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IB VS Strategy

#1 IB VS Strategy
14/06/2006 10:42


It is not a question of having more skills in volume - its that strategy consultants posses more UNIQUE skills than investment bankers. They have to have strong analytical skills AND rely on creativity, style, persuasiveness, adaptability etc etc. A good strategist can analyse a situation and break it down in seconds (there is a good book that explains how Napoleon used to do it).

Salary and profits generated by the company make no difference at all in valuing who is most unique: im sure you realize an oxford professor makes less than a plumber - dont tell me the plumber has more 'skills'? Money isnt everything when it comes to intellectual challenges - and if you ask me, advising a government on thier domestic strategy, or creating a market entry plan for ftse 10 is more demanding mentally than producing a DCF model in half the normal time it should take. .

Lastly, there are very very few strat consultants in the world - even if you look at Mckinsey, 70% of their work is operational. There are far more bankers doing thier valuations, comparables and M&A transactions - which is a very high skilled, yet REPETITIVE METHODOLOGY.

In short - its much harder to find people that are good at strat consulting. Find a Mckinsian and have dinner with him. then do the same from one from Goldman's. Im sure the difference will be clear from the start.

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#2 Re: IB VS Strategy
14/06/2006 11:32


Quick question:

(I currently work in IB, and lets assume I can actually make the move to a Strat firm in Ldn)

Is it possible to work in strat consulting, but spend most of your time in and around London with clients, rather than living in hotels half way round the world?

NB: I currently travel maybe 1 week every month or so and don't really want to change this....


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#3 Re: IB VS Strategy
14/06/2006 11:44


the answer to this questions lies in what clients you willl work for. If go to financial strategy consulting (which i guess is the most approprate) your clients will be banks, finiancial institutions, insurance / assurance, PE and government - all located conviniently in zone 1 or docklands. If you go to consult for IT / outsourcing / industrial production companies, your clients are very likely to be around the world and not in the nicest of places.

It also greatly depends on the company. Where are you applying to?

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#4 Re: IB VS Strategy
14/06/2006 11:52


Thankyou Peters.

Yes, most likely the financial sector is the most appropriate, so as you said, hope zone 1-ish most of the time.

Have not applied to anyone yet, but likely be both to the full-house strat firms: McKinseys, Boston, Bain, Mercer etc as well as the smaller boutiques like LEK, Marakon, OC&C etc - need to read their websites as see if they work in the financial sector.... as well as consider other factors such as fit, culture etc...

FYI: I currently work in the Risk Strategy dept for a large docklands based US IB.


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#5 Re: IB VS Strategy
14/06/2006 12:38


just out of curiosty, why do you want to leave?

i immagine your pay must be significantly higher - what level are you?

I was considering making the opposite switch!

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#6 Re: IB VS Strategy
14/06/2006 13:05


Been in IB for 10 years since graduation - performed various roles from Market Risk Manager to prop FX & Interest Rates trader and now for last 4 years heading a projects team in Risk Strategy - my current employer also sponsored me to do an MBA (which I completed earlier this year) too. I'm a VP on a base just into 6 figures... (unfortunately 7 figure bases as per other posts a bit optimistic I think for all except top top 1%) I do like the role and the industry, I just fancy a change, something a bit broader, possibly across different industries too (though not keen on huge amounts of travel due to family etc). How does this compare in your world?

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#7 Re: IB VS Strategy
14/06/2006 15:03


my world is different, yet similar. travel will definetely be present, although again, it can and most likely will be local for financial services. hours will be roughly 65-80 a week. the salary is in question: six figures could be 120k or could be 800k lol.

if you have 10 years experience you would probably go in a senior manager ( level just before partner), you could expect from 120 - 300k plus bonus depending on firm. mercer oliver wyman will pay more, but then environment will be similar to IB and hours will be identical.

Have you considered Ernst Youngs new BAS practice? this is only if get excited about the challenge of a professional start up

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#8 Question for D
14/06/2006 21:16



I've been in the strat game for 5 years since graduating and my current 5 year plan involves reducing my travel to your current level for the same reasons, i.e I want a family in teh next 5 years and also want to see them!

Are there many strat consultants that have made the opposite move into banking that you know of and what skills/quals do you think would be useful. Similarly, where would you end up in a bank with experience predominately in commercial transaction services?

Thanks in advance for your help, all the best with teh applications, job move etc...

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#9 Re: IB VS Strategy
15/06/2006 08:46


Have a look at Mercer OW and why not Parthenon - they don't seem to travel out of London much, and are a very nice bunch (it's quite a small office).

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#10 Re: Question for D
15/06/2006 09:41



In my group there is 1 person who used to work for BCG. The others are from a variety of backgrounds and qualifications, mostly with at least 5+ years experience in risk mgt, financial control, trading or other quant roles in IB. Most people either have quantitative PHds, MBA's, or other masters + maybe some professional quals such as CIMA or chartered accountancy. In short, its a real mix - one guy even has a masters in film and media studies, which ensures he gets ribbed quite a lot....

I think there is a general cross over between internal consultancy in an IB business line & pure consultancy firms, but the same can also be said between more tratitional IB roles such as equity analysts, corp finance, etc (I believe). Other quals such as PRINCE2 etc are certainly of some use, but you need the experience and major quals to be in place first.

As with most things, its about showing you can be of genuine value to the proposed new role.

Any guys out there with families working in pure strat firms that achieve a reasonable balance of work/life?

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#11 Re: Question for D
15/06/2006 09:43


"Guys" being a generic terms for people of course.....

...and I should add, 'in and around London' too.


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#12 Advice for a grad
15/06/2006 12:31


Given both your expierences I was hoping if you could help me out. I am a graduate from a red brick univ with internships in Strategy/business dev at an Ibank and also risk. Ive gotten offers from bofa - credit and pa consulting and ibm (which is shit). Which do u think I shuld go for keeping in mind I plan to do an mba in 3 yrs.I'm tempted to go for PA however if i dont like it, is the name good enough to switch into ib?

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#13 Re: Advice for a grad
15/06/2006 12:49

Grad at PA

I was in a similar situation as you and still am re. wanting to do MBA in 3 years. I went as you can see for PA. Great firm, good client contact and you build a good array of skills. If you leave details, happy to get in touch!

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#14 Re: Advice for a grad
15/06/2006 13:01



BofA Credit I assume means Bank of America in their credit risk mgt team??? This is certainly closest to what I know and would certainly be a great first role - Credit Risk mgt is certainly the place to be in risk mgt at present with Basel 2, SOX404 etc all leading to a current recruitment drive - and there'd be lots of opportunities to move to related project work in due course I'm sure.

PA and IBM I frankly couldn't comment. Both seem like top tier IT consultancy firms to my limited understanding. I appreciate they may have biz change / strategy practices too, but I assume they don't compete head on with the McKinseys, BCG's, LEK's directly - but see other posts in this forum for further views.

In short, I think BOFA vs PA/IBM offer you 2 very different routes... neither of which is pure strategy if thats actually what you want to do.....

Sorry cant be more help.

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#15 Re: Advice for a grad
15/06/2006 14:14


Dear grad at pa,

I really appreciate your offer to help. I'd most definately like for your to get in touch. My email is I hope to hear from you. thanks.

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#16 gradconsult?
15/06/2006 14:28

are you interested in EY BAS?

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#17 Re: gradconsult?- EY BAS
15/06/2006 14:40


Nothing is worth overlooking. If you'd like to speak, then pls feel free to email me.Btw I know someone wpp and mercer exp looking for a new role.

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#18 Re: gradconsult?
15/06/2006 15:40


Whatever you do, don’t go to EY BAS !! Have you not read the bad press they get on this board ?

They’ve just been taken over by a load of IBM and Accenture partners, who are rubbing their hands with glee having cashed in their share options at their former employers, and are now struggling to recreate a sort of mini-IBM, but focussing on Finance, rather than IT.

They’re a long way from being a stable, credible consultancy, and are pretty much hiring anyone who turns up to interview on time and can construct a sentence.

One word: AVOID

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#19 Re: gradconsult?
16/06/2006 08:43


Tooopla - where did you get this information from??? Since its wrong, and far far from the truth, I can only immagine that you are exagerating existing rumors- prehaps you were rejected from BAS? Ah.. but of course not... youre going to reply saying that you work for Mckinsey or other...

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#20 Re: gradconsult?
16/06/2006 10:18


Yup that's right - I really did want to work for an unproven business concept, led by the same people who changed ACN and IBM into sweatshop outsourcing houses, but they wouldn't take me.

Something about coming from a quality consultancy ...

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