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PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI

 
#1 PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
22/06/2011 12:51

Chipzilla

Here's a non apples-to-apples comparison of two firms/units which I'm trying to choose between. Might help someone else looking for info as well.

KPMG SCI:

- M&A Strategy team doing CDD for private equity clients. M&A jobs last 3-5 weeks. Work on ODD/operational improvements as well.

- Around 10-20% of SCI jobs are non-deal related general corporate strategy.

- SCI is part of both transactions services and KPMG's operations & strategy group which is focused on supply chain, procurement etc. Temporary jobs in corporate finance and operations are possible.

- mostly work from the office due to deal nature, interviewing experts by phone and collection sector intelligence from reports

- Salaries: 0-50% on top of base (standard advisory) dependent on bonus for 1-4yrs experience, 0-100% for manager+ experience.

PwC S&O:

- Corporate strategy team doing strategy, change, operations and customer excellence. Focus on executing strategic advice as it is part of performance improvement advisory.

- Lots of travelling due to multinational clients

- Does *not* fully integrate with PwC's M&A CDD team

- Lots of client facing work, possibility to get staffed at one client for prolonged periods (anything from 3 mo to 1 yr)

- Salaries and bonuses in the normal advisory range (base+ 0-20% bonus for starters)

With regards to opportunities down the road, it appears both are the same. Much to my surprise, SCI does not seem to lead to many PE jobs. Corporate strategy and startups are common paths afterwards for both. Strategy consulting a la MBBB afterwards is rare.

The KPMG unit is more rewarding financially, though salaries completely depend on bonuses and deal flow. The lack of client face time until higher ranks is a pity however as I would like to build my network and client skills. In terms of variation in work KPMG wins due to a new sector and deal every 3-5 weeks. PwC however is active in more industry sectors and functional areas.

The people at both are quite likeable btw.(though I sometimes get the feeling that PwC *could* be more down to earth due to less presence of ex-strategy consultants and PE folks).

Any other thoughts on how the two compare?

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#2 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
25/06/2011 08:11

Chipzilla to Chipzilla (#1)

Any thoughts?

I get the feeling that PwC S&O might give a well-rounded experience. They're active in the industry sectors and advice segments which interest me. PwC also has a CDD team which I could perhaps internally jump to if I really like M&A. But the pay (Advisory standard) is is significantly less that at KPMG SCI (Transaction services/M&A standard). I've noted the standards of recruiting at SCI are higher as well.

Ideally I'd go the MBBB/boutique strat consulting route to get the variety in work of both SCI and S&O, however I'm worried about the workload there and more importantly I feel it's ridiculously difficult to get offers at all, even though I do have interviews lined up. My chances at the Big-4 are much better, I'm already in advanced rounds and expect to get offers even before strat interviews start.

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#3 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
26/06/2011 18:59

Puccini to Chipzilla (#2)

From what I've heard KPMG SCI is renamed to KPMG Strategy group. Within the Stratey group (CDD, business plans etc) you find KPMG Operations Strategy Group (working with ODD and Post-merger integrations etc.). KPMG Operations strategy group sits, in some countries, between KPMG Transaction Services and KPMG Performance & Technology (the MC-division). I've also heard from a couple of friends that moving into PE is quite common due to the high exposure and developed skills.

What office are you applying for?

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#4 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
27/06/2011 18:08

Chipzilla to Puccini (#3)

A western european office (not UK).

SCI is part of KPMG Operations & Strategy nowadays indeed. O&S is the sum of SCI + Business Effectiveness (BE). Still SCI is much closer to transaction services than the performance & technology service line. SCI seems to be a better known brand than PwC's strategy team. Still, PwC seems more mature in their consulting practise- broader scope of projects and more industries served.

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#5 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
29/06/2011 12:25

BW to Chipzilla (#4)

One way to think of it, would be to take the salary amount as an indicator of level of difficulty of work and prestige.

Regarding PWC: if the team name is s&O, the Operations part definitely means something. Maybe there is more boring process map drawing etc implementation work to be done, and less strategy? For SCI I would imagine that they would do less of more operational work. Does it say anything about this on their website regarding S&O?

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#6 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
29/06/2011 19:06

Chipzilla to BW (#5)

Good point BW. Actually, the base salary at KPMG is lower than PwC. It's the bonuses which could make a difference up to 10K (euro) in the favor of KPMG at entry level (my starting point). Thing is, you never know how deal flow your ratings will affect that bonus. Considering the limited career lifespan and apparently equal exit options I think money won't be a decisive factor.

Prestige is a good point however. CDD for PE and M&A in general are more 'sexy' than general consulting. Plus, KPMG's SCI group is filled with ex strategy consultants, PE guys and MBA's which points to a high level of standard. Then again people at this level should normally able to get a better paying job elsewhere...

PwC seems to have a broader mix of ex strategy consultants, Big-4's PhD's and industry expert folks. I've also learnt that the career path is steeper. Whereas the KPMG CDD folks will typically have a 2-2-2-2 year promotion path, it typically takes 3 years a step on average in S&O, with more steps as well.

About S&O: their service mix consists of four units: operations, transformation, customer excellence, strategy. I'm told I would end up at the partners doing customer excellence (marketing, sales, retail stuff) and strategy (growth/market entry), with freedom to work elsewhere and a typical work mix of m&a (pre+post deal), strategy, operations each around 33% of my time. I'll inquire further in the next rounds.

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#7 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
03/07/2011 00:01

Puccini to Chipzilla (#4)

Could someone at KPMG explain the differences between the work environment at KPMG Performance & Technology (MC-division) and KPMG Strategy Group? Anyone who works for either KPMG P&T or KPMG TS? How about KPMG Operations Strategy Group? exit options? salary? etc.

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#8 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
03/07/2011 19:47

Chipzilla to Puccini (#7)

KPMG Performance & Technology:

Two main services are:

- IT Advisory (strategy/project advisory/sourcing/architecture etc.) and business performance improvement.

- Business performance improvement is split up according to public sector, financial sector or corporate clients. Has gone trough many names depending on country e.g. BPS, BE, Operations & Strategy. Does everything from supply chain and organizational redesign to finance transformation, depending on country a lot of procurement work lately. If you like operations etc., this is the place to be.

KPMG Strategy Group: this probably equals SCI or the operations and strategy group and sits between TS and P&T. Will do CDD or ODD work and sometimes work with the previously mentioned business performance improvement unit to advice PE clients on how to improve efficiency of takeover candidates.

Exit options: easily found with a linkedin search for past KPMG folks on linkedin ; ) salaries I can't really help you with but pretty much default big-4, try glassdoor?

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#9 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
04/07/2011 19:45

Puccini to Chipzilla (#8)

One way to go could be to choose KPMG SCI and eventually move to KPMG Performance & Technology (which in many ways seems to be equivalent to PWC S&O) if you want more client exposure and longer projects. Do you know anything about the cooperation and coordination between KPMG SCI and KPMG P&T?

Ive heard that PWC Strategy is currently under development where they divided into PWC Corporate Strategy and PWC Deal Strategy. Have you heard anything about the future plan of KPMG SCI? Is there a specific unit within KPMG SCI you have applied for (Strategy or Operations practice)?

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#10 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
05/07/2011 19:20

Chipzilla to Puccini (#9)

Good point, trouble is that KPMG's P&T practice isn't active in the 2 industry sectors I'm most fond of. Otherwise it'd have been a no-brainer for me (large personal network at KPMG). Aside from more sectors PwC's S&O practice is broader in scope of work as well, e.g. customer excellence and growth strategy are more common.

To answer your questions:

KPMG SCI around here is officially part of P&T actually: within P&T there is the "Operations and Strategy group". This is the sum of Business Effectiveness (pure P&T) + SCI (more T&R type). They merged to deliver more bundled expertise to PE's and corporates. I've applied for SCI which is pure M&A CDD.

PwC's has two strategy type teams:

1) Strategy & Economics: CDD /deal strategy team which is very comparable to SCI. Part of the transaction service line.

2) Strategy & Operations: corporate strategy, operations, change, customer excellence. Part of the Performance Improvement service line.

They two units have been split for quite awhile now so they're not really under development.

Can't believe I want to be a consultant while it takes me this much effort to weigh my options xD

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#11 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
05/07/2011 19:23

Chipzilla to Chipzilla (#10)

Got to add that I get the feeling from responses such as yours that SCI might open more doors in the future as employers consider it more hard-to-get. People don't really have a clear view on what PwC S&O work is or how to rate it.

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#12 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
10/07/2011 10:17

Chipzilla to Chipzilla (#11)

Perhaps Tony can provide any insight in CDD at KPMG vs S&O at PwC?

KPMG

+ large internal network

+ transaction services level pay

- not active in sectors I enjoy and have skills in

- deal nature is high workload

PwC S&O

+ better fit with skills & interests (variety in work)

+ more client contact

- less access to M&A CDD work as I'd be in PI rather than TS

- Compensation would be lower than at KPMG

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#13 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
26/07/2011 21:52

Puccini to Chipzilla (#12)

Chipzilla, how did it go? have you decided on what to choose?

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#14 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
26/07/2011 23:51

Prometheus to BW (#5)

One way to think of it, would be to take the salary amount as an indicator of level of difficulty of work and prestige.

I would disagree on it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but KPMG's (and E&Y's) "consulting" practices are pretty young and came to life and died a couple of times already, in the last few years. They need to pay more to get people interested.

Pwc (and Deloitte, who are always saying of how they are the only Big4 that didn't sell its consulting business after Andersen went wrong etc etc) have more established "consulting" practices that are likely to be more prestigious and, in an ideal world, would offer a better learning environment. Which is why they can still get people interested even if they pay less.

It's the same with Clifford Chance, they are considered the best law firm in the world. Everybody wants their name on the CV and that's apparently why, at least at junior level, they can afford to pay a lot less than competitors and still get flooded with applications.

All, in all, I doubt the difference in money between PwC and KPMG will be life-changing, especially in a world where a 21yo banking analyst can start off a 60k-80k salary...

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#15 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
27/07/2011 09:13

Chipzilla to Prometheus (#14)

Agree with the maturity thing. For KPMG here, Advisory is 50% of their revenue.

For PwC here, Advisory is 70% of their revenue. Clear indication of less dependency on audit.

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#16 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
27/07/2011 11:38

Chipzilla to Puccini (#13)

@Pucini I'm still in the procedure with both. Takes ages with all those interview rounds and people being on holidays. Leaning towards PwC as there I'd eventually have access to all kinds of work, now just hoping it works out...

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#17 RE: PwC Strategy & Operations versus KPMG SCI
30/09/2011 11:11

Chipzilla to Chipzilla (#16)

Went with PwC. They are present in the industry segments I like and have a broader mix of work (M&A, corp strat, ops) than SCI , which is very deal focused. Also really liked the people at PwC, they focused on their enjoyment of the work and their colleagues. The SCI folks are a different bunch altogether and appear to be more focused on how prestigious and demanding their work is. The demanding bit is also another reason to go fot PwC S&O instead. In CDD the work is typically from 9AM to 9PM which can take quite a toll. Careers at SCI are shorter than at S&O probably because of the hours and stricter up-or-out policy. Finally, PwC's consulting practise appears to be substantially further developed in my country than KPMG Advisory: more sectors, functional expertise and integration between units.

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