Bain, McKinsey, and BCG outgun Big Four with huge salaries and bonuses

The Big Three consulting firms – Bain, McKinsey, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – are now offering considerably higher salaries than the Big Four accounting firms – EY, PwC, KPMG, and Deloitte – new figures from Management Consulted show.

A tight global labour market in 2021 and stiff competition among white collar firms has caused white collar salaries to rise sharply over the previous year.

However, new figures show that the major consulting firms are now outpacing the major auditors when it comes to their financial offerings to graduates.

Salaries were significantly higher in the US than they were in the UK, at around $80,000 (£60,000) a year in the Big Four and $100,000 a year at Bain, McKinsey, and BCG, for graduates entering the firms.

In the US, Deloitte Consulting offered the best base salaries of $90,000, followed by PwC ($83,000), EY ($80,000), and KPMG ($77,000), Management Consulted said in a report.

By comparison, the Big Three consulting firms all offer base salaries of $100,000 a year.

Each of the Big Three firms also offer significant bonuses and perks, with McKinsey offering up $30,000 bonuses to its US based graduate employees.

On average, salaries across both the Big Three and the Big Four increased by around $10,000, between 2021 and 2022, the figures show.

Battle for talent

Management Consulted noted that the Big Three firms in particular have also begun offering huge bonuses to attract and retain talent.

Both the Big Three and the Big Four have been forced to raise salaries to compete with the tech and finance industries.

Yet despite the huge salaries on offer, the report said that the number of people leaving the consultancy industry was higher than at any point since 2008.

Both the Big Three and the Big Four offer significantly lower salaries to workers in its London offices.

In the case of PwC’s consulting business Strategy&, graduates receive a base salary of £42,000, while KPMG offers graduates £29,150, and Deloitte Consulting offers £32,500.

Looking forwards, the report warned that such high salaries, particularly in the US, might lead to firms transitioning to using smaller teams to ensure higher margins.


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