April 2019 Strategy and Management Consultancy Newsletter

Don Leslie - Management Consultancy Career Strategist (www.donleslie.uk)

Here’s some of the news about strategy and management consultancy which I’ve been collecting recently. These snippets can help 2019 graduating students who have not yet found a consultancy role, and incoming students who have made consultancy their career target for 2020.

Market news: UK and The Gulf  –  BCG’s hiring 750  –  who’s eating who  –  why a consultancy CV is different  –  MBA earnings in consultancy  –  Bain’s India success  –  AI interviewing  –  McKinsey’s “beautiful” new logo  –  Deloitte’s Football Money League  –  Top woman in consulting  –  Singapore news  –  farewell concrete cow

Been interviewed by an on-screen avatar as part of a consultancy’s selection process? It’s very likely that AI has been analysing your facial expressions. https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/ai-is-now-analyzing-candidates-facial-expressions-during-video-job-interviews.html  (But if you’ve attended my campus seminars on consultancy applications you’ll know how to avoid the robots…)

Oh dear: another consultancy rebranding, and another load of corporate marketing guff. This time it’s McKinsey, who should know better. The have ‘a new visual identity to better express who we are and what we do today.’ “We’re excited about the new visual identity, which we think is beautiful,” says its global managing partner. “But this is about more than how we look. It’s about updating how we communicate, so we can engage with the world more effectively, now and in the future as we continue to change.” https://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/new-at-mckinsey-blog/meet-the-new-mckinsey-look  According to the corporate video, ‘the refresh includes an updated graphic element, new fonts, a new colour palette, and a revamped approach to data visualization and photography. Blue still figures prominently, symbolizing the constancy of our mission and values. Only now it’s a deeper shade set against a white background.’ “We think the contrast depicts our clarity of thought and our ability to cut through and deliver what really matters,” says a senior partner .“It symbolizes our aspiration to bring those qualities to all our clients.” And what is this radical new look? The McKinsey logo is now on two lines…

Looking for well-regarded smaller UK consultancies? The latest UK Great Places to Work survey https://www.greatplacetowork.co.uk/assets/Uploads/Great-Workplaces-Special-Report-2021.pdf and the 2019 MCA Awards https://www.mca.org.uk/press-releases/winners-of-2019-mca-annual-awards-announced offer names to research. If it’s France or Germany, try https://www.glassdoor.de/Award/Beste-Arbeitgeber-Deutschland-LST_KQ0,29.htm and https://www.glassdoor.fr/R%C3%A9compense/Meilleurs-Employeurs-France-LST_KQ0,27.htm Did you see the news that BCG will add 750 consultants to its  German team?  https://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/unternehmen/bcg-will-im-kommenden-jahr-750-mitarbeiter-einstellen-15921410.html The firm claims to have 25% of the premium market in Germany..

Deloitte’s Football Money League report, which analyses the revenue generated by the world’s top football clubs, has been published. You can find out which team came top (with turnover of €750m) and enjoy some great graphics too: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/uk/Documents/sports-business-group/deloitte-uk-deloitte-football-money-league-2019.pdf  And the firm’s annual Tech Trends report identifies those trends that are likely to disrupt businesses in the next 18-24 months, including advanced networking, intelligent interfaces, NoOps (huh? – me neither)  in a serverless world, and more. https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/technology/articles/tech-trends.html/  But what’s going to disrupt consultancies themselves? Fiona Czerniawska writing in Top-Consultant http://news.top-consultant.com//Disruption-in-consulting-still-on-the-cards-19623.html identifies seven possible sources.


I hadn’t known of a consultancy for the computer games industry – until now. You can read about the splendidly named London-based Game Dragons Consultancy here: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-02-20-introducing-game-dragons-the-oliver-twins-new-consultancy-firm

Large consultancies continue to eat smaller specialist in the data analytics and marketing space. Boston Consulting Group has absorbed The Simulation Group, an Australian business modelling and advanced analytics consultancy, into its analytics and data science arm BCG GAMMA. https://www.afr.com/business/accounting/boston-consulting-group-buys-firm-that-builds-virtual-versions-of-businesses-20190201-h1aqem And sustainability consultancy Anthesis Group has bought innovation consultancy GoodBrand  https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3070419/sustainability-swoop-anthesis-group-acquires-consultancy-goodbrand Accenture has taken over Danish digital marketing consultancy Storm https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/accenture-interactive-expands-digital-marketing-services-in-the-netherlands-by-acquiring-storm-digital.htm Back in the days when I was a recruiter for the consultancy sector with BLT, at a time when consulting was all grey suits and polished marble atriums, innovation consultancy ?WhatIf! was definitely my coolest consultancy client. A concrete cow in Reception, a visitors’ area like an American diner, and consultants dressed in – shock, horror – jeans and trainers. I hope some of its anarchic ways will rub off on Accenture, who have just taken it over. https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/accenture-acquires-uk-based-innovation-firm-what-if-enhancing-ability-to-help-clients-reinvent-themselves-with-experimentation-led-approach.htm

Website Consulting.uk has analysed Source Research Group’s latest review of the consulting industry in the UK. The rate of growth has been falling since 2014, and is currently 5.5%. But growth is growth…https://www.consultancy.uk/news/20552/brexit-slows-growth-as-uk-consulting-market-hits-8-billion-mark  The UK’s environmental consultancy sector isn’t worried about Brexit though, according to industry experts https://environment-analyst.com/73412/environmental-consulting-defies-brexit-worries  : infrastructure opportunities and increased public sector spend are helping consultancies to achieve continued healthy organic growth and feel confident in the face of Brexit.

Deloitte’s new global Chair is a woman, a first for the industry: https://economia.icaew.com/news/march-2019/sharon-thorne-appointed-deloitte-global-chair Given the consultancy sector’s woeful retention rate for female consultants (17% after five years), this is a welcome move. Source Research’s Alison Huntington tells us why gender diversity is good for the consultancy business. https://www.sourceglobalresearch.com/the-commercial-case-for-gender-diversity-in-professional-services/

The consultancy industry is facing stiff competition from tech companies Amazon and Google when it comes to the hiring of MBAs, reports website efinancialcareers.com, but investment banks are no longer luring business school graduates as they once were. https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/3000343/the-banks-consulting-firms-and-tech-companies-that-are-hiring-top-mbas-right-now

Its European operations were good earners in 2018, reports low-profile but sizeable international consultancy,BearingPoint. The firm hired over 1000 new consultants and appointed 21 partners. https://www.bearingpoint.com/en-gb/about-us/news-and-media/press-releases/bearingpoint-has-record-revenues-of-%E2%82%AC739-million-in-2018/

Singapore is a major consulting hub for Asia. Kantar Consulting, a marketing and retail consultancy, has launched a retail, sales & shopper practice there to support growing demand from its Southeast Asia clients. A number of senior  appointments have been announced: perhaps opportunity for more consultants and senior consultants to join the 25 local staff?  https://www.marketing-interactive.com/kantar-consulting-launches-retail-and-shopper-practice/ Singapore consultancy LanciaConsult has been hiring too https://www.lanciaconsult.com/about-us/ and EY is setting up an incubator (“EY Foundry”) for professional services start-ups at its Singapore EY wavespace facility. https://www.msn.com/en-sg/money/topstories/ey-set-to-launch-startup-incubator-programme-in-singapore/ar-BBUWcQb?li=BBr8YXL

Struggling with your CV? US-based resumé writer Alex North shows how a consultancy CV differs from a standard one: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-rules-of-the-consulting-resume

In an interview with Bain India, the Economic Times discovers that the firm’s Indian operation hires more consultants than any other in the network. You can read more about the firm’s success in a very competitive market here: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/within-bain-india-is-seen-as-benchmark-on-how-to-enter-and-penetrate-a-market-manny-maceda-global-managing-partner/articleshow/68492319.cms

Consultancy firms in The Gulf see digital work contributing some 30% of the region’s $3bn fees, according to Source Research Group. Digital government projects, the 2020 Dubai Expo and the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar are all moneyspinners. Outside the largest market Saudi Arabia, growth has been “patchy” however. Bahrain and Oman are described as “sluggish” although the UAE and Kuwait are generating good levels of demand. https://www.sourceglobalresearch.com/the-gulf-between-potential-and-actual-digitisation-narrows-in-the-gcc/ and https://reports.sourceglobalresearch.com/report/5012/the-gcc-consulting-market-in-2019

US MBAs continue to earn well in consulting, according to US website Poets & Quants. It runs the numbers from research by RelishCareers.com and TransparentCareer.com  MBAs reported earning an increase of $46,414 in consulting — from about $86,188 pre-MBA to $132,601 post-MBA. Consulting was also the second most lucrative post-MBA career option after private equity. https://poetsandquants.com/2019/03/22/where-mbas-make-the-largest-salary-leaps/?pq-category=admissions&utm_campaign=PQNL&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=71123457&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–PSf4fa3LTl5bAV5dwHRvUDWJzydREloWC98v4P0QC5FPjUHa9HtoOs2hPyh24nQPopql08cT9rzhJH8xzJEhIEvY4ZA&_hsmi=71123457

Do well whilst doing good. In December 2018’s newsletter I wrote about Impact Investing. www.impactinvestingguide.com?utm_source=donleslie&utm_medium=email  This new site provides information: the core aspects of Impact Investing, the sub-sectors of the industry as well as useful resources for those starting out in the field. Its Impact Investing Guide has now been updated to cover both micro-finance institutions and micro-finance investment vehicles: http://www.impactinvestingguide.com/impact-investing-microfinance/

This month’s success story: a student at a Midlands-based business school couldn’t convert her Big Four experience from India into a UK consulting role. A contact inside one of her target firms suggested she revise her CV by replacing the rather formal “Indian English” vernacular used with commercial English. That simple change made the difference. The lesson: your CV needs to be tailored for the relevant audience: what works in one market doesn’t always work in another.

My classroom sessions on careers in strategy and management consultancy careers took me to Loughborough University Business School during March. I also attended the MBA CSEA Conference in Singapore. Will I see you in Berlin? The webinar for MBA website MBA-Exchange, featuring PA Consulting, OEE Consulting and Atos Consulting, which I chaired last month, is now available at https://mba-exchange.webex.com/mba-exchange/lsr.php?RCID=26903be66c314d70b3290819d05d01c4 . The firms talk about their work, what they look for in prospective consultants, and their current consultancy jobs.