Kea & Partners, Deloitte and BearingPoint named top graduate employers

03 October 2018

Three international management consulting firms with a presence in France – Kea & Partners, Deloitte and BearingPoint – have been named among the country's top employers for starting a career.

Every year, Les Echos, one of France’s top daily newspapers, conducts research into which employers are the best workplaces for graduates and young professionals seeking to successfully launch their career. The so-called ‘HappyAtWork for Starters’ ranking surveys young professionals up to 29 years, asking them to rate their employer on a range of factors, including the culture at the company, impact in work, quality of leadership, and room and support for career advancement. 

Top of the list is CNES, France’s National Centre for Space Studies. The government-owned space agency, established under President Charles de Gaulle in 1961, is headquartered in Paris but performs most of its activities from its Space Center in Toulouse (France) and French Guiana (north of Brazil). The second most attractive employer for French graduates is Kea & Partners, a management consulting firm founded in 2001 that currently has 200 employees across offices in France, Brazil and Morocco. Through its affiliation with The Transformation Alliance, an international consulting network it founded a few year ago, Kea & Partners has access to nearly 400 employees. Other members of the alliance are: h&z Business Consulting (Germany), MBS Consulting (Italy) and Q5 (UK). 

Kea & Partners, Deloitte and BearingPoint named top graduate employers

Among Kea’s young professionals who participated in the study, a massive 98% said that they would recommend the firm to a friend/starter. The consultancy, headquartered in Paris and led by founder Arnaud Gangloff, scored a satisfaction score of 94% on professional development, 90% on the quality of management, and 83% for the firm’s ability to foster and innovative and inspiring culture, while maintaining diversity and inclusion. Further, aside from rating work-related aspects of culture, the researchers behind ‘HappyAtWork for Starters’ also looked at how fun it is to work at workplaces, with Kea & Partners scoring 91% on the back of its approach to blend results delivery with a fun and relaxing environment.

Commenting on the result, Stéphanie Nadjarian, a Senior Partner at the consulting firm, said she is “extremely proud” of the recognition. She states; “We are convinced that well-being is directly linked to the commitment of employees and that it is an essential part to business performance.” Nadjarian added that it is important that the firm’s management and HR team will not rest on its laurels; “We will analyse the feedback and use it to continuously improve our workplace culture.” 

In sixth place is Deloitte France, the French arm of what is now the globe’s largest accounting and consulting firm, ahead of rivals PwC, EY and KPMG. The Big Four firm follows hot on the heels of FM Logistic, Colas and British American Tobacco. Deloitte has over 10,000 accountants, consultants, financial advisors and technologists based in offices in Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Tours, Strasbourg, Nancy, Montpellier, Monaco, Marseille, Cannes, Lille, Rouen, Toulouse, Albi, Perpignan, Nantes, Rennes, Bordeaux and Cognac.

Unilever, JCDecauz, Prisma Media and Micropole complete the top ten, with BearingPoint, a European-origin management and technology consultancy, the only other consulting firm to make the top cut of France’s top employers for graduates. France is, after Germany and the UK & Ireland, BearingPoint’s third most important European market. The local office in Paris, which this summer admitted 5 partners into its leadership, scored well for the impact of its engagements and the opportunities offered for professional development.

Related: The top 20 strategy consulting firms to work for in France.

Working as a young professional at ACE Company

19 April 2019

Janco Jordaan joined boutique consulting firm ACE Company seven months ago. The young professional reflects on the highlights of life with his new employer, as well as what he has learned since arriving at ACE.

ACE Company is a boutique consulting firm from the Netherlands that focuses on regulatory change in the financial services industry. The firm’s clients typically are financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, asset managers and pension funds, as well as regulators and supervisors. Having enjoyed growing demand, the firm has been on a recruitment drive in recent months.

Having spent five years in the legal sector, Janco Jordaan decided that the time was right for a new challenge in consulting. He joined ACE as a Junior Consultant, driven by a desire to broaden his business knowledge. “ACE’s area of expertise – implementing regulatory change in the financial sector – promises for an exciting challenge, which I am definitely up for. I wanted to surround myself with experts; ACE was a perfect fit in this regard.”Working as a young professional at ACE CompanyDuring his first seven months, Jordaan, who holds a Master’s degree in International Business Law, has mainly been focused in the banking sector, working on analysis enabling a cross-domain understanding on the planning and maturity of regulatory topics throughout the bank. His work takes place at a time when regulatory change has grown into one of bank’s top strategic focus areas for the coming years. Amid a growingly complex landscape, and in a bid to curb reputational and operations risks, getting compliance right has elevated itself into a boardroom topic – the recent media attack on ING on the back of its AML blunder demonstrated just how important scrutiny can be.

Asked how he is able to keep his knowledge up to speed in order to operate at the forefront of change, he pointed to the full-fledged support from the team. “The seniority and diversity of ACE’s team means that there is a great deal to be learned from team members.” He added, “ACE embraces diversity. This means we have a team with all sort of different backgrounds e.g. different cultures and various career paths.”

Training on the job and a fixed curriculum for training ensures that knowledge and capacities are lined up with client demands. Jordaan: “We also have internal projects and knowledge sharing initiatives to ensure up to date knowledge. And every Friday, ACE organises a team meeting focused on knowledge transfer and team-building.”  

According to Jordaan, one of the best things about working at ACE however is the firm’s open culture. “To me the culture at ACE is best described by the words: balanced, sophisticated and real.”