The top international management consulting firms in Russia

05 August 2019 4 min. read

More than 26,000 students at Russian universities have shared their views on the country’s top industries to work in, with over one-tenth of them highlighting that if it were fully up to them, they would kick start their career in the consulting industry. McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company and the Big Four rank as the most in-demand strategy and management consulting firms to work for. 

Russia has over 700 universities spread across the country, from Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg and Moscow all the way to Vladivostok in the east. To gain insight into the career aspirations of Russian students, a graduate research firm polled the views of over 26,000 students at 106 Russian universities, spanning a student population following a wide range of around 100 different study specialisations. The majority of respondents study in the field of business/economics, engineering, natural sciences, and humanities.

The researchers found that strategy and management consulting, which are the more high-ended segments of the broader consulting industry, are the top destination for 11% of all Russian students. The reason why they relish starting their career in management consulting? Similar to feedback received in other countries, consulting stands out for the variety of work, the opportunity to work with intelligent and like-minded colleagues, the large training & development opportunities offered by consultancies, and in Russia more so than elsewhere, the prestige which is associated with working at the top of the consulting industry. McKinsey & Company, BCG, Bain & Company, EY, PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, Accenture

For students majoring in business or economics, McKinsey & Company is rated as the top consulting firm to land a job. Three of the Big Four accounting and consulting giants follow, EY, PwC and KPMG, with McKinsey’s traditional arch rivals hot on their heels; Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company. Among engineering students, it's the trio of ‘MBB’ that lead the way. However, they rank Boston Consulting Group as the most attractive employer, followed by McKinsey & Company and then Bain & Company. 

McKinsey & Company has been active in Russia for over two decades, and has in that period completed over 2,000 projects in the country. “McKinsey provides services to a wide range of clients, including various multinationals and corporates, government agencies, international financial organisations and cultural institutions,” states the firm on its Russian website. The firm’s office is based in Moscow, and is led by Vitaly Klintsov, McKinsey’s Managing Partner for Russia and the CIS region.

Rival Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has been active in the Russian market since 1990 – the consulting firm opened its first office in the country in 1994. Today, BCG has attained a leading position in Russia’s management and strategy consulting market, working with Russian and international corporations. BCG’s Moscow office is headed by Andrej Timofeev, Managing Director of BCG Russia and the CIS region. 

Also based in Moscow, Bain & Company has been present in Russia since the early 1990s. Currently led by Yury Spektorov, managing partner of Bain in Russia and the CIS, the office works with both local businesses as well as large international companies on topics ranging from strategy and mergers & acquisitions to performance improvement and human capital.

Russian students graduating in information technology or other natural science backgrounds rate McKinsey as the top consultancy to work for, followed by Boston Consulting Group. Both strategy giants also have divisions that cater to the needs of digitisation and IT. McKinsey for instance has its McKinsey Digital wing, while BCG operates with BCG Platinion (IT development and implementation) and BCG Gamma (advanced analytics). The four of the Big Four follow, with Accenture and Bain & Company rounding off the consulting industry’s representation in the list of Russia’s top companies to work for.

Finally, among students with a background in humanities and liberal arts, it is yet again Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company that enjoy the largest prestige and popularity. PwC follows just ahead of Bain & Company, and the remainder of the Big Four round off this list.

Interestingly, all firms identified by young professionals as Russia’s top consulting firms to work for are headquartered outside of Russia.