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Strat Consulting at Accenture

 
#1 Strat Consulting at Accenture
18/07/2007 08:36

Anon

I have just been offered a position in Accenture Strat area (Financial Services) as an experienced hire. I am interested to know how Accenture strat consulting is different to tier 1 players (Mck, BCG, Booz)?

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#2 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
18/07/2007 08:52

Tiger to Anon (#1)

In many respects working in the strategy practice of a firm like Accenture is not that different from working at say MBBB. The type of assignments you'll be working on are similar, as is the calibre of the client base.

The major difference is in perception and raison d'etre. The huge global consulting businesses have a strategic reason for maintaining a strategy practice, which is that it keeps their foot in the door with decision-makers at major blue-chip businesses and increases the likelihood of them winning other types of work for the firm (IT projects, outsourcing, etc.). By contrast, the MBBBs are in business almost exclusively to provide strategic advice. A spin off of this is that Accenture fee rates aren't as high as at MBBB and hence the margins on the work - and the packages that can be paid to consultants - aren't quite as attractive.

Bottom line is that most candidates with a strategy offer from McKinsey and Accenture would probably choose McKinsey. They're just more prestigious and are ultimately a better name to have on the CV. Having said this, MBBBs will willingly hire strategy consultants who've worked at Accenture and business schools will take strategy consultants from Accenture just as willingly as from MBBB. So there are far more similarities than differences between the two.

So in short, you'll probably not regret a move to the Accenture strat practice unless you've turned down McKinsey to go there!

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#3 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
18/07/2007 08:59

Anon to Tiger (#2)

Hi Tiger, many thanks for the detailed response. I am currently a manager at Deloitte Consulting within their Operation Excellence area within Strategy and Operations. Focus area being cap markets. My frustration with the current role is projects mainly related to IB middle and back office clean up exercises (IT transformation/payments etc). If I want to do this kind of work I would rather work in a middle office in a bank and earn more money. I am hoping that Accenture strategy can provide more work along the lines of market feasibility/CDD and bits of FD?Is that a possibility?More number analysis as I am an ACA by trade as well

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#4 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
18/07/2007 09:01

Anon to Tiger (#2)

Hi Tiger, many thanks for the detailed response. I am currently a manager at Deloitte Consulting within their Operation Excellence area within Strategy and Operations. Focus area being cap markets. My frustration with the current role is projects mainly related to IB middle and back office clean up exercises (IT transformation/payments etc). If I want to do this kind of work I would rather work in a middle office in a bank and earn more money. I am hoping that Accenture strategy can provide more work along the lines of market feasibility/CDD and bits of FD?Is that a possibility?More number analysis as I am an ACA by trade as well

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#5 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
18/07/2007 10:00

The Senior Vice President to Anon (#4)

LOL! Assuming the above is true, how do DC's managers hold a straight face when talking to clients about their "Operation Excellence" department?

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#6 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
18/07/2007 11:01

anon to The Senior Vice President (#5)

At Acn there is an element of Strategy work we do with Cap Markets clinets but much of the work we do is as you describe (middle/back office IT)

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#7 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
18/07/2007 11:26

Anon to anon (#6)

So what you are saying is strategy work at Accenture will be the same stuff effectively!!Operating models for IB banks middle office IT/settlement systems etc. This is the same rubbish I am doing at Deloitte....means no real change then?

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#8 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
19/07/2007 00:24

dose of reality to Anon (#7)

You guys must be dreaming. Help me understand what would be financial services strategy work? Short of crunching nos. for an emminent M&A, or a bit of disgusting research work, most strategy consulting firms MBBB donot do any real strategy work in FS. Interestingly half of what they do is operational consulting / operating models anyways. Real strategy is in structuring of products and feel of the markets - sales and trading - if you were paid a million dollars and given your own ledger in a bank, or an option to work and help clients in FS 'strategy' - doesnt take long to figure out - hence the picture

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#9 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
19/07/2007 05:08

linguini to dose of reality (#8)

totally agree with dose...

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#10 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
27/07/2007 01:15

tortellini to linguini (#9)

good job, linguini

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#11 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
27/07/2007 15:31

hmm to dose of reality (#8)

dose - i disagree.

strategy is the bridge from the organisation to the marketplace.

FS - take a retail bank - there are many ways how they can target customers, e.g. focus on high-end, low-end clients etc...

e.g. in an investment back offering portfolio management - plenty of strategies to attact clients depending on their portfolios etc...

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#12 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
27/07/2007 19:56

dose of reality to hmm (#11)

ok hmmn - how many FS strat people in MBBB, Accenture, DC, etc etc etc - have ever:

a. traded

b. constructed a portfolio

c. developed retail bank offering such as even a simple mortgage product

...the list is endless

Its always the same useless stuff - client segmentation, org design, operating model, processes, IT inventory, metrics stuff - i say useless to provoke you - but none of it is strategy.

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#13 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
28/07/2007 07:09

anon to dose of reality (#12)

...but strat in FS is not aimed at product development.

a good strat would increase shareholder value (or owners equity) - else there is no point in deploying it. for example, one fs strat project that i have worked on was to increase the efficiency in how a major uk retail bank could manage their customers for multiple products (e.g. rather than sending separate statements for deposit account and loan accounts, send one) - the end result was to reduce the banks costs and improve customer experience.

there are plenty of other examples. i can tell you for sure that there are FS stat people in accenture and they are very very busy...

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#14 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
28/07/2007 07:52

dose of reality to anon (#13)

anon...i dont know if you realise - but you are continuing to confirm my observations

ALL of what you call FS strat = operational efficiency + cost reduction

NONE of it involves revenue generation and ideas backed by a real feel for the industry (btw wasnt alluding to product development in my prev post)

And thats partly because strat consultants dont have those skills (use lengthy ppts, cumbersome spreadsheets, and mediocre research as crutches to stand on) and partly because your clients have already employed individuals who know better and want to make a career of it.

This isnt directed at ACN Strat in particular - it includes the clowns from MBBB equally...and any other alphabets you want to add to it.

Might be tough to digest - but at least its reality

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#15 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
28/07/2007 22:58

anon-dose to dose of reality (#14)

dose - i am the anon person you are having this convo with - i have added the suffix 'dose' to my name make this more one-to-one.

perhaps the confusion lies with what your definition of FS Strategy is or, more specifically, what strategy consulting is, i.e. what is the end goal of strat consulting?

let me know and maybe i will be able to see your point of view.

please be mature and refrain from labelling people as 'clowns' etc if possible. i welcome good debate.

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#16 RE: Strat Consulting at Accenture
22/08/2007 00:03

linguini to anon-dose (#15)

i welcome good debate also.

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