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L.E.K. Consulting Europe
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Vault’s Verdict

Having enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years, L.E.K. entered 2023 expecting a somewhat bumpier ride due to prevailing market conditions—most notably a slowdown in private equity activity. While this has led to a cautious outlook for the year ahead, it hasn’t slowed the firm’s desire to deliver value for clients, or its commitment to training and developing consultants—both key reasons that insiders love life at their firm.

While hours can be long—albeit in line with most of the rest of the industry—a competitive compensation package makes up for that for many, along with a culture that is regularly described as “collegial” and “friendly.” With a strong client roster, international mobility and global connections, this is a firm that will appeal to many—with the ability to make rapid career progress (driven largely by on-the-job learning) providing yet another reason to add L.E.K. to your list of firms to learn more about.

Firm Culture

“A firm with truly global connections on all aspects of project delivery, and direct senior input to execution on all client engagements.”

“I think our commitment to rigour differentiates us. No firm wants to lack rigour, but L.E.K.'s commitment to checking, double checking and considering how we could be wrong before issuing any advice is above that which I've observed elsewhere. At its best this means clients can put a high leve of trust our advice, but at its worst we spend time double checking things that are obviously true or immaterial.”

“International mobility and global connections - I've been able to relocate twice around the world and the size of it means I know almost all European and APAC partners and most of the US ones - really helps us work well as a team.”

“The people at the firm are genuinely lovely - I am truly friends with a number of my colleagues (not just 'work friends'), and there is never any 'ego' among colleagues. I feel very lucky to work with very lovely people (especially important given the high-stress work environment).”

“We do regular recruiting workshops that give interested candidates the opportunity to meet part of the team and Partners, ask questions, see the office and do some case cracking together. Second to direct work experience that is probably the best way to get a sense of what we are about!”

Quality of Life

“Good socials and there seem to be policies in place to manage work life balance - although not quite sure how well these are implemented by the managing staff. Seems to be more work than people available to do the work so late nights can be expected. Otherwise, people seem friendly and in general are very intelligent.”

“Hours can be long but this is actively recognised and mitigation attempted. Very fair treatment with clear expectations and a very collegiate atmosphere on case teams (no one feels like they have the short end of the stick - if it's grim then it's grim all round, if it's good then everyone is good).”

“L.E.K. offers a very flexible work-from-home policy, as well as flexible arrangements for work-life-balancing such as extensive respect for private commitments, flexibility in working hours, and strong support from leadership regarding work-life-balance.”

“The best aspect of working at L.E.K is being able to work from home or the office rather than client site or travelling Monday to Friday. This allows for close relationships with colleagues and very useful interactions with partners and the team.”

“Working at L.E.K. has been a steep learning curve along the past 3 years. We work with high-level clients and inspiring team members. Can sometimes feel long hours. This is partly due to the job itself, but also to the fast pace of the work combined with very high standards at L.E.K.”


“Best is the profit share that we get every January, seems in line or better than competitors. The salary progression, however, is much slower than other consulting firms even after some ‘benchmarking’ exercises and hasn't been adjusted in line with inflation (which other firms have done).”

"Compensation is fair, and rewards good performance. Bonuses now also take into account a broader range of factors (upward feedback, involvement in recruitment / other societies, efforts to make the firm a better place such as lending mentoring support etc.) - this helps maintain and improve on L.E.K.'s excellent culture. 

Some issues in the past where salary would not match position have been rectified (e.g., when I was early promoted, I was paid a salary between my old and new level until my tenure reached the expected tenure for those in my role). This is no longer the case at L.E.K..”

“L.E.K. provides a strong compensation package structured by a competitive base salary, a bi-annual performance bonus, as well as an annual profit share. The three salary components increase bi-annually.”

“Pay in the region appears to be at the top of the game, though in other regions it's a bit lagging. I would prefer a more transparent and even bonus structure (standard bonus is 50% of what's achievable). Profit share is opaque and unclear.”

“Salary progression is quite steep and is revised every 6 months. The total compensation package ends up being substantially higher when including bonus and profit share, and we do regular benchmarking against other consulting companies to stay competitive.”

Career Development

“Best - great training though the on the job is perhaps higher utility than some of the formal training programs. Firm is happy to promote early if you are ready and supports its employees to in global mobility programs (of which I have taken part)

Worst - firm is growing rapidly and it's difficult for some of the support services to keep up, therefore global mobility is available but not as smooth as it could be, similarly for training programs. There is also broad variability across geographies.”

“Firm's progression is clear and the level of responsibility for MBAs is extensive, which is great. It can be hard to get any kind of acceleration, and even on-time promotion has a very high bar.”

“Incredible exposure to senior leadership from the get-go, significant entrepreneurial vibe and spirit - it’s the DNA of the firm, lots of opportunities available to anyone interested in bettering themselves or the firm, very dynamic and responsive leadership team, promotions are very quick, work is always engaging and appropriately challenging, training programs are bespoke, personalised, and intimate, lots of opportunities to learn from one another, a huge focus on improvement, everyone’s voices are heard, lots of growth opportunities instilled by a firm wide growth mindset.”

“The promotion process is transparent and relatively quick (opportunity for early promotion every 6 months and a standard of one year at each level). The worst aspect is the formal training programme, it isn't that helpful given the gap between when you get the training and when you actually have to do the work on a case.”

“Very transparent and meritocratic promotion process. Formal and informal coaching supports all individuals to identify and improve on development requirements for next promotion. Promotions are considered on a regular basis to ensure that all individuals are promoted as soon as they are able.”

Community Engagement

“D&I efforts are led by a group of Partners worldwide to ensure compliance and enforcement throughout our system. Training happens regularly with external parties and equal access is a cornerstone of our employment policy.”

“Good efforts with regards to gender diversity and inclusion. Could do better to improve recruitment for people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.”

“L.E.K.'s efforts to improve D&I are sincere and thoughtful. However, we need to be honest that we are not as diverse a firm as we would like, and progress to being the more diverse firm we would like to be is slower than we want it to be. More progress is being made on diversity with regard to women, which is great, but diversity with regard to disability is insufficiently pro-active at this stage in my view.”

“Specific initiatives and societies for all of the above (Women's Network, MOSAIC, Pride @ L.E.K. etc.). I feel that everyone has equal access to high quality work and promotion opportunities. 

Not to sound ageist, but L.E.K. has had a big refresh in the average age of partners - as we have been growing, a lot of the younger generation have made their way to partner, with the leadership group now made up of many individuals in their 30s and early 40s. This naturally helps drive change for the better.”

“We are starting to improve, and the recent D&I workshops will hopefully improve the perspectives of those already at the firm. However, 90%+ of staff came from Oxbridge, there is very little diversity in terms of ethnicity or disability and that hasn't seemed to change significantly in recent hiring rounds since I joined.”

Business Outlook

“Best: L.E.K.'s strategy focus means it does a lot of interesting, engaging work. There are opportunities for pro-bono that really boost morale and feel like the firm is contributing to improving the world. 

Worst: lost confidence in firm leadership during the COVID pandemic. There were some rushed redundancies, which felt all the more unfair when business picked back up so quickly after and the firm found itself understaffed.”

“Due to higher interest rates and L.E.K.'s high exposure to the private equity industry, activity should slow down in the next 12 months, although still remain at relatively satisfactory levels (2021 and H1 2022 were particularly great for us with +40% revenue growth).”

“I think L.E.K. is in a genuinely strong position to continue to thrive. Our growth remains strong and we are an attractive platform for ambitious consultants wanting to make a mark on the world themselves, rather than as part of somebody else's network. Clay has been a very effective Global Managing Partner since taking on the role last year.”

“Strong reputation in the market, especially within Life Sciences. One risk is that the company grows too quickly and cannot employ enough staff (especially at mid-level) to meet demand and maintain our high-quality offering.”

“We are not as big as our competitors. We are able to be more agile, but perhaps cannot pump as much investment into innovation. I don't think this has held us back, but it does worry me slightly.”

Hiring Process

“Cultural and personality fit is a key aspect L.E.K. looks for to maintain the healthy and friendly culture of the firm.”

“Fairly standard recruiting process, with 4-5 interviews in 3 rounds. Always 3 parts of the interview, first fit, then case study and finally questions the candidate may have. Callback includes detailed feedback on the candidate's performance, with strengths and areas of improvement indicated. Callback is quick, usually 1 week after the interview.”

“Have begun anonymizing CVs which I believe has helped, though once interviews are held, these factors still influence hiring and recruiting. Ideal candidates have past consulting experience if hired at level above entry, entry-level hires come from top tier universities in English speaking countries and have a general curiosity and need for achievement (type A with insecurities).”

“Our process really focus on people interactions - it's something critical in the way we do thing, both in how we assess people during interviews, but also in the way we interact with them during the recruitment process.”

“The interview process is diligent, with 2-3 rounds approximately 2 weeks apart. The ideal candidate is one who can prove their ability to think in a structured manner, solve complex intellectual problems and importantly fit into the firm's culture. There is however no 'ideal candidate' as a breadth of capabilities and ideas is valued by the firm.”

Interview Questions

“A typical recent project customised and anonymised for an interview process. The aim is to understand how the candidate thinks about the problem, asks questions and progresses towards a solution rather than finding the solution.”

“Describe a time in which you had to teach yourself something and how you went about it.”

“How many flying cars will the UK need by 2025 based on these criteria...”

“Market sizing and strategy questions. For example, ‘how many car parking spaces do you think are required at Heathrow airport?’ or ‘you want to open a bike rental shop in Cornwall - what do you have to think about?’”

“Questions on whether a pharma company should bring a rare disease therapy or a therapy for a more common disease to market, and what it should consider to help make that decision.”

What is the size of the market for lipsticks?

“Why L.E.K.? Why consulting? When busy, how do you manage your time and make sure you get the job done?.”

L.E.K. Consulting Europe

Nova South
160 Victoria Street
London SW1E 5LB
Phone: 44 (0) 20 7389 7200

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Co-founder: Iain Evans
Global Managing Partner: Clay Heskett
Europe Region Head: Ben Faircloth
2023 Employees (All Locations): 1,600

Major Office Locations

London (HQ)

Major Departments & Practices

Data & Analytics

Marketing & Sales

Mergers & Acquisitions

Organisation & Performance

Performance Improvement

Post-Merger Integration

Private Equity



Value Activation