Strategy Consulting: Who pays most ?

Pot Of Gold

Enormous bonuses ?

The pay data mentioned in this article has been provided by Emolument, and comes from 668 Senior Strategy Consultants working in the UK.

The elite strategy consultancies tend to be secretive when it comes to compensation, relying on their reputation to attract top talent. Most graduates assume that pay is very similar at all three “MBB” firms. However, our analysis shows that at the level of senior consultant, there are distinct differences in what they pay:

Emolument MBB Salaries Bonuses

Round 1 – Base salaries: Bain are lagging behind when it comes to base salary, paying the average senior consultant only £75,000 compared to McKinsey and BCG’s £82,000.

Round 2- Bonuses: surprising gaps open up when bonuses are added to the mix, with Bain paying out bonuses averaging £28,000 – more than three times the size of bonuses at McKinsey! Clearly Bain believe in the power of performance-related bonuses as incentives for their employees. While McKinsey's stellar reputation probably allows them to pay slightly less than their peers.

And the winner is… Bain’s enormous bonuses put them well ahead in the final ranking, with total compensation that is £12,000 higher than McKinsey. BCG lands in the middle, with higher base salaries than Bain, but higher bonuses than McKinsey.

ConsultancyBase SalaryBonusTotal Compensation
McKinsey & Company £82,000 £9,000 £91,000
BGC Boston Consulting Group £82,000 £15,500 £97,500
Bain & Company £75,000 £28,000 £103,000

Alice Leguay from Emolument said: “Many are drawn to consulting by the intellectual challenge, or the prospect of working in diverse industries. If it’s really all about the money, then jobseekers should look to M&A or investment banking, where total compensation often adds up to twice that of consultants (see our article: Consultancy and banking: same start, different finish).”


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