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The consulting industry has grown significantly over the past two decades, with virtually every industry now served

Market definition

Along with traditional management consultancy firms, the providers under consideration for the UK’s Leading Management Consultancies included IT consultancies, advisory branches of auditing firms (eg KPMG Advisory) and consultancy branches of technology companies (eg IBM Global Business Service).


The list of the best management consultancies is based on two online surveys: one among experts (partners and executives from the management consultancies) and one among clients of the management consultancies.

Peer survey

For the expert survey, Statista created a longlist containing more than 1,000 management consulting firms.

During this process Statista used the following sources: lists of associations (eg the Management Consultancies Association), consulting directories (eg Consultingcase101) and company databases (eg Orbis).

Subsequently a list of managing consulting partners and executives was compiled, mainly by researching on consultancy company websites. Moreover, registration to the survey was possible via FT.com, which resulted in additional contacts for the sample. In total 4,300 email addresses of partners and executives of management consultancies were found.

The invitations to the survey were sent via email using a personalised link. The field period ran from July 24 to September 8 2017.

Sectors and consulting services were identified (15 and 14, respectively), in which partners and executives could make recommendations for consultancies. Self-recommendations were excluded. Giving a recommendation was not mandatory and an auto-complete function helped the respondent to select a management consultancy.

Respondents were also able to recommend any consultancy which did not appear in the auto-complete list. The recommendations for management consultancies in each sector and consulting service were then counted.

Client survey

Following the survey among peers, an online survey was conducted among 1,100 senior executives who have previously worked with management consultancies on consulting projects. They were recruited through an online access panel. The field phase lasted from September 4 to September 15 2017.

Respondents stated the sectors or consulting service categories in which they had collaborated with a consultancy in the past four years. They were then shown a list of management consultancies which are active in those areas, which they could use to make recommendations.

Respondents could also name consultancies that were not included in the list.


Management consultancies in each sector and consulting service category were sorted based on the number of recommendations from peers and clients. The groups were placed in the classes ****** (“very frequently recommended”), ***** (“frequently recommended”) and **** (“recommended”) based on the average number of recommendations by sector and consulting service as follows:

  • Management consultancies that received well above the category’s respective average of recommendations from peers and clients were sorted into the six-star, “very frequently recommended” class (where the number of recommendations was at least twice as large as the average of each sector or consulting service).
  • Management consultancies that received recommendations from peers and clients less frequently, but still above the average, were sorted into the five-star “frequently recommended” class (where the number of recommendations was less than double, but more than the average of each sector or consulting service).
  • Management consultancies that received a certain number of recommendations from peers and clients, but less than the average for a category, were sorted into the four-star class “recommended”. Management consultancies with very few recommendations were excluded from the list. Within the classes, the management consultancies are sorted alphabetically.


The ranking comprises exclusively those consultancies that have a sufficient number of recommendations; a mention is therefore positive and indicates a vote of confidence from the market. The ranking was created through an elaborate process. The quality of management consultancies that are not included in the list is not disputed.

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