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by Vault Consulting Editors | September 08, 2010


Last week, we released our annual prestige rankings, where we ask consultants to rank firms other than their own in terms of industry prestige. As an offshoot of the prestige ranking, we also asked consultants to rank the best firms in several areas of business focus: business advisory, economic consulting, energy consulting, financial consulting, human resources consulting, operations consulting, and pharmaceutical and health care consulting. Consultants were allowed to vote for up to three firms as the best in each area—other than their own, of course. And, as with our top-50 prestige ranking, Vault does not choose or influence the practice area rankings. The rankings measure perceived prestige (as determined by consulting professionals) and not revenue, size or lifestyle.

Below you'll find the top-ranked firm in each category, along with a "Buzz" quote from a consultant at a peer firm. (Consultants were asked to provide a short phrase to convey their perceptions of firms other than their own; we collect a sampling of these "Buzz" quotes in each company profile.) In the case of a certain firm that … ahem … may land in more than one category, I will continue to pull Buzz quotes out of my bag of tricks. There are plenty to go around!

Business Advisory: McKinsey ("The gold standard, but they invented the industry")

Economic Consulting: NERA Economic Consulting ("Super niche")

Energy Consulting: McKinsey ("Type-A, Type-A, Type-A")

Financial Consulting: McKinsey ("Develops their people")

Human Resources Consulting: Mercer LLC ("Well branded")

Operations Consulting: A.T. Kearney ("Old school")

Pharmaceutical & Health Care Consulting: McKinsey ("Lots of big thinking, not a lot of doing")

Click here to explore our practice area rankings in their entirety.

While outsiders' perception of a firm is important, most job seekers want to learn more about the company culture and lifestyle before settling on one firm. To answer all of your questions about which firms offer the best workplace culture, compensation, formal training and diversity, among many other workplace issues, check back next Tuesday for Vault's Diversity Rankings. And who knows? You may just find your next employer!


Filed Under: Consulting