The 30 best management consulting firms to work for in France

25 September 2018

A new survey among more than 34,000 employees in France from 7,000+ companies has revealed the companies where employees are the happiest with their job, colleagues and company culture. The management consulting industry is the standout segment to work in, according to the researchers – one third of France’s top 100 employers are active in the consulting landscape.

The study, conducted by Les Echos, a leading French newspaper, in collaboration with ChooseMyCompany, a French look-alike of Glassdoor, asked the 34,700 participating employees to rate their own employer on six different themes: professional development, stimulating environment, management and motivation, salary and recognition, pride and pleasure/fun.

Across the French landscape, 65% of employees said they happy and motivated at work. This number is 7% higher than the previous year, and reflects according to Celica Thellier d'Auzers, co-founder of ChooseMyCompany, the improving outlook in France’s business scene. “The economy is improving, and in its slipstream a wind of optimism and pleasure at work is blowing through France.”

However, employees’ satisfaction scores vary significantly by industry. Employees in the manufacturing and construction sectors are the least happy of all employees, with 56% of professionals active in these sectors highlighting that they are not so fulfilled with their job and believe their employer could do a better job in nurturing a great company culture. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum stand employers in human resources and marketing, but at the top, those in management consulting.

The 30 best management consulting firms to work for in France

Of the 90 companies that made the 2018 edition of the so-called ‘HappyIndex / AtWork’, a staggering 30 are active in the consulting industry. In the category of companies with over 5,000 employees, three of the Big Four – DeloittePwC and EY – made the prestigious list, showing their heels to rival KPMGAccenture is however the top large consultancy to work for in France, achieving the highest score of all companies surveyed, earning it a top spot ahead of cosmetic giant L'Oréal and FMCG player Danone. Also Spora Steria and CGI, two consultancies that specialise in digital transformation and IT services, managed to make the list. 

In the category for companies between 1,000 to 5,000 employees, three consulting firms are found: Néo-Soft, Softeam and Wavestone. Top performing consultancy employers with a headcount of over 200 employees but less than 1,000 employees are Alan Allman, Technology and Strategy, BearingPoint, Klanik, Soat and Nexeo Groupe. Mid-sized and small consultancies that were lauded for their workplace and employee culture total 16 firms, including the likes of Vertone, a strategy & operations specialist; Cylad Consulting, consultant for technology-intensive industries with offices in France, Germany and Australia; Quantmetry, a data science specialist, and; Paris-based Talisker Consulting.

Best management consulting firms to work for in France

A full list of France’s top management consulting firms to work for: 

>5.000 professionals
Accenture, Deloitte, Sopra Steria, PwC, CGI, EY. 

>1.000 professionals
Néo-Soft, Softeam, Wavestone.

500-999 professionals
Alan Allman, Technology and Strategy, BearingPoint.

200 to 499 professionals
Klanik, Soat, Nexeo Groupe.

100 to 199 professionals
Xebia, Wemanity, Vertone, ConvictionsRH.

50 to 99 professionals
HRConseil, Quantmetry, Thiga, Converteo, Formind, Cylad Consulting.

1 to 49 professionals
Talisker Consulting, Capital Ressources, AVB Solutions, WISE Partners, Alternego.

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

France's top strategy consulting firms in the industrials sector

09 April 2019

A new analysis of consulting firms active in France has identified the country’s top providers of strategic consultancy services to the manufacturing and industrials sector.

Valued at around one fifth of France’s roughly €5 billion management consulting industry, the strategy consulting segment spans services aimed at clients’ most strategic challenges. Whether it relates to the development of a new corporate strategy, outlining strategic scenarios for the future, merger & acquisition support, or the transition to a new, digital-savvy business model, strategy consultants help a company's board and senior managers with designing and navigating pressing cases for change. 

France’s market for strategy consulting services is dominated by a group of leading players, consisting of large global firms, including the ‘MBB’ trio (McKinsey, BCG and Bain), a group of European-origin counterparts (led by Germany headquartered Roland Berger and UK-origin L.E.K. Consulting) and a band of homegrown challengers including the likes of Advancy, Emerton and Advention. 

According to data sourced from French outlet Decideurs Magazine, which assesses the quality of services as well as company reputation among decision-makers and consultants, McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Roland Berger and French firm Emerton lead the lead the way in strategic consulting services to industrial executives. The industrial goods or manufacturing sector spans companies that rely heavily on industrial processes for turning raw materials into products or goods, including aerospace and defence, automotive, construction, chemicals, machinery, consumer goods and textile.

The market-leading position of McKinsey and BCG comes as no major surprise: they are among the largest players in France, mirroring their global grandeur, and consistently rank in the top echelon of similar local rankings. Roland Berger’s top rank builds for a large part on the firm’s growing Paris office and Francophone leadership, groomed by the firm’s CEO himself, Charles-Edouard Bouée, a French national who is now in his second term as CEO (and the first non-German to hold the role).France's top strategy consulting firms in the industrials sectorEstablished in 2012, Emerton is a boutique strategy consulting firm that operates with a team of around 50 consultants from offices in Paris, Brussels, Boston, New York and Dubai. The privately held company works with large corporations, family businesses and technology entrepreneurs on topics such as strategy, (commercial) due diligence, market entry, economic policy, marketing & sales, and innovation.

Strategy consulting services

A group of ten consulting firms follow shortly behind the leading pack, with their breadth and depth of strategy consulting services qualified as “excellent”. Bain & Company, A.T. Kearney, Oliver Wyman, Strategy& and L.E.K. Consulting are brands that raise no eyebrows – all five are among the ten largest strategy consultancies of the world. Accenture and Deloitte both see their dedicated strategy consulting arms – Accenture Strategy and Monitor Deloitte (established in 2012 after Deloitte bought Monitor Group) – also make the cut, showing their heels to two of the other ‘big four’ players EY and KPMG.

While KPMG doesn’t have a dedicated strategy consulting arm, instead serving the market with its Deals & Growth Strategy and Corporate Finance service lines, EY has been pushing hard to build its strategic consulting services through its EY-Parthenon brand. Formed in 2014 when EY picked up The Parthenon Group, the firm has since more than tripled in size, with Europe its key growth market; particularly so in France, as well as the Benelux and Germany, as EY-Parthenon was bolstered significantly with the purchase of the local teams of OC&C Strategy Consultants. 

Three of the other excellent ranking strategy consulting firms in France have their roots in the country. Advancy was founded in 1999 in Paris, and now has offices in Paris, Shanghai, Sydney, São Paulo, London, New Delhi and Boston, and has an additional network of nine affiliate consulting partners around the world. Corporate Value Associates (CVA) positions itself as a global strategy boutique – the consultancy has over 250 advisors across seventeen offices globally, with the firm’s Paris office one of its strongholds. Mars & Co is of a similar size, but operates with a smaller number of offices with seven globally. The company was founded 40 years ago by a former BCG Director, with the “raison d'être” to serve clients in an industry segment on an exclusive basis, an approach which it to a large extent still maintains today. 

Also listed among France’s top strategic consultancies are Arthur D. Little, the world’s oldest management consulting firm; Eleven Strategy, a Paris-based consultancy that focuses mainly on digital strategy; Advention Business Partners, a group founded in 2001 with offices in Paris, London, Moscow, Munich, New York, Dubai, and Shanghai; and Estin & Co; a firm founded by alumni of BCG, McKinsey and Oliver Wyman which currently consists of some 150-plus strategy consultants based in Paris, London, Zurich, New York and Shanghai.

In another ranking of strategy consulting firms in France, based on the view of students, McKinsey, BCG and Bain surfaced as the country’s most prestigious employers.