McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company (Bain) are collectively known as the Big Three or MBB in the management consulting world. They are known as the top guns and the most prestigious in their industry. Having one of these firms’ names on your resume can invoke awe, admiration, envy, death stares and schemes – from your peers – so evil that make Game of Thrones schemers shudder in disbelief. Just kidding!
In this article, we will be presenting a comparison between two of the Big Three: McKinsey & Company vs. Boston Consulting Group. This article forms one part of our three-part series pitting each member of MBB against the other. As it’s our purpose at Congrapps to do all necessary through providing educational resources that will help you take a step in the actualization of your journey to an excellent career, I hope that this article will help you in some way.
What is in the Name: McKinsey vs. BCG
Founded in 1926 by James O. McKinsey, McKinsey is the oldest of the Big Three. And for 90+ years it has been combining bold strategies and transformative technologies to help organizations innovate more sustainably, achieve lasting gains in performance, and build workforces that will thrive in the present and future markets. As of 2022, the company employs over 37,000 people working across 130+ offices in 65+ countries. Its New York office serves as its headquarters. McKinsey claims to serve 90 per cent of the top 100 companies in the world. With great in-built coaching and mentoring features for their people, McKinsey’s people see them as a company that dedicates considerable resources to its growth and development. McKinsey claims that it has dedicated $100 million toward staff development.
On the other hand, BCG was founded by Bruce Henderson in 1963 and is the second oldest of the Big Three. At its founding, BCG was the pioneer in business strategy. Today, they partner with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders – empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact. It has over 90 offices in more than 50 countries around the world with Boston, Massachusetts serving as its headquarters. BCG employs about 25,000 people. BCG enjoys a fantastic reputation among its people; it is consistently ranked as one of the best companies to work for. The success they have witnessed in the development of their envied culture is a result of the emphasis they place on encouraging a spirit of deep collaboration among their global community of diverse individuals determined to make the world and each other better every day.
Verdict: In some quarters McKinsey is considered to be the most prestigious management consulting firm and by extension more prestigious than BCG. By headcount McKinsey is way bigger than BCG.
The Business: McKinsey vs. BCG
McKinsey offers solutions to its clients’ strategic, organizational, operational, and technological problems in a wide range of industrial sectors from agriculture, chemicals, education, advanced electronics and commodities to technology, media and telecommunications. It also makes a strong showing in the M&A market. They bring their clients top-notch transaction and integration expertise, deep industry knowledge, a global network cultivated throughout their lifetime, and a focus on building institutional and executive M&A capabilities. Their record in the market is enviable as they support most of the world’s largest transactions, working successfully with leading global companies and executives—including programmatic deal makers who are reshaping their industries.
BCG’s strength among others lies in the industries of retail, health, care, and chemicals. BCG’s chemical consulting sector covers the breadth of the global chemical industry, whether it’s working with upstream producers of petrochemicals to optimize their assets’ deployment or helping downstream players with the personalization of their nutrition ingredients. They also help chemical companies deal with commoditization and develop unique offerings with defendable margins.
Verdict: Though BCG also makes a good attempt at the M&A sector – over the past ten years, they have supported more than 7,000 transactions with a market value of more than $5 trillion – McKinsey is slightly ranked better than it in this department.
Revenue: McKinsey vs. BCG
As a private corporation owned by high-level employees, McKinsey doesn’t disclose its financial data. However, after extensive research and analysis, Congrapps found this key financial metric: McKinsey’s revenue was $10.5 billion for the fiscal year ending in 2021. And with the company employing over 37,000 people, the revenue per employee ratio is about $277,000.
For the year ending in 2021, BCG announced revenues of $11 billion, with underlying revenue growth of 25% at constant exchange rates. The figures are a representation of BCG’s continuing long-term success, which has seen the firm more than triple its revenues over the past decade and grow nearly ten-fold over the past two decades. More than 98% of this growth is organic.
Verdict: From the figures given it is clear to see that by revenue BCG is a bit bigger than McKinsey.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
At McKinsey, diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just moral imperatives, they are part of the fabric of their dual mission—to help their clients make substantial, lasting performance improvements and to build a firm that attracts, develops, excites, and retains exceptional people. Can Congrapps prove this? In 2020, McKinsey put forth a public commitment to anti-racism and social justice. Drawing on their areas of core expertise, they focused on building Black leadership within their organization and beyond, identifying solutions through data-based research and investing in social change within their wider community. Apparently, the sum invested in the research is at least $20 million. The firm has also decided to commit over $200 million over the next 10 years in pro bono work globally to advance racial equity and economic empowerment among Black communities. To date, it has pledged $34 million to the cause across North America.
BCG has not been left behind as it has a long-standing commitment to DE&I and today, 44% of BCG staff are women. BCG’s Executive Committee comprises 35% women, with members from more than ten countries. Women also lead BCG in three of the world’s largest economies (North America, China, and the UK). In addition, the number of managing directors and partners who are women continues to grow at almost three times the rate of managing directors and partners who are men. BCG achieves sustainable impact in DEI by building its DEI initiatives on three pillars of action: team & culture, social impact, business partners & practices. 51% of the firm’s new hires in the U.S. are from ethnic minority backgrounds. The firm has launched ethnic diversity networks in Europe, Australia, and Africa. The firm is also in the second year of its 5-year commitment to investing $100 Million in talent resources through the establishment of multi-year partnerships with leading organizations to address racial injustice and inequality in the US.
Verdict: Both companies have made great strides in the promotion of diversity, equity & inclusion.
Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)
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