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Roland Berger vs. Marakon

Anonymous A

Hi community,

I would first like to thank all of the active forum members, both experts and fellow users, for sharing your depth and breadth of insights, as I believe it has played a critical factor in me securing full-time entry-level offers this year.

I am currently holding offers from Marakon and Roland Berger, both in London. From my research and speaking to other people, RB seems like the natural choice; however I do not want to dismiss Marakon entirely. They seem to have key areas of strengths but a lot of question marks regarding their actual positioning and performance.

Strengths (Marakon)

  • I absolutely loved the whole interview process at Marakon, the people were very nice all around and the process was very efficient
  • They seem to be one of the last few players deeply embedded in the pure strategy sphere (~90% of their work is pure strategy, from my understanding even MBB has started to move downstream hence less pure strategy engagements)
  • The London team is small hence, combined with the strategy work, this would give me a lot of senior exposure, both internally and externally

Key areas of doubt (Marakon)

  • How are they actually performing, especially post-acquisition by CRA? From my online research, either they don't show up (e.g. on Preplounge), or the webpages mentioning them are quite literally a decade old. The only data source I have is Vault.com, where it is listed 13th in Europe (vs. 4th for RB). Their size is also very small (~100 consultants globally) - would a very successful firm not have grown by now? It could be argued that their line of pure strategy work cannot translate itself well to the high growth rates seen by the likes of MBB, and/or that their goal is not to grow.
  • How good/bad is the brand recognition? They seem to be quite well-known at the C-level but I cannot verify that as I have no industry connections with people that senior. I have no real information regarding their brand recognition at the managerial level.
  • How good would my exit opportunities be (for MBB or entrepreneurship)? The only notable Marakon alumni in interesting-looking positions now on LinkedIn seem to have left Marakon before the acquisition. Vault also lists it 3rd for exit opportunities, however I don't exactly understand their methodology so I don't want to rely solely on this source. My hypothesis is that their small size kind of limits the alumni network, and by extension the exit opportunities.

I understand that Roland Berger is regarded on the forum as a good firm to work for, however I would ideally like a comparison of the 2 firms as I have not found such comparison elsewhere.

I also have many reasons as to why I would want to work at RB (mainly people, work type, and brand), but my post is focusing on Marakon as this is the factor I currently have very limited information about.

Any insight whatsoever would be much appreciated, especially anything pertaining to the industry's view of Marakon.

Thanks!

(edited)

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Guennael replied on 12/06/2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Where do you want to work? I have never heard of Marakon, but most everyone knows and respects RB. Case closed as far as I am concerned.

Yes, yes, people and type of work also matter of course. I still say RB though :) oh, and congrats!

Alessandro
Expert
replied on 12/08/2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT

Hey there,

Marakon is a small but pretty prestigious boutique. It may be less well known than Roland Berger, but arguably for people who know it, it is more prestigious. I know a few ex Marakon guys that either became senior partners at MBB or left for head of strategy type roles at some clients I worked at.

In short, I think the summary is: RB will give you more options and open more doors, simply because it is more well-known. However, the actual work at Marakon may be more intellectually stimulating, as it is more focused on strategy, and down the line you can still get a good exit, especially at senior levels.

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