The buzz is back

James Bennett

James Bennett

The market has shown welcome signs of recovery over the past 12 months, and
Management Consultancy has led the way in identifying just how far it has
gone.We have covered all the major markets for consultancy spend including
financial services and the public sector as well as smaller markets such as
retail,manufacturing and leisure.

We have also conducted an industry-wide salary study to let you know, before
anyone else,what your peers are pocketing each year and, more importantly,what
you deserve to be picking up in your annual wage packet.

We have also examined the emergence of niche and specialist firms,which are
increasingly grouping together to form consortia so that they can take on the
larger players in bidding for big-ticket deals.

But it is our top 75 management consultancy firms’ survey that,year after
year,generates the biggest buzz throughout the industry.

This time around we thought the survey merited more attention than ever and
have produced a supplement packed full of industry information, figures,charts,
thoughts, insights and predictions from some of the most senior visionaries in
the business.

It should come as no surprise that our number one-rated firm, Accenture,held
onto the top spot for another year with a massive £180m fee income leap that
dwarved the rest of its competitors. Accenture’s clout is mainly down to its
increasing presence within the public sector and in particular the NHS’s
ambitious,decade-long, multibillion-pound Connecting for Health programme,
formerly known as the National Programme for IT.

This is not to say the rest of the industry is far behind.

The top 75, with a handful of exceptions, also saw profits rise steadily –
and in some instances massively. One of the smaller firms grew its fee income by

It’s all down to one thing and one thing only: the recovery and re-emergence
of consultancy. Cynics may say the recovery is due to the cyclical nature of the
industry,but it is more than that. Despite some serious belt-tightening and
cutbacks in market sectors throughout the UK over the last three to five years,
business is once again showing increasing confidence in consultancy and
consultants.Sectors such as local and central government,banking, accounting,
insurance, pensions and human resources are all using consultants and feeding
consulting firms with long-term deals that will see them through for several
years to come.

Regulation has also taken a new turn over the last 12 months with
financial services in particular driving work towards consultants.New compliance
laws such as the
post-Enron Sarbanes-Oxley rules in the US,Basel II and international financial
reporting standards (IFRS) have offered firms never-seen-before revenue streams,
lifted profits previously hit by the slowdown and even created new firms in the

Large-scale IT services contracts also continue to knock on the consultancy
firms’doors, with government and private companies desperate to reach the next
stage of development and expansion that can lead to business, performance and
bottom-line improvement.

If the trend continues,the next few years will be extremely profitable for
management consultancies in the UK. And it is the most competitive ones that
will endure.

Consultancy Top 75 index

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