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Vault’s Verdict

Simon-Kucher & Partners is a consistent high ranker in Best Consulting Firms for International Opportunities; interestingly enough, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, that hasn’t seemed to change. It’s true that the six-month rotation at international offices or the annual firm gathering in Bonn, Germany that survey respondents excitedly note as highlights of life at Simon-Kucher & Partners aren’t factors this year. Nonetheless, the consultants who responded to our survey were poetic about the benefits of the exposure to international clients and colleagues they receive, even if that exposure is virtual this year.

Indeed, the international footprint of Simon-Kucher& Partners is a defining aspect of life at the firm, and a key differentiator for potential candidates. The firm’s foundation in Germany (which today accounts for less than 30% of revenue and employees) and subsequent growth across regions leads to a diverse, truly international array of perspectives and experiences that are intrinsic to the DNA of this consultancy. Despite the limitations imposed by Covid-19, it seems that level of collaboration and camaraderie continues to transcend borders and make for a unique and enriching experience.

This degree of early exposure to such a broad portfolio of projects creates ample potential for growth and development, which is rewarded by biannual review cycles that enable rapid promotions. For the enterprising young consultant who has a clear idea of the trajectory they want their career to take, is passionate about the firm’s niche, and seeking a diversity of learning experiences, Simon-Kucher & Partners could be the perfect fit.

Firm Culture

  • “International integration/openness/opportunities. Multiple firms claim to be "very international" but that usually only means they have offices in multiple countries. At Simon-Kucher you actually feel you are part of a global company, are constantly working with colleagues around the world, and the international aspect is actually part of the culture and put in practice (e.g. yearly company event in Germany which all colleagues attend and get to meet up for a few days of activities and celebrations).”
  • “We have down-to-earth, collaborative, intelligent colleagues with a relatively flat hierarchy and open environment.”
  • “I have worked with some of the most intelligent and supportive people at Simon-Kucher. They are extremely good at what they do, but are also emotionally intelligent, able to work well with each other and our clients in a sensitive but informed manner. People at the firm are friends as well as colleagues, and hang out outside of work and sometimes even after they leave the firm, which creates a desire to work hard with your teammates. Everyone at Simon-Kucher is highly motivated and supportive of each other, rarely making projects into internal competitions between colleagues or teams.”
  • “Simon-Kucher has a fantastic culture and does very interesting work in which consultants feel like they are making a positive impact on the world…the kind and smart people that you have the opportunity to work with all over the world make it worthwhile every week.”
  • “This is a firm where you can quickly succeed, thrive and elevate yourself without the bureaucracy and red tape that Big 4/MBB have in place, all while working on projects that make a real difference in global markets and for consumers, rather than back-office transformation.”
  • “SKP provides consultants with a ton of growth opportunities in culture that fosters team work and collaboration.”

Quality of Life

  • “Best aspects: the company culture is fantastic. There is dedication to teamwork and helping each other. Because there is no up or out system, we are committed to making sure everyone succeeds. Worst aspects: During crunch times the hours can get very long.”
  • “Low travel requirements (even pre-coronavirus). Number of hours is reasonable for consulting…”
  • “As with most client-service jobs, work/life balance is dependent on projects and can be unpredictable. However, working on teams allows for more individual flexibility.”
  • “The firm is very much committed to balancing the needs of clients with the needs of our practitioners. I have worked at other consulting firms and the demands were much higher in most cases. This does not mean people are idle, but rather they have more time to build their skillsets and apply those to solve clients' issues.”
  • “This firm is very respectful with vacation time. Management encourages us to use it, they don't intrude on it at all and I receive support from colleagues when I do take time off. We get a good amount of PTO, holidays, etc...”
  • “They have been making great effort to improve health and wellness through subsidized exercise programs, guided meditation classes, and counseling that's available.”

Career Development

  • “Very transparent and merit based promotion, not tied to seniority. Firm provides great resources for learning complex analysis. Some require self-learning.”
  • “Best: Simon-Kucher's culture is highly collaborative. There is no sense of competition/ cutthroat culture…consultants actively support each other, sharing knowledge, materials, lending a hand, etc. I think the impact this has on consultant growth cannot be understated! A consultant’s growth path is probably one of the quickest in the industry. By year two, most consultants are expected to own their own work streams and begin managing day to day client relationships and projects. Worst: training programs at Simon-Kucher are excellent (e.g. trainings on presentation skills, PM, and leadership are generally considered helpful/productive for all consultants). However, trainings are not offered frequently enough. Company does not invest enough in programs to help with exit opportunities…These programs may result in Consultants leaving, but also can provide a much needed break and method for keeping talented consultants for the long-haul.”
  • “I think our best aspects are our international opportunities and promotion opportunities. The firm has a very popular 6-month rotation program, where consultants can work out of a different office for 6-months. I did my rotation in London. We also have consultants work internationally for projects, when necessary. As for promotion opportunities, because of our review process every six months, there is an opportunity for a promotion every six months. This means that if you aren't promoted in one review cycle, you don't have to wait a year before having another opportunity. It also means that strong performers can be promoted quickly. I think our worst aspect is the ability to transfer to another area of the company because of our division structure. If you are in Life Sciences, it is challenging to transfer to another industry practice and vice versa. That said, if you are in any division other than Life Sciences, you can move easily across industries. We also regularly have consultants take over central functions if they want something different.”
  • “The firm has invested for decades in a program called STEPS, which is extended to all new-hires regardless of level. This is impressive given it is a global program as well. Additionally, the firm has specific training for its various proprietary tools and analyses. The worst aspects of the firm's training is that it is more academic and less practical. Knowing the tool and doing the work is one thing, but managing clients' expectations and driving deeper relationships are quite another.”
  • “Simon-Kucher fosters a collaborative and close-knit community of consultants that support each other and want to see each other succeed, both with formal and informal training and mentorship opportunities. Consultants who leave the firm often have fantastic opportunities in industry jobs due the reputation of the firm and ability to interact with clients.”
  • “The firm is very willing to provide opportunities for career development and task ownership within projects even early on in your career as long as you have demonstrated interest and competence. As an MBA hire, I was expected to drive my own work stream with minimal supervision even from the first project I was staffed on.  Training and mentorship could use a little more structure. There are a lot of informal connections and folks within the firm are open to sharing some time, but the "official" mentorship program is a bit lackluster and highly dependent on the individual mentor.”


  • “The salary progression is highly positive. Many promotions from entry-level to Partner enable you to progress quickly with constant thorough evaluations.”
  • “Consistent salary progression, but adjustments for cost of living and bonuses are a bit low. Base salary is competitive.”
  • “Our base pay at the senior levels is a bit low. However, the bonuses can be quite sizeable for strong performers. Combine that with the opportunity promotions, and salaries are more than sufficient. We also have unique perks with the office rotation for six-months – the firm will cover your rent in the international office. We also have our annual meeting and holiday party in Bonn Germany every year (except this year, of course), which is the highlight of the year.”
  • “Great compensation and equal pay.  Salary progression moves fast and benefits are constantly changing and evolving to keep up with the rest of the market.”
  • “Strengths: base salary increased recently, which has made it more in line with market; work from home policy has always been flexible and most managers are very understanding.  Worst: could have higher bonus structure for consultants…given COVID changes, company could add additional reimbursements for fitness, wellness, etc.”
  • “Base salary could be more competitive; bonus structure becomes exponentially more attractive at higher job levels; 401k matching is a nice perk.”


  • “I work regularly with many female managers and partners. While top management is disproportionally male, women have opportunities to move up. Simon-Kucher has been working to expand our diversity and inclusion initiatives, but I would like to see them do more of this by continuing to hire consultants with wide life experiences. While the firm is very international, it is also very European/White, albeit slowly improving in representation.”
  • “We have a strong female leadership presence, especially in the US organization. We also have social responsibility initiatives coming from the board level that you see executed in the office directly (e.g., BLM support).”
  • “SKP is actively working to increase diversity, hold diversity seminars, and require diversity training.”
  • “Diversity at Simon-Kucher still needs to be improved, but this is a major initiative within the company. Pay and promotion opportunities are identical for consultants regardless of background, but diversity could likely be improved with better policies at more senior levels (e.g. outside hiring, improved long-term leave, etc.)”
  • “US leadership is taking an active and vanguard role in promoting racial diversity, but the company overall has some catching up to do…I do think that gender equality is strong here. There's no room for sexist etc. comments, and there is strong female leadership at the partner level. Everyone is treated with respect, at least with respect to their gender.”
  • “Fair practices observed over the years consistently.”


  • “In our life sciences practice, the outlook is fantastic – we have too many projects and too few consultants to work on all of them. I feel as though our firm is the market leader in pricing. Employee morale is good, as employees are often friends as well as colleagues.”
  • “In strategy, pricing. marketing, and sales we offer something no one else does: industry-dedicated experts…that specialization within certain verticals has helped us sustain nearly 20% growth annually for 30 consecutive years. On track to hit this again.”
  • “Business opportunities had a relatively quick bounce back after a slight lull in projects earlier in the summer, especially for technology and software clients. Partners are expecting a stable and positive outlook and the staffing utilization seems to reflect that for now…”
  • “We have a strong core business with active expansion across industries, geographies, and capabilities. Furthermore, we are still under-penetrated even in our core business.  Our biggest challenge, I think, is being able to recruit enough people who want to do our type of work long-term and become partners themselves. We have enough business for many more partners than we have, but we need individuals who can fill those roles.”
  • “Leader in multiple niches for top pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Even through pandemic, many new projects coming in.”
  • “We are always expanding our offerings, and we have an entrepreneurial spirit in our culture that helps make sure everyone is involved in that. Additionally, there is strong demand for our core offerings in pricing, marketing, strategy, and sales consulting.”

Hiring Process

  • “We have a first round interview followed by a final round with three senior team members and a lunch. We notify candidates of decisions within two weeks.  An ideal candidate is a critical thinker who can piece together many different pieces of evidence into an overall conclusion, recognizing which pieces are more relevant than others are. We are also looking for someone who has excellent written and verbal communication skills. Lastly, we are looking for someone who is open to coaching and eager to learn and grow. Combined, the above indicate a strong future project manager.”
  • “The firm’s interviews were challenging, yet engaging and enjoyable. The ideal candidate has good mathematics and analytical skills, and is creative yet focused in the development of strategy and ideas.”
  • “Interviews typically consist of two rounds plus a potential additional phone screen with HR. The first round is on campus (for target schools) or virtual (for non-target schools). It typically goes for 45 minutes, including 20 minutes of behavioral and a 25-minute case. First rounds are not for a specific office or practice. If invited back for a second round, the candidate will be asked to select both office preference and practice (e.g. Life Science or General). The final round interview will be office and practice specific. It will consist of four interviews, including three cases and one behavioral. Pre-COVID, the behavioral portion is done as a more free form conversation over lunch. During shelter-in-place, the behavioral will temporarily take a more typical format.”
  • “First round on-campus interview, followed by on-site super day with three interviews before receiving my full time offer. The ideal candidate is intelligent and curious, regardless of background. Simon-Kucher has a great mix of doctors/scientists and business/industry experts. If you have critical thinking skills, are personable, and are willing to learn more, there is a place at Simon-Kucher for you.”
  • “Our interview process is two-to-three rounds with the final round being a super day (including three case interviews and a behavioral interview). The ideal candidate is a quick learner and intellectually curious; must be able to learn on the job and be open-minded to adapting one's approach; strong research background i.e. understanding how to reach conclusions via quantitative and qualitative research. Note: an important piece of Simon-Kucher recruiting is focusing more on critical thinking than on relevant background. We look for strategic thinkers regardless of background because the culture of Simon-Kucher enables them to grow quickly.”
  • “Callback process moves quick. From initial point of contact with potential candidate they can move through two-to-three rounds of interviews and have an offer within four weeks.”

Interview Questions

  • “How should a genetic test startup best monetize on its new product offer?  Revenue for a snack company (sold in grocery stores) has declined recently. Why?”
  • “Determine the optimal price for the release of a drug by X company in Y industry; relatively interviewee-led. Math test.”
  • “We try to make simplified versions of past projects. Often, our cases involve a strategic thinking component, a data interpretation component, and an analytical component. Topics typically focus on pricing and marketing related topics.”
  • “Typical behavior interview with additional case questions. Usually cases are straightforward, requiring you to read an article or an expert and offer both qualitative strategic considerations and some quantitative calculations of revenue, etc. Everything from my interviews were related to the actual work I do on a daily basis.”
  • “Detailed software, healthcare or consumer goods case interview with a focus on understanding business models.”
  • “We generally have a structured case that focuses on marketing strategy.”



Willy-Brandt-Allee 13
Phone: (617) 231-4500

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
CEO: Mark Billige
CEO: Dr. Andreas von der Gathen
2023 Employees (All Locations): 2,000

Major Office Locations

Bonn, Germany (HQ)
45 offices in 30 country

Major Departments & Practices

  • Consumer
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Industrials
  • Technology, Media, & Telecom
  • Commercial Strategy & Pricing Consulting
  • Customer, Product, & Market Strategy
  • Pricing & Revenue Management
  • Sales Excellence
  • Sustainability
  • Software for Commercial Growth
  • Digital Growth
  • Transaction Services & Private Equity