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What makes Kearney different than MBB?

A.T. Kearney ATKearney Big4
New answer on Oct 12, 2023
6 Answers
14.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Aug 05, 2020

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Anonymous replied on Aug 05, 2020

Hi Anonymous,

For me the main differences are 1. Brand power 2. Culture and size

1. Brand power: this one is the obvious one, Kearney does not have the brand power of MBB, although it is well positionned right after the big three thanks to its long history as a consulting firm and its worldwide presence.

2. Culture and size: Kearney is still very much an "SMB" in its spirit and operations. Each office/unit is quite reasonable in terms of staff (from ~20 to 300 people) which results in a very friendly/family atmosphere in each office, where everyone actually knows everyone (and not just your desk as in other larger firms). One downside is that you have limited leverage of the network (e.g. knowledge management at firm level, office transfer etc.)

And to address the elephant in the room: the projects are the same as the MBB - Strategy, DD, ops, you name it.


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Content Creator
replied on Aug 06, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

On top of what has been already said:

  • Alumni network of Kearny is not even close to MBB - neither from quantity nor quality perspective. It's a logical consequence of the smaller firm as a tier-2 brand, but still worth highlighting specifically.
  • Culture was and still is quite heterogenous, due to many industry hires (and less strict global policies and rules). They simply don't have the same socialization as MBB having hired mostly university graduates which you can still form as to your expectations.

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


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Content Creator
replied on Aug 06, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Honestly, it's similar in a lot of regards (strategy consulting, generalist, etc). In fact, it's actually a Mck spin-off (founded in 1926).

That being said, some of the differences are:

Size: Smaller than MBB

Industry: Consumer & Retail, Industrial, Public Sector. Financial Services & PE are growing quickly

Casing: Its second round tends to include a written case

Prestige: Less presitgious and fewer exit opportunities than MBB

Culture: Diverse, collegial and non-hierarchical work environment

Hope this helps!

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Anonymous replied on Aug 08, 2020

Dear A,

Kearey is by far smaller company than MBB. Except may be for a couple of regions like Middke East, where they have recently catched up a lot and are currently on the 3rd position in the market after BCG and McKinsey.

In general, Kearney's culture is also considerably differen than of McKinsey, BCG or Bain. It's less formal and people have more entrepreneurship skills and the personla impact is higher. But it all depends on the region and specific locations, where you want to work.

If you need further insights about Kearney's culture in specific region, drop me a line, since I have many friends working at Kearney, but also at MBB and I can compare pretty well.

Happy to share my insights,


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 12, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer


Sharing my perspective having worked in Kearney and then MBB.

What Kearney has (e.g. type of projects, clients), generally MBB will have also given MBB is bigger.

What Kearney has that MBB wouldn't have are the benefits that you get with a smaller firm

  • Entrepreneurial spirit: There is a lot more room to create and innovate, even at a junior level given the smaller size
  • Flexibility: Especially at smaller offices and systems, there was often alot more flexibility when it comes to processes and policies
  • Office culture: It is much more likely you will be in a big office in MBB of a few hundred people and you don't know everyone. At Kearney the smaller offices are places where everyone knows everyone


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Anonymous B replied on Aug 05, 2020

Biggest point comes down to size. Because MBB are significantly bigger - they also have a wider range of project types and geographic options. This is not always an advantage as some people would of course prefer to travel less but the variety in MBB is hard to beat for any tier 2 like Kearney

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