Top 25 Big Consulting Agencies in the UK
February 21, 2023
Table of Contents
Every organization, from charities to supermarkets, from engineering firms to hospitals, can run into problems sooner or later. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. In any group in which people work together, problems will come up.
But what if these issues seem to be unsolvable? Who can help? How can it help?
Consulting agencies are in every corner of the globe, and they are useful to every sector niche in order to fix, or at least to try to fix, these issues.
When looking at the list, people often tend to stop at the first three companies. Nonetheless, these most famous consulting agencies are not even in the top 10 in terms of revenue generated.
Indeed, some of them charge by the hour of work, some other by project, others consulting agencies require almost 100% travel, while others much less. All of these are important aspects to take care of when choosing consulting agencies that fit the best for your business.
In this article, discover our top 25 consulting agencies in the UK.
What are consulting agencies?
Consultancy means a service that is given by a professional with the aim of helping, advising, and assisting a client-specific request.
Consulting agencies are professional services that are given by experts after the payment of a fee. Consulting agencies are industry-specific experts who provide guidance and solutions to business issues that cannot be solved in-house. Consulting agencies are then the “psychiatrists” of the companies.
They can have one or thousands of employees, and they can do pieces of advice in a broad range of fields such as engineering, politics, and management.
What do consulting agencies do?
Consultants (that are the people who work for consulting agencies) are industry-specific experts who are asked to analyse a company’s operations by executives. They provide solutions and guidance to the issues that a company may encounter. Usually, consultants are asked for opinions when companies need their expertise because they are not able to handle the problem internally.
In particular, management consultants usually work with company executives, and they give them industry-specific experts, the so-called subject-matter experts, who usually attended business or management schools. Their goal is to give recommendations for reaching a company objective that will lead to a business project.
Many consulting agencies do the so-called outsourcing, they implement their recommendations, with the advice of technicians or other experts.
Services provided by consulting agencies, belong to the tertiary sector and account for several billions of pounds in annual revenues. In recent years, the UK’s consulting agencies market has grown, with an estimated worth of more than £11 billion, and it is going to grow in the future.
Types of consulting agencies
There are firm-specific consulting agencies that deal with several sectors, including financial, human resources, politics, engineering, healthcare, and management.
- Financial consulting agencies: the expression “financial consultant” is no longer much used today because they are now called “financial advisors”. The role of a financial advisor is to provide financial planning (customized and feasible). In addition, they can also be relevant for the business as a whole, by providing information about financial risks, corporate governance, and customer and supply chain operations.
- Human resources (HR) consulting agencies: businesses decide to rely on human resources consulting agencies to fix their HR management concerns. HR consultants are usually divided into process/people consultants and expert resource consultants. Process/people consultants help the company to improve the creativity that allows customers to find their answers to their issues. Moreover, they lead the business through an organizational change and they let it decide the suitable payment on its own during that process. Expert resource consultants propose solutions based on their industry experience. In addition, they will provide figures if the company is having troubles in establishing the right compensation for its personnel.
- Political consulting agencies: political consulting agencies deal with political campaigns. They mainly offer pieces of advice about media messaging as well as content creation such as direct emails and advertisements. However, their expertise also includes opposition research, pooling, campaign rhetoric, and voter mobilization efforts.
- Engineering consulting agencies: engineering consulting agencies include all the experts in designing, planning and building different kinds of infrastructure that can be public or private such as construction firms, real estate developers and governments. This type of service usually refers to construction or civil engineering, rather than software or hardware engineering. Moreover, engineering consultants can work as solo practitioners even though it is most common that they work for big consulting agencies.
- Healthcare consulting agencies: healthcare consulting agencies, through their experts in fields such as medical technology, delivery systems, pharmaceuticals and healthcare payments, help healthcare companies in the management practices. They can advise from alpha to omega, from mergers to customer experience and from digital transformation to acquisitions. Of course, their consultations refer to the business end of things. They will not suggest a surgeon how to implant a prothesis.
- Management consulting agencies: management consulting agencies help senior personnel to manage projects, teams, and departments. These agencies are usually composed of senior managers with many years of management experience. Management consultants usually deal with all the levels of a company in order to have a clear overview on how the company runs.
Consulting agencies really provide any kind of consulting for every kind of problem in every sector or industry. If your company is facing an issue, consulting agencies can surely be the way to go to overcome the “obstacle”.
Top services lines in the UK
Financial services firms are still the most important customers of consulting services in the UK market, with a worth of almost a third of all the revenues.
Another important sector that asks for consulting services is the public sector. Indeed, due to Brexit, the government needs to digitize its operations to reduce costs. The worth in terms of money represents nearly one-quarter of the total demand for UK consulting services.
Moreover, 16% of consulting services in the UK are represented by the consumer goods & industrial products segment.
Since the world is shifting into digital, UK companies look for experts in IT strategy, IT implementation, data analytics, basically they are looking for consultants on digitalization and technological areas for their long-term success.
Top 25 consulting firms
The following list will be about the top 25 consulting agencies in alphabetic order.
Annual revenue: $17,310,000,000
With an estimated 449,000 employees worldwide, Accenture is one of the technology consulting agencies that has 6 offices in the UK. It is ranked 8th in terms of prestige and its consultants believe that networking is the key to having the best teams and projects. They provide consulting on digital, technology, strategy, consulting, and operations.
Annual revenue: $1,200,000,000
AlixPartners is one of the world’s premier turnaround consulting agencies. This company has a fast workplace and close deadlines even though the remuneration reflects the “speed”. They provide consulting in economics, mergers & acquisition, technology & digital, performance improvement, transformative leadership, and turnaround & restructuring.
Alvarez & Marsal – A&M
Annual revenue: ~$750,000,000
A&M is a turnaround, restructuring and bankruptcy consulting agency that helps companies in serious difficulties by offering an effective strategy, finance exposure and operations. They provide advisory, business performance improvement and turnaround management consulting.
Analysis Group, Inc.
Annual revenue: ~$250,000,000
Analysis Group being in the world’s premier economic consulting firm, they help customers mainly lay companies and governments during disputes with intuition and examination. They provide a variety of consulting services from accounting to health care, from tax to intellectual property.
Bain & Co.
Annual revenue: $3,870,000,000
Bain composes the world’s top three consulting agencies. The agency strategy is to use a local staffing model. This means that all the projects are as close as possible to each local office. They provide lots of consulting services such as sales and marketing, operations and digital transformation.
Booz Allen Hamilton
Annual revenue: $6,100,000,000
Ranked 6th in terms of prestige in the consulting sector, Booz Allen Hamilton provides technology and management consulting services.
Boston Consulting Group – BCG
Annual revenue: $6,300,000,000
By focusing on strategy BCG uses creativity and academia on a daily basis. It has around 18,500 employees distributed in 90 offices. They provide management consulting services.
The Brattle Group
Annual revenue: $24,900,000
Ranked 45th in terms of prestige in the consulting sector, The Brattle Group offers consulting services in finance, economics, law firms, regulation to corporations and public agencies.
The Bridgespan Group
Annual revenue: $39,771,000
Education, youth, children, public health, global development and families are the fields of The Bridgespan Group. This agency is a non-profit organisation that deals with philanthropists, mission-driven leaders, investors and organizations to reduce poverty and increase life quality.
Its services are mainly leadership development support, consulting non-profits and philanthropists, with the aim of scaling social impact.
Clearview Healthcare Partners
Annual revenue: $100,000,000
Clearview Healthcare Partners offers sciences and strategy consultancies. Founded in 2007, the agency has rapidly gained a reputation as one of the top boutiques in any industry.
Annual revenue: $13,350,000,000
With more than 286,000 professionals worldwide, Deloitte ranked 4th in terms of prestige among the consulting agencies. It provides services that can be grouped into 3 areas: human capital, technology and strategy and operations.
Ernst & Young
Annual revenue: $11,600,000,000
Ernst & Young’s services are divided into four fields: risk, IT risk and insurance, other cross-advisory teams and performance improvement. It is ranked 7th in terms of prestige among all consulting agencies.
Annual revenue: $36,300,000
The focus of EY-Parthenon is on strategy. With more than 1,500 consultants, the company provides advice in several industries such as industrial products, customer, healthcare, financial services, oil and gas, media and telecom, education, life sciences and private equity and technology.
Annual revenue: $3,300,000,000
Founded in 1979 and classified as the world’s top research consulting agency, Gartner ranked 16th in terms of prestige among all consulting agencies. Their consulting services are on sales, finance and human resources among others.
Annual revenue: $1,300,000,000
Guidehouse has a broad range of capabilities such as management, risk and technology consulting. The company’s main markets and customers are those which are facing regulatory pressure, transformational change and disruption and innovation led by technology.
Insight Sourcing Group
Annual revenue: $500,000,000
Founded in 2002, Insight Sourcing Group focuses mainly on customers who are dealing with the challenges and costs of procurement and sourcing. It is the world’s premier procurement and sourcing consulting company.
Annual revenue: $1,410,000,000
Ranked 10th in terms of prestige among all consulting companies, Kearney concentrates on operational and strategic CEO-agenda problems facing businesses, institutions and governments. They have several consulting areas such as sustainability, digital and procurement.
Annual revenue: $10,180,000,000
KPMG is ranked 9th in terms of prestige among all the consulting agencies. The company is known as one of the Big Four accounting companies and they have tax, advisory and financial audit services.
Annual revenue: $500,000,000
Defence, life sciences, energy, healthcare, aviation, retail, consumer products, private equity, financial services, entertainment and transport are the main industries in which L.E.K. Consulting provides services that mainly focus on operations, mergers and acquisition and corporate strategy.
McKinsey & Company
Annual revenue: $8,800,000,000
With more than 120 offices and over 21,000 employees worldwide, McKinsey is ranked 1st in terms of prestige among all the consulting agencies, due to the fact that it is the most valued brand in the consulting sector. They provide consulting services in transformation, operation and organization among others.
Annual revenue: $4,300,000,000
Ranked 17th in terms of prestige among all consulting firms and based in more than 43 countries, Mercer is one of the largest Human Resources consulting agencies.
Annual revenue: $2,000,000,000
Oliver Wyman is a consulting agency that has profound links in Europe and Pacific Asia. Their industries are numerous including automotive, education, communication media and technology and business services, proving consulting in different areas such as strategy, operations and digital.
Annual revenue: $2,100,000
Their main clients are from the healthcare industry, Putnam Associates’ focus is on offering personalized, feasible and suggestions that draw on deep therapeutic knowledge, problem framing, cutting-edge methodologies, extensive global networks of healthcare stakeholders, among clinical, scientific and business disciplines, and their main consulting focus is on strategy.
Annual revenue: $12,253,000,000
Ranked 5th in terms of prestige among all the consulting agencies, PwC offers a mix of functional and sector expertise to help their customers to fix complex business problems. It is considered one of the Big Four accounting firms, which has as its focus on assurance, tax and advisory.
Annual revenue: $80,000,000
Roland Berger provides consulting services on management issues, from strategy development to performance improvement. It also provides suggestions in marketing and restructuring, mainly on the capital goods sector and the automobile industry.
Annual revenue: $1,300,000,000
Strategy& focuses on executive-level strategy. Previously known as Booz & Company, it was bought by PwC in 2014.
Consulting agencies diverge a lot in terms of workload, philosophy, culture. Hence, companies need to choose carefully which one is suitable for them.
Since the very beginning, consulting agencies have always kept their fees hidden. They consider their rates as one of their competitive assets so they prefer to keep it secret. In addition, they have different prices for different regions so, in order to overcome the threat of reputation risks, they hold it tight. Further, price is really variable, it can go from £50 for an interim consultant, to £300 or more per hour for a consultant from a leading strategy consulting agency.
Based on the data available on the market, the highest rate is asked by the Global Strategy Consulting Firms and Strategy Boutiques. In the middle, there are different groups of consulting agencies that are Global Functional Specialists, the Big Four, National / Regional Functional Specialists, and Global Technology Firms.
The last group of consulting agencies is represented by Independent Contactors, that are self-employed, who can charge whatever they decide.
How can CONNECTS help?
CONNECTS is a Business Matchmaking Platform that allows you to connect with other companies and Chambers of Commerce worldwide. If we’re looking at the UK specifically, you can contact a consulting agency that is part of the CONNECTS network (The London Bridge Project consulting agency) via one of the Chamber of Commerce Members of the CONNECTS platform, the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce
The London Bridge Project (LBP) is a consultancy and engineering agency focused on IT offshoring/outsourcing technology transfer and business development.
They provide local support to English and Turkish companies. Their aim is to maximize the profit of their customers and partners by minimizing their efforts to extend their operations or identifying the best business opportunities for them.
Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce‘s moderators will guide you and show you how to get in touch with this consulting agency. You can send them a message directly to ask your questions.
This is only possible if you are a member of the business matchmaking platform CONNECTS.
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