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Iman

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10

Strategy& London (M&A) Vs BCG Dubai

Hi All!

Trying to decide between two FT offers, would really appreciate everyone's thoughts:

Strategy& London (M&A) vs BCG Dubai.

A few key point:

1) S&'s work is 50% DD for PEs, 50% Growth strategy. BCG is mostly public sector work in KSA.

2) Looking to keep open the option of PE exit

3) Comp: BCG is 2x S& (however, not key decision factor)

4) Looking to stay in London in the medium term

Background: MSc Finance BSc Engineering (Top5-UK)

Thanks :)

Hi All!

Trying to decide between two FT offers, would really appreciate everyone's thoughts:

Strategy& London (M&A) vs BCG Dubai.

A few key point:

1) S&'s work is 50% DD for PEs, 50% Growth strategy. BCG is mostly public sector work in KSA.

2) Looking to keep open the option of PE exit

3) Comp: BCG is 2x S& (however, not key decision factor)

4) Looking to stay in London in the medium term

Background: MSc Finance BSc Engineering (Top5-UK)

Thanks :)

(edited)

10 answers

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Book a coaching with Iman

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Hi,

It really depends on how fast you want to reach your end goal and how important is location.

In PwC London I think Strategy& and the deals team are combined that is why the project portfolio is what you are mentioned and also the compensation gap.

My personal suggestion would be to take BCG do a good job 1-2 years and ask for a transfer to London after that while also network with the PE Practice Area in London office. Reason being better brand and better money.

Best,
Iman

Hi,

It really depends on how fast you want to reach your end goal and how important is location.

In PwC London I think Strategy& and the deals team are combined that is why the project portfolio is what you are mentioned and also the compensation gap.

My personal suggestion would be to take BCG do a good job 1-2 years and ask for a transfer to London after that while also network with the PE Practice Area in London office. Reason being better brand and better money.

Best,
Iman

Hi, thanks Iman! Always great to hear from someone with experience from both firms! Re the compensation gap, S& London is on par (or just less) than MBB, gap is caused by Dubai factor + no tax. Was wondering if you knew how easy/hard it is to transfer within the firm to high demand office! Thanks again. — Anonymous A on Dec 24, 2020

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

Congratulations on your offers.

The main advantage I see in S& is it may help to reach PE faster, which is one of your goals.

Have you checked where people exit after working there (you should be able to find out relatively quickly on LinkedIn)? If you don’t see a strong connection between S& and the PE funds you want compared to BCG, I would go for BCG – the MBB stamp is really useful for everything you will have to do in your career.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

Congratulations on your offers.

The main advantage I see in S& is it may help to reach PE faster, which is one of your goals.

Have you checked where people exit after working there (you should be able to find out relatively quickly on LinkedIn)? If you don’t see a strong connection between S& and the PE funds you want compared to BCG, I would go for BCG – the MBB stamp is really useful for everything you will have to do in your career.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Adi

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Hey, based on the criteria you have listed, S& sounds like it from my perspective.

When it comes to job choices, I always advice people to choose that which is a better fit to your values, career aspirations & risk apetitie. Choose that which will allow you to do what you really want to do. Rest (success, money etc) will follow if you make the right moves. Too often people end up in firms for all the wrong reasons (peer pressure, $, impatience etc)

As with every situation/event/choice in life, nothing will be perfect. Be mindful of this and work accordingly. Regardless of which job you take, there will be ups and downs and you cannot make that perfect choice as there will always be something a little better. So remove this pressure.

All the best! And congrats for having these options in otherwise crazy COVID times. Well done for that :)

Hey, based on the criteria you have listed, S& sounds like it from my perspective.

When it comes to job choices, I always advice people to choose that which is a better fit to your values, career aspirations & risk apetitie. Choose that which will allow you to do what you really want to do. Rest (success, money etc) will follow if you make the right moves. Too often people end up in firms for all the wrong reasons (peer pressure, $, impatience etc)

As with every situation/event/choice in life, nothing will be perfect. Be mindful of this and work accordingly. Regardless of which job you take, there will be ups and downs and you cannot make that perfect choice as there will always be something a little better. So remove this pressure.

All the best! And congrats for having these options in otherwise crazy COVID times. Well done for that :)

Thank you Adi, some great advise unlike wso prestige driven comments. Will definitely take all into consideration! — Anonymous A on Dec 23, 2020

Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

It really depends on your objective. If you want to transition to PE, Strategy& seems like a better option. However, I would monitor the PE industry in the UK. With Brexit, I believe it'll shrink pretty soon.

BCG is a better brand, and taking into account the difference in taxes and exchange rates, your comp in Dubai will be much higher and growth will be faster

Best

Hi,

It really depends on your objective. If you want to transition to PE, Strategy& seems like a better option. However, I would monitor the PE industry in the UK. With Brexit, I believe it'll shrink pretty soon.

BCG is a better brand, and taking into account the difference in taxes and exchange rates, your comp in Dubai will be much higher and growth will be faster

Best

Thanks for the reply Vlad! — Anonymous A on Dec 24, 2020

Book a coaching with Ken

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Congratulations! Both are fantastic options but frankly neither are ideal if you are optimising for a PE exit (presumbably in London) although I appreciate there are many funds out there if you are not picky. With both options, you may need to move to an MBB role in London (e.g., BCG London PIPE) as recruiting is super competitive and heavily based on branding. If moving within consulting is outside your consideration then I would go for S& as you will have no chance getting a PE role with no DD/deal experience.

Congratulations! Both are fantastic options but frankly neither are ideal if you are optimising for a PE exit (presumbably in London) although I appreciate there are many funds out there if you are not picky. With both options, you may need to move to an MBB role in London (e.g., BCG London PIPE) as recruiting is super competitive and heavily based on branding. If moving within consulting is outside your consideration then I would go for S& as you will have no chance getting a PE role with no DD/deal experience.

Thank you Ken for the reply. The 'no chance into PE without DD/deal experience' will definitely influence my decision process. As you said PIPE would be ideal, but I am aware office transfer to London are very high demand. Is lateraling to a MBB PE team from another firm unheard of at Senior Associate/Man. level? — Anonymous A on Dec 23, 2020

It's actually a growing space and so moving laterally after 2+ years of experience is definitely possible if you have relevant DD experience. Both McK and BCG have been hiring 10-20 PE dedicated consultants per year over the last few years. Mainly Associate/Junior Manager level from non-MBBs in London. — Ken on Dec 24, 2020

Fantastic to hear that Ken! Best advice I had so far in all the forums (guess focusing on a growing practice will also help eg.TMT ) — Anonymous A on Dec 24, 2020

Book a coaching with Sadik Cevik

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Hi!

During my career in Consultancy, I have focused mainly on DD and Growth Strategy work. This is extremely demanding, but also extremely rewarding (in terms of learning and doing real "strategic" work).

I had colleagues that have done a lot of Public Sector work in KSA, that is also extremely demanding. However, not as rewarding as the DD/Growth Strategy work.

Given your criteria to potentially move to PE, I would chose for the "short term - ~2year" investment in yourself (rather than cashing the salary that is 2x so high), therefore opt for the Strategy& London M&A work.

Feel free to reach out to me via personal message if you have questions on the exact work.

Best,
Sadik

Hi!

During my career in Consultancy, I have focused mainly on DD and Growth Strategy work. This is extremely demanding, but also extremely rewarding (in terms of learning and doing real "strategic" work).

I had colleagues that have done a lot of Public Sector work in KSA, that is also extremely demanding. However, not as rewarding as the DD/Growth Strategy work.

Given your criteria to potentially move to PE, I would chose for the "short term - ~2year" investment in yourself (rather than cashing the salary that is 2x so high), therefore opt for the Strategy& London M&A work.

Feel free to reach out to me via personal message if you have questions on the exact work.

Best,
Sadik

Thank Sadik, definitely great advice. Love the "investment" logic, in the long term this comp. gap is completely negligible. Great to hear also that the S& work could potentially be alot more rewarding. — Anonymous A on Dec 24, 2020

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

Let's cut out the noise...

1) You want a PE exit - leans S&

2) You want to stay in London - leans BCG

You need to decide what matters more to you...London or PE?

That being said, I want to clarify 2 things:

  • Even though BCG london pay is 2x, remember that, once you account for cost of living AND 0% income taxes in Dubai, this should mostly even out
  • Just because BCG is known for public sector work, does not mean you can't work your way into DD/PE projects...

Hi there,

Let's cut out the noise...

1) You want a PE exit - leans S&

2) You want to stay in London - leans BCG

You need to decide what matters more to you...London or PE?

That being said, I want to clarify 2 things:

  • Even though BCG london pay is 2x, remember that, once you account for cost of living AND 0% income taxes in Dubai, this should mostly even out
  • Just because BCG is known for public sector work, does not mean you can't work your way into DD/PE projects...

Hi Ian, thank you for the reply! I think you might have misread the post abit. Strategy& is for London while BCG is for Dubai. Really interested in hearing your view still! — Anonymous A on Dec 24, 2020

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

Big congrats!

Without the need to reading any of the bullet points you wrote, with my eyes closed, BCG.

Tier 1 vs. Tier 2, nothing else to comment :)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Big congrats!

Without the need to reading any of the bullet points you wrote, with my eyes closed, BCG.

Tier 1 vs. Tier 2, nothing else to comment :)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

That is very short sighted. There is a lot of nuance between offices, practices and your own goals that should be considered in making the decision. — Anonymous B on Dec 24, 2020

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hi there,

congratulations on your offers! Both sound very exciting and you're lucky you have to choose from the best!

I think answering these questions can help you make a decision:

  • What's your priority at the moment?
  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • Can you take some risk or you're more a cautious person?

Whatever is your choice, it's never a mistake.

Best,

GB

Hi there,

congratulations on your offers! Both sound very exciting and you're lucky you have to choose from the best!

I think answering these questions can help you make a decision:

  • What's your priority at the moment?
  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • Can you take some risk or you're more a cautious person?

Whatever is your choice, it's never a mistake.

Best,

GB

Thanks for the reply Gaurav! I would say transferable learnings + exits ops are the two key factor. Higher relative risk tolerance (little experience/young age). Ease of exiting back to London after 2/3y in Dubai would be an important consideration as well — Anonymous A on Dec 23, 2020

Book a coaching with Raj

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The Deals team at S& (M&A Strategy) is pretty well established in the UK PE space and exiting to an investment role at a fund is well established, if that's your ambition.

Also naturally being in London will align to what you said you were looking for long-term, and regardless you'll probably have more geographic flexibility being in London vs Dubai.

Now counterargument to that is course BCG pay in Dubai will be tax free and the brand step-up.

Overall, sounds like S& would be the best fit to your ambitions. Feel free to PM me if you want more insight into S& London

The Deals team at S& (M&A Strategy) is pretty well established in the UK PE space and exiting to an investment role at a fund is well established, if that's your ambition.

Also naturally being in London will align to what you said you were looking for long-term, and regardless you'll probably have more geographic flexibility being in London vs Dubai.

Now counterargument to that is course BCG pay in Dubai will be tax free and the brand step-up.

Overall, sounds like S& would be the best fit to your ambitions. Feel free to PM me if you want more insight into S& London

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