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Frontier Economics Ltd.


Vault’s Verdict

If consultants at Frontier are unhappy with life, they only have themselves to blame—quite literally, as being employee-owned means that every permanent employee has the opportunity to step up and propose changes. That fact alone means that Frontier consultants are some of the most satisfied people who took our survey this year, quite aside from the fact that they work at a place that is intellectually satisfying as well.

Culturally, the hours and travel expectations at the firm both tend towards the reasonable end of the scale by industry standards, despite Frontier’s services being in strong demand—to the point where the firm is able to choose its assignments. Additionally, insiders indicate that the company is a great place to develop both consulting and economic analysis skills, making it a solid choice for anyone to come straight out of university with an existing background in econ.

Firm Culture

  • “Challenging work in a very friendly and intelligent environment. I think it is a great place to work that cares not only about generating profit but also about making it through interesting projects.”
  • “Employee-owned and employee-run. This means that unlike other consulting firms when you are working hard you can feel more like you are working for something that you have a stake in than just working for someone else, the partners or owners.”
  • “Employees are encouraged to rotate across different practice areas, such that people have a much wider breadth of experience and knowledge of different economics issues and tools, instead of just being stuck in a very specific niche.”
  • “I couldn't have wished for a better experience as an Intern. I was treated like everybody else at the firm, they considered my interests when putting me on cases and my location wishes.”
  • “If you are a young person, this is the best place to develop your career. You'll have lots of opportunities and they will make of you a very good consultant. After 3 years in the company, you will know if this is your business or not. If you have professional experience elsewhere, you won't be left alone, there will always be people willing to help and guide you.“
  • “The employee-owned nature of the firm gives everything a more inclusive ethos. This, together with the sustained growth, means there's very little internal politics.”
  • “The work is really interesting and challenging, and the firm culture is great. In my two years, I've learned a lot, both in terms of general consulting skills and how to be a better economist. Hours are reasonable (the average week works out to around 40 hours) and so the compensation is lower than some competitors, but if you're willing to accept a slightly lower salary in exchange for having time to actually spend it and have a life outside of work then Frontier is an excellent option.”
  • “They do care about how we do things. We believe that an employee's happiness improves their life and makes our business more successful. And we continuously keep thinking about maintaining this philosophy. This amazes me. The perseverance in making sure that the firm's values are truly encouraged and maintained.”
  • “We have one of the highest retention rates in the industry because it is truly a nice place to work.”

Career Development

  • Can work across sectors, across countries, across types of clients—it's all up to you. And because of the operating model and training opportunities, you are free to develop your own skills at your own rate. Your development is all down to you and it's brilliant.”
  • Frontier is a growing firm which means there are loads of development opportunities.”
  • Frontier really is meritocratic, and people are trusted to take control of their own careers. And the mentoring and other support mechanisms can be extremely helpful. The flipside of the great levels of freedom is that sometimes the lack of structure can feel a bit daunting or make one lost.”
  • Lack of team silos and formal rotation periods for colleagues makes the work more interesting and the culture stronger.”
  • Lots of European opportunities—can grow as much as the effort you put in. Lack of non-European opportunities.”
  • Promotion process is rigorous. The firm puts a lot of time into trying to make it fair and I perceive that the process is fair and not arbitrary or linked to one individual's view.
    For training, there is a formal program covering a number of key areas and if there are specific areas people would like added they can go on them themselves or push for wider participation by people in the firm.
    Generally, there is the ability, across all levels of seniority, to act to change aspects of how the firm is run. in this sense the running of the company is diversified and it provides the opportunity to develop by taking on a range of internal company function rolls as well as consulting roles.”
  • Very steep learning curve, with an excellent training program for both technical and consulting skills. The career path is clearly defined.”

Quality of Life

  • “A unique culture and one of the only consultancies I know that actively monitors and manages individual work-life balance.”
  • “As a client facing industry, consulting can generally be quite demanding. Policies in place at the firm ensure that the demands of the job remain manageable.”
  • “Hours are generally not bad, but occasionally intense. Barely have to travel, although travelling tends to be painless, whilst taking time off is easy.”
  • “I like being based in an office full of collaborative people—rather than sent off to the other end of the country to sit in a client's back office entering data. It's busy at times, but that's consulting and I feel that my mentor and managers keep an eye out for me—making sure the ups and downs balance out.”
  • “Like all consultancy work, there are quieter periods and busier periods. The busy periods can be very tiring but working hours are monitored to ensure something can be done about excessive hours.”
  • “People are trusted to do the work that needs to be done. This brings personal responsibility and flexibility. There are occasions when the reality is that there is limited flexibility due to client deadlines, but we try to always recognise this and compensate with time back after the event.”
  • “Work-life balance is excellent. I am always under pressure to work fewer hours and to justify why I am in the office after six. The office space is excellent and I can work from any of our European offices whenever I like which makes travel really easy.”


  • “Business outlook is excellent. There is so much work coming down the pipeline the firm can afford to be very picky in the projects it takes on.”
  • “Growing expertise in a number of fields means we're well positioned to continue meeting our values. Morale is generally good, but we can't be complacent.”
  • “Overall there's still a lot of work in the pipeline, and morale remains high. Outlook is good, with no obvious concerns.”
  • “Very much in demand, hence each year we increase the number of new analysts we hire. Last year we were selective over the work we chose to take on because we were too busy!”
  • “The leadership are very good at thinking growth, but not always at the practicalities and sometimes a bit reactive—e.g. took a while to fill in the gaps in our experienced hires which was causing mass workloads on some.”


  • “At entry-level, the pay progression is quite standardized, so the focus is on learning rather than trying to ‘level up’ faster than others.”
  • “Best: They are quite generous with the compensation. Worst: Can't think of any.”
  • “Compensation starts lower than some other comparable firms, but salary increases quickly (10-15% year over year for most in the first few years), and the profit-sharing/employee ownership plan is great.”
  • “Frontier is wholly owned by its full-time employees and so has a full profit-sharing plan. This means that rather than spending our profit on 'perks' we just give it to our shareholders (us).”
  • “Great leave and flexible hours but no ‘big firm’ perks like gym memberships etc.”
  • “I really like the fact that we all share in the profits of the firm. The whole thing is based on economics—no external shareholder to pay, and benefits are only offered where there is a genuine economy from pooling. So I don't have to subsidise a load of stuff I don't want.”
  • “The company is wholly employee-owned. It cannot be sold out from underneath the staff in the way that some consulting firms have been historically with only the partners receiving proceeds from the sale. If the firm is sold (unlikely) all staff will see a return. Similarly, all the profits the firm makes each year are fully distributed to the company staff.”

Hiring Process

  • “Ideal candidates are entrepreneurial, sociable, and smart.”
  • “First there is a CV selection, after which there are two rounds of interviews. The firm responds very quickly at each stage of the recruitment process.
    The ideal candidate is clever, technically adept, and has the ability to communicate clearly to clients and members of the team.”
  • “Good economist with good interpersonal skills and ability to see things from a wide perspective before getting into detailed economic analysis.”
  • “Interview process is smooth and streamlined, although occasionally our recruitment team can take a while to notify someone of the outcome of their interview (this was not my experience, as I heard back the next day, but I've heard of it happening). We're looking for people who explain complex economic issues in simple terms, and who are personable and confident enough to interact well with clients.”
  • “We place equal emphasis on consulting skills and economic skills.”

Interview Questions

  • “Case studies of applied microeconomic theory—e.g. mergers, pricing strategies, regulation, etc.”
  • “Challenging case studies that change all the time.”
  • “Explain economic concepts.”
  • “Interviews typically involve competency-type questions as well as a case study—usually a discussion of an issue we've solved for our clients which will involve both building and working with the economic frameworks, as well as translating them into an intuitive way to discuss with non-experts.”
  • “Questions around an economic case study - on both qualitative and quantitative aspects.
    Competency-based questions.”
  • “Typically interviews consist of a mix of competency questions and case studies. The case studies are all focused on testing the strength of candidates' economics understanding and ability to think and explain the issue.”
Frontier Economics Ltd.

71 High Holborn
London WC1V 6DA
Phone: 440 207 031 7000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Chairman: Gus O'Donnell

Major Office Locations

London, UK
Berlin, DE
Brussels, BE
Cologne, DE
Dublin, IE
Madrid, ES
Paris, FR

Major Departments & Practices

  • Competition
  • Energy and climate change
  • Financial services
  • International trade
  • Public policy
  • Telecoms
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Regulation
  • Strategy
  • Litigation