Which big four firm is the most prestigous worldwide (for management consulting)?

big four consulting firms consulting industry Deloitte Ernst & Young global KPMG prestige PwC
Anonymous A asked on Apr 08, 2017

How do they compare globally?

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Hi Anonymous,

The notion of prestige is debatable, but assuming it refers to the general perception of the brand, the only two firms with a strong consulting brand between the Big 4 are Deloitte thanks to the acquisition of Monitor (merged also as a brand name) and PwC thanks to the acquisition of Booz (not merged as a brand name), as also mentioned by Julien. Before such acquisition, Deloitte had already a consulting arm. The general perception of the two firms is therefore generally based on the following:

  1. Booz was generally considered stronger than Monitor;
  2. Strategy& is branded separated from PwC, while Monitor is not from Deloitte;
  3. Deloitte did have a consulting arm before the acquisition, while PwC did not.

The first two elements support PwC while the latter Deloitte, so you will probably find people who will consider Strategy&/PwC superior and others that will consider Monitor/Deloitte superior as of today. This in general terms; at local level, things could be perceived differently, and in certain geographies PwC/Strategy would be considered definitely better than Monitor/Deloitte, and the other way round.

At the following link you can also find a comparison between the different firms based on some other criteria. In their review, they put Deloitte as top for consulting, but since the Strategy& brand is separated from PwC, that’s again debatable:

http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/204621/working-for-pwc-deloitte-ey-and-kpmg-whats-the-difference

Besides an analysis of prestige, I think it could also be useful for you to consider exit opportunities (in many countries, consultants stay 2-3 years, so that’s not such a remote option even if you are still considering where to go). The simplest thing to analyse that would be to take a look to LinkedIn and check which have been the exit paths for people coming from Strategy& and Monitor Deloitte in your target geography.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Hi,

Recently, the Big Four started acquiring major management consulting firms, e.g well established Booz acquired by PwC to form Strategy& and Monitor acquired by Deloitte.

I would say these two management consulting firms are the most prestigious amongst the big Four. Time will tell if Strategy& will become number 4 again or if the acquisition will fail...

Hope I partially answered your question

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Adding another KPI for prestige, I would suggest you look at total manpower as well as the split consultants vs. auditors. This gives you an impression of market share as well as your relative importance within the firm.

Beeing obviously biased, I can tell that Deloitte looks good on that scale.

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I agree with my peers that Strategy& and Monitor are a level ahead from the rest of divisions within the Big Four. However, still a bit behind from Tier 2 firms (Accenture Strategy, OW, ATK, Ronald Berger).

(edited)

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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