While the world of strategy consulting seems at times to be shrinking, or at least reducing to something practiced only by the best-known firms in the industry, Marakon continues to forge its path as an independent, strategy-only boutique. It’s not an easy path—as insiders will testify, there’s not much of a safety net under a firm of this scale—but it seems to be a deeply rewarding one for most Marakonites. Intellectual stimulation definitely tops the list of reasons that Marakon’s consultants enjoy about their jobs, along with the sense of mission that comes with dealing almost exclusively with the most pressing issues faced by their C-level clients.
Unsurprisingly, career development is on point at Marakon, with a particularly strong focus on mentoring—not to mention exposure to that network of senior-level clients, which brings exit opportunities that are the envy of many consultants elsewhere in the industry.
If there is a drawback to life at Marakon, it’s also an outgrowth of its scale and narrow focus: name recognition can be a struggle at times, as can balance during busy times. For those who are truly invested in pursuing strategy as a career field, however—like those at Marakon undoubtedly are—those are prices that appear to be worth paying.
- “Challenging work topics and great culture for the long-term.”
- “Comprehensive and impactful—advice to clients covers all aspects of strategy, financial performance and leadership and almost always at CEO level.”
- “Do you want to learn how decisions are actually made at board level? Are you comfortable taking on a broad range of responsibilities?”
- “Have grown tremendously as a consultant—seniority of client base, the sophistication of advice I can give, breadth of skill set.”
- “If you want to build a consulting career focusing on the strategic issues on the C-suite's agenda, this is the right place for you. If you are interested in consulting on operational improvement, IT, social impact, and public policy, I would advise looking at other firms.”
- “Unwavering focus on helping executives to grow enterprise value.”
- “Working on the greatest challenges that senior executives face with an amazing group of colleagues.”
- “Best: Challenging work; supportive team; great access to anyone in the organization; more relaxed up-or-out; true meritocracy (women and people of various ethnicities in leadership).
Worst: Tenure-based promotion; lack of structure; communication and forward views on promotion or bonus.”
- “Extensive training opportunities; mentoring by partners; meritocratic progression.”
- “Regular, capability-based promotion reviews. Promotions are purely based on ability to deliver at the next level and provide the opportunity for strong performers to move up the ladder quickly.
Informal training opportunities are strong as peers and managers are strongly invested in your development.”
- “We are a small firm—this both provides terrific exposure but requires you to be self-driven.”
Quality of Life
- “Because the team is lean, there is no culture of facetime.”
- “Best is the general hours driven by an unusual mix of longer pure strategy engagements (virtually no due diligence work).
Worst can be linked to growth pains. Lots of the office is new which therefore means senior folk may need to get into the weeds more to compensate.”
- “Best: High value given to w/l balance, e.g. firm typically does not take on lower-paying, high-pressure pieces such as DDs for this reason. Typical hours are better than other consultancies. Travel takes place only when It absolutely needs to.
Worst: Small team means pressure in ‘boom’ periods.”
- “Highly flexible with regards to working hours and locations. Does not endorse the traditional 'live at the client site' model.”
- “Hours not demanding and usually flexible. We don't have many options when it comes to traveling, but there is a general tendency in the firm to travel only when necessary, so that diminishes travel requirements considerably. Taking time off is relatively easy and most of the time respected.”
- “Usually planned holidays are 'protected'; if this is not possible due to a project constrained, costs get reimbursed.”
- “The firm is generally very supportive of taking time off. There is a general tendency to try not to email people while away. That being said, it still does happen occasionally that people are asked to cancel their vacation plans or to work while away. We are expected to be reachable during vacation.”
- “Differentiated position, with talented practice leader. A back to basics approach that is refreshing in its simplicity and insight. Needs to find a mechanism to get more leverage out of its strengths.”
- “Niche focus on and expertise in strategy.”
- “The firm has a strong and distinctive offering, and a lot of strong, long-term relationships with senior executives to leverage to get work. The space is very competitive though, with MBB growing every year. A challenge we have been facing is getting enough top-quality talent in the door so we can continue to deliver on the offer.”
- “High level of transparency around pay; progression is fast and meritocratic.”
- “Large bonus.”
- “Meritocratic bonuses.”
- “2 rounds of interviews; mix of case and competency interviews; no psychometric tests
- “Ideal candidate is intellectually curious; good at solving problems creatively; able to demonstrate leadership and collaborate with others.”
- “Strong analytical skills, displays equal amounts of confidence and humility.”
- “Case Study (Round 1): candidates receive materials on a business situation with questions, which they get 15 min. to work through. This is followed by a 30 min. discussion of the questions.”
- “Structured Interview (Round 1): 'free flow' discussion of business and strategy consulting related topics; limited focus on career choices or behaviours and skills.”
- “Cases typically test for strategic thinking and numerical proficiency.”
- “Strategy cases based on real engagements.”
8 Finsbury Circus
London, NY EC2M7EA
Employer Type: Subsidiary
Managing Director: Neal Kissel
Director: Johann Franke
Charles River Associates
Charles River Associates Europe
- Strategy Consulting
- Financial Services
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