Also, if you are looking for digital technical capabilities or tools, that is not the realm of strategy firms (they have them, it is just not what they sell).  

You should always prefer applying to countries you have a strong attachment to  (your home country, or where you live right now) and have a work authorization.

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Clara
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replied on Jul 24, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

1. No, unfortunately

2. Agree, digital is a huge one. Good way of checking this is seeing to which positions the consultants are exiting, but it´s a hard Linkedin job

3. London is a great option tbh, but you can also try other European offices. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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