2019 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING MANAGEMENT CONSULTING FIRMS
Intro: Advantages of Working with Top Management Consulting Firms
When it comes to working with management consultants, business professionals can have mixed opinions. Certain consulting firms may seem to bring little value but charge a lot, while others truly help companies solve complex problems and propel their business forward.
The truth is that firms offering management consulting services can be as varied as any other type of service business. Some will hold themselves and their team to higher standards and have more real-world experience than others.
Just because you may have had a bad experience with a consultant in the past doesn’t mean that others will be the same. That’s why it’s important to look at things like client satisfaction, reputation, experience, and values when looking for the best management consulting firm to work with.
That’s exactly what AdvisoryHQ does when ranking the top consultants and management consultants. Our goal is to help make your search easier by giving you a short list of the best consulting firms from which you can further narrow your options.
Management consultants can help organizations reduce costs and improve multiple areas of their operations from human resources to marketing. Often, they can make a significant difference in a company’s growth and bottom line.
Award Emblem: Top 9 Best Management Consulting Firms
Top 9 Best Management Consulting Firms (Plus 1 to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking
Business Consulting Firms
|Bain & Company||5|
|Booz Allen Hamilton||5|
|Boston Consulting Group||5|
|McKinsey & Co||5|
|The Brattle Group||5|
|Ernst & Young||1|
Table: Top 9 Best Management Consulting Firms | Above list is sorted by rating
What is a Management Consulting Firm?
If you’ve hit some stuck points in your business and aren’t quite sure how to get past them, a top management consulting firm can become a valuable advisor and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.
Companies that provide management consulting services help improve efficiencies and lower costs in just about every facet of your company whether it’s your IT infrastructure, product sales and marketing, or how you handle your vendor relationships.
Management consultants are often considered “problem-solvers,” coming in to help an organization, both public and private, with practical advice. Some consulting firms may specialize in specific industries, while others will work with a wide range of organizations.
Some of the attributes of a strong management consulting firm are:
- Have a good client retention rate
- Maintain a rewarding company culture
- Help companies identify new opportunities
- Learn about your company before trying to advise you
- Stay apprised of the latest industry trends
- Provide skilled expertise in specific areas of business
- Take a hands-on approach to problem-solving
The best management consulting firms will work as a partner with your company to drive your mission forward and offer innovations that fit in with your corporate values.
2019 AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Management Consulting Firms
Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of 2019 top management consulting firms. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these management consulting firms to score so high in our selection ranking.
Click on any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.
- Bain & Company
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Boston Consulting Group
- Deloitte Consulting
- McKinsey & Company
- Oliver Wyman
- The Brattle Group
- A.T. Kearney
- Ernst & Young
Click below for previous years’ rankings:
- 2018 Ranking: Top 9 Best Management Consulting Firms (Plus 1 to Avoid)
- 2017 Ranking: Top 10 Best Management Consulting Firms
- 2016 Ranking: Top 10 Best Management Consulting Firms
Driven to provide imagination-fueled transformation, Accenture is an international professional services company, that offers management consulting as well as strategy, digital, and technology operations.
The firm has a history of strong corporate governance and serves 6,000 clients over 120 countries. Accenture has offices and operations in 200 cities around the world.
With a reputation for maintaining long-term client relationships, 98 of its top 100 clients have worked with this top management consulting firm for a decade or more.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank Accenture as One of the Top Management Consulting Firms
Value-creating management consulting services and relationships should be built on the foundation of innovation. That sense of innovation and transformation is based on rigorous research and insight.
It’s with that in mind that Accenture regularly commissions and publishes new research and ideas on topics relating to the industries it serves.
This means that not only do clients gain the benefit of critical research, but this data is a basis to create valuable management consulting services and guide informed decisions.
Content and research are compiled and shared not only as articles and case studies but also as SlideShare presentations and even YouTube content.
Top-Rated Management Consultants
This top management consulting firm enters into client relationships with a unique approach, seeing change as being achievable by anyone.
Instead of gradual, incremental changes, Accenture empowers consultants to value bold moves and difficult decisions, creating complete organizational transformation through technology and innovation.
According to Accenture, some of the results of their transformative approach include, $1 billion in savings for Mondelez and 350 percent growth for Uniqlo, among many other impressive success stories.
With a culture founded in research and transformation, Accenture understands how to use data to power intelligent decisions and apply those to transformative growth for their clients.
With a large global reach, a talent for making bold moves that give bold results, and a focus on responsible and sustainable business, Accenture scores a 5-star rating as one of the top management consultants to consider working with this year.
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Bain & Company Review
Dynamic and inspired with a passion for results, Bain & Company is one of the world’s leading management consulting firms. The company has 58 offices in 37 countries around the globe.
The firm works with multiple industries that include everything from advanced manufacturing services to media and entertainment. Their business consulting services focus on strategy, marketing, organization, digital, advanced analytics, and more.
Key Factors That Enabled Bain & Company to Rank as One of the Best Management Consulting Firms
True North is a phrase that embodies the guiding principles, values, and culture that drive all services offered by Bain.
According to this top-rated management consulting firm, this commitment is based on the concept of always doing the right thing for clients, employees, and the community.
The values and culture that make Bain a standout and encompass the True North concept include:
- Passion for results aligned with client success
- Commitment to maintaining quality, professionalism, & ethics
- Straightforward & direct honesty with clients
- Openness to the possibility that current beliefs could be wrong
- Practicality in approaching & implementing decisions or strategies
- Embodying trust, respect, support, & collaboration as a team
- Striving for the best possible results
As one of the best management consulting firms, Bain challenges the concept of traditional and outdated change management through Results Delivery®.
Results Delivery® helps clients get past the possibility of failure through prediction, measurement, and risk management. This process includes the integration of solutions, implementation, and delivery.
This unique approach is guided by strong principles, including helping individuals succeed, bringing the future to life, deep commitment, value delivery, and building a strong base for sustainability.
Results Delivery® also moves beyond the installation of change, operating on a deeper level to alter the way people behave.
One of the benefits of working with Bain & Company is the company’s focus on the client at the center of everything they do. They also are big believers in transparency, which is refreshing to many clients they work with and fosters a foundation of trust.
With a reputation for being a great place to work, a talent for managing transformational change, and a broad range of knowledge and expertise, Bain & Company earns 5 stars as a top management consultant to consider partnering with in 2019.
Booz Allen Hamilton Review
With a goal to empower people to change the world, Booz Allen Hamilton is a top-rated management consulting firm that not only teaches clients to tackle today’s problems, but also to change tomorrow’s status quo.
Headquartered in the greater Washington D.C. area, Booz Allen Hamilton has an international footprint and over 22,600 employees in offices throughout North America, the Middle East/North Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Key Factors That Enabled Booz Allen Hamilton to Rank as One of the Best Management Consulting Firms
Core Areas of Expertise
In today’s complex world where many decisions are data-driven, working with a top management consultancy means one that can help you with both “offline” and “online” challenges.
Booz Allen Hamilton has a history of over 100 years of service, which means they’ve helped organizations innovate through multiple technology transformations, and that expertise continues into the 21st century.
Core areas of expertise of this top-rated management consulting firm include:
- Consulting: Helping governments and commercial clients mitigate risk and aggressively pursue strategic initiatives
- Analytics: With a team of data scientists, this top management consultant can help companies make sense of all the data being generated every day
- Digital Solutions: Using technological advances to help clients improve productivity, solve problems, and innovate with brilliant ideas
- Engineering: The engineers and applied scientists at Booz Allen Hamilton don’t just bring you innovative ideas, they help you build them for transformative change
- Cyber: Helping protect clients from the advanced cyberattacks of today and preparing them to ward off the threats of tomorrow
2019’s Best Management Consulting Firms
A key element of one of the best management consultants is that they operate under a strong ethical foundation and value system. Booze Allen Hamilton prides itself on being one of the first U.S. organizations to adopt a formal statement of business ethics.
The team at this top management consultancy believes in living their ethics every day and operating with the highest standards of integrity.
An impressive commitment to their ethically driven culture is the company’s Ethics and Business Integrity Office, which is a corporate-level function that coordinates the firm’s ethics and compliance program. This includes oversite by an Audit Committee.
Not only does Booz Allen Hamilton have a century-long history of providing value and results for their wide range of clients, but they also have a reputation for fostering an empowering and supportive workplace for their employees.
With expertise that includes data analytics and cybersecurity, and a strong history of upholding high ethical standards, Booz Allen Hamilton earns a 5-star rating as one of the best management consulting firms to consider working with this year.
Boston Consulting Group Review
With a goal to help clients seize competitive advantage, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a top-rated global consulting firm that collaborates with clients to understand their distinctive organizational dynamics and help them capitalize on emerging opportunities.
BCG has more than 18,500 employees working in offices in over 90 cities throughout 50 countries. Many of their clients rank among the 500 largest corporations.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of Boston Consulting Group as One of the Best Management Consulting Firms
One of the core components of the management consulting provided by BCG is called “Smart Simplicity”, which helps to minimize and efficiently manage the growing number of requirements that companies need to meet these days.
Businesses are increasingly pressured into creating new systems to address new requirements, leading to vertical layers, decision approvals, and increased operations that can be disjointed and have negative performance impacts.
The Smart Simplicity approach is designed to address these complexities in a smarter and more streamlined manner, to integrate new procedures and improve performance as a result.
Business Model Innovation
Another aspect of capabilities delivered by this top management consulting firm centers on something called the Four Approaches to Business Model Innovation, which is another signature program of Boston Consulting Group.
These Four Approaches consider business model innovation with the belief that not all innovation is the same, effectively catering their approach to the unique objectives of each company:
- The Reinventor: Designed as a response to fundamental industry challenge, such as a new regulation
- The Adapter: Aimed at addressing change without causing a disruption to core business
- The Maverick: Centered on startups and designed for businesses that are completely disrupting their industry
- The Adventurer: Seeks to expand the footprint of a business by moving into new areas
Boston Consulting group takes a completely customized approach to management consulting, fitting the approach and solution to the client rather than the other way around. This offers the opportunity for faster adoption and more positive outcomes.
With industry recognition as a great place to work and expertise in agile transformations, Boston Consulting Group scores 5 stars as one of the top-ranked management consulting firms to consider partnering with this year.
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Deloitte Consulting Review
With 150-year track record of making a difference in the world, Deloitte is a global organization that offers management consulting services and is dedicating to making a positive impact on the world.
In addition to acting as a management consultant, the firm also provides multiple other services, such as audit, advisory, risk management, and tax services.
The firm has approximately 245,000 team members across 150 countries and territories throughout the world and is a recognized leader in fostering top talent and creating a positive place to work.
Key Factors That Allowed Deloitte to Rank as One of the Best Management Consulting Firms
When it comes to finding the top management consulting firms, it’s important to look at firm culture.
Management consulting companies that take care of their employees and maintain a supportive workplace also tend to take great care of their clients, because happy consultants generally produce happy clients.
Deloitte is proud to have an inclusive, diverse culture, and even conducts regular research on its benefits. Potential clients can easily access reports on topics like:
- How organizations can advance inclusion
- Internships, conferences, and programs based on leadership
- How to encourage individuals to avoid “covering” their authentic selves
- Understanding the millennial cultural mindset
- Inclusion and intersectionality
Insights gained from the firm’s research are directly applied to the internal culture, creating a place of respect, integrity, and diversity.
Part of Deloitte’s expertise comes from a core set of proprietary platforms, built through decades of experience and a proven track record. These state-of-the-art offerings provide unique, expert solutions to meet multiple client issues.
Deloitte offers a total of 14 unique platforms, here are a few of them:
- ClearLIGHT™: Analytics platform to help businesses build cost-effective solutions and increase value
- SupplyPRISM™: Products, services, and solutions to improve digital supply network visibility
- Human Capital: Offers digital solutions across labor, HR, and workforce issues
- WorkEDGE™: Integrated solutions for state governments to rapidly modernize labor programs
- ConvergeHEALTH™: Built to empower life sciences and health care organizations to make data-driven decisions
The team at Deloitte believe that it’s not about how big you are, but the type of positive impact you can make on the world. This philosophy is reflected in the forward-thinking management consulting they provide to their clients around the globe.
With a history of promoting top talent that’s both knowledgeable and customer-centric, and a wide range of business-enhancing services, Deloitte scores an overall rating of 5 stars and is one of the top management consulting firms to consider working with this year.
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McKinsey & Company Review
With a 90-year history in global management consulting, McKinsey & Company works to create change that matters and to successfully guide clients through the next generation of challenges.
McKinsey has a team of more than 30,000 that serves clients in 130 cities around the globe. They work with multiple industry sectors from financial services, to aerospace and defense, to healthcare systems and services.
Key Factors Leading Us to Rank McKinsey & Company as One of the Best Management Consulting Firms
Functions and Industries
McKinsey integrates both industry knowledge and functionality in the services they deliver to clients.
This top-rated management consultant brings together prototypes, custom software, and apps through its relationship with Digital Labs. Data experts from McKinsey Analytics are responsible for the creation and maintenance of advanced data models which supply insights that lead to rapid decision-making.
Clients also have access to turnaround executives through McKinsey Recovery and Transformation Services, which can help bolster businesses that are in trouble.
Additionally, McKinsey has team members with expertise in 22 different industries, meaning they can assist a wide range of clients with transformative solutions.
Management Consultants to Consider in 2019
McKinsey’s services are driven by industry expertise, as well as issues impacting the entire economy on a global level.
One of its current focuses is called Women Matter, which explores the importance of gender diversity on both local and global scales.
Powered by The McKinsey Global Institute (awarded as the leading private-sector think tank in the world), this top-rated management consulting firm has undertaken extensive research for advancing women’s equality.
Women Matter takes a look at how corporations can increase gender diversity and outlines the definitive attributes of an inclusive organization:
- Unorthodox—Policies, rules, norms, and practices are constantly challenged
- Polymorphic—Diverse leadership styles
- Empowered—Everyone can change the future
- Multifaceted—Reflects a broad range of religions, cultures, and ethnicities
- Meritocratic and fair—Equal treatment with no bias
- Caring and safe—Nonviolent, nonhierarchical environment
- Respectful—Women have an equal right to be heard
- Balanced—Commitment to work-life balance
- Global and agile—Full global connectivity
- Inventive—Forward-thinking CEOs with bold and creative employees
McKinsey & Company puts a strong focus on social responsibility in everything they do. The firm supports over 600 non-profits through pro bono service, board membership, and volunteering, making them a standout among other management consulting firms.
With a reputation for being on the cutting edge of technology and a commitment to promoting diverse workplaces, McKinsey & Company solidifies a 5-star rating as a top management consulting firm to consider partnering with in 2019.
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Oliver Wyman Review
With a dynamic and entrepreneurial culture, Oliver Wyman is one of the top management consultants, offering a diverse range of talents backed by analytical rigor.
Oliver Wyman has a global footprint with offices in 60 cities across 20 countries. They offer clients a combination of extensive industry knowledge and specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk, management, and organizational transformation.
Key Factors That Enabled Oliver Wyman to Rank as One of the Top Management Consulting Companies
One thing that makes Oliver Wyman stand out from many other top-rated management consulting firms is its dedication to turning every client engagement into a true partnership.
In order to do that, the firm’s consultants work to gain a complete understanding of all aspects of a client’s business.
Oliver Wyman maintains an in-depth knowledge of the unique challenges and advantages of each industry it serves, including:
- Aviation, aerospace, & defense
- Business services
- Communication, media, & technology
- Distribution & wholesale
- Financial services
- Health & life sciences
- Industrial products
- Public sector
- Retail & consumer products
- Surface transportation
- Travel & leisure
Integral to Oliver Wyman’s forward-thinking approach is its dedication to the responsible use of natural resources and protection of the planet.
These business consulting services are part of Oliver Wyman’s Sustainability Center. Through the Sustainability Center, Oliver Wyman management consultants help clients identify and implement the responsible use of natural resources and environmental protection.
The firm offers strategies that help meet corporate social responsibility (CSR) objectives, such as the most efficient use of resources, the implementation of clean energy and technology, and the ability to better meet the evolving needs of customers in a sustainable way.
As a top management consulting firm, Oliver Wyman takes an unorthodox approach to foster a talented and creative team, with an open, non-hierarchical culture that promotes novel thinking.
With an expertise in helping companies become more sustainable and a commitment to excellence and high standards, Oliver Wyman is one of the best management consulting firms to consider working with this year and earns a 5-star rating.
The Brattle Group Review
Founded in 1990 with a mission of integrity and consulting excellence, The Brattle Group is a top-rated management consulting firm that answers complicated economic, regulatory, and financial questions for governments, law firms, and corporations around the world.
With a staff of 350 and 10 offices around the globe, the firm is often considered a boutique management consultant due to their size and laser focus. This often allows clients a more personalized and hands-on experience with a management consultant.
Key Factors That Enabled Us to Rank The Brattle Group as a Best Management Consulting Firm
Leading Industry Specialists
The Brattle Group has a team that includes leading international academics and industry specialists. These seasoned experts come from both the private and public sectors, which gives them a full-bodied range of real-world experience.
This top management consulting firm has a flat organizational structure, empowering their analysts to work alongside their world-renowned economists, allowing their team to leverage each individual’s strengths to give clients a strong project team.
Consultants at The Brattle Group also regularly publish academic articles, books, papers, and reports, fostering an environment of lifelong learning.
The Brattle Group has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, law firms, and nonprofit organizations.
As a top-rated management consulting firm, they count among their clients 50% of Fortune 100 companies, 80% of AM law 100 firms, and 25% of Fortune 500 companies.
The Brattle Group’s broad geographic range allows them to work with a number of the world’s best-performing companies, law firms, and industry organizations as well as with U.S. and international regulatory and government agencies.
Boutique Experience & Wide Range of Resources
While The Brattle Group may not be as large as other top management consulting firms on our list, many clients find this is an advantage. A boutique firm can often offer a more personalized experience and more access to the firm’s principals.
The combination of a talented team with a wide range of real-world experience, the analytical and research resources to back up strategic decisions, and a smaller, boutique management style, makes The Brattle Group a standout in their field.
This combination is incredibly rare and offers clients a unique advantage and allows The Brattle Group to be ranked among the best global management consulting firms.
2019 Best Management Consulting Firms
The Brattle Group is an expert in providing clarity when it comes to the complexity of economics and many of the word’s top companies have benefitted from the industry expertise of this team of top-rated management consultants.
With a boutique environment, a diverse and well-educated team, and a passion for principles, The Brattle Group scores a 5-star rating as one of the top business consulting companies to consider working with this year.
A.T. Kearney Review
Helping clients accelerate momentum since 1926 , A.T. Kearney is a top management consulting firm that works with over three-quarters of Fortune Global 500 companies as well as with influential governmental and nonprofit organizations.
The firm has a global reach, with over 3,600 team members serving clients in more than 40 countries. They pride themselves on maintaining a down to earth and approachable corporate culture.
Key Factors That Enabled A.T. Kearney to Rank as One of the Top Management Consulting Firms
Many of today’s top corporations operate in multiple countries and they need a management consultant that can do the same.
For companies with offices, interests, and projects in a variety of countries, it’s important that they have access to a management consulting firm that understands a globally driven marketplace.
A.T. Kearney is present in over 40 countries around the world, meaning they have the reach and global experience to work with large international organizations.
An excellent example of their global outreach is the Global Business Policy Council (GBPC), a specialist unit of A.T. Kearney, created and operated with the goal of helping leaders prepare for the future.
Diversity & Inclusion
As one of the top-rated management consulting firms, A.T. Kearney upholds the belief that a key to its success and its ability to provide value to clients is a focus on diversity and inclusion.
All employees have access to equal opportunities, consultants are empowered to be themselves, and teams include people from diverse backgrounds, offering clients guidance that comes from a wide depth of experience and viewpoints.
A.T. Kearney has long been recognized by leading media outlets for its dedication to diversity and inclusion, being a leader in this area across the industry.
As a top-rated management consulting firm, A.T. Kearney has maintained a strong reputation for consulting expertise, an approachable and hands-on team, and an innovative point of view.
Unfortunately, while the firm’s website is certainly visually appealing and easy to navigate, it lacks any way for potential clients to view proof of their expertise via the firm’s past clients and successes. For this reason, we’ve scored the firm with 3 stars.
By publishing case studies, A.T. Kearney could not only provide an in-depth look at their consulting strategies but would also improve their value proposition to clients and their ranking among the top management consulting firms.
Ernst & Young Review
With a mission to build a better working world, Ernst & Young (EY) is a global force among management consulting firms and believes in economic growth coupled with social inclusion.
The firm has over 260,000 employees working at over 700 office locations in more than 150 countries, offering local knowledge with global experience.
Although the firm continues to be ranked highly by media outlets, our review found that businesses may want to choose another one of the top management consulting firms, rather than this one.
See below for an in-depth overview of why EY earned a 1-star rating, and what we feel the firm can do to improve their ranking.
Despite the positive industry accolades that EY has received, the firm has had its fair share of legal problems that bring the firm’s ethics into serious question.
In 2015, EY settled for $10 million in a New York lawsuit accusing the firm of assisting Lehman Brothers in the deception of investors and facilitating “massive accounting fraud.” One year later, EY settled for $9.3 million after charges of inappropriate client relationships that compromised the ability of auditors to remain impartial.
The firm has also been under criminal investigation by the IRS regarding the promotion of illegal tax shelters, which should make potential clients think twice before working with the firm.
Although EY is still highly regarded as an expert management consulting firm, these legal issues create a significant difference in reputation between EY and competing management consulting firms.
Looking forward to the future, the best way for EY to improve their rankings and client trust is to use these legal issues as learning opportunities with the goal of restructuring the way that their values are enforced amongst consultants.
Although the firm does publicly advertise their values, the presence of so many lawsuits could mean that the firm is having difficulty upholding them.
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Conclusion – 2019 Top Management Consulting Firms
Organizations face more complexities to businesses in the 21st century than ever before. With the addition of data breach threats, data privacy regulations, and digital process automation, the benefits of working with a management consultant are many.
The top-management consulting firms offer a depth of experience that can help their clients address multiple hurdles to their growth and also help them innovate to gain a competitive advantage in their marketplace.
A benefit of working with one of the best management consultants is that you instantly gain the insights that come from a full team of experts, from analysts to economists to academics and more.
The top 9 management consulting firms on our list represent the best of the best when it comes to client value, dynamic thinking, and strategic planning. Many also uphold sustainability and diversity values that fall in line with those of their clients.
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AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.