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Vault’s Verdict

One of Oliver Wyman’s core strengths is the ability to innovate new solutions for clients, so it’s no surprise to find that insiders are of the opinion that their firm has been able to pivot effectively and prosper despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the firm seems particularly well-placed heading into 2021, and we’re expecting to see evidence of further growth over the course of the coming year.

From a career perspective, that makes it a compelling prospect in the APAC region, where the firm is perhaps the best-known of the challenger brands—and particularly in financial services, where it is arguably the cream of the consulting crop. Couple that with great career progression opportunities, top clients, and compensation that matches the best in the industry, and you start to understand why the firm has something close to a 300:1 ratio of applicants to hires. Despite that, it’s also a place where different personality types are welcomed—and valued—and where a genuine balance between work and life is eminently possible to achieve. Need we say more?

Firm Culture

  • “Best culture, global exposure, entrepreneurship, the firm known for solving the most complex issues and achieving the best impact for our clients.”
  • “Choose Oliver Wyman if you want a firm with the legitimacy and pedigree of a top-tier management consulting firm, but the energy, enthusiasm, and ability to make a difference as an individual that comes with a smaller firm.”
  • “Culture to me would be the one most important factor in considering my next potential employer as it determines a large portion of my happiness. Make sure that you try to find out about the culture of the organization that you are applying to and ask yourself if that organization has a culture that you would want to be a part of.”
  • “Great opportunities across all dimensions and we continue to expand rapidly. More opportunities are naturally provided to self-starters and people who are entrepreneurial.”
  • “Oliver Wyman is a place for you to continue developing your core skill sets with clear guidance on how the expectations on competencies shift as you step up in your role. You do this at your own pace (fast or normal) with the support of friendly colleagues and helpful as well as accessible mentors/advisors.”
  • “We are exceptionally good at what we do, because we are always curious about finding the best solution and committed to client impact.”

Quality of Life

  • “Access to mental healthcare provider, training on mindfulness, supportive of athletes and people pursuing fitness goals. Would like to see more structured effort on the physical wellness front, a lot of emphasis on mental health.”
  • “Culture is good, people have respect for personal commitments and treat everyone nicely.
    Partners are easily reachable and care about consultant issues.”
  • “During COVID, Oliver Wyman Singapore office highly emphasized mental health and hosted discussions with psychiatrist experts on Zoom, provided resources if employees are experiencing mental challenges etc.”
  • “Extremely accommodating and understanding. Have never been asked to cut short a vacation to work or asked to work on a vacation. Management encourages time off as and when consultants need it.”
  • “Have never been asked to cancel a vacation in ten years. Extremely respectful of personal commitments. Ultimately the job is one of give and take i.e. when client needs are there we work very hard, but in return the firm respects our need for down time and time away from the job.”
  • “Hours depend on which industry vertical and which partner/client you are working for. Leadership very aware of WLQ problems when they arise but whether they get resolved is another matter. It is fairly easy to take vacation and time off including unpaid leave of absence (e.g. 10-month work year arrangement).”
  • “Nothing atypical to consulting. If anything, I think we have a very safe environment to raise concerns about work-life-balance and managers try to improve when they can.”
  • “Strong buy-in for wellness initiatives, with regular access to resources as needed and numerous employee support groups. Support extends to project workloads - where senior members are conscious of work-life sustainability at all stages.”

Career Development

  • “Best firm for opportunity to travel. Have done projects in Peru, France, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Korea, India.”
  • “Firm is extremely meritocratic, and constantly offering consultants at every level opportunities to challenge them. This is mostly done through a strong culture, and that individual managers consistently give these kinds of opportunities. The promotion structure is then very transparent and meritocratic. The downside is, because opportunities are usually given by individual managers, this can be inconsistent manager-to-manager (though usually extremely strong).”
  • “Great international opportunities.  Formal training programs are really cool and high-quality too, but the informal training through coaching and mentoring are truly splendid.”
  • “I love how much freedom I have at OW. I am given a lot of opportunities to work on the projects and at the locations that I prefer and engage with industries and partners I find interesting…”
  • “OW has a very strong feedback and mentorship culture. Most partners and senior people in the company are very open to hearing from junior level employees, and providing constructive feedbacks and advice. Promotion is flexible where there is no minimum years of experience requirements to move to the next level. It depends on how well the individual performed.”
  • “We could do better: We could do a better job at mentoring and listening to our employees. We are good at: Ensuring opportunities for growth and fair, merit based promotion processes.”

Compensation

  • “The salary is very high. All salaries are standard and transparent for each level so all staff (regardless of gender, race etc.) receive equal pay for a given level which is fantastic.”
  • “Base salary can be improved, particularly given the peer group we compete with and hours worked.”
  • “Best: Pay is clearly linked to progression and is clearly defined leaving no room for pay inequality.
    Worst: Lower pay for more senior roles than compared to competitors.”
  • “Common resources shared between Singapore and Malaysia, including consultant and staff allocation. Malaysian staff are however paid in MYR, resulting in lower overall package due to currency depreciation.”
  • “Higher pay than [McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group] across levels, very flexible expense policy. Good compensation growth and bonuses (pre-Covid-19).”
  • “Pay is good but arguably needs areas of improvement in the perks such as car parking, more generous life insurance.”
  • “We definitely lack perks—weak maternity/paternity leave/support, no material allowance for wellness centers/ gym/ lifestyle reimbursements.”

Diversity

  • “A lot of emphasis is put on Inclusion and Diversity with very senior members of the firm leading the initiatives.”
  • “Employee resource program to promote LGBTQ, woman equality. Channels provided to employees to voice their concern / discriminatory experiences with other employees and I am confident that the senior management takes such issues seriously.”
  • “Firm is very committed to social responsibility and diversity. However, we still have relatively few female partners so we need more role models.”
  • “Increased efforts to recruit women in past few years with women only recruiting events and accelerator programs. An active LGBT employee resource group that has made many members of the LGBT community confident and safe to be themselves at work. Not much on the racial diversity front with still poor representation of Singapore/Asian ethnic minorities in the office here.”
  • “OW is very supportive when it comes to diversity in the workplace. There are monthly LGBT, Introvert, Extrovert, Women in OW, etc. events that are held and community to support and promote diversity. In terms of pay, it is very transparent in terms of how much someone is being paid based on their ratings within the firm and there are no discrepancies there. Similar to pay equity, promotion in OW are also very transparent and is merit based.”
  • “We pay attention to all kinds of people, not only by their sexual preference but also their personalities e.g. introverted.”

Outlook

  • “Backed by MMC, which provides deep pockets in times of crisis. Jobs guaranteed during COVID-19 period. Firm leadership down to earth and believed in by the grass roots.”
  • “Best aspects - Oliver Wyman are undoubtedly the experts in Bank Risk. Given the digitization of the industry and trends driven by COVID, the firm is in a great position to capitalize to deliver exceptional results for clients. Furthermore, the firm has lots of potential to grow, especially in areas outside of Financial Services.”
  • “Covid-19 has hit parts of the business hard while balancing against others. In many markets we are subscale [which] has an impact on how we are able to compete…Overall, much better than Big 4 and smaller consulting firms but need to adapt fast to remain relevant.”
  • “Makes strategic acquisitions to build capabilities that are relevant for future trends and client demands.”
  • “Our business has always done well in crises - dot com, GFC and now COVID. We grew through all of these and will…grow into 2021. Pockets of our business will beat plan this year, despite COVID. This strength comes from innovation being our business, not just part of our business - so disruption helps us better serve our clients.”
  • “OW has become very capable at not just developing strategy but also following up with very good execution.”
  • “We have weathered the COVID storm through investing in the right places and our resilience has been much better than anyone expected through this period.”

Hiring Process

  • “All interviews are conducted by consultants - although there is a framework, the consultants are deciding, based on their experience, who they want to work with. It's not a system that can be gamed - be your best self. We are looking for individuals who push themselves to excel, but remain humble and keen to work in teams.”
  • “Culture is important. Personality and fit is highly valued. No need to fit into the cookie cutter ‘consultant.’”
  • “Extremely smart, having ethical standards, not so aggressive but willing to embrace the big OW family.”
  • “Ideal candidates are strong technically but equally important to be able to fit into the firm's culture.”
  • “Intellectually curious, not afraid of solving quantitative problems using data-led processes, and a good communicator.”
  • “OW places greater focus on fresh graduate recruiting instead of experience hire recruiting. As there are tiers in the interview process, those from targeted universities will be screened through prior to other candidates either through referrals/ off cycle recruiting. Ideal candidate for a firm like OW has to be someone who is entrepreneurial in mindset, able to blend in with the OW culture of openness, transparency and camaraderie, is sharp and willing to learn.”
  • “The ideal candidate that the firm is seeking is one that is collaborative and willing to learn. Teamwork is an important aspect in Oliver Wyman and we are absolutely greater than the sum of our parts. Additionally, a drive to deliver exceptional results and willingness to think outside the box are well-valued in the firm.”

Interview Questions

  • “Case interviews + fit interview.”
  • “Cases are typically financial services focused. Strong focus on fit and personality of applicant.”
  • “…Case studies test creativity and structuring, e.g. how much cash is in all the ATMs in New York? How would you have changed that number during COVID - if you were managing the ATM network?”
  • “In some offices we do a comprehensive overnight case question—where candidates are given one day to prepare their presentation material and present it to a panel of interviewers. [In other offices, all case preparation takes place in-office the day of the interviews.]”
Oliver Wyman Asia-Pacific

CapitaGreenLevel #07-01
138 Market Street
Singapore 048946
Phone: +65 6510 9700

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Subsidiary
Stock Symbol: MMC
Stock Exchange: NYSE
CEO: Nick Studer
2024 Employees (All Locations): 7,000

Major Office Locations

South East Asia
Australia
HongKong
Mainland China
Americas
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
Asia Pacific

Affiliated Companies
Major Departments & Practices

Industries 

  • Automotive 
  • Communications, Media, and Technology 
  • Education 
  • Energy and Natural Resources 
  • Financial Services 
  • Health and Life Sciences 
  • Industrial Products
  • Private Equity and Principal Investors 
  • Government and Public Institutions 
  • Retail and Consumer Goods 
  • Transportation 

Capabilities 

  • Actuarial 
  • Climate and Sustainability 
  • Digital 
  • Operations 
  • Payments 
  • people and Organized Performance 
  • Performance Transformation 
  • Pricing, Sales, and Marketing 
  • Risk Management
  • Strategy 
  • Turnaround and Restructuring